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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...
Published on July 16 2004 by lshave

versus
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...
Published on Aug. 17 2002 by Paul Doland


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5.0 out of 5 stars Most excellent reading, Nov. 13 2013
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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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very Insightful, Aug. 27 2013
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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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars C S Lewis, Aug. 26 2013
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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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I expect you will find this book valuable, Aug. 19 2013
By 
A. J. Dickinson (Saint John, NB) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for any Christian or non-Christian, April 26 2013
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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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Mere Christianity, April 18 2013
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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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Explains the Minimum Case for Repenting and Following Jesus, Oct. 2 2012
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(#1 HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
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!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Discussion of Christianity, Jan. 14 2009
By 
Eric Boyer (Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mere Christianity (Paperback)
This is a great book for people who are either half or fully convinced about Christianity. But, and I should mention this right away, this book is not meant to convince a non-Christian that Christianity is true. Many other books have been written for this purpose, and if you want to find one then just search for a Christian apologetics book.

This book answers many questions that Christians might ask about their faith, and does so in an easy-to-read format, almost like a novel. The book is written in a very non-technical manner, so almost anyone should be able to understand what Lewis is talking about. Also, there are lots of analogies to help the reader better understand what is being explained.

This book is comprised of four smaller books called 'Right and Wrong as a Clue to the Meaning of the Universe', 'What Christians Believe', 'Christian Behaviour', and 'Beyond Personality, or First Steps in the Doctrine of the Trinity'.

The first book explores the idea that the concepts of right and wrong are proof that a morally good God exists and loves us. Lewis does a good job of explaining this point, and, as usual, uses lots of analogies and examples. His explanation may not convince an atheist that God exists, but nevertheless it provides food for thought for all readers. Again, if you want to be shown proof of why God exists then you shouldn't be looking for it in this book. Read a book that is dedicated to Christian apologetics instead.

The second book explores the Christian idea of who and what God is, and discusses some aspects of the Christian faith. Some ideas that are discussed are pantheism, dualism, and the nature of the devil.

The third book continues exploring what Christians believe, but does so in a more detailed way. Some concepts that are discussed are morality, sex, marriage, forgiveness, charity, and faith. This is my favorite of the four books because it gives some good reasons for why Christians believe what they do, and it also gave me a better understanding of what the Christian faith is about.

The fourth book is the most abstract of the four, which makes sense considering that it's about the Trinity. This book also talks about what God wants from us and how we can become true Christians. A lot of this book is comprised of Lewis' opinions (rather than commonly accepted facts), but nevertheless it is an excellent read because Lewis has some very interesting and convincing opinions. Lewis' analysis of how we become 'true' Christians was particularly interesting.

Overall I consider this to be a very good book. Lewis is a very intelligent man who has many convincing arguments. I also enjoyed it because Lewis seems to think in the same way as me; many of the ideas that he presented are similar to things I have thought of in the past. Nevertheless, there are a few things about the book that I didn't like. For one thing, it is written in a very old-fashioned way which many young people may not be used to (but, Lewis wrote these books in the 1940's, so that is to be expected). Also, it would have been nice if the first book (which is commonly called 'The Case for Christianity') included other proofs of the Christian God, rather than just dwelling on the origin of morality. Many people are not convinced by this proof, so it would have been a good idea to present other proofs such as miracles, the historical accuracy of the Bible, the origin of the universe pointing towards the existence of a god, etc. The final problem that I have with this book is that some parts are not at all convincing. But, this only applies to about 5% of the book, and perhaps these arguments that I consider weak would be convincing for other people, so this is a pretty insignificant objection.

One final note about this book (and religious books in general). When it comes to religion (or any other controversial topic), many people are extremely biased, emotionally-driven, or narrow-minded. Not all people are like this, but way too many are. If you plan to read this book, or any other book that is about a controversial subject, please do so in an objective, emotionally-neutral, open-minded manner. Doing so will help you figure out what you truly believe.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Life Changing Book, Sept. 30 2007
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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars To be a Christian..., Feb. 23 2004
This review is from: Mere Christianity (Paperback)
Many people go into this book expecting C.S. Lewis to erect an impenetrable wall of logic around Christianity and its theology. Aside from being impossible, such a feat would be wearisome and pointless. Besides, Lewis is not a theologian or philosopher (something that probably makes the book all the more enjoyable!), but a professor of literature. As such, his genius lies in a causal (yet convincing) discussion of what would otherwise be a group of very complicated ideas.
Some complain that the book begins weakly, for it is here that Lewis attempts a refutation of other theologies and philosophies in order to demonstrate the credibility of Christianity. Of course, we all know (as did Lewis, I am sure) that you cannot substantiate one position on the basis of the refutation of another (when there exist countless positions). But to claim that the book is therefore fallacy-ridden would be misguided because it is quite evident that Lewis was not after rigor. Rather, the book is designed to be a causal discussion of basic Christian principles, morals, and beliefs. And we must remember that it was originally given as a radio address in the early '40s. That being the case, I find the result fairly impressive even today.
So what did I get out of the book? Although interesting, the philosophy is not Lewis' strong point. His real strength comes in showing us the kind of life that Christianity offers, and how that life is so amazingly true on a mythological level. For example, in discussing the idea of repentance Lewis explains: "repentance...is not something God demands of you before He will take you back...it is simply a description of what going back to Him is like." But we need God's help in order to repent, for "no man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good." And when we do try to be good, we find that we are utterly incapable. So we turn to God for help. But how can a God which has never suffered help us in our own suffering? Such a God is too impersonal. And this is where Christianity comes in. We must die to our own pride and independence of God, and God must help us with this metaphorical death. But "we cannot share God's dying unless God dies; and He cannot die except by being a man." This is the vision of Christianity: we are not alone in our suffering. Theologically, it is difficult to imagine anything more brilliant or true. However, those who look logically and with disdain upon what they perceive to be an elaborate and unlikely substitute for science, pronouncing religion nothing more than superstition, do not see these truths.
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Mere Christianity
Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis (Paperback - Jan. 25 2001)
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