Mere Christianity by C.S. LewisToday is the first part of a four-part series on the book Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. This book is a staple among most Christians and is something that many of you may have already read, but, I hadn’t had a chance yet to read it and it was nice and short, which fits into my schedule nicely.

The book was actually not a book to begin with, but was rather a series of radio talks given by Lewis which he later sat down and worked into the work we have today. It’s divided into four separate sections, of which I’ll be talking about sections one and two today.

In the first book Lewis sets out to philosophically prove the existence of a god. I say “a god” because he never actually says in the first book that the god in question is the Christian deity. This might seem strange to some folks but I rather liked it. I like the reasoning and thought that Lewis put into his discussion and I enjoyed thinking along with him about the implications of some of the things which we normally take for granted.

He starts his discourse by looking at the fact that humans naturally have a sense of right and wrong. This line of thought is so powerful and something that many people have no problem agreeing with. I’ve used this same thought in discussions with non-believers and it is a great place to lead into the gospel.

He then moves into a discussion of the fact that we all know the right things to do, but that we don’t do them! Isn’t that just so true when you look at the world; most people, except for the sociopath, have a sense of right and wrong, yet we tend to disobey what we know. People know that it is wrong to lie, and yet we lie! Lewis is trying to show that humanity is broken and that Christianity has the solution to our problems – another great line of reasoning.

From here he points out that there most be something behind this moral law. There has to be a reason that humanity has a sense of right and wrong. The fact that we know right and wrong but obey makes no logical sense unless there is something outside of ourselves that has implanted us with that understanding of right and wrong. After all if we didn’t have a sense of the “Natural Law” we would never feel any guilt over our actions. The point is that there must be something outside of man who put within us this sense of the natural law. At this point Lewis has brought the reader to the point of there being something beyond ourselves to explain human nature.

In the last chapter of this book he concludes by saying that if there is something outside of ourselves which put within us morality, then we are surely in trouble for not having obeyed that something. While I agree with Lewis’ argumentation I don’t think he has taken the reader far enough. Sure we’ve come to the point that there is a being beyond ourselves but…that’s where he leaves us. He does admit that he has brought us to a place that falls short of the God of Christianity, so at least there is that.

The whole first book in Mere Christianity seeks to bring people to a point in which they admit, 1) there is a god 2) that he has placed a moral law within humanity 3) that humans have not obeyed that moral law and 4) that humans should be worried because we have not obeyed the being that gave us the moral law.

I really enjoyed this first section of the book and had no trouble following the argumentation; the conclusions were also natural and something that a rational/logical person could conclude. For those not familiar with other works of C.S. Lewis or other British authors the language will take a little getting used to, but don’t let that stop you. The book provides some excellent ammunition when talking with the people around us and should goad us in our thinking about sharing the gospel.