By: C. S. Lewis
Subject Matter: Doctrinal theology; Apologetics; Christian ethics
I’m sure most of you have heard of this book. It’s pretty famous.
I’m sure you’ve at least heard of C. S. Lewis, author of the Chronicles of Narnia.
For those of you in the Christian world, this book title gets thrown around daily.
Lewis was, if you like nothing else about him, a good explainer. He doesn’t mess around with his explanations, and oftentimes I found myself reading an idea of his and saying, “Oh, duh, of course. That makes perfect sense; I just never would’ve thought to say it that way.”
I like Mere Christianity because of one of its major points; the one that it gets its title from. Lewis argues (and I’m sure many of you have heard this, whether or not you knew where it came from) that Christianity is either immensely important or not important at all – it can’t be in the middle.
This is a great book for someone who is teetering on the edge of Christianity, who has admitted that it’s probably something they could believe, they’re just not positive that they do. It would also be helpful for someone who has no interest in Christianity, but wants to understand the core beliefs without them being watered down by contemporary culture or false doctrines.
What this book is probably not good for is convincing a staunch atheist that he is wrong. Lewis himself was a staunch atheist for much of his life; this is partially why he is so good at explaining the religion. However, for the sake of time and space, he doesn’t really go into convincing someone to believe in a god. If you are not willing to believe in a god, any god, Lewis leaves you far behind very early on.
Since I grew up as a Christian, there wasn’t much that Lewis had to say that was shocking to me. That said, this book wasn’t useless either. It didn’t say anything that I didn’t need to hear; it didn’t say anything I wasn’t excited to hear explained in the way that Lewis is so good at.
This is definitely a book that takes some concentration if you’d like to get anything out of it. There were sections that I breezed through and sections that I spent my time with, and the latter were always my favorite parts. So take your time, listen to what Lewis has to say, and then decide whether or not you agree with him.
If you liked Mere Christianity, try these:
The Finishers by Roger Hershey and Jason Weimer
The Power of Prayer in a Believer’s Life by Charles Spurgeon
Daniel X: Watch the Skies by James Patterson and Ned Rust
Eragon by Christopher Paolini
Family Linen by Lee Smith
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy