Friday, July 30, 2010

Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis

Lewis's Mere Christianity (Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis (Paperback - Feb. 6, 2001))Title: Mere Christianity
Author: C. S. Lewis
Pages: 227
Published: HarperCollins 2001
Originally copyright 1952
Mere Christianity is comprised of the following: The Case for Christianity (aka Broadcast Talks) copyright 1942, Christian Behavior copyright 1943, and Beyond Personality copyright 1944.

Mere Christianity is the first non-fiction book of C. S. Lewis' that I've read.  I've grown up hearing from various people that he is difficult to read, and so perhaps I've procrastinated reading him longer than I should have.  Eventually I realized, Hey, I've read Tolstoy--can it be more involved than that?  At least C. S. Lewis doesn't have all those crazy Russian names in his books, right?

Now that I've read it, I feel the need to broadcast that it really isn't difficult reading at all (still trying to convince my mother).  It is written in a very clear, simple, logical manner.  The most difficult part about it is the fact that the subject matter requires you to stay mentally engaged, following his logic.  If you are not used to following a logical progression, or reading slowing enough to make sure that you internalize each sentence, then you may indeed have a difficult time understanding the book.

Of the three different sections of the book, Christian Behavior was my favorite, being practical and applicable to daily life.  The first and third were more philosophical, which--while enjoyable--seemed to be geared towards a person of a differing viewpoint, and therefore not quite as engaging for me.  C. S. Lewis has an approach to Christianity that takes much of the mystery and emotion (that seem so prevalent in many churches) out of the equation, leaving you with and understanding of what true Christian behavior looks like.

6 comments:

  1. Yay, one of my favorites! I'll be starting his "Weight of Glory" essay soon. Did you know JRR Tolkien converted Lewis? I love imagining their conversations.

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  2. I only read this last year, although I had been meaning to for a long time. I thought it was very good and it makes me want to read more of his non-fiction.

    Thanks for stopping by Rose City Reader today.

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  3. I bought this book earlier this year and still haven't read it yet. Your reveiw has prompted me to put it closer to the top of TBR pile. Many thanks. And thanks for stopping by for the hop. I am a new follower and look forward to reading more of your posts.

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  4. Lewis is my all time favorite author. I loved Mere Christianity and I have read it over and over trying to remember every line. I find all his books like that - I want to memorize every perfect sentence. I've never encountered another author who writes with Lewis's clariy, logic and almost mathematical progression of thought. Absolutely brilliant.

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  5. Jane Doe--JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis? I can't even imagine. I don't know that I'd heard of "Weight of Glory"...

    Rose City Reader--It makes me want to read more of his non-fiction too, it was so refreshing!

    Mel--Welcome! It'll be good to hear what you think about it.

    Ordinary Reader--I agree--his writing is so clear and logical that it's stunning.

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  6. I'm really interested to read this. I love love love all the Narnia books but have never tried any of his grown up books. (PS, the biography by AN Wilson is ace: and the Tolkien thing is true....I think there's an anecdote about the two of them going for a late night walk in a zoo or something and Lewis being convinced. OK, I may have just made that up so had better re-read Wilson.)

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