Monday, June 28, 2010

Christianity Defined... by Lewis

I'd like to share an amazing book with you. This is my second summer to try and finish Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis and I am thoroughly enjoying it. The book requires a lot of thought, so I am working slowly through the chapters, taking time to underline particularly good pieces and reflect on all of it. Lewis writes the book as a definition of Christianity without diving into theologies that are particular to any one denomination. Instead, he does his best to explain Christianity in its simplest form - the tenants of the faith, morals and principles, what all Christians believe about Jesus and God, etc. It's a wonderful book for someone who is not a Christian but interested in what Christianity is all about. For any person who has heard only the basic plot of Jesus' tale and might be curious about the rest of it, I'd highly recommend Mere Christianity.

For those of us who have already committed our lives to Christ, Lewis has some fantastic reminders and wonderful ways to explain our dearest held beliefs. He will re-affirm your faith and leave you looking forward to the next life with a renewed sense of purpose in the present life. He might even answer some questions you forgot you had. If you haven't already read it, it should be added to your list ASAP.

If you have already read it, you'll enjoy these favorite snippets I've underlined so far:

"God designed the human machine to run on Himself. He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other. That is why it is just no good asking God to make us happy in our own way without bothering about religion. God cannot giveus a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing. That is the key to history. Terrific energy is expended - civilizations are built up - excellent institutions devised; but each time something goes wrong. Some fatal flaw always brings the selfish and cruel people to the top and it all slides back into misery and ruin. In fact, the machine conks. It seems to start up all right and runsa few yards, and then it breaks down. They are trying to run it on the wrong juice. That is what Satan has done to us humans." (50).

"Fallen man is not simply an imperfect creature who needs improvement: he is a rebel who must lay down his arms. . . Can we do it if God helps us? Yes, but what do we mean when we talk of God helping us? We mean God putting into us a bit of Himself, so to speak. He lends us a little of His reasoning powers and that is how we think: He puts a little of His love into us and that is how we love one another." (56-57).

"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 that any good hi 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..." (63).

Good night and God bless you!

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