Review: C.S. Lewis – Mere Christianity

cs-lewis-mere-christianityLike I said in my last post, I didn’t really know what to expect with this book, but I was pleasantly surprised. I’d only ever heard of the Narnia books by C.S. Lewis, so I didn’t know he’d written anything more ‘serious’, but this was definitely a lot different to Narnia.

Lewis was asked by the BBC during World War Two to give a series of lectures about Christianity and this book is a collection of the lectures. There is a foreword by Lewis where he lets us know that he has re-worded the lectures to make them easier to read (instead of easy to listen to), changing a few words here and there.

The book in the first part spends a lot of time arguing the case for Christianity and why there must be a God. If you had any doubts before reading it, he does a very good job of persuading you. I think this book is based a lot on his conversion to Christianity after spending much of his life as an atheist, so it has a lot of personal feeling in it, but still very carefully structured and well thought out.

He then goes on to talk about Christian virtues and behaviours. First of all the four cardinal virtues: prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude. After talking about these, he then moves onto the three theological virtues: hope, faith, and charity.

One of the most memorable parts of the book for me was this one:

“That is why the Christian is in a different position from other people who are trying to be good. They hope, by being good, to please God if there is one; or – if they think there is not – at least they hope to deserve approval from good men. But the Christian thinks any good he does comes from the Christ-life inside him. He does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us; just as the roof of a greenhouse does not attract the sun because it is bright, but becomes bright because the sun shines on it.”

Apart from the fact that this verse really got stuck in my head, I love the way that Lewis used the metaphor of the greenhouse to sum up exactly what he meant. He does this a lot throughout the book to make his points clearer or easier to understand, which I can imagine was helpful when listening to the BBC broadcasts. It’s similar to what Jesus did when he told his parables, to make sure that everyone can understand what is being said.

I’m extremely glad that I picked up this book after reading so many recommendations about it, and I would highly recommend it to everyone. It definitely makes you think a lot about your actions and the things you have been doing in your life. If you’re one of the blogs that recommended the book – thank you!

5-5

Good Friday

I can’t quite believe that it’s Easter already, this year has gone by so quickly. I have managed to stick to giving up chocolate for Lent though, even if it did mean that I couldn’t eat the gorgeous smelling dinner that my sister cooked earlier this week (who puts chocolate with Turkey?!). I’ve also mostly managed to stick to the two books that I started reading for Lent. I’m not at the end of them yet, but I’m just going to carry on reading until I’ve finished.

As it’s Good Friday, I wanted to share my favourite Good Friday Bible verses with you:

My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will. —Matthew 26:39

My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done. —Matthew 26:42

This verse comes from just before Jesus is arrested, when he goes to Gethsemane to pray. He knows what is going to happen and why, and he is willing to do it to save the rest of us. It’s something that I need to learn, sometimes God wants you to do something and you just need to realise that if it’s God’s will, there’s a reason for it and you just need to get on with it and stop fighting against it.

As it’s Good Friday, I’ll probably watch The Passion of the Christ tonight. I first watched it a few years ago with my parents and we had to stop half way through as we were all so upset by it. I’ve watched it every year since, and it’s always a struggle to get to the end. Seeing everything so brutally on screen just hits home how big the sacrifice was. But it’s not something that should be avoided, in fact, I should make more of an effort to remember it all year round.

 One last thing, seeing as though it’s Good Friday, I’ll share a bit of my good news. My Dad and I have been on a new plan to eat healthily and go to the gym more often, and since Christmas I’ve lost 39 pounds and my Dad has lost 30 pounds. There’s still a long way to go, but I’m very pleased with myself for keeping up with it. Let’s just hope we can avoid too much chocolate after Sunday!!