13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mostly Good
This book was not written in an attempt to convince the staunch non-believer. It was written for those who believe and those who doubt their non-belief. I felt that his opening chapters regarding the moral argument presented a strong point in a weak way.
Lewis used very little scripture in this book, but I do not see that as a weakness. If Christ genuinely is the Word,...
Published on July 16 2004 by lshave
7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good writing, but fails to make his case
I feel out of my league critiquing Mr. Lewis. I certainly recognize he is a gifted writer. All I am trying to do is say why, at least for me, he didn't prove his case.
The book is divided into four books, and at this time I'm only intending on commenting on the first two. The reason being that the latter two books are for Christians. The first two are for those that...
Published on Aug 17 2002 by Paul Doland
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mostly Good,
This review is from: Mere Christianity (Paperback)This book was not written in an attempt to convince the staunch non-believer. It was written for those who believe and those who doubt their non-belief. I felt that his opening chapters regarding the moral argument presented a strong point in a weak way.
Lewis used very little scripture in this book, but I do not see that as a weakness. If Christ genuinely is the Word, then his message should make perfect sense even apart from the written word.
One of the things Lewis demonstrated very well was the fact that if you look at man's dilemma as being fallen, and consider how he came to be in this dilemma, then the solution that Christianity offers makes perfect sense.
The concept of the trinity is also covered very well.
Finally, the chapter on God and Time sheds light on a few misconceptions about God's nature, and introduces a number of different ways of thinking about time that make it easier to see how God can hear everyone's prayers, or how the fact that God knows my future doesn't mean that I have no choice over the matter.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hats off to a legend, as we go back to the basics!,
This review is from: Mere Christianity (Paperback)There is the story told of a teacher instructing a martial arts class. 2 of the class mates are squaring off. The one boy doesn't have the training as the other does, although he's giving it everything he has. He's pretty much throwing every bit of technique at the advanced student as he can, and yet he still continues to get beat. The teacher finally pulls the less of the 2 students off to the the sides and says, "I know that you are as tough as nails. I know what you know. Perhaps if you went back to the basics, it might not be so difficult." The boys line up and square off. They circle each other. The lesser student finds his opening, BOOM!!! The other kid is sprawled out on the mat.
C.S. Lewis takes us through the basic points, and BOOM!! He floors us with what we thought was just going to be, "Mere Christianity." He wrote this back in the 1940's, yet he used a language that we can all understand, yet you have to take the time to comprehend what he's saying. I looked at this as a complex book on simple issues, and it constantly hit me between the eyes! There are places where you see God in a whole new light. It is like you've never seen it in such a perspective, yet now you find yourself amazed. His illustrations are very simple, yet sometimes you might want to read it again to get the full understanding of what he is saying. Then read it again, and smile, and praise God for this wonderful work! People have labeled this as "The most important book next to the Word of God." It just might be. And it is just the beginning.
C.S. Lewis used to be an atheist, and when he gave his talent to God, he became one of the most influencial writers that Christianity has ever seen! Folks, this is what happens when people might say, "God can't use that." And then God looks at what appears to be impossible and says, "Let's see what I can do!" Did people back then think that a former atheist could pull something like this off? This is just 1 of many wonderful works that Lewis has accomplished for the Kingdom of God! And it is so beautiful. Hats off to a legend!!!
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for any Christian or non-Christian,
This review is from: Mere Christianity (C.S. Lewis Signature Classics) (Kindle Edition)For anyone, Christian or not, who has struggled with rationalizing the idea of the exisitence of God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, C.S. Lewis struggled with the same. His very unique perspective can be both complicated and quite simple. C.S. Lewis humanizes Christianity and acknowledges that nobody is expected to be perfect - we were never intended to be. The reader will come away with the feeling that our lives are not our own, we are loved, and we will be ok.
4.0 out of 5 stars Mere Christianity,
This review is from: Mere Christianity Hc (Hardcover)I am interested in getting more insight into this religion and find good information to share with the religion stidents I teach.
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the classic books in Christian apologetics,
This review is from: Mere Christianity (C.S. Lewis Signature Classics) (Kindle Edition)This is a book that I have long enjoyed, and come back to many times. Now I have been using Kindle, it is such a treat to be able to read these classics again and again.
5.0 out of 5 stars Explains the Minimum Case for Repenting and Following Jesus,
This review is from: Mere Christianity (Paperback)"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony." -- Hebrews 11:1-2 (NKJV)
Each Christian emphasizes certain elements of faith somewhat differently than many others do. Keenly aware of such differences, many believers aren't clear about what virtually all others accept. Mere Christianity provides that different synthesis in a stylishly written and clear way.
C. S. Lewis also manages to bridge the gap to how non-believers think to create a route from their moral feelings to appreciating the need for repenting of sins and redemption by a Savior. From there, the evidence for Jesus being the Savior is presented.
The explanations are equal parts common sense and caring concern for those who don't yet know the Gospel. Anyone who wants to begin to understand the Christian faith should read this book after becoming familiar with the book of John in the New Testament.
Although I have been sharing my faith for many years, Mere Christianity helped me to appreciate better ways to share what I believe with others so that more may appreciate the road to Salvation.
Praise God for this book!
5.0 out of 5 stars Life Changing Book,
This review is from: Mere Christianity (Paperback)With no starting assumptions or preconceived notions, C.S. Lewis takes his readers through a comprehensive and compelling explanation of what Christians believe and why the Christian faith makes sense. Lewis uses powerful arguments to build to inescapable conclusions about morality, the existence of God and the nature of Jesus Christ. The appeal of Mere Christianity is that it focus on those common elements of Christianity which are believed by all Christian everywhere and steers clear of the peculiarities of the different denominations (hence the title "mere"). This is not a book that you can quickly breeze through. Every sentence, paragraph and chapter is full of deep meaning, and you will want to stop and re-read parts of it frequently.
This is the book that lit the spark of my own ministry. Lewis showed me that it was acceptable to ask the tough questions and that those questions have fulfilling and meaningful answers. Lewis showed me that we don't need to shy away whenever we have doubts, or whenever why want to know why things are the way they are. Asking these questions and finding the answers has significantly strengthened my faith.
4.0 out of 5 stars Response to orpington,
This review is from: Mere Christianity (Paperback)As another reviewer pointed out, Christians seem to rate this book highly while atheists and agnostics tend to give it low ratings. Assuming that orpington is not an atheist or agnostic (from his objections that Lewis does not tow the Scripture line as he would demand of such a work), I guess fundamentalists (at least this one in particular) are not impressed with this work from Lewis either. THE BIBLE may say that once a person is saved they are never lost, but Lewis points out that giving our lives to God is a decision, and who among us hasn't seen someone make that decision and then change it?
As for the idea that people could come to Christ from other traditions, I can attest to this myself. I was raised in the Methodist denomination and then pursued the Bahai faith and Buddhism seeking to determine if I really believed in Christianity or followed it merely from conditioning in childhood. Lewis has helped bring me back into the Christian fold, with a much clearer idea of what I believe and why. As Mike Scott of The Waterboys wrote in one of his songs, it's "been a long way to the Light." Who is to judge how we get there, so long as we answer God's call?
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic book for either the believer or the non-believer,
This review is from: Mere Christianity (Paperback)Lewis makes a solid case for Christianity in this highly readable series of talks he delivered on the BBC. Lewis' common-sense approach, and easy-to-understand analogies catch the reader unawares. One finds him or herself agreeing with Lewis, even when one is unsure what it is one has agreed to.
In Book 1 Lewis makes the case for morality, or what he terms "the law of human nature" written upon men's hearts. In Book 2, he examines the competing conceptions of God and makes the case for Christ. Here he states that all Christian denominations tend to hold 3 things in common - these being baptism, belief (faith), and Holy Communion. In Book 3, he examines the Cardinal virtues, the theological virtues, and the importance of living virtuously. And in Book 4 he leads the reader into the doctrine of the Trinity and what this means for the believer.
An Anglican himself, who avoided speaking of Catholicism, contrary to the direction many have taken this book, Lewis argues against a kind of non-denominationalism. He says that if Christianity is viewed as a hallway inside of a mansion, his job is merely to bring us into the hallway. Which room we enter, he says, is up to us, but he does argue that the worst room is still better than remaining in the hallway.
Readers desiring to learn more about what led to Lewis' conversion to Christianity should read G.K. Chesterton's "The Everlasting Man," as Lewis has said that this book greatly influenced his belief in Christ.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written,
This review is from: Mere Christianity (Paperback)Lewis was a master of language. This book is written in a style that is both easy to read and beautifully constructed. He was Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge, and his works are widely recognised as masterpieces of literature.
In the book, his description and characterisation of mainstream Christianity is thorough. He covers the faith at a basic level, but it is more comprehensive and comprehensible than most non-Christians and even many Christians have ever heard before. This book taught me a lot about mainstream Christianity, not in a dogmatic sense, but in a spiritual sense. Too many authors rely on discussion of theology and dogma; Lewis covers the spiritual, and this is what sets his book apart.
His coverage of the faith is non-denominational, and he deals with the subject in a frank, conversational manner. It is an extremely easy read, but at the same time both interesting and involving.
With that said, many of his arguments lack force. While his apologetics make use of many good analogies, his logic will be unconvincing to most non-believers.
On a side note, Lewis died on the same day as Aldous Huxley and JFK. Funny how life works!
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Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis (Paperback - Jan 25 2001)
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