Book Notes: Mere Christianity

On the back of my copy of  Mere Christianity, the publisher describes it as “One of the most popular introductions to Christian faith ever written..”  So far, I think this has been an entirely accurate description.  In the assignment this week, C. S. Lewis walks us step by step up to a faith in some god, though not necessarily the Christian God.  He arrives at this point by a step by step process.

Lewis argues that there is some sort of moral law that we have built within us.  He argues that there are two very important points to this law.  The first is that unlike other “laws” occurring in nature, this moral law does not describe how men and women do act, but how they should act.  A rock obeying the law of gravity falls when dropped from a height.  The “moral law” that we hear in the back of our head tells us how we should act, but we may or may not follow that law.

The other important point is that this “moral law” does not always tell us to act in our best interest.  If we pass an alley where someone is being mugged, the moral law tells us to help this person (whether we actually do or not, see point one).  Helping this person, and possibly getting hurt in the process, is not necessarily in our best interest, and therefore doesn’t come about as some sort of survival instinct.

So where does this law come from?  Lewis argues that this law comes from some source outside of us, and from a source that works for good, and that has a mind.  I can’t recreate his argument here due to space (and my own failings), but Lewis does an incredible job of making this point in a few short chapters.

One final note from this weeks reading.  Remember that this book started out as a series of radio addresses Lewis gave in Britain during World War II for the BBC.  As you read this book, ask yourself what would happen if Lewis was on ABC or NBC each week for one hour covering this same topic today.

In Two Weeks: It sounded like there was some concern with having an assignment for this week.  So, for this week, have a Merry Christmas!!  In two weeks, I want to cover up to the end of Chapter Three in Book Three.