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"Write out of love, write out of instinct, write out of reason. But always for money."
Louis Untermeyer

Mere Christianity

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 hopelessly inadequate.

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.

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