C.S. Lewis

Books: Religion | Philosophy | Fantasy

Mere Christianity (1952)

Mere Christianity

Mere Christianity

I realized that I’d actually finished this book several months ago, but managed to forget that I had done so. Take that as you will.

Mere Christianity puts forth some interesting arguments, but I find that although they may have been convincing at the time C.C. Lewis wrote them, I found them less so, in the 21st century.

There were, however, some points that I found quite interesting. First was the statement, "It is only our bad temper that we put down to being tired or worried or hungry; we put our good temper down to ourselves." That's a truth if I've ever seen one. It is interesting how we want not just others to believe well of us, but to believe well of ourselves.

I have been asked to tell you what Christians believe, and I am going to begin by telling out one thing that Christians do not believe. If you are a Christian you do not have to believe that the all other religions are simply wrong all through. If you are an atheist you do have to believe that the main point in all the religions of the whole world is simply one huge mistake. If you are a Christian, you are feel to think that all those religions, even the queerest ones, contain at least some hint of the truth.

It's a nice sentiment, and I wish I could believe it, however I tend to find that many Christians do not, in fact, subscribe to this belief, but tend to believe in the superiority of their faith over all others. So this says far more about his personal beliefs, I think, that about Christianity in general.

In the same sentiment he said (referring to the practice of faith and belief), "If any of them do not appeal to you, leave it alone and get on with a formula that does. And whatever you do, do not start quarreling with other people because they use a different formula from yours." A whole lots of strife and unhappiness could be avoided if people followed that simple precept.

So it's an interesting book, but as an argument for Chrisitanity, I'm not so sure.