There is no frigate like a book
To take us lands away,
Nor any coursers like a page
Of prancing poetry.
~ Emily Dickinson

Literature is my Utopia. Here I am not disenfranchised. No barrier of the senses shuts me out from the sweet, gracious discourses of my book friends. They talk to me without embarrassment or awkwardness. ~ Helen Keller

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Review: Mere Christianity

Mere Christianity
Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Loving "Mere Christianity" is almost a cliche among Christians, isn't it? Well, I guess I love it. Almost two years ago I read the chapter on charity during a drive with a cousin who loves it, and I was delighted by the similarity between Austen's conception of charity. Last spring I started MC, and got side-tracked, eventually reading several Narnia novels and "Till We Have Faces". The apologetics of the book are still what I consider its weakest element.* While my big questions about life do tend to be similar to Lewis'(the foundation and origin of morality), I realize today that atheism and secularism have broadened their objections and questions. Even as a Christian, I find Lewis' jump from the idea of an innate universal morality to the inspiration of the Bible jarring.

However, the sections dealing with Christian conduct and theology were so profound that I think every Christian (or person interested in Christianity) should read them. My copy is underlined and marked with comments: "Amen!", "Perfect explanation" and "Incredibly insightful, beautifully written, and yet painfully convicting." As a conditionalist, pacifist, and egalitarian, I certainly found areas of disagreement with Lewis' references to hell/death, his strong belief in just wars, and his reading of Paul's admonitions to husbands and wives. However, my disagreement simply made me read more closely and highlighted the beauty of the truths presented. Ultimately, the book presented almost no truths with which I was not already familiar, yet my experience of their convicting power was new. To paraphrase John Greenleaf Whittier, that which shares the life of God, with Him is always new.

*Honestly, I'm not sure if I fully believe in apologetics. Right now I tend to believe the most important argument for Christianity is its radical irrationality -- "Christ crucified", "foolishness" to those who rely solely on reason.

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1 comment:

  1. This is on my list of must reads. I agree with you that what engages the heart is the irrationality of Christ crucified, but at some point if we are to make sense apologetics has to be formed. Of course I get suspicious of certain parts of Christian apologetics. Ultimately I feel we don't know for sure until we cross over to the other side and are face to face with Christ. You've pushed me to read this sooner than I planned. ;) In 2015 for sure.