This is a surprising book (at least for me) from C.S. Lewis written just after the Second World War. I’d known C.S. Lewis as the guy who wrote “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe” and “The Chronicles of Narnia”, and had no idea that he could write a serious book on Christianity. In fact, he was once and atheist and converted to Christianity.
This book, “Mere Christianity” actually spawned from a series of radio lectures C.S. Lewis gave near the end of the Second World War. Even if I don’t agree with all of his arguments, he has a wonderful way of presenting arguments and discussing them with the printed world. He creates vivid imagery that’s a joy to enter and consider.
Quotes – Mere Christianity
Some of the interesting quotes I found in “Mere Christianity” are listed below. They give a taste of what the book is like.
And I think if you look at the present state of the world, it is pretty plain that humanity has been making some big mistake. We are on the wrong road. And if that is so, we must go back. Going back is the quickest way on.
My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust?
Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having.
And if we cannot picture even the atoms of which our own world is built, of course we are not going to be able to picture this.
People need to be reminded more often than they need to be instructed.
Good people know about both good and evil: bad people do not know about either.
Virtue – even attempted virtue – brings light; indulgence brings fog.
But then, has oneself anything lovable about it? You love it simply because it is yourself. God intends us to love all selves in the same way and for the same reason.
No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good.
Table of Contents – Mere Christianity
- Book 1 – Right and Wrong as a Clue to the Meaning of the Universe
- Chapter 1 – The Law of Human Nature
- Chapter 2 – Some Objections
- Chapter 3 – The Reality of the Law
- Chapter 4 – What Lies Behind the Law
- Chapter 5 – We Have Cause to be Uneasy
- Book 2 – What Christians Believe
- Chapter 1 – The Rival Conceptions of God
- Chapter 2 – The Invasion
- Chapter 3 – The Shocking Alternative
- Chapter 4 – The Perfect Penitent
- Chapter 5 – The Practical Conclusion
- Book 3 – Christian Behaviour
- Chapter 1 – The Three Parts of Morality
- Chapter 2 – The Cardinal Virtues
- Chapter 3 – Social Morality
- Chapter 4 – Morality and Psychoanalysis
- Chapter 5 – Sexual Morality
- Chapter 6 – Christian Marriage
- Chapter 7 – Forgiveness
- Chapter 8 – The Great Sin
- Chapter 9 – Charity
- Chapter 10 – Hope
- Chapter 11 – Faith
- Chapter 12 – Faith
- Book 4 – Beyond Personality: or First Steps in the Doctrine of the Trinity
- Chapter 1 – Making and Begetting
- Chapter 2 – The Three-Personal God
- Chapter 3 – Tima and Beyond Time
- Chapter 4 – Good Infection
- Chapter 5 – The Obstinate Toy Soldiers
- Chapter 6 – Two Notes
- Chapter 7 – Let’s Pretend
- Chapter 8 – Is Christianity Hard or Easy?
- Chapter 9 – Counting the Cost
- Chapter 10 – Nice People or New Men
- Chapter 11 – The New Men