Book Review: Mere Christianity

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October 5, 2012 by Will Ray

CS Lewis is rather incredible, as if you didn’t know that already.

I’ve read several of his books, but it was finally time to read Mere Christianity when a good friend of mine mentioned he was going to read it.  I had been thinking about reading it because another friend told me it was one of the books that led to his acceptance of Christ, so I decided to join in.

In the introduction to this book (which was originally a series of lectures CS Lewis gave over the radio), you see that he set out to describe the basics of Christianity, that upon which Christians of all persuasions, stripes, and denominations can agree.  He begins the book from a very wide, philosophical and moral theory approach (he doesn’t blast Scripture from the start) in an effort to convince the skeptical reader what exactly Christianity is – the answer to the difficult questions we must ask ourselves.

What impressed me most about CS Lewis in Mere Christianity was his ability to take very complex, confusing truths and analyze them, break them down into understandable parts, and provide apt analogies for them.  I’ll offer just one example.

In discussing the difference between God and ourselves and what transformation we as Christians must undergo, Lewis likens us to toy soldiers made of tin.  Tin soldiers have no life in them, and making them come alive would require the tin being replaced with flesh.  And these tin soldiers might want to have some of the benefits of flesh, but they’ll fight you, because you’re ruining the tin when you replace it with flesh.  So God sent his Son to become one of those tin soldiers, die, and show the world the transformation.  “One tin soldier – real tin, just like the rest – had come fully and splendidly alive.”

Lewis offered some great explanations and analogies for some tough questions, ideas and answers that are good to have in your back pocket for some unknown time in the future.  His ideas about time, faith, the Trinity, and our state as people were all enlightening.  Practically, I loved the short chapters -most were 5 pages – so I could easily read one or two and take a day to digest them.

If you’ve got some questions about Christianity, or are a Christian and want a better understanding of the reasons and structure behind your faith, you should definitely pick up Mere Christianity.


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About me…

Youth minister, financial coach and part-time wedding photographer, based in Raleigh, NC

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