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Mere Christianity

, 2001
ISBN: 9780061947438

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In the classic Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis, the most important writer of the 20th century, explores the common ground upon which all of those of Christian faith stand together. Bringing together Lewis’ legendary broadcast talks during World War II from his three previous books The Case for Christianity, Christian Behavior, and Beyond Personality, Mere Christianity provides an unequaled opportunity for believers and nonbelievers alike to hear this powerful apologetic for the Christian faith.

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

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  • Explores the common ground upon which all of those of Christian faith stand together
  • Provides a powerful apologetic for the Christian faith
  • Brings together Lewis’s WWII broadcast and three of his previous books
  • Book I
    • Right and wrong as a clue to the meaning of the universe
    • The law of human nature
    • Some objections
    • The reality of the law
    • What lies behind the law
    • We have cause to be uneasy
  • Book II
    • What Christians believe
    • The rival conceptions of God
    • The invasion
    • The shocking alternative
    • The perfect penitent
    • The practical conclusion
  • Book III
    • Christian behavior
    • The three parts of morality
    • The "cardinal virtues"
    • Social morality
    • Morality and psychoanalysis
    • Sexual morality
    • Christian marriage
    • Forgiveness
    • The great sin
    • Charity
    • Hope
    • Faith
    • Faith (cont.)
  • Book IV
    • Beyond personality: or first steps in the doctrine of the Trinity
    • Making and begetting
    • The three-personal God
    • Time and beyond time
    • Good infection
    • The obstinate toy soldiers
    • Two notes
    • Let's pretend
    • Is Christianity hard or easy?
    • Counting the cost
    • Nice people or new men
    • The new men.

Top Highlights

“These, then, are the two points I wanted to make. First, that human beings, all over the earth, have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way, and cannot really get rid of it. Secondly, that they do not in fact behave in that way. They know the Law of Nature; they break it. These two facts are the foundation of all clear thinking about ourselves and the universe we live in.” (Page 8)

“The Moral Law tells us the tune we have to play: our instincts are merely the keys.” (Page 10)

“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” (Pages 136–137)

“Consequently atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be a word without meaning.” (Page 39)

“Morality, then, seems to be concerned with three things. Firstly, with fair play and harmony between individuals. Secondly, with what might be called tidying up or harmonising the things inside each individual. Thirdly, with the general purpose of human life as a whole: what man was made for: what course the whole fleet ought to be on: what tune the conductor of the band wants it to play.” (Page 72)

Of the many topics C. S. Lewis unpacks in Mere Christianity, a few stand out as pivotal to the Christian life and, even today, are topics of debate.

Problem of evil

One topic addresses a common and fair question people have asked throughout millennia: Why does God allow evil in the world? Lewis posits that God created human beings with free will, and the very existence of free will is what makes evil possible.

He writes:

If a thing is free to be good it is also free to be bad. 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.

However, Lewis doesn't leave such a heavy topic there; readers will also learn why free will alone makes it possible for human beings to love or experience goodness or joy.

More than a "great teacher"

Lewis also argues it's impossible to accept Jesus as a great teacher but not as God incarnate. All must choose: "Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."

Desire for justice

Readers will also explore how human beings innately desire justice and meaning and how this longing points to the existence of a fair and meaningful God. "A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line," writes Lewis. The idea of justice has to come from somewhere.

They will consider humanity's "longing for more" and how God intentionally made human beings that way—to desire more than this world can give. Of this, Lewis says, "If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. ... I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death."

Lewis expands on these topics and presents many more timeless truths in his classic work Mere Christianity, sure to evoke a deeper understanding of God—whether a longtime believer or interested skeptic.

As we witness Lewis develop we find that these volumes are working as a kind of unconscious autobiography.

Books & Culture

C.S. Lewis understood, like few in the past century, just how deeply faith is both imaginative and rational.

Christianity Today

C. S. Lewis

Clive Staples Lewis (29 November 1898 – 22 November 1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. He was a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954, when he was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement. He wrote more than thirty books, allowing him to reach a vast audience, and his works continue to attract thousands of new readers every year. His most distinguished and popular accomplishments include Out of the Silent PlanetThe Great Divorce, The Screwtape Letters, and the universally acknowledged classic Mere Christianity. Read more about his life and legacy.


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  1. Patrick



    This book is amazing. My copy has highlights and notes throughout. Lewis has greatly helped me to come to a fuller understanding of basic Christian thought through this. This is a definate recommend for someone who is Christian or wanting to know about Christian thought. Wow, I can't get over how fantastic this was. This is what the joy of reading is all about. Final Grade - A+
  2. NB.Mick



  3. Paul



  4. Jeremy T Lourie
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