Thursday, May 15, 2014

Books read in 2014: No. 20 -- Mere Christianity

by C.S. Lewis

Started: May 9
Finished: May 15

Notes: I've never been a huge Lewis fan, though I've only read the first few books of his Narnia series. However, this particular book was quoted some in the book Epic, which I've recently finished reading, and it drew my interest, at least enough to find out more of what it was about. Mere Christianity is actually based upon three radio shows Lewis did in the early 1940s.

Mini review: My wife passed away while I was reading this book, and some might consider it a sign of sorts that I was into Mere Christianity during this time. Maybe it was. Or maybe it was coincidence. I'll not argue either way. But I will say that if the path I follow is the one espoused by Lewis, then that will be my business, my journey; I would likely loose some friends if I began calling myself a Christian, but I think of that as their problem and not mine. And the truth of the matter is I already hold most Christian beliefs, after all I've been baptized, but I would not say I have yet taken a full leap of faith. Maybe that will come. Maybe not. But that's for me to deal with, and God. My spirituality is personal to me and I plan to keep it that way, though I never say never. Maybe next week I'll be an evangelical screaming from rooftops, but I kind of doubt it. Anyway, about the actual book, it is separated into three sections, the first two of which I enjoyed immensely as Lewis made use of philosophy and logic in order to present the Christian position on many topics, topics that are still relevant today. One might even be surprised at how common-sensical Lewis happens to be. The third section, however, got into what Lewis would call "deep Theology," and here I wasn't so thrilled, finding the section quite tedious. But maybe I'm just not ready for that part yet, and maybe I never will be. Are the author's views here unassailable? No, for I've read some criticisms, but I still think Lewis was pretty strong here. For anyone considering Christianity, I would think this should be necessary reading, and even a lot of people today who proclaim themselves Christian would be doing themselves a service by reading this one.


Jason M 'RBE' Waltz said...

Ty, you may or may not be interested in reading Lewis' thoughts on grief after his wife died in A Grief Observed

I haven't read Mere Christianity but heard pretty much what you've relayed, and it does come heavily recommended in my circle of Christian life.

Ty said...

Thanks, Jason. It's on my to-be-read list, along with Lewis' earlier work on pain.

Jason M 'RBE' Waltz said...

I read it when my brother-in-law died of cancer at age 30. The book had been given to my sister and she requested I read it first to let her know if I thought it appropriate. I did, though I honestly am not confident enough in my memory to offer any thoughts other than I do recall it being a trying read emotionally (not content wise).