Top critical review
Interesting, but not convincing to me
on August 2, 2003
I'll be right up front with my own religious orientation and say that I'm an atheist. As such, I suppose I am the ideal audience for this book, since CS Lewis undertakes to explain the fundamental unifying beliefs of the various Christian denominations in simple language and analogy that should be clear to anyone. In this, he succeeds admirably, although his tone often comes off as condescending. In the end, however, I was not persuaded. I am put off by his views on homosexuals and the role of women as well as his acceptance of the Christian's permission (if not obligation) to kill in cases such as war or criminal punishment.
I was also not convinced by his basic premise that God must exist because humans everywhere share a basic moral sense. It is easier for me to believe that we evolved certain behaviors because they allowed us to coexist relatively peacefully in communities; these behaviors had survival value for us because we are best able to thrive in communities. Being the intellectually complex beings that we are, we have developed sets of religious belief to explain these behaviors and tendencies to ourselves.
These problems notwithstanding, "Mere Christianity" is a readable and illuminating introduction to Christian thought and merits reading.