“It is a good rule after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between.” – CS Lewis
Well, my earlier post was about something new – so, today, let’s look at something old. Old, but still gold. 🙂 We’re stopping for a quick look at a true classic, the gold standard for a logical defense of Christianity: CS Lewis’ little book, Mere Christianity.
CS Lewis: Christianity is logical, reasonable
In our times, CS Lewis (1898 – 1963) is better known as the author of the Narnia series than as the writer of brilliant, faith-defending essays. But, arguably, essay writing was where his true genius lay. He used his Oxford-trained mind to take big ideas about God and faith and make them easy to understand; his simple but powerful arguments have convinced millions of people that Christianity is a very logical, reasonable faith. Many of these people, as Lewis himself, have then become true converts by opening up their lives to the God of the Christian faith; once they were blind, but Lewis’ words helped them see.
What is Mere Christianity about?
The book, published in 1952, grew out of a series of radio broadcasts that Lewis was asked to do from 1941 to 1943, during World War Two, at a time when the war was going badly for England and her allies. Not everyone was a fan of the show, but, for many people, the focus on the reality of God brought hope. In the words of Air Chief Marshal Sir Donald Hardman, “We needed, many of us, a key to the meaning of the universe. Lewis provided just that.”
Mere Christianity – Animated!! (Art Geeks, you’ll love this!)
Here’s a creative and classy repackaging of the first of those broadcasts (complete with air raid sirens and marching Nazis) by New Zealand artist, Kalman Kingsley. I think you’ll enjoy this wonderful, whimsical animation that Kingsley has paired with an audio narration of Chapter One of M.C. The narration is a BBC recreation of the originals; if you want to listen to Lewis himself, go to this week’s bonus post to hear him answer the question, “How can there be a God – surely, it would be impossible to hear millions of people praying all at one time?”
“Own” it! Mere Christianity free study guide and free book downloads
If you’re new to Mere Christianity, don’t worry too much if the logic comes at you a bit fast; just enjoy it.
Resources for mastering the actual content of the book are listed at the end of this post: there are tons of options: free and paid, print, digital, and audio versions, as well as study guides and Bible studies.
But, now, dim the lights; the video’s ready:
If you liked this free video (and want to see more!), drop by the artist’s YouTube channel.
Note: all CS Lewis’ works became public domain in 2014 in countries where copyright expires 50 years after the creator’s death. (Lewis died on Nov 22, 1963, the same day JFK was assassinated.)
Mind if I pray for you before we hit the road again?
Dear Father God, we thank you for giving CS Lewis to the human family. Thank you for the treasures he left behind – for the Narnia stories and for the words in his books that help us to think more clearly about things that really matter. We pray that you would raise up many more defenders of the faith who love you and, who, like Jesus himself, speak in ways that common people can hear gladly. I pray now for this reader whom you see – for each traveler on this road trip, that you would shower blessings on them, open the eyes of their hearts, and release their gifts to bless the world. Lord, these are difficult times, and we need every part of the Body to function well. We pray in the sweet name of Jesus, Amen.
Free Mere Christianity Study Guides:
1. Here’s a nice one from the CS Lewis Foundation.
2. And one here from the CS Lewis Institute that’s recommended for small group discussion.
3. And here is one blogger’s series entitled Mere Christianity: Simplified.
Free Mere Christianity pdf books:
1. E-book in pdf format from Church Leaders.com
2. The CS Lewis Reading room of Tyndale Seminary, California, is “designed to help make writings on and by C.S. Lewis available to those without easy access to a university library” and houses both print and audio versions of Mere Christianity.
Included are ones that are affordable, nice to have on your bookshelf, or make great gifts
1. Print book
2. Kindle book
4. Bible study
5. One Year Daily Readings from CS Lewis
Free Mere Christianity audio
1. With outline, at Truth According to Scripture, a Christian outreach site maintained by Mesa Biblical Church, California.
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