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
Most Helpful First | Newest First
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!!!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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 Most excellent reading,
This review is from: Mere Christianity (Paperback)To be able to explain my rating all I can say is read the book. It is not a book containing writing on a subject it is a timeless piece of real literature. Read it years back, still reading it and referring it to others.
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Insightful,
This review is from: Mere Christianity (Kindle Edition)A thought provoking read. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a basic understanding of Christianity. It's a great starting point.
5.0 out of 5 stars C S Lewis,
This review is from: Mere Christianity (Kindle Edition)In this book, C S Lewis is absolutely at his best! Expect your faith In Christ to increase drastically after reading this book. Not only C S Lewis is simple and clear, he also gets his interesting points accross in a very eloquent way. He also treats many critical questions to his affirmations showing he has taken the counter perspective into consideration.
I highly recommend this book to C S Lewis fans or to Christians who need to strengthen their faith in the Lord.
5.0 out of 5 stars I expect you will find this book valuable,
This review is from: Mere Christianity (Paperback)C. S. Lewis' Mere Christianity is a consideration of Christian belief. Borrowing from Acts 11:26, Lewis broadly defines a Christian as a person who follows the teaching of the apostles. Lewis wants to explain the essence of such following. Hence, Mere Christianity. Lewis' explanation of mere Christianity requires four steps (each each presented in an individual book that comprise the entirety of Mere Christianity). It begins with an attempt to establish facts that allow Christianity to make sense. Lewis then places Christian doctrine into dialogue with these facts to see if it addresses the needs such facts create, followed by an exploration of how such doctrine affects morality. Lewis concludes with a discussion of who the Christian God is and what this God is turning people into.
Mere Christianity is what comes about when a brilliant and creative mind explains theology. This book, particularly the first chapter of Book IV, is among the best descriptions I have read about my religion. As I read, I often found myself thinking that Lewis was directly answering questions that I posed to him. Whether you share Lewis' faith or not, I sincerely hope that you read this book. It has the potential to inspire, but if nothing else, it will provide a thorough and clear description of one of the world's major belief systems.
This is not to say that the book is perfect. Lewis holds to hierarchical gender relationships, which he acknowledges to be unpopular**. Certainly The Bible does include similar teaching at points (which is undoubtedly where Lewis gathers his ideas from), but at this point enough theology and biblical study exists to convince me that such hierarchy is a cultural injunction for a particular time and place rather than a universal rule. I also wonder if Lewis was too assumptive surrounding the cardinal virtues when stating that all "civilized people recognize" them. I wonder if most people still (or ever did) agree that the cardinal virtues in particular - prudence, temperance, justice, and fortitude - are all good or even whether a universal morality in general is even possible to agree about.
The critiques I have of Lewis have little to do with the general direction of the book. In fact, I can even more easily highlight particular points where I agree with Lewis. Chapter 3.6 concludes by noting that Lewis wouldn't want another religion legislating its entire ethic through parliament, so he should not want to impose his entire ethic legislatively. Lewis also strikes what I see as a perfect balance between giving to charity and working for a just society in parallel (Chapter 3.3).
I did a Christian apologetics class at seminary and one of the things I learned was that apologetics are important descriptors of the faith not only for people who are not Christians, but also for people who are. Why I think Mere Christianity is so important comes from how it presents belief to me, an Evangelical Christian who experiences a bit of scepticism. I thought it was interesting that Lewis did not start with what one would typically call an explanation of what Christianity is. Instead, by starting with areas of common humanity - namely whether morality exists and how to define it if it does - and then testing whether Christian teaching is able to speak to these areas, Lewis makes some of the harder to grasp aspects of my faith easier to encounter. Even when disagreeing with Lewis, I was able at least to see that his ideas were thoughtful and considered. Similar can be said about how Lewis periodically notes that not every step he takes his readers on indicates that Christianity is a viable faith choice. Some steps lead in this direction but are not the entire journey.
I expect you will find this book valuable.
*I hope you will forgive my gender exclusive language. Using it makes me uncomfortable, but the plural is grammatically unwieldy here. I used "Man" because that is what Lewis did and because Jesus was incarnate as a male.
**See Chapter 3.3 regarding obedience, as an example.
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 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!
Most Helpful First | Newest First
Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis (Paperback - Jan. 25 2001)
CDN$ 16.99 CDN$ 12.26