9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
C.S. Lewis was a rare individual. One of the few non-clerics to be recognised as a theologian by the Anglican church, he put forth the case for Christianity in general in ways that many Christians beyond the Anglican world can accept, and a clear description for non-Christians of what Christian faith and practice should be. Indeed, Lewis says in his introduction that this text (or indeed, hardly any other he produced) will help in deciding between Christian denominations. While he describes himself as a 'very ordinary layman' in the Church of England, he looks to the broader picture of Christianity, particularly for those who have little or no background. The discussion of division points rarely wins a convert, Lewis observed, and so he leaves the issues of ecclesiology and high theology differences to 'experts'. Lewis is of course selling himself short in this regard, but it helps to reinforce his point.
The book looks at beliefs, both from a 'natural' standpoint as well as a scripture/tradition/reason standpoint. Lewis looks both at belief and unbelief - for example, he states that Christians do not have to see other religions of the world as thoroughly wrong; on the other hand, to be an atheist requires (in Lewis' estimation) that one view religions, all religions, as founded on a mistake. Lewis probably surprised his listeners by starting a statement, 'When I was an atheist...' Lewis is a late-comer to Christianity (most Anglicans in England were cradle-Anglicans). Thus Lewis can speak with the authority of one having deliberately chosen and found Christianity, rather than one who by accident of birth never knew any other (although the case can be made that Lewis was certainly raised in a culture dominated by Christendom).
Lewis also looks at practice - here we are not talking about liturgical niceties or even general church-y practices, but rather the broad strokes of Christian practice - issues of morality, forgiveness, charity, hope and faith. Faith actually has two chapters - one in the more common use of system of belief, but the other in a more subtle, spiritual way. Lewis states in the second chapter that should readers get lost, they should just skip the chapter - while many parts of Christianity will be accessible and intelligible to non-Christians, some things cannot be understood from the outside. This is the `leave it to God' sense of faith, that is in many ways more of a gift or grace from God than a skill to be developed.
Finally, Lewis looks at personality, not just in the sense of our individual personality, but our status as persons and of God's own personality. Lewis' conclusion that there is no true personality apart from God's is somewhat disquieting; Lewis contrasts Christianity with itself in saying that it is both easy and hard at the same time. Lewis looks for the `new man' to be a creature in complete submission and abandonment to God. This is a turn both easy and difficult.
'Mere Christianity' was originally a series of radio talks, published as three separate books - 'The Case for Christianity', 'Christian Behaviour', and 'Beyond Personality'. This book brings together all three texts. Lewis' style is witty and engaging, the kind of writing that indeed lives to be read aloud. Lewis debates whether or not it was a good idea to leave the oral-language aspects in the written text (given that the tools for emphasis in written language are different); I think the correct choice was made.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 26 May 2012
This book is generally considered a classic of christian litrature. I found what Lewis has to say as well argued and certainly both interesting and useful to find someone who has obviously given considerable thought to christianity and can logically argue with natual reasoning rather than simply repeating accepted christian dogma. Presumably it was through such considerations that Lewis came to faith as a christian, as he is reputed to have described himself as the most reluctant convert, (having originally been an atheist). However I found the book tedious to read, perhaps because it was originally broadcast as a series. Lewis seems to take longer than I would have thought ncessary to reach his points. I`m glad I persevered and finished reading this book, but I won`t be reading it again anytime soon, if at all.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 May 2013
A very good book we are in the last battle fighting for the very soul of our nations.
C.S. Lewis wrote a child's book called 'The last Battle' from the chronicles of Naria, it is in child form the struggle of the end times & those that hold to faith against all odds. He wrote this book that he challenges any academic atheist to read called 'Mere Christianity' so simple & sincere in its reach.
Othe recomended reading from Amazon
Women of power, morality & principle!
'The Hiding Place' By Corrie Ten Boom. (Just remember the Corrie from Coronation Street to remember the book author) has also been made into a powerful feature length Movie 'The Hiding Place'. Awesome in the face of true terror & horror.
Wonderful women show their true quality & strength.
Also see another powerful story about women power in Christ!
A powerful story of a women that with simple faith moved mountains & saved lives from misery & sinister death! The true story called 'The Little Woman' by Gladys Aylward. There are a number of books about her. Do an Amazon search wow! Made into a blockbuster movie called 'Inn of Sixth Happiness' staring Ingrid Burgman.
Gladys Aylward sets the example that through reading the Bible all things are possible. One thought for change & good will can lead to many steps for change & fulfillment. Let her story take you on a journey of self discovery & a inspire a belief in changing your own circumstances. Inspiring hope to cope in the face of dammed odds. Through simple faith the stagnation & doubt can be held back. Let this story renew your focus & your future life in this world & in the next.
See also other powerful stories of woman making the life changing walk in faith against horrific odds.
See also another woman of power.
Jackie Pullinger Book 'Chasing the Dragon'.
When reading this book as with Corrie Ten Boom story the evidence & truth pour out between the written lines. A modern day Mother Teresa of Calcutta from the evangelical side. Standing together in the body of Christ, there is nothing lame in saying that. This book is a mountain mover.
This is another story that should be made into a full block buster movie! I have always thought that! So Powerful & what a Testimony. Is there anyone out there that can make this happen? It's a must!
How can one woman achieve so much that had bewildered every previous attempt for change by the Governments & law forces. Poverty, drugs, prostitution, satanic rituals, abuse & horror on every front. This true story charts one woman's stand in the face of impossible odds. Pullingers profound experience & powerful testimony, offers hope, especially to those who believe they are too far gone to be forgiven. Rise into a new life of joy, peace, freedom & love through Jesus Christ. Repentance means to turn around & make good your life choices through Christ! & `The Great Command'
Also true story
'Faith Like Potatoes' By Angus Buchan Book & Dvd Movie Title
He is a Scot who moved to Africa to farm the land. He found God in the middle of extreme disaster now he farms the good will of humanity. He now features a lot on GodTV.
His message is always simple & wholesome grounded on good moral family values & bible word. He's a farmer.
I watched him on GODTV call up the Holy Spirit, it was like out of the Bible with the prophets.
A sudden Holy Spirit hurricane blow in. It was incredible & had not happened before. It disappear as quickly as it came. I have never seen anything like it. It might be on youtube or website GodTV.
This dvd is the same Angus was on the Brinck of loosing his ranch & he called the rain to fall in Christ Jesus' name. & it rained & saved his ranch & the miracle of Christ walks & breathes with this man.
His books are a fantastic read by Angus Buchan. Do an amazon search on his name
'Run Baby Run' by Nicky Cruz has been made into a Powerful Feature Length Movie the original book & movie called 'The Cross & the Switchblade'
Other recommended true story reading in the face of impossible odds, on amazon
'From Witchcraft to Christ' By Doreen Irevine (All time World famous occult deliverance, another book that should be made in a block buster movie to warn others!)
'A Very Present Help'By Sir William Dobbie (Malta SOLDIERS & miracle survival).
`War & Grace:Short Biographies from the World Wars' By Don Stephens.
'The Cross & the Swastika'By F.Grossmith.
'Another Man's War:'By Sam Childers (made into a feature length movie & dvd `Machine Gun Preacher'(2011). Incredible powerful gripping story.
`Faith Under Fire'By Andrew White.
'SEAL of God'By Chad Williams(Navy Seals).
'The Happiest People on Earth' By Demos Shakarian (A modern day Exodus & Noah story with a steam ship! Amazing riveting read in the face of mass murder! Poverty, Miracles, prophecy, ghosts, Romance, & so much more, Powerful life changing book!)
TRUE STORY DVD titles on amazon to set you really thinking & stir the emotions.
`Machine Gun Preacher'(2011)Gerald Butler Movie
'Schindler's List' (1993 is a miraculous true story modern exodus, a powerful Steven Spielberg movie the maker of 'ET extra Terrestrial' 1982 ET phone home)
`Hidden in Silence'(1996)
`The Hiding Place'(1975)
'No.4 Street of Our Lady'(2009)
'Thank You,Mr. Hodges'(2007)
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 15 December 2000
CS Lewis proves himself an excellent Christian apologist in this fine book. Objections are generally addressed fairly, and whilst it is unlikely to convert a fervent non-believer who has thought extensively on the issues surrounding Christianity, Christians who find themselves wavering in their belief or those who want to look for answers to fundamental questions will be delighted. Undogmatic and thoroughly friendly, this book shows some of the parts of Christianity which are missing from the stereotypes.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 18 February 2015
Generally a good representation of the Christian faith, although IMO some of Lewis' views are outdated and a few things might be disputed by today's Christians. For example his views on some sexuality issues seem to be products of his time, and his support for the death penalty was something I deemed to be rather shocking. It is important to remember that it was written in the early fifties based on radio talks given just after the Second World War. The book attempts to find the common ground for most Christians, and much of what he says I find myself agreeing with. However some views have changed since then, as a result of what science has been able to show regarding human nature. Nowadays, especially in the field of human sexuality, some things are now accepted widely as variations within the normal spectrum, and not conditions that should be 'corrected' in some way. In the forward, Lewis does say ".. I have a reluctance to say much about temptations to which I myself am not exposed." Generally he keeps to that, it's a pity more don't follow his example...
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 16 February 2000
Have you ever given Christianity a fair chance? Have you really considered the arguments as an adult and not merely put it to one side as children's stories? Well this book may well inspire you to take a second or proper look. This book doesn't try to prove the resurrection or show you how reliable the Gospels are - there are other good books that do. But this book shows why you actually need a God at all and what God will do to you if you accept him.
I would also recommend this book to Christians since his explanations are very helpful especial about the Trinity - a difficult concept at the best of times.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 6 November 2013
The first part of this book, in which Lewis talks about the law of human nature, or natural law, is very good and very clear. That there is such a law, I accept. I was quite excited at this point because I was agreeing with everything he said and was hoping that I was going to end up being a believer by the time I finished the book. But his argument that the natural law points towards there being a God did not, in the end, convince me.
Lewis too quickly for my liking moves on to the Christian doctrine of salvation without examining if any of its premises make any sense. How are blood sacrifices supposed to work? For me they are superstitious and bloody nonsense. The rest of the book seemed pretty standard Christian fare to me.
I ended up being yet again disappointed. I am a person who would like to believe but I don't think there is any book out there that can convert me.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 21 May 2001
If you are an atheist or a Christian, then you really should read this book! CS Lewis has an incredible skill at turning what may appear to be an unfathomable tangle of ideas into a clear and cohesive idea that God is real. If you are not a Christian and are interested in the subject, then this is the book you need. If you are already a Christian and want to make sure of your faith, then read this book. Not only does he tell us of why we should think this matter over, he also tells us of the consequence of Christianity, how it affects our lives and why. The issues are dealt with in such a way that they cause little or no offence to anybody who may pick up the book. I strongly recommend this title to anyone with even the smallest hint of interest as it will lead you on to look further into the theological field.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 26 January 2001
Rather than spurting Dogma, Lewis takes a circuitous route in defense of God's existence. He begins with the idea that most of us share a vague notion of "fair play". Where do we get such a notion? He moves the reader closer and closer to "The God of Christian Theology" as he proceeds. His explanation of the Trinity is the best I have ever read-- topping St. Augustine's and the other Church Fathers'. "Mere Christianity" makes for a fast and enjoyable read. It is not "merely for Christians". For a different sort of defense of Christianity, try "Castle of Wisdom" by Rhett Ellis. It's a bit off the wall, written in the roughest language, and light years behind Lewis in terms of structure-- but a fun read nonetheless.
22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on 30 January 2002
This is a book that I can not recommend highly enough as both a christian now and a former atheist. Its content has awonderful habit of addressing any objections you have in your mind and guides you along trains of thought that you previously never dreamed of going down.
There are of course always going to be areas in every book that you may think need to be modified slighly. Unless a man is perfect he could not possibly write a perfect book. However, since Lewis was not a fundamentalist, such small objections to what he writes are irrelevent.
Common objection that Lewis is illogical in many of his statements are generally made by people who form their own conclusions on unprovable assumptions, such as the assumption that morality evolved. He goes to great lengths to establish why he believes the way he does, consistantly overcoming objections to his beliefs, but always stating when a particular "theory" is christianity itself, or his own take on it.
This humble manner of pointing out that his own slant on christianity should not be taken for the real thing proves that this is an author worth listening to, an author not attempting to force people to his own line of thinking but merely to explain his line of thinking.
The best part of this book is that
a. it presents the real christianity that transcends denominational interpretation, whilst leaving some theories as to why or how things are the way they are. A nice load of after thoughts to chew on.
b. His immensely British style of abandoning political correctness, which so hinders the depth and honesty of modern publications, is extremely refreshing. This is not a book that is trying to not offend you. It is a book that is trying to be honest and helpful whether it offends you or not. Personally, I find the latter a more useful format.
c. This is a book that truly teaches the reader how to think and how to see the other possibilities of life, rather than regurgitating what our peers have spoon fed us.
The only critiscisms I have ever read of this book are by people who, while accusing Lewis of narrow mindedness, seem unable to understand his book and appear to be locked into a rather closed mind set that can not even appreciate any lterature that happens to disagree with their take on life, and proove by there form of objections that they are guilty of the same illogical narrow mindedness that they accuse Lewis of committing.