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Cristianismo puro e simples (Clássicos C. S. Lewis) PDF, ePub eBook


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Title: Cristianismo puro e simples (Clássicos C. S. Lewis)
Author: C.S. Lewis
Publisher: Published September 4th 2017 by Thomas Nelson Brasil (first published 1952)
ISBN: 9788578601577
Status : FREE Rating :
4.6 out of 5

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Em um dos períodos mais sombrios da humanidade, a Segunda Guerra Mundial, C.S. Lewis foi convidado pela BBC a fazer uma série de palestras pelo rádio com o intuito de explicar a fé cristã de forma simples e clara. Mais tarde, ajustado pelo próprio Lewis, esse material daria origem a Cristianismo puro e simples, um grande clássico da literatura. Na obra mais popular e acess Em um dos períodos mais sombrios da humanidade, a Segunda Guerra Mundial, C.S. Lewis foi convidado pela BBC a fazer uma série de palestras pelo rádio com o intuito de explicar a fé cristã de forma simples e clara. Mais tarde, ajustado pelo próprio Lewis, esse material daria origem a Cristianismo puro e simples, um grande clássico da literatura. Na obra mais popular e acessível de seu legado, Lewis apresenta os principais elementos da cosmovisão cristã, gradativamente conduzindo o leitor a temas mais profundos e complexos, provocando reflexão e debate. Nesta edição especial e com tradução de uma das maiores especialistas em Lewis do Brasil, você vai encontrar as palavras que encorajaram e fortaleceram milhares de ouvintes em tempos de guerra — e ainda reverberam mais de 70 anos depois.

30 review for Cristianismo puro e simples (Clássicos C. S. Lewis)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Paul Bryant

    I had to stop reading this, it was making me ill. It may be that every single sentence in this book is either wrong or offensive or inane or all three. Here's a passage from page 45 - CS is talking about what he calls Dualism (i.e. Manichaeism) whereby the existence of evil is explained by there being two equal forces in the Universe which are in perpetual contention, the Good one and the Bad one. CS says: "If Dualism is true then the Bad Power must be a being who likes badness for its own sake. I had to stop reading this, it was making me ill. It may be that every single sentence in this book is either wrong or offensive or inane or all three. Here's a passage from page 45 - CS is talking about what he calls Dualism (i.e. Manichaeism) whereby the existence of evil is explained by there being two equal forces in the Universe which are in perpetual contention, the Good one and the Bad one. CS says: "If Dualism is true then the Bad Power must be a being who likes badness for its own sake. But in reality we have no experience of anyone liking badness just because it is bad. The nearest we can get to it is in cruelty. But in real life people are cruel for one of two reasons - either because they are sadists, that is, because they have a sexual perversion which makes cruelty a cause of sensual pleasure to them, or else for the sake of something they are going to get out of it - money, or power, or safety. But pleasure, money, power and safety are all, as far as they go, good things. The badness consists in pursuing them by the wrong method, or in the wrong way, or too much. i do not mean, of course, that the people who do this are not desperately wicked. I do mean that wickedness, when you examine it, turns out to be the pursuit of some good in the wrong way. You can be good for the mere sake of goodness : you cannot be bad for the mere sake of badness." I was never that well versed in the subtleties of philosophical debate, and it is true that my brain has been progressively enfeebled by a constant dripfeed of Old Peculiar, chicken tikka masala and Italian exploitation movies, yet even I can see that this adds up to a pile of shit of Brobdingnagian proportions. Dualism is wrong because it is impossible to “like” badness for its own sake, huh? Because when you do bad things you’re really trying to achieve ends which are really good, but you’re going about it the wrong way, huh? Well now, let’s take our old devilish no-friend-of-mine Adolf Hitler. He was quite convinced that he was doing a GOOD THING by ridding Germany of all Jews. The idea was to eradicate every last one of them. The ultimate idea (though he recognised this was something for later generations and he would not live to see the glad day) was to murder every single Jew throughout the world, because in the very depths of his racist insanity he thought the Jews were Evil. So getting rid of them was Doing the World a Favour. As in – eventually, they will thank me for this gruelling but essential task. Okay, C S Lewis – ANALYSE THAT! How in whatever grotesque rhetorical contortion could that be construed as pursuing a GOOD thing in the wrong way?? There was a classic multiple murderer in 1972 in California called Herbert Mullin – he was a schizophrenic who was obsessed with the impending Big Earthquake and went around randomly beating 13 people to death because his brain told him THAT WAS THE WAY TO STOP THE EARTHQUAKE! I get it, CS, he was trying to do a GOOD thing in a BAD way. So he’s your example. But uh-oh, what about Josef Fritzl and the family in the basement? He knew what he was doing was Very Bad and it gave him a big thrill. He would go to friends' barbecues and fry steaks and chuckle to himself "if only they knew about my incest family in the basement!" Or anyway, take the case of any common or garden wife beater – what GOOD are they trying to achieve in the “wrong way”? Oh, wait – CS says that “power” is as far as it goes a good thing. So it must be that the violent man’s partner is preventing him feeling adequately powerful and so he wishes to restore his power over her – which CS thinks is good – but “in the wrong way”. My brain is reeling from the Grand Canyon of wrongness of all of this. I’m a little shocked. This was written in 1952 and CS comes across as a wise old buffer in a cardigan speaking to an earnest younger man. Both their wives are rustling up something to eat in the kitchen and talking about whatever mysterious things women find so interesting. Meanwhile the men thrash out the deep questions. Here’s a pearl I think we all ought to cherish: “there are situations in which it is the duty of a married man to encourage his sexual impulse” (p.25) Here’s another: “the reason we do not execute witches is that we do not believe there are such things. If we did… surely we would all agree that if anyone deserved the death penalty, then these filthy quislings did?” (p.24) Surely we would, us avuncular old shitbags in cardigans puffing on our pipes and living in the real world as we do. I think a copy of Mere Christianity should be provided free to every impressionable schoolchild in the country. It’d put them off for life. ****** WHY I THOUGHT OF READING THIS IN THE FIRST PLACE Originally Pink Floyd was Syd Barrett's band - he was the lead guitarist, lead singer and only songwriter. Then he drank 5000 gallons of LSD and fried his brains. The other boys in the band were disturbed by his weird behaviour but he was still the golden goose for them. They would go round his house and he would teach them his new songs. One day, just before they decided he was too crazy and chucked him out, they went round and he taught them a new song with lots and lots of chords in it. Syd told them it was called "Have You Got It Yet?". He played it again and gleefully sang the chorus (have you got it yet, have you got it yet). They were baffled. he played it again. They still couldn't figure it out. Then they realised that every time he played it he was changing the chords around completely. "Have you got it yet?" - good one, Syd. Very funny. For me, Christians are Syd barrett and I am one of the the duller Pink Floyd members. Every time the Christians play me their song they change the chords. So I still can't figure out what they mean when they speak these simple phrases with those little big words - "God", "saved", "life", "sin" - that kind of thing. Are the Christians deliberately vague and terminally woolly or are they subtle and insightful? Are they serious or do they just want to be in a big club? So I thought I would go back to C S Lewis and try to figure it out again.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)

    I finished listening to this book early this morning, a little before seven. I could not sleep, and as I lay in the darkness in need of some comfort and company, I thought that I should go ahead and finish it. I am glad I did. I am perhaps a bit biased. I have always liked Lewis, ever since I read The Chronicles of Narnia in high school. My liking deepened for him when I saw the movie Shadowlands. Something about his life called to me. I have since done research on him and his journey from athei I finished listening to this book early this morning, a little before seven. I could not sleep, and as I lay in the darkness in need of some comfort and company, I thought that I should go ahead and finish it. I am glad I did. I am perhaps a bit biased. I have always liked Lewis, ever since I read The Chronicles of Narnia in high school. My liking deepened for him when I saw the movie Shadowlands. Something about his life called to me. I have since done research on him and his journey from atheism to fervent Christian belief. I cannot deny how inspiring I find his life. I started this book years ago, and put it down, not out of disinterest, but because of other priorities at the time. As far as I got, which was not far, I appreciated his methodical, clear approach. I always intended to finish it. I actually own two copies, one on my Kindle, and one paperback copy. When I saw this at the library on audiobook, I decided to listen to it. That was a good decision. Mere Christianity is a book on the fundamentals of Christian belief. Its audience is not just Christians, but also non-believers, folks who would like to investigate the faith of Christianity, what it entails, and what it doesn’t. Although the Bible is the foundation of our beliefs, I think this book does an exceptional job of condensing, or explaining, if you will what Christians espouse. I respect Mr. Lewis that he does not pretend to have all the answers. That he does not deny that there are some things he had not figured out. Nor does he deny that he struggled with some aspects of being a Christian at times. That is a strong testament to the life of a Christian. We admit that we are flawed folks in need of saving. We admit that we strive to know God and to have God work in us to make us more like him. That takes a fundamental humility, one that is rewarded time and time again. By breaking down and admitting our brokenness, we become whole by our acceptance of him who made all things. There were parts of this book that spoke so intimately to my spirit, that I lifted my hand to praise God. For Mr. Lewis had indeed through the power of the Holy Spirit, put on paper that feeling that I believe all people who are born again in Christ feel and experience. For that alone, I could easily give this book five stars. However, it has yet more to offer. I appreciate just as much, how logical Mr. Lewis is in his discussion of Christianity. While many feel that Christians are fools who believe in fairy tales, he shows just how much sense Christianity makes to those who choose to follow it. While atheism might have appeal for some, there is more appeal to those who choose to follow Christ than deciding to reject God in any form. He takes it a bit further to explain why some point in between atheism and Christianity (including other belief systems) won’t work for those who choose to follow Christ. We freely admit we have nothing to lose, looking at the facts, and yes, there are inescapable facts about Jesus Christ, not just found in the Bible, in human history recorded by those who have absolutely no stake in affirming or confirming that miracle of God begotten man who came and died and rose again for the sins of humanity. He also speaks into the facts about the nature of humanity and what makes us uniquely created to love and to interact with a Creator who became man so that we could have an intimate and real relationship with him. If we are fools to seek Christ, then why do the laws of human morality and that essential need inside ourselves point to the need for a savior, for fellowship with God? I won’t say I didn’t struggle with some aspects. And Lewis does not in any way excuse the fact that he is saying things that are hard to face. I like that brutal honesty. Brutal honesty is as much a part of the Christian faith as the comfort is in knowing that while the walk in following Christ is a tough road, we do it not alone, but through the power of the Lord Jesus Christ, who lives in us and empowers us to follow him. This book comes highly recommended by this reader. It’s not overly long, certainly not bogged down in theological doctrines that won’t make any sense to a person who does not belong to a specific Christian denomination or who isn’t even a Christian. In fact, Mr. Lewis works very hard to use concrete examples that illustrate his points. His analytical approach makes this profound spiritual message that much more powerful, because he does not seek to play on the reader’s emotional heartstrings or sentimentalities. As a lover of Christ, he does not seek to turn his message into another one of manipulation (as many view Christianity and the followers of this faith), for it’s far too important for that. I know that I will read this book again, probably more than once. I would like to come back to it and explore some of the thoughts here. They speak to me, and perhaps will speak to others, regardless of how they currently feel about Christianity.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Danny Vanderbyl

    Read it, even for the last chapter alone! Most people have no idea about what Christianity is. That is the reason that CS Lewis' book exists. If you are looking for a book that will convince you to take the leap of faith and become a Christian (like so many 1-star reviewers who said they were unconvinced) then don't waste your time. No book will convince you. However, if you are looking for the facts about real Christianity (not as a religion, but as a relationship) then you can't do much better Read it, even for the last chapter alone! Most people have no idea about what Christianity is. That is the reason that CS Lewis' book exists. If you are looking for a book that will convince you to take the leap of faith and become a Christian (like so many 1-star reviewers who said they were unconvinced) then don't waste your time. No book will convince you. However, if you are looking for the facts about real Christianity (not as a religion, but as a relationship) then you can't do much better than Lewis. Although his voice is rather formal (read: evidently British), seekers will give him some latitude on this. If you want the egg, get past the shell. As an aside, I personally did not become a Christian because of the 'scientific facts,' although I did assure myself that I wasn't committing intellectual suicide by doing so. I used to be very fond of evolution. If you want this same validation, you can either talk to a Christian who knows the facts (as I did), or read something like what Lewis has presented. Simple. If everybody read this book, I can imagine at least a few of the following would happen: 1. Most people in Western culture would stop calling themselves Christians, and would either become one or become a real athiest. They would at least be standing for something instead of falling for anything. 2. Other cultures would stop saying ignorant things like "America (or wherever) is a Christian nation." The facts in Lewis' work speak against this. They would stop saying that they have a holy war against these so-called Christians (who are in fact not Christians at all.) 3. Heaven forbid, some people might realize the inheritance and gift they could receive and actually choose to find out about God by taking an Alpha course or reading that "Bible" thing ;) If you like reading novels, you'll probably find the book dry until the last chapter. But don't miss this book on that account. Even if you read only the last chapter (about the next evolution of humanity), you'll have captured a significant (and inspiring) picture of real (er, Mere) Christianity. When you do, you might just be tempted to go back and read the book and see what all the fuss is about (and how he could possibly make such an outrageous statement.) Well , that was long and rant-ish. But I love you all and I hope you read this book. Look at my Listmania for some ideas about other crucial books like Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas. Feel free to contact me. Cheers, Danny

  4. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    Lewis is brilliant! Here's a quote from the book that's never left my head: "I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: 'I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God.' That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic - on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg - o Lewis is brilliant! Here's a quote from the book that's never left my head: "I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: 'I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God.' That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic - on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg - or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to." (C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, The MacMillan Company, 1960, pp. 40-41.)

  5. 5 out of 5

    J.G. Keely

    It is no wonder that Christians should revere a miracle-working carpenter: I think one must be the son of a god to build an attic before the rest of the house. There is no fundamental basis for Lewis' arguments. I was hoping to find something thought-provoking and convincing, but it just felt like the same old ideas Aquinas and Descartes bandied around. These are no longer sufficient in a world of thermodynamics and evolution. Lewis has some skill and intellect, but the way he meanders about duali It is no wonder that Christians should revere a miracle-working carpenter: I think one must be the son of a god to build an attic before the rest of the house. There is no fundamental basis for Lewis' arguments. I was hoping to find something thought-provoking and convincing, but it just felt like the same old ideas Aquinas and Descartes bandied around. These are no longer sufficient in a world of thermodynamics and evolution. Lewis has some skill and intellect, but the way he meanders about duality, truth, social darwinism, pathetic fallacy, comparative anthropology, and scientific process tends more towards self-justification than any profundity. Lewis clearly wants to believe, and wants to bolster and justify those beliefs, but he never overcomes a reasonable burden of proof. He puts together the best indications he can find, but they don't add up to much. Every time Lewis embarked on a thought, it would grow and blossom in intriguing ways until he would simply bunch together the whole bundle, tie it with a bow, label it 'god's handiwork' with a reverent nod, and move on, never reaching an insight. It made me think the allegory in Onan has been widely misread. The righteousness of his belief contrasts hypocritically with the way he blithely writes off any other belief. To portray everyone else as faulty but still think yourself infallible is not only insulting, but a black mark on any otherwise reasonable mind. I like Lewis, both his tone and his mind. I wanted to find something compelling in him. I wanted to find something that tied his observations together. I sense Lewis also wanted to find something he could attach himself to. After being alone and afraid in a grand world ripped by World Wars, who wouldn't feel a desperate need for meaning? And he found one. He found a meaning he could cling to, but only with a tentative grasp. Since it is not a meaning he can communicate, it is not one I can share. He does not find tenacity in reason, but in romanticism, in idealism, in fear, and in a blindness to his own faults, even as he seeks out those of others.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Darknightdestiny

    I read this for the first time a long while ago, and then again in December of 2007. Each time I read it I find something new. It's fairly amazing to be able to point to a page and say, "That was me a year ago, a month ago, a day ago!" This is not a new set of instructions on how to be a Christian—it's a very straightforward explanation of the roots of the Christian faith, a naked package of easy to understand information which builds logically from the very beginning. It starts off with an appea I read this for the first time a long while ago, and then again in December of 2007. Each time I read it I find something new. It's fairly amazing to be able to point to a page and say, "That was me a year ago, a month ago, a day ago!" This is not a new set of instructions on how to be a Christian—it's a very straightforward explanation of the roots of the Christian faith, a naked package of easy to understand information which builds logically from the very beginning. It starts off with an appeal to every man's human nature, then goes about covering every base as to why man's nature is the way it is. Lewis is careful to present each alternative path of question and then refute it using logic and reason which should appease the skeptic and the doubtful. The book is full of good humor and amiable narrative, but Lewis doesn't compromise or sugar-coat the cornerstones of the Christian faith. It is what it is, and by the time one is through with the book, whether he decides it is something he wants to make the central part of his life or not, there is no question as to what is actually is. The lines of choice are quite cleanly cut, and there's no room left to meander in the middle without a good deal of trying to convince oneself that he/she didn't just read what he thinks he did. It's a fairly short and easy read, considering the subject matter, though not for those who are looking for an easy way out. I'd recommend it to anyone, really. Christianity is so often misunderstood, mostly due to media coverage and misconceptions about the people in the Church themselves. I think that a lot of people, Christian and non-Christian, have the idea that when someone becomes a follower of Christ the whole of their behavior and attitude changes overnight; then when they foul up, it seems like everyone enjoys talking about it and seeing it. This book talks about matters of the heart like this business of being happy to find others in the wrong, or becoming proud with one's own "successes" in Christianity. Lewis talks about Christianity being a process of producing a particular kind of new man, instead of a group of people who follow a set of rules. Interestingly enough, it is also these actions created in us by God's Spirit, saying "yes" to His prompting and the way He wants us to live, which miraculously turn us into these new sons and daughters of God. Lewis also talks about how this process is worked through us, so that we have no room to be proud or think that it's of our own doing. His illustrations are useful and easy to understand, but he warns us not to substitute them for the Real Thing. Likewise, his book is not the Bible itself—it is merely here to help and to give a defense of what he calls "Mere Christianity", the beliefs which are common to all Christians, the things on which we do not differ. Where one is confused about what it means to be a Christian, how one is saved and changed, and what it demands of the individual, Lewis explains what it means to become a son or daughter of God. I think that this book is useful for anyone who is a Christian, who is deliberating on whether or not to become one, or who has a Christian friend. Or, if one is interested in studying Christianity for personal enrichment, he's most likely to gain more understanding from this book than any humanities or civilization textbook. It's one of my favorites, because the misrepresentation of Christianity in the media and by people who hardly understand it has been a source of frustration for me throughout the majority of my life.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    I've been into spirituality and meditation for a long time now--I've been practicing a meditation technique called Deep Meditation daily for a year and a half now--but recently a good friend of mine (my best friend), who is one of the strongest believers I know, has introduced me to Christianity as a faith and the teachings of Jesus, the Word, the Bible, and church. At first I was very confused about some things, there was a clash in my beliefs--what is sin, confusion surrounding sex, and what G I've been into spirituality and meditation for a long time now--I've been practicing a meditation technique called Deep Meditation daily for a year and a half now--but recently a good friend of mine (my best friend), who is one of the strongest believers I know, has introduced me to Christianity as a faith and the teachings of Jesus, the Word, the Bible, and church. At first I was very confused about some things, there was a clash in my beliefs--what is sin, confusion surrounding sex, and what God exactly is. I really wanted to delve into Christianity, but I didn't want to "identify" myself with a religion. I didn't want the baggage and the conditioning that could come with Christianity. Mere Christianity has helped me in so many ways. CS Lewis is very logical, and he was once an atheist, so it's easier to listen to his arguments. He talks about a moral standard that we all feel inside, and how Christianity is about living an ideal without taking personal pride in our performance. I'm half way through the book, but so far I'm further convinced that Jesus is my savior and that Christianity is right for me. I feel God's presence in my life. I feel that my future on this path is fulfilling, and I hope that anybody who is confused about their spiritual beliefs, or anyone who wants to take a peak at Christianity and see if it is right for them, should check this book out.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    People either love this book or hate it. Without passing judgment I don't see how people can actually hate it. Seriously. C.S. Lewis simply breaks down the fundamental truths of Christianity. Personally I love how he goes beyond all the denominations, beyond who's more right, beyond who's more wrong and finds that common thread they all seem to follow. From there it's a real eye opener. However, I do have to say the book is so rich with philosophy I found myself reading sentences several times ov People either love this book or hate it. Without passing judgment I don't see how people can actually hate it. Seriously. C.S. Lewis simply breaks down the fundamental truths of Christianity. Personally I love how he goes beyond all the denominations, beyond who's more right, beyond who's more wrong and finds that common thread they all seem to follow. From there it's a real eye opener. However, I do have to say the book is so rich with philosophy I found myself reading sentences several times over. His examples also became somewhat tedious because he'd give one example, then he'd give another one (just incase you didn't get the first one), then he'd give yet another one. By the third one sometimes I found myself somewhat confused and had to read them all over again, and again, and again. Some of my favorite chapters were "Christian Marriage", where he describes what true love really is and "Is Christianity Hard or Easy?", where he puts laziness in a whole new perspective. By the end of the book I caught myself viewing things from a completely different angle.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Marty Reeder

    What an astounding, impressive, fulfilling read. I am not normally a non-fiction reader unless it is a good historical piece or biography ... those I will lap up. But a book on religion? As a pretty dedicated church goer myself, I must candidly say that unless the book is actual scripture itself, it might as well be one of those desperately snobbish self-help books full of zippy motivation quotes and the same principles you find in all other books of the same genre, just worded slightly differen What an astounding, impressive, fulfilling read. I am not normally a non-fiction reader unless it is a good historical piece or biography ... those I will lap up. But a book on religion? As a pretty dedicated church goer myself, I must candidly say that unless the book is actual scripture itself, it might as well be one of those desperately snobbish self-help books full of zippy motivation quotes and the same principles you find in all other books of the same genre, just worded slightly differently. Yet in Mere Christianity, I found none of the superficiality I've previously experienced with other books that delve into philosophic explorations of religion. This is a real study, a deep probe. There is nothing artificial about it. Thank goodness my wife is a huge C.S. Lewis fan or I might not have picked it up at all. But she recommended it to me, and I had it on a trip, and for hours and hours I read, mesmerized in a way that few thrillers can even achieve. What did I find? I found that in this work C.S. Lewis single-handedly legitimizes religion as a belief, lifestyle, and philosophy. And what makes Lewis most credible is that Mere Christianity is not designed to make any reader comfortable, from agnostic to new age believer to hard core Christian. His ideas and reasoning are solid and unavoidable. His ability to address concerns is acute and thorough. He is not pompous, but he is confident. Where he is unsure of something, he admits it, though I'd be careful to deviate from such a sound philosopher. Probably his greatest talent is his use of applicable examples and parallel images. Where a concept is vague, he has the ability to nail it down, to apply it to the known. C.S. Lewis rings of truth throughout. And probably the most important thing in his book, or in any book for that matter, is that when I put it down, I was determined to be a better person, to fix up deficiencies in my life. Mere Christianity is not "merely" another book on religion or Sunday School manual; it is a call to arms for every person who picks it up, regardless of their faith. Go to it with an open mind, and be prepared to act afterwards.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Miranda Reads

    C. S. Lewis wove doctrines and lessons regarding the Christian faith throughout his other works, notably the Chronicles of Narnia. Ergo, I was surprised when reading this novel that to learn that he used to be an atheist. A religious book, written by an ex-atheist? I was alight with curiosity. What caused the switch? By studying the faith (as an effort to become better at atheism) he found religion. A strange, roundabout way to go by things but nonetheless thoroughly interesting. Lewis slowly, C. S. Lewis wove doctrines and lessons regarding the Christian faith throughout his other works, notably the Chronicles of Narnia. Ergo, I was surprised when reading this novel that to learn that he used to be an atheist. A religious book, written by an ex-atheist? I was alight with curiosity. What caused the switch? By studying the faith (as an effort to become better at atheism) he found religion. A strange, roundabout way to go by things but nonetheless thoroughly interesting. Lewis slowly, but surely explains the hows and whys he found himself converted. He starts with a long (and slightly difficult to follow) discussion regarding the reasoning behind there being a God (opposed to many or none). From there he narrows slightly, circling closer and closer until he reaches Christian doctrine (i.e. the holy trinity). However, he never pinpoints on the differences between Catholics or Lutherans (etc). He does not preach only one denomination rather he expounds on core truths and beliefs of Christianity as a whole. His explanations put to rest several questions I had and answered ones that I hadn't known to ask. Everyone thinks forgiveness is a lovely idea until he has something to forgive. When you argue against Him you are arguing against the very power that makes you able to argue at all: it is like cutting off the branch you are sitting on. As admirable as this novel is, he does preach a few beliefs and interpretations were common back then but are not shared with as many nowadays. For example, there are a few anti-gay statements and a few about women belonging in their places. A clear example of that, is when he touches on the subject of men being the heads of households: why the man? Well, firstly, is there any very serious wish that it should be the woman? There must be something unnatural about the rule of wives over husbands, because the wives themselves are half ashamed of it and despise the husbands whom they rule. So, taken with a grain of salt - this book does provide an fascinating look into the core beliefs of the Christian religion. Blog | Instagram | Twitter

  11. 4 out of 5

    K.D. Absolutely

    My second non-fiction book by C.S.Lewis (1898-1963) and, although I liked A Grief Observed more, I also liked this one. This book Mere Christianity (published in 1953) was based on the transcript of the BBC radio broadcast that Lewis gave at Oxford during World War II (1941-1944). It was a hit because at that point, Lewis had already published a number of fiction and non-fiction books including Out of the Silent Planet (1938), The Problem of Pain (1940) and The Screwtape Letter (1942). What added My second non-fiction book by C.S.Lewis (1898-1963) and, although I liked A Grief Observed more, I also liked this one. This book Mere Christianity (published in 1953) was based on the transcript of the BBC radio broadcast that Lewis gave at Oxford during World War II (1941-1944). It was a hit because at that point, Lewis had already published a number of fiction and non-fiction books including Out of the Silent Planet (1938), The Problem of Pain (1940) and The Screwtape Letter (1942). What added to the appeal was that Lewis was an agnostic professor and was only converted back to Christianity (Anglican) at the age of 32 through the influence of the literary group called the "Inklings" where he and fellow Oxford professor and friend, J.R.R.Tolkien were members of. I found Lewis' narration here a bit wordy and he tended to repeat himself and he used big, vague, inexact words and phrases. Maybe this was because of the fact that this was based on the radio broadcast's transcripts. Being a popular moralist, I also detected some arrogance in his pronouncements as if he knew everything about Christian Faith. An example of this was when he quoted phrases in his book and claimed that those are said by Jesus Christ. I am not a Bible scholar or something but recently I've finished the Holy Bible (Revised Standard Edition) from cover to cover. However, I did not encounter some of the passages that he enclosed in quotation marks ("___") in this book. Those were in quotes so Lewis gave me an impression that those were uttered by Jesus Christ himself. To give you an example, go to Book IV, Chapter 8, Paragraph 3 and this was what he wrote: The Christian way is different: harder, and easier. Christ says "Give me All. I don't want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want You. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half-measures are any good. I don't want to cut off a tree down. I don't want to drill the tooth, or crown it, or stop it, but to have it out. Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think is wicked - the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself: my own will shall become yours." Although Lewis meant well, quoting Jesus as if his thoughts were His, was like blasphemy to me. This is one problem I have with evangelists who are so popular that fame has already gone up to their blown-up heads. I am not saying that Lewis was swell-headed. All I am saying is that I see those evangelists around (including those in television) who speak like they are the kings of the world or they have special personal covenant with God. The other two minor points that I also saw (and I am sorry if these appear as nitpicking) were the instance when Lewis referred to homosexuals as perverts and at one point he used the "n" word. I know that these could be acceptable during his time but I just got a bit annoyed when I was reading the book. However, it is hard to dislike this book or to discount its significance. Lewis made a lot of good points in this essays. For example, he was on-the-dot when he said that most Christians do not need to be taught how to tell whether a thing is right or wrong because they already know. What most Christians need is to be reminded. This book's main purpose seems to be that and in my opinion, it achieved that objective. He also admitted that since he was a bachelor, he felt not in the right position to advice about marriage. So, for me, there were still humility and sincerity in him. He also gave beautiful examples to illustrate his main points and there were many quotable quotes that you can collect from this book. In fact, as I am fond of dogearing pages with beautiful passages, I think a quarter of the pages are now dogeared and there were those pages that I could not decide whether the dogear should be to the left or to the right because both sides have beautiful passages so I just marked those with a pen. I normally don't mark my books with pen because writing on the book is a discourteous act for me. My only advice for those who are considering on reading this? Read the Bible first because you might be misled when Lewis talks as if he gets his words directly from the scriptures. A small friendly suggestion. Thank you to Cary, Kwesi, J.L., Tina and Dante for being my book buddies!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    Mere Christianity is such a classic work, and having been read by millions over the past sixty years plus years, it is difficult to say anything new about it. As the years have rolled on though, a different society, with different needs and expectations has arisen that sees the world a little different than the British society, in the midst of all the moral and spiritual challenges that happened in the World War II years. Lewis' is more of a classic apologetic. He speaks of universal laws, the di Mere Christianity is such a classic work, and having been read by millions over the past sixty years plus years, it is difficult to say anything new about it. As the years have rolled on though, a different society, with different needs and expectations has arisen that sees the world a little different than the British society, in the midst of all the moral and spiritual challenges that happened in the World War II years. Lewis' is more of a classic apologetic. He speaks of universal laws, the differences between longstanding morality and modern psychology, and the logic of why the Christian Gospel, of the invasion of humanity by the God/man Jesus and how theology is constantly practical in every area of the individual, personal lives of moder people. Mere Christianity answers quite well the challenges of its, and still to a large extent, our age. What the reader is struck with again, upon reading the Oxford professor and Christian lay leader, is just how understanding he is of the typical struggles that the believer faces. The strains of applying mere Christianity to sex, marriage, the life of real faith and social morality remain real and if anything the tensions have increased since the 1940's. This remains a valuable book, and one that large numbers of people have used to understand just how practical an adult and real a faith in Christ is. For many today, there is doubt about the effectiveness of family, real social interaction, the reality of history and the possibility of real power being humble. Yet to some degree, these strains have always existed, even back to the time of the first Christians. For this, Lewis as a very practical laymen, has done a wonderful job of showing that mere Christianity is a lot more than a whole mass of systems and ideologies, and that in comparison, they are worldly and ultimately worthless next to the Saviour/ carpenter from Nazareth.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    This book shed the first signs of light toward my walk with Christ. This book is actually a compilation of a radio series Lewis gave during World War II when the Nazis were bombing London. His messages were meant to inspire and give hope during a time of horror and bloodshed. His arguments are borrowed heavily from the Augustinian school of thought, but he makes those arguments relevant to the modern thinker. In my opinion, C.S. Lewis is the most important religious scholar of the 20th century. Wh This book shed the first signs of light toward my walk with Christ. This book is actually a compilation of a radio series Lewis gave during World War II when the Nazis were bombing London. His messages were meant to inspire and give hope during a time of horror and bloodshed. His arguments are borrowed heavily from the Augustinian school of thought, but he makes those arguments relevant to the modern thinker. In my opinion, C.S. Lewis is the most important religious scholar of the 20th century. When walking into the National Shrine book store, it warms my heart to see an entire section devoted to C.S. Lewis, right next to the two Catholic giants: G.K. Chesterton and Thomas Merton. As much as Evangelicals try to lay claim to Lewis and his books, Lewis was more Catholic than Evangelical. He believed in purgatory, acknowledged that something very profound was taking place during the Eucharistic celebration (even though he fell short of claiming it to be the body of Christ), believed in the communion of saints, refuted the idolization of the Bible, respected and acknowledged Darwinism (like Pope John Paul II), and got drunk at the pub with the his Inkling buddies (Tolkien, Barfield, and a bunch of other Oxford Scholars).

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Terrington

    “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.” I am somewhat confused about some of the reasoning behind those giving this work one or two stars. From what I have seen it appears to be that C.S. Lewis does not justify his explanations well enough - that there is not enough of a burden of proof that he has fulfilled. Or that his writing, his work, is far too offensive. For the first, I believe that those who read this work expecting to see some kind of justification for belief will be disappointed. Lewis himself explains that what Mere Christianity is about is more of an explanation of what all Christian denominations hold to be truth - it is not so much an argument for why these are held to be true. As for Lewis being offensive - yes, yes he is. For that matter, so is Christianity. Christianity should be so offensive to modern thinking so as to be near inconceivable - but that does not make it any less truthful. Nor does it mean that Christians need to be offensive. Lewis is of course far more readable (and likeable) than Friedrich Nietzsche, yet I feel they are two sides of the one coin. Both view the issues in their modern societies and reflect critically upon them. However, where Nietzsche always asserts his views in first person as if they are fact (where they are opinion), Lewis works his way through his reasoning in the third person - questioning rather than asserting. They are both equally aggressive (and depending on your values as I said, offensive) but one sees Christianity as all that is wrong in this world and the other sees the world as all that is wrong in this world. I was talking to my father the other day when I said that "I think the funny thing to me about most academics at University, is that they so completely misunderstand Christianity. They think it's about becoming 'good enough' to get into Heaven." To which my Dad turned around and agreed saying, "That is because most churches don't understand Christianity well enough and keep preaching works-based repentance." For anyone not understanding what I mean by 'works-based repentance', it should be the assertion of every believe that is is by faith that you are saved. However, far too often Churches end up preaching a confused gospel that states something like 'it's a little bit of faith and the rest is you doing stuff to make you good enough'. No. It's all meant to be faith - with anything else stemming from faith. As Lewis says here in Mere Christianity: "For mere improvement is not redemption, though redemption always improves people even here and now and will, in the end, improve them to a degree we cannot yet imagine. God became man to turn creatures into sons: not simply to produce better men of the old kind but to produce a new kind of man." Lewis is full of these kinds of quotable statements throughout the book as he explains not why he believes, but what he believes. G.K. Chesterton is a much better source (in Heretics and Orthodoxy for looking into 'why' someone believes - but at the core of it all is of course pure faith - based upon the rational but appearing irrational). "The Christian way is different: harder and easier. Christ says 'Give me all. I don't want so much of your money and so much of your work: I want You. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it...'" It is statements like these that show the confronting nature of Christianity. As Lewis says elsewhere in the book, Christianity is a fighting religion. And in a world that tries to destroy its held truths, it needs to be. As Lewis explains, merely because something is offensive does not make it any less true - and relegating it down to the 'nice moral principles' is no way to go either. Lewis begins his book by first addressing the concept of 'fairness' and 'foul-play'. He explains that we all have within us, a notion of good and evil, a notion that he calls the Law of Human Nature. He combines this with other ideas to explain the concept that humanity is essentially flawed - that something is not right. By stating this he therefore continues to explain that there is a need within all of humanity for spiritual help. A need that he continues to expand upon throughout the rest of the work, explaining that Christianity serves to address and answer that need. There is even an address about morality and Christianity, whereby Lewis explains that Christianity is not merely a moral religion, but that there are morals that are connected to being a Christian. He discusses things like: prudence, temperance, justice and fortitude - the 'Cardinal Virtues' and the great sin of pride (establishing yourself above others). He explains that prudence means common sense - the idea that Christians should not be unintelligent by any means (though so many appear to be - judging by all the 'you will burn in hell for this' comments you can find on Facebook or instagram) and that temperance is not about complete abstinence. After all, alcohol and sex were created by God. The issues come when, as Lewis so clearly explains, you depend upon such things as a crutch to get you through life, where you have an unhealthy interest in them - that is temperance. Justice and fortitude mean respectively fairness and courage. Essentially this is a book of complexity and simplicity - much like Christianity itself. Anyone looking for a resource to affirm faith and to help you consider the questions which Christianity attempts to address should think about reading this work. It's one of the better works I have read by any Christian author and definitely a classic of faith. Lewis makes Christianity open and easier to understand - he truly shows mere Christianity as it should be, most denominational and individual beliefs aside.

  15. 4 out of 5

    peiman-mir5 rezakhani

    دوستانِ گرانقدر، این کتاب یکی از آن دسته از کتابهایی میباشد که محبوبِ ترسایان یا همان مسیحیان میباشد. چراکه در این کتاب <سی، اس. لوییس> که مسیحی متعصبی نیز میباشد، همه چیز را به نوعی به مسیح مربوط دانسته است، حتی نکات اخلاقی و آدابی که از ایرانیان و نیاکانِ ما وام گرفته شده است در این ریویو به برخی از نظراتِ <لوییس> اشاره میکنم --------------------------------------------- عزیزانم، <لوييس> ميگوید شادی و خوبیِ ناب از گردن نهادن برایِ خدا و فرمانبرداری بی چون و چرا از خدا بدست مي آی ‎دوستانِ گرانقدر، این کتاب یکی از آن دسته از کتابهایی میباشد که محبوبِ ترسایان یا همان مسیحیان میباشد. چراکه در این کتاب <سی، اس. لوییس> که مسیحی متعصبی نیز میباشد، همه چیز را به نوعی به مسیح مربوط دانسته است، حتی نکات اخلاقی و آدابی که از ایرانیان و نیاکانِ ما وام گرفته شده است ‎در این ریویو به برخی از نظراتِ <لوییس> اشاره میکنم --------------------------------------------- ‎عزیزانم، <لوييس> ميگوید شادی و خوبیِ ناب از گردن نهادن برایِ خدا و فرمانبرداری بی چون و چرا از خدا بدست مي آید. او مينويسد: خوبیِ شايسته برایِ یک آفريده، تسليم نمودنِ خودش به آفريدگار خود میباشد. و تنها زمانی كه چنين كند، شاد و خوب است ************************ ‎لوييس از "دگرگوني تند" حالتهایِ روانی سخن گفته و باور دينی را بر پايهٔ اين كه وابستگیِ شخص به عوامل بيرون از مهار وی، به ويژه آب و هوا و شكم... را كاهش ميدهد، ستايش ميكند و پای خرد را در میان میکشد که از نظر طبیعت گراها و خردگرایان و اندیشمندانی همچون زنده یاد <راسل> اینکار اشتباه است، چرا که در مسائلِ مربوط به دین و مذهب، خرد جایی ندارد و انسانِ خردمند با دلاوری و توانایی بالا، خود را از بندِ موهومات رها کرده و نجات میابد و در مسائل دینی به جای خرد، احساسات و ترس از خدا بر انسان چیره میشود، پس خرد در دین و مذهب بی معنی میباشد ‎در این رابطه <لوییس> مطالبی را مینویسد که اصلاً مشخص نیست سر و ته دارد یا خیر!! اینگونه مینویسد که ‎باور دينی . . . هنر نگه داشتن آن چيزی است كه خرد شما، با وجود دگرگونی حالتهایِ روحیِ شما، آن را پذيرفته است. چون حالتهایِ روحی، به پایهٔ ديدگاهی كه خرد شما راهنمايی ميكند، دگرگون خواهند شد. . . . اكنون كه من یک ترسایی و مسیحی واقعی هستم من حالت روحی دارم كه كل هستی باوركردنی به نظر ميرسد: ولی زمانی كه بيخدا بودم، مسيحيت به نظرم به سختی باوركردنی مينمود. دگرديسیِ تند حالتهایِ روحیِ شما بر پاد خود راستين شما دور خواهد شد. اين فرنودی برایِ اين است كه چرا باور دينی یک خوبیِ مورد نياز است.. مگر آنكه شما به حالتهایِ روحیِ خود بياموزيد 'كجا شما را رها نمايند' ... شما نميتوانيد یک مسیحیِ خوب يا حتی یک بيخدایِ خوب باشيد، تنها یک انسان دودل، با باورهايی كه در واقع وابسته به آب و هوا و شكم ميباشد، و در جا ميزند، هستيد *********************** ‎لوييس ميپندارد به ما گفته شده كه دربارهٔ ويژگیِ ديگران داوری نكنيم چون ما شايستگیِ انجام چنين كاری را نداريم. و از عنوانی با نامِ "موادِ خام" برای انسان استفاده میکند که معلوم نیست، از کجا آن را یافته است و اینگونه مینویسد که: ارزيابی درخور ويژگيهایِ اخلاقیِ كسی نياز به داشتن دانش كاملی از روان شناسی درونی، ارث، و پرورش وی و "مواد خام" دارد. امّا ما تنها پيامدِ آنچه انسان بر پايهٔ "مواد خام" ميسازد، را ميبينيم . . . . خدا انسان را به هيچ وجه بر پايهٔ "مواد خام" داوری نميكند، بلكه بر پايهٔ آن چه انسان با آن انجام داده داوری ميشود ********************** ‎درکل عزیزانم، نیاکانِ ما نیز گفته اند که در مورد دیگران تا زمانی که شناخت کامل ندارید داوری نکنید.. ولی این دلیل نمیشود که داوری را بر عهدهٔ موجودی بگذاریم که نه دیده میشود و نه اثری از آن پیداست ... لذا بنا به خواستهٔ مذهبی ها اینگونه داوری بر عهدهٔ کلاش های دروغگویی می افتد که میگویند ما طبق احکام الهی باید داوری کنیم . زمانیکه داوری ها بر عهدهٔ کلیسا بود، تاریخ نشان داده که چه کثافتی به انسانیت وارد کردند و چه اندازه بیگناهان و خردمندان و اندیشمندانی را که با بیرحمی تمام و بخاطر مسیح اعدام کردند و شکنجه دادند و سوزاندند ‎عزیزانم، هیچگاه داوری را بر عهدهٔ موهومات نگذارید که این کارِ ابلهان و بیخردان است و بس ‎میبینید که در سرزمین خودمان چه حکم های ناجوانمردانه و بر خلافِ انسانیت را با نامِ الله اجرا میکنند و چه بیگناهانی که با عنوانِ محاربه با خدا اعدام شده اند و میشوند ‎موجوداتی همچون <لوییس> عقل و خرد خویش را به دین و مذهب فروخته اند و توان اندیشیدن به حقیقت و راستی و درستی را ندارند ---------------------------------------------- ‎امیدوارم این ریویو برای شما خردگرایان مفید بوده باشه ‎<پیروز باشید و ایرانی>

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jenny (Reading Envy)

    I was aware of this book in my childhood but never read it until now, because I'm working with two C.S. Lewis classes and wanted to get a better sense of his theology. I know some people still use this book as a way to explain the tenets of the Christian faith, but I think that is unwise for several reasons: -Most of the book is based on church (not Biblical) teachings, which are only really emphasized inside certain denominations. The virtue/vice lists and the trinity concept - these are framewo I was aware of this book in my childhood but never read it until now, because I'm working with two C.S. Lewis classes and wanted to get a better sense of his theology. I know some people still use this book as a way to explain the tenets of the Christian faith, but I think that is unwise for several reasons: -Most of the book is based on church (not Biblical) teachings, which are only really emphasized inside certain denominations. The virtue/vice lists and the trinity concept - these are frameworks that have been placed on the practice of religion, more of a way of talking about morality than anything else. While they have a longstanding tradition within one end of the spectrum, they are absent in others. Lewis claims to defend the main concepts, but I'm not sure what he picked is what I would have picked, having come from a different background within the same religion. -The narrow view of Christianity continues in his pronouncement that "anyone who professes to teach Christian doctrine" will tell you to use all three - baptism, belief, and "Holy Communion." In practice only belief seems to be central to all denominations. -Lewis is a product of his time. He claims refusing to fight in war is a sin, calls homosexuality a perversion, and jokes about why anyone would ever want a woman as a decision maker. -Lewis has a meandering way towards most of his conclusions. One minute he's talking about letters in envelopes and then he's saying, "See, this proves God exists." Some of the time I followed him and others I felt he was being deliberately obtuse. -Several times Lewis says "you might think x but let me explain to you why you are incorrect." I should have just stopped there. The great irony is that he will go on to show why he thinks pride is the worst sin. :)

  17. 5 out of 5

    TJ

    Wow! What does one say when reading pure genius? Whether one chooses to agree or disagree with C.S. Lewis, his incredible mind, reasoning skills, and power of deduction are absolutely astounding. In this book, he chronicles his journey from devout atheist to committed Christian, recounting each step with his original assumption, then recording his intellectual journey through each idea to it's end result. With each conclusion he includes understandable and often masterful examples. For instance: Wow! What does one say when reading pure genius? Whether one chooses to agree or disagree with C.S. Lewis, his incredible mind, reasoning skills, and power of deduction are absolutely astounding. In this book, he chronicles his journey from devout atheist to committed Christian, recounting each step with his original assumption, then recording his intellectual journey through each idea to it's end result. With each conclusion he includes understandable and often masterful examples. For instance: After starting the journey from his original question of where the idea of "right" and "wrong" actually come from (He began this during the upheaval of WWII amid the question afforded the Allied Forces as opposed to the Nazis, which adds a unique understanding of his purpose) Lewis comes to accept that there must be an overall "good" force and "bad" force fighting for supremacy. He then equates the human struggle with "living behind enemy lines" or in the enemy camp - after aiding and abeding that enemy if one realizes he/she is on the wrong side what does one have to do? They must surrender to the other side. Not just walk across the line to be accepted but literally lay down his weapons, beg asylum and put oneself at the mercy of the opposing force. A better example of accepting God, I have not found. Of course, this simplified paraphrase does not come close to the overall thought process that Lewis employs. This same thought process carries through with every single point encountered defining Christian teachings. A word of warning, however. This book really can't be read quickly. It is one that must be digested slowly. Each point must be presented, pondered, then either ingested or thrown out. It takes time and thought or it's a waste of the money and time invested in obtaining the book in the first place.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Skylar Burris

    As a now more mature Christian, this book does not impress me as deeply as it once did, because I don't see its arguments as being objectively persuasive to the non-Christian. (Some of them, which seemed to me compelling at the time, now seem too simplistic, admitting of only a few possible arguments.) Yet when I read it as a teenager, I had just read the Gospels for the first time in my life, and I had been deeply struck by Christ's words and sense of authority. I WANTED to be a Christian at th As a now more mature Christian, this book does not impress me as deeply as it once did, because I don't see its arguments as being objectively persuasive to the non-Christian. (Some of them, which seemed to me compelling at the time, now seem too simplistic, admitting of only a few possible arguments.) Yet when I read it as a teenager, I had just read the Gospels for the first time in my life, and I had been deeply struck by Christ's words and sense of authority. I WANTED to be a Christian at that moment in my life, and possibly I would have become one even if I had never read Mere Christianity on the heels of the Gospels. But I did read Mere Christianity on the heels of the Gospels, and at the time it sufficiently satisfied my intellect, which made it possible for my mind to join my heart in conversion. I give it five stars primarily because of its influence on me. It did not persuade me to convert, certainly (Christ's preaching did that), but it played a significant role in my journey, and I have yet to encounter another modern apologetic quite as simultaneously accessible and "clever." It was Mere Christianity that really introduced me to basic Christian theology. It may not be a persuasive book for the agnostic or the atheist, but it is a superb book for the new convert or almost-convert. Mere Christianity helped to draw me in; Screwtape Letters helped to keep me aware of where I really was (and wasn't).

  19. 5 out of 5

    George Bradford

    As solid an explanation of Christianity as I have ever encountered. Beautiful writing. Clarity of thought. Solid reasoning. The text of this book originated from a series of BBC radio lectures C.S. Lewis delivered to England while Nazi bombs rained from the sky. Set in that context, the imperative is clear. Christianity is not doled out as a panacea for every sheep in the flock. It is presented, rather, as an choice of free will, guided by grace and dedicated to justice.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    Note: I am reviewing the "Anniversary Edition pub. 1981" C.S Lewis comes from a long line of Christian apologists that have relied upon emotion and hope to justify a metaphyscial existence of God. In other words the argument is: I feel that God exists, and so because I have this feeling that God exists, God must exist in reality. Another form of this sort of thinking is based in Anselm's ontological argument, later used by Descarte. My rating of two stars stems from my dislike of what Lewis does Note: I am reviewing the "Anniversary Edition pub. 1981" C.S Lewis comes from a long line of Christian apologists that have relied upon emotion and hope to justify a metaphyscial existence of God. In other words the argument is: I feel that God exists, and so because I have this feeling that God exists, God must exist in reality. Another form of this sort of thinking is based in Anselm's ontological argument, later used by Descarte. My rating of two stars stems from my dislike of what Lewis does rather than how he does it. Even more so than William James, who's arguments remind me of Lewis' arguments, Lewis is a literary giant. His writing style is interesting, imaginative and entertaining. How he presents his argument would warrant (at least from me) a higher rating, but what he does is simply more of the same worn out arguments for the existence and the goodness of God. For example, in Chpt. 3 he claims that humans are "haunted by the idea of a sort of behaviour [sic] they ought to practice", and that "they did not in fact do so." He points out that we have an idea of a better sort of behavior together with the acknowledgement that we do not in fact behave better than we do. We have an idea that is better than reality, and so the reality of that idea, being 'better' than just the idea, must be possible. Later on, Lewis states that his faith is based on reason and writes, "The battle between faith and reason on one side and emotion and imagination on the other." The important point to me is the separation of emotion and imagination from faith: that is the sticking point. To clarify his point he also writes, "Faith, in the sense in which I am here using the word, is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted." Here, Lewis seems to equate faith with reason (which is his goal in the book), but does so based on unjustified grounds. Lewis, and other religious apologists, rely upon the assumption that simply because I have faith in something better, that that "something better" must necessarily be a reality. There is nothing that justifes this proposition. I respect Lewis as a writer, and this book while not one of his best in my view, is an example of his talent. That being said, I don't like when good writers use their talents to misconstrue words and ideas in order to accomodate their arguments.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Danielle Sullivan

    This book quite literally changed my life. This is a dramatic, vivid account of a former atheist's realization that God is real and that you can know Him in a personal way. Reading this book with an open mind certainly helps to understand Lewis' perspective. It was originally given as a radio address therefore, it is relatively easy to follow. The language is a bit archaic, and some of the chapters may need to be re-read several times before finally grasping the content. It is completely worth t This book quite literally changed my life. This is a dramatic, vivid account of a former atheist's realization that God is real and that you can know Him in a personal way. Reading this book with an open mind certainly helps to understand Lewis' perspective. It was originally given as a radio address therefore, it is relatively easy to follow. The language is a bit archaic, and some of the chapters may need to be re-read several times before finally grasping the content. It is completely worth the effort.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kells Next Read

    C.S. Lewis is such a prolific and articulate author. I'm really enjoying his works. I'm constantly blown away by the way in which he seamlessly (with humor) explains his beliefs and thoughts. I can't wait to read more from him. I feel bless having closed 2016 year reading his works.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Score for literary merit and enduring cultural importance: 5+ Score for actual theologizing: 3 tops “Theology means ‘the science of God,’ and I think any man who wants to think about God at all would like to have the clearest and most accurate ideas about Him which are available.” “If Christianity only means one more bit of good advice, then Christianity is of no importance. There has been no lack of good advice for the last four thousand years.” I’d read this piecemeal through high school and colle Score for literary merit and enduring cultural importance: 5+ Score for actual theologizing: 3 tops “Theology means ‘the science of God,’ and I think any man who wants to think about God at all would like to have the clearest and most accurate ideas about Him which are available.” “If Christianity only means one more bit of good advice, then Christianity is of no importance. There has been no lack of good advice for the last four thousand years.” I’d read this piecemeal through high school and college (including a Lewis tutorial in Oxford during my year abroad), then the ladies of my extended family did an online book discussion through five months of last year. The chat fizzled out, as these things so often do; I think many struggled, not with the ideas but with the language, finding it dated and inaccessible. Meanwhile, I was the devil’s advocate, with much the most liberal and ‘heretical’ views. Now that I’ve finally gotten around to finishing, I’ll condense some of the thoughts I sent via e-mail into a general response. This second time around, about a dozen years after I first started broadening my idea of what Christianity could be, I was surprised by how inadequate I found much of Lewis’s thinking to be. His stated aim is to illuminate the least common denominator of Christian doctrine, but the effect of this is to produce a flat picture of a faith that doesn’t evolve to fit changing circumstances. Lewis relies on what, to me, seem like over-simplified dualities. For instance, in his discussion of pantheism and monotheism he offers a caricature of the viewpoints and doesn’t discuss the subtleties of a middle way known as “panentheism” (everything rests in God, as in Acts 17:28: “For in him we live and move and have our being”). I also find the dichotomy between the powers of good and darkness – and especially martial metaphors like “enemy-occupied territory” – both unhelpful and outdated. Likewise, I was disappointed by Lewis’s unfair dismissal of “Creative Evolution.” He misrepresents the serious attempt to reconcile undeniable scientific fact with a belief that there is purpose and value to human life. I’m not sure I agreed with his discussion of the term “Christian” and how it has been devalued. A comparison with the term “gentleman” didn’t resonate. He tries to argue that whereas “gentleman” once had wealth and class meaning, it now refers to behavior only, and the same is happening with the term “Christian.” Yet if faith without works is dead, and many people outside the Church are more Christ-like than those inside, perhaps the very word “Christian” should only be applied to those who really merit it. For this reason, Irish theologian Peter Rollins says that being a Christian “means entering into a journey of becoming one” – acknowledging that we will never reach the ideal of modeling Christ. I’ve always thought Lewis’s “Liar, Lunatic or Lord” argument a rather weak one. He’s assuming that Jesus thought himself to be God, whereas Paul writes “Jesus did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself” (Philippians 2:6). However, I appreciated the discussion of how Christianity is not intuitive and that this in itself is support for it being true: principles like “whoever seeks to keep his life will lose it” don’t make logical sense, but are the way of God’s Kingdom. I liked the idea that nature can give us a picture of God – and that it suggests both beauty and terror. I also appreciated his mention of the “good dreams” of a dying God that prefigured the way for Christ (though I find his language about “heathens” patronizing) – this is something I read a lot about in college religion classes, particularly Joseph Campbell’s book of comparative mythology, The Hero with a Thousand Faces. A few more points I found particularly useful were: • theories of atonement are just pictures and needn’t be taken too literally • Jesus models for us a new way to be human (a great Switchfoot lyric, that), even a next step in human evolution • the sacraments are ways of entering into the life of Christ • the incarnation was God entering the world by stealth, “starting a sort of secret society to undermine the devil” – a quiet revolution rather than a forceful takeover (I’ve thought a lot about this – see, e.g. The Secret Message of Jesus by Brian McLaren) • Christian creative work is not in some separate class: “Christian literature comes from Christian novelists and dramatists—not from the bench of bishops getting together and trying to write plays and novels in their spare time”; “no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.” Book III, Chapter 3 (“Social Morality”) is terrific, and very provocative. Lewis ponders what a society based on the Golden Rule would look like: a place where every politician, economist and artist was committed to seeking the common good and treating people as they would wish to be treated. Imagine – no advertising, no charging interest, none of the trivial and superficial matters that make up so much of society today. Call it socialized or communist or whatever you like, but it’s supported by the way of Jesus and the model of the early Church. I was especially challenged by his opinion that our charitable giving should be putting constraints on our lifestyle, and if it’s not, we just aren’t giving enough. Chapters on sexual morality and marriage are also very good. I think he’s right that while chastity is an unchanging virtue, notions of modesty and propriety are culturally relative and change over time. I especially loved this line: “But if a healthy young man indulged his sexual appetite whenever he felt inclined, and if each act produced a baby, then in ten years he might easily populate a small village.” In other words, it’s ludicrous to think that our every sexual desire could or should be satisfied. I also loved the metaphor of putting a lamb chop on display under a cover and slowly revealing it – like a striptease, but with food. This would seem both ridiculous and unhealthy to us, a sign of both starvation and obsession. Indeed, our relationship with sex in this porn-drenched day and age is similarly sick and addictive. It’s interesting to read Lewis’s ideas about Christian marriage, knowing that he wrote this book in 1944 but didn’t marry until 1957. I wonder what he would have changed, if anything, if he’d written this as a married man. I agree with him completely that marriage is a decision and a promise that long outlasts “being in love.” Perhaps my biggest objection relates to Lewis’s position on capital punishment and just war. Lewis states, “It is, therefore, in my opinion, perfectly right for a Christian judge to sentence a man to death or a Christian soldier to kill an enemy.” Lewis himself fought in WWI and was writing in the throes of WWII, so he lived in a different time, one where war seemed justified and necessary. Now, in our age of “preventive” warfare and anti-terrorism, this is not the case anymore, nor is capital punishment ever right. The ‘right to life’ is the right to life for everyone, criminals included – because who among us is truly innocent? Jesus didn’t set parameters on peace; he simply said “Blessed are the peacemakers,” “love your enemies,” and “if a man strikes you, turn the other cheek.” My favorite lines may well have been about not looking to religion for comfort: “God is the only comfort, He is also the supreme terror: the thing we most need and the thing we most want to hide from...If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end: if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth – only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin with and, in the end, despair.” The fact that the book originated as a set of radio broadcasts is reflected in the style – it’s less formal and more conversational than your average theology book. If at times it seems a touch patronizing – like a Sunday school primer – that speaks to his desire to make this comprehensible for new Christians and questioners alike. There are so many memorable metaphors here: souls as tin soldiers coming to life, the image of religion as a hallway with many rooms, the idea of God being ‘sixpence none the richer’ whenever we give our talents back to him. In terms of introducing useful examples and analogies, you can’t fault it. This is an important book for any Christian to read, if only because C.S. Lewis has had such a huge impact on Evangelical theology (especially in America) through to the present day. It was even voted best book of the twentieth century by Christianity Today magazine in 2000. It’s definitely worth reading (or rereading after years or decades), even if just to see what you think is helpful and salvageable and what strikes you as outmoded.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Douglas Wilson

    Great. Also read in March of 1985. Also listened to it a couple times on audio over the course of a few years, finishing the second time through in October 2011. Finished listening to it again in January 2015.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lucy

    I don't know how to begin this book review. I've probably typed and deleted a dozen sentences already. Why should this be so difficult? Because, I liked it. I did. Except. No. Even that part, the part he got wrong, I liked. Which made me wonder. Who is this book for? Christians? Obviously. We love this stuff. Having a smart guy give smart reasons to explain why Christianity makes perfect sense feels...smart. It sits well, if you will. Many, if not most, of his arguments were things I had not previously I don't know how to begin this book review. I've probably typed and deleted a dozen sentences already. Why should this be so difficult? Because, I liked it. I did. Except. No. Even that part, the part he got wrong, I liked. Which made me wonder. Who is this book for? Christians? Obviously. We love this stuff. Having a smart guy give smart reasons to explain why Christianity makes perfect sense feels...smart. It sits well, if you will. Many, if not most, of his arguments were things I had not previously thought about in terms of why I believe there is a God and why I believe that Christ was our Savior, and to have them explained to me with both his brilliant circular logic and then the helpful and much-easier-to-follow analogy, filled my believer's bucket. But I don't think Lewis prepared these addresses (Mere Christianity is actually a compilation of radio addresses he delivered on the BBC during the Second World War) in order to simply preach to the choir. Because Lewis was a former atheist, I believe he felt strongly, especially during such a major conflict as the war which included in its causes a fight against evil, that the world needed to understand where our morality comes from. I think he was motivated to convince the masses that goodness isn't something we choose because it makes the world a better place or because our parents taught us the golden rule but rather, we choose it because God is real. Christ is real. And the possibility to become like them is real. So, what about the others? How would a non-Christian respond to Lewis? It's hard for me to say, because, while I think he's very convincing and right quite a lot of the time, there are times throughout the book where I think he's wrong. I think he's wrong because I have been taught something different and I believe that to be truth instead. It's difficult for me to not take that one step further and assume that others who have been taught something else might thing he's wrong in even more places. This inability for me to claim the book as all right is a stumbling block. I want to be able to say, "Read this. He makes the case for Christianity." But I'd have to add, "However, I think he's a little off about the Godhead." Lewis, himself, frequently cites his own reasoning as guesswork. I admire his ability to say, "I can't be sure but this is how I think it works." If he had done that with the Godhead, I'd probably be a lot more at ease with my reaction to the book but he doesn't. He's pretty firm about how God begat Christ, which makes him his "Son" although they are the same being, just as a cube can be made up of more than one squares but they are not separate from the cube. They are the cube. God is God. All of Him. I'd continue to explain the Holy Ghost but it gets a little confusing. My belief that they are three different beings is so much more clear to me. Still, it is what it is. A fascinating and articulate justification forChristianity. And read with a proper British voice narrating in my head, it was a delightful and enlightening read.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Caleb

    After years of putting this book off, I finally picked it up. The amount of stars I have assigned it says enough about how well it was received. Lewis spends the first section using rhetorical devices and logic to try to prove that religion is better than atheism. Then he jettisons all of that rhetoric and logic, takes the tennets of Christianity as given fact, and proceeds to deliver a mind-numbingly naïve justification for the reasons behind the religion of the Nazarene. I'm disappointed that After years of putting this book off, I finally picked it up. The amount of stars I have assigned it says enough about how well it was received. Lewis spends the first section using rhetorical devices and logic to try to prove that religion is better than atheism. Then he jettisons all of that rhetoric and logic, takes the tennets of Christianity as given fact, and proceeds to deliver a mind-numbingly naïve justification for the reasons behind the religion of the Nazarene. I'm disappointed that this is seen as such a stellar achievement of Christian thought. It was terribly weak, even for its time, and offers little to nothing besides pontifications about the already mystical—without the benefit of calling it so. Overall, worth reading just to see how little has to be offered to be heralded as powerful amongst the religious. 1 star.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Genni

    It was interesting to read this right after reading Cicero's On Moral Duties. Both Cicero and Lewis are concerned with an orderly society. They are both seeking to put the thoughts and ideas of philosophers in to the layman's terms. The problem is Cicero ignores some fundamental questions. Cicero and Lewis agree that following general rules of kindness, honesty, etc. are helpful in producing an orderly society where individuals can thrive. But Cicero appeals to Nature as a guide. The problem is It was interesting to read this right after reading Cicero's On Moral Duties. Both Cicero and Lewis are concerned with an orderly society. They are both seeking to put the thoughts and ideas of philosophers in to the layman's terms. The problem is Cicero ignores some fundamental questions. Cicero and Lewis agree that following general rules of kindness, honesty, etc. are helpful in producing an orderly society where individuals can thrive. But Cicero appeals to Nature as a guide. The problem is that when we observe nature, we see conflicting elements. In Lewis's example, when you hear a cry for help, you may experience two desires. One is the desire to help (the herd instinct), the other is a desire to run (the instinct for self-preservation). The odd thing is, human beings also experience a third element in dilemmas like this. We experience an urging to follow the first desire in spite of the presence of the second desire. The thing that judges between the two instincts cannot actually BE the instinct. It is something outside of this. Lewis thinks this “outside” experience leads to an indication that there is a being behind this Moral law. Cicero can only endow Nature with anthropomorphic tendencies: she “demands” and “abhors” certain things, but even as you observe, these demands and abhorrences (our instincts) are arbitrary and could hardly serve as a guide. Cicero would probably chalk this judgmental factor up to reason. But according to Cicero, reason is given as a gift from Nature. So if both our contradictory instincts and the reason with which to judge between them are from Nature, wouldn't the principle of non-contradiction come into play and demand that there must be something else at play here? Nature is contradictory because it is currently flawed, but the Moral Law as Lewis sees it is not in contradiction with itself because it comes from a higher place. (Hope I got all of that right.) Basically, I think Lewis gives a solid, accessible presentation of the argument from morality. That is probably the most apologetic part of the book and is not quite yet a case for the Christian God specifically. His case for the Christian God is not thorough or nuanced. If it were, it would be a completely different, much larger book. He rather moves into more of an introduction of why Christians think that intelligent being is the Judeo-Christian God. It is partially apologetic, but mostly exposition. Part three assumes the position of Christianity and discusses how Christian behavioral ideals make sense. The point I appreciated most from this segment was the section on pride and humility. In spite of what we say, there seems to be more emphasis on outside acts or deeds rather than on the heart. The great sin is pride, not insert “favorite” sin . His caution that pride can often be used to beat down simpler vices is something I want to take more to heart. As Lewis says, “many a man has overcome cowardice, or lust, or ill-temper by learning to think that they are beneath his dignity-that is, by Pride.” We must never call in pride to cure our vices. He also calls out Christians on expecting non-Christians to live Christian lives and obey Christian morality. It was interesting that he used marriage as an example. What grounds do we have for expecting those outside of the faith to have Christian marriages? Granted, he did not refer to gay marriage, but though I know what his views on homosexuality are, I wonder what he would say to the marriage question today... Part four, Beyond Personality, concerns first teachings on the triune God, was published many years after the first three, and at first glance may seem to be a bit unrelated. But, as he argues, the doctrine of the Trinity has great personal and practical application. If God is intimately concerned with inner morality, and we want to know more about this being who asks so much of us, theology is one of the ways to embark on that journey. I really liked his analogy of a map (Lewis has a talent for analogies), so I'm going to include the whole thing here: ”In a way I quite understand why some people are put off by Theology. I remember once when I had been giving a talk to the R.A.F., an old, hard-bitten officer got up and said, `I've no use for all that stuff. But, mind you, I'm a religious man too. I know there's a God. I've felt Him out alone in the desert at night: the tremendous mystery. And that's just why I don't believe all your neat little dogmas and formulas about Him. To anyone who's met the real thing they all seem so petty and pedantic and unreal !' Now in a sense I quite agreed with that man. I think he had probably had a real experience of God in the desert. And when he turned from that experience to the Christian creeds, I think he really was turning from something real to something less real. In the same way, if a man has once looked at the Atlantic from the beach, and then goes and looks at a map of the Atlantic, he also will be turning from something real to something less real: turning from real waves to a bit of coloured paper. But here comes the point. The map is admittedly only coloured paper, but there are two things you have to remember about it. In the first place, it is based on what hundreds and thousands of people have found out by sailing the real Atlantic. In that way it has behind it masses of experience just as real as the one you could have from the beach; only, while yours would be a single glimpse, the map fits all those different experiences together. In the second place, if you want to go anywhere, the map is absolutely necessary. As long as you are content with walks on the beach, your own glimpses are far more fun than looking at a map. But the map is going to be more use than walks on the beach if you want to get to America. Now, Theology is like the map. Merely learning and thinking about the Christian doctrines, if you stop there, is less real and less exciting than the sort of thing my friend got in the desert. Doctrines are not God: they are only a kind of map. But that map is based on the experience of hundreds of people who really were in touch with God-experiences compared with which any thrills or pious feelings you and I are likely to get on our own are very elementary and very confused. And secondly, if you want to get any further, you must use the map. You see, what happened to that man in the desert may have been real, and was certainly exciting, but nothing comes of it. It leads nowhere. There is nothing to do about it. In fact, that is just why a vague religion-all about feeling God in nature, and so on-is so attractive. It is all thrills and no work; like watching the waves from the beach. But you will not get to Newfoundland by studying the Atlantic that way, and you will not get eternal life by simply feeling the presence of God in flowers or music. Neither will you get anywhere by looking at maps without going to sea. Nor will you be very safe if you go to sea without a map.” All in all, I think this is a good read if you are curious about the basic tenants of Christianity. And if you are a Christian, there is much encouragement and wisdom to gain.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ben Zornes

    I have a confession to make. I'm not proud of it, but it is true. I'm 30 years old. I've been reading lots of books on a regular basis since I was 9 or 10. It is only a few weeks ago that I finally got around to reading Mere Christianity. All that to say, I've known about this masterpiece from Lewis for a good while now, even quoted portions of it. Now, I can say, it was worth the wait, and yet I wish I'd read it sooner. Lewis is as skillful as ever at explaining in laymen's terms deep theologica I have a confession to make. I'm not proud of it, but it is true. I'm 30 years old. I've been reading lots of books on a regular basis since I was 9 or 10. It is only a few weeks ago that I finally got around to reading Mere Christianity. All that to say, I've known about this masterpiece from Lewis for a good while now, even quoted portions of it. Now, I can say, it was worth the wait, and yet I wish I'd read it sooner. Lewis is as skillful as ever at explaining in laymen's terms deep theological truths. Keep in mind, Lewis repeatedly reminds us that he is not a theologian. So don't expect to get your systematics from him. That said, he shows us a great example of how to take deep theological truths and state them so almost anyone––of even average intelligence––"gets it." He certainly has his moments where those who like their theology as punctiliar as a swiss watch will wince, but he would likely wince in return at their inability to state such precise theological notions in such a way as to make them understandable. I think Lewis actually did something quite remarkable in Mere Christianity, which will be of immense profit to the church for ages to come. He may not be right on every point, but he gets to the heart of the fundamentals of what it means to be Christian. He contrasts it with various other religious and agnostic notions, and shows that Christianity is the best explanation for the world, and is most reasonable. He also drives home important devotional points for what it means to live like a Christian, and not only believe like a Christian. Don't be like me and live over half your life before getting around to reading Mere Christianity! If you haven't read it yet, put it as the very next book you read.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Cary

    The moment I finished reading Screwtape Letters, I immediately became a fan of this author that made me want to try his other works. Mere Christianity is of course one of his most famous work that I should really not miss reading. As mentioned in one of my reviews of his other books, I really admire Lewis' wisdom in sharing his faith through his works that he was able to provide concrete illustration of the Christian doctrines by giving practical examples. Surely, as a Christian, you will immedi The moment I finished reading Screwtape Letters, I immediately became a fan of this author that made me want to try his other works. Mere Christianity is of course one of his most famous work that I should really not miss reading. As mentioned in one of my reviews of his other books, I really admire Lewis' wisdom in sharing his faith through his works that he was able to provide concrete illustration of the Christian doctrines by giving practical examples. Surely, as a Christian, you will immediately recognize that that wisdom does not come from Lewis alone but from God, and that wisdom and understanding he shared about Christianity, is a manifestation of a good relationship with his Creator. I think, that is what Christianity is all about - healthy personal relationship with Christ. Unlike Screwtape Letters, it took me a while to finish this book because I feel that I need to pay attention to what the author is saying. Surprisingly, I find myself agreeing to what Lewis is saying in every chapter not because he is convincing but because it is what the Scripture also says (although it would have been better if the author also mentioned the references for the bible passages he is referring to). A number of basic Christian beliefs were discussed in this book but i'll just enumerate some based ön my unDerstanding on what the author is saying: 1. God created us and in every human, He gave conscience, that enables us to have the sense of right and wrong. 2. Alöng with conscience, He gave us free will that allows us to choose, whether to obey or disobey Him. 3. God originally made the world good. It is also because of man's disobedience that this world turn bad.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Carol Bakker

    Reading Mere Christianity for the first time was akin to reading Hamlet for the first time: a riot of recognition. Oh, that's where that quote came from! Yes, I remember hearing that before! Oh! Look! Oh! ... Oh! I now know why there are a dozen anthologies of Lewis quotes. He writes words that zing! and sing! and compel you to ask the next warm body to listen. I love his numerous uses of "of course". I giggle, because, of course, many times his course of thinking went in unanticipated direction Reading Mere Christianity for the first time was akin to reading Hamlet for the first time: a riot of recognition. Oh, that's where that quote came from! Yes, I remember hearing that before! Oh! Look! Oh! ... Oh! I now know why there are a dozen anthologies of Lewis quotes. He writes words that zing! and sing! and compel you to ask the next warm body to listen. I love his numerous uses of "of course". I giggle, because, of course, many times his course of thinking went in unanticipated directions. This is a book I would like to re-read every year. It's that good.

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