Thursday, December 4, 2008

Mere Christianity

Coincidentally (??), I decided earlier this week to read C.S. Lewis's Mere Christianity just because I never had and I had decided it was time to start reading all the books I have always wanted to, but haven't. When I told my friend Lisa about it, she remembered she had joined an online group that was to start discussing the same book this very week.... hmmmm.... kind-of weird, I guess.... so I signed up, too.

I thought I would bring you all on my journey through what is, so far, an interesting book by a very smart guy. And I've never read any C.S. Lewis, which I know it kind-of weird in itself. The online discussion is a once-a-week thing and this is the day. And it's certainly not too late to sign up yourself if you want to... or to just read along with me. :-)
This week we were reading just the Preface and Foreward. Here are a couple things that jumped out at me from the Preface (the first one's kind-of long).

"The reader should be warned that I offer no help to anyone who is hesitating between two Christian 'denominations'. You will not learn from me whether you ought to become an Anglican, a Methodist, a Presbyterian, or a Roman Catholic. This omission is intentional... There is no mystery about my own position. I am a very ordinary layman of the Church of England... I think we must admit that the discussion of these disputed points {of "high theology or ecclesiastical history"} has no tendency at all to bring an outsider into the Christian fold. So long as we write and talk about them we are much more likely to deter him from entering any Christian communion than to draw him into our own. Our divisions should never be discussed except in the presence of those who have already come to believe that there is one God and that Jesus Christ is His only Son."

Amen to that. I can't even think of anything to say except to agree.

He goes on to say:

"I am not writing to expound something I could call 'my religion', but to expound 'mere' Christianity, which is what it is and was what it was long before I was born and whether I like it or not."

So, from this it seems I am going to like C.S. Lewis because he is practical (I love practical) and seems to want to see what is there at the foundation of our faith- which is hard to see (isn't it?) through all of our upbringing and traditions and pre-conceived notions.
Hopefully I will have more to say next week when we do Book 1.


livingjetlag said...

If you're excited now, you might as well just go out and buy "The Screwtape Letters" today. Possibly the best and most important book in the English language, no kidding. You'll see. The Great Divorce is good, too. The man is a prophet, I swear. He skips right over the Bible and tells you what it's FOR, and WHY. So cool. A clarity of thought and message that I've never seen matched. Enjoy.

Brenda said...

I didn't mention this in my post, but I had already downloaded "Screwtape" and am reading it simultaneously with "Mere Christianity". :-) I am liking both.

Not sure about the comment on "skipping right over the bible" as being a good thing?? :-)

Kristy said...

I LOVE C.S. Lewis books! I have read many - including that one. I have found one thing though - his IQ is SO HIGH, that it is sometimes difficult to "get" what he is talking about sometimes.
Oh, how do you download "Screwtape Letters"? I have always wanted to read that one. I don't think I would want to sit at this laptop any more than I already do though!