By C.S. Lewis
HarperSanFrancisco, 227 pp, 1952
Clive Staples Lewis was one of the
most popular and influential Christian thinkers and writers in the
twentieth century. After reading this book, I can see why.
A former atheist, Lewis presents the
Christian faith in a simple yet powerful way. He discusses just the
basics of Christianity, lightly touching on theology and avoiding
denominational disputes and disagreements.
He begins by stipulating a universal
truth. There is something out there that tells us when we are doing
wrong, when we are doing it. This same something urges us to do the
right thing, even when we don't want to do it, even though in some way
we understand it to be right. What is is this something that is
invisible and largely unspoken yet so powerful?
To Lewis, this something is the
Christian God of the Bible.
From there, Lewis methodically
examines the moral and spiritual basics of the Christian faith, showing
how they are true (from an intellectual and logical perspective), and
why they endure today.
He seldom discusses competing
religions, such as Islam and Judaism, but he does tackle atheism, saying
it is too simple and unrealistic. He also castigates the God is a Life
Force theory, stating that it offers "all the thrill of religion
but none of the cost." Such a belief system leads nowhere and is
This is a wonderful book, a compelling
example of the beautiful simplicity of the Christian faith, even as he
dissects some of its more complicated aspects. Any Christian, and even
non-Christian, should enjoy it.