18
Oct

Slow Reader Friday: Mere Christianity…

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Book Club Readers: Next Friday is when I will review Life Interrupted by Priscilla Shirer! Plus, I will announce the November Book Club Selection. Please finish the book prior to Friday and have your comments ready! I am very anxious to hear your thoughts about it!

Probably every contemporary Christian has read Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. While I have read some of his works (The Chronicles of Narnia and The Screwtape Letters), I have to be honest that still haven’t read what many consider to be Lewis’ masterpiece, aka Mere Christianity!  Here are my rather late impressions.

First, those new to Lewis’ work need to remember that he is English and wrote in the early to mid-20th century. There are references and illustrations that are, for today’s reader, a bit dated and no longer applicable. However, an overwhelming portion of the book is still just as relevant today as it was when C. S. Lewis first wrote it. And despite the fact that Lewis was a noted professor at one of the most prestigious English universities, Lewis writes in an easily understood manner. And yet, the reader must also read “up.” I did find myself thoroughly scratching my head to follow a few of his arguments and statements.

The primary target for this book are the non-believers. And through Lewis’ convincing writing, even a non-believer has to admit that Lewis’ arguments are compelling and difficult to ignore. Perhaps this is because Lewis once found himself in the “non-believer category.”

When I chose to read it, I did not realize I was picking up my dad’s copy who was a Presbyterian minister and former college professor. He passed away in 2008 and to see his penciled-in notes throughout this paperback was fascinating. I realized, by Dad’s notes, that he had probably purchased this copy to teach Sunday School classes about the book.

In some places I would have underlined and commented on the same things my dad did. In other places I was drawn to far different statements than my dad. Since I generally share three quotes that stood out to me in my book reviews, I thought it would be fun to pick three quotes that also stood out to my dad, so this Friday, you’re getting a “two-for-one” deal!  Here are a few of Dad’s favorites:

1. “As long as you are proud you cannot know God.”

2. “Christ offers something for nothing: He even offers everything for nothing…..the difficulty is to reach the point of recognizing that all we have done and can do is nothing.”

3. “God is not hurried along in the Time-stream of this universe any more than an author is hurried along in the imaginary time of his own novel. He has infinite attention to spare for each one of us. He does not have to deal with us in the mass. You are as much alone with Him as if you were the only being He had ever created. When Christ died, He died for you individually just as much as if you had been the only man in the world.”

Here are my favorites:

1. “Christianity is the story of how the rightful king has landed, you might say landed in disguise, and is calling us all to take part in a great campaign of sabotage. When you go to church you are really listening-in to the secret wireless from our friends: that is why the enemy is so anxious to prevent us from going. He does it by playing on our conceit and laziness and intellectual snobbery.”

2. “And free will is what has made evil possible. Why, then, did God give them free will? Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having. A world of automata–of creatures that worked like machines–would hardly be worth creating. The happiness which God designs for His higher creatures is the happiness of being freely, voluntarily united to Him and to each other in the ecstasy of love and delight compared with which the most rapturous love between a man and a woman on this earth is mere milk and water. And for that they must be free.”

3. “The better stuff a creature is made of–the cleverer and stronger and freer it is–then the better it will be if it goes right, but also the worse it will be if it goes wrong.”

So, dear teacher and Dear Teacher, thanks for giving a middle-aged Christian some “new” things to ponder. And Dad, if you’re up there in Heaven seeing this, thanks for the “Cliffs Notes.”

Monday’s Post: Do you live in fear of redound or anticipate it?

You might also like: Slow Reader Thursday: Heaven by Randy Alcorn, Slow Reader Thursday: Going Places, and Slow Reader Thursday: A Grace Disguised

This entry was posted on Friday, October 18th, 2013 at 10:50 am and is filed under Slow Reader Friday. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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