Thursday, January 22, 2009

Weekly Recommendation: "Mere Christianity"

As we continue to walk through the final week of Christ, one of the most influential books in all of Christianity is CS Lewis' "Mere Christianity." This is perhaps Lewis' most famous non-fiction book. In it, Lewis lays out his basic defense for his faith in Christ.

Lewis faith from atheism to Christianity begins with a look at the moral law. Lewis began to wonder why everyone has a moral conscience and where did it come from if there was no God. As Lewis began to think about this issue, and as he lays the argument out in the book, there must be a divine law giver; one that has revealed His moral law to man.

From there, Lewis lays out his defense for God and eventually, for Christianity. One of the best points he makes regards Christ and how we must consider Him. Jesus is either Liar, Lunatic, or Lord. He cannot be just a moral teacher. This is a profound argument. If Christ was a good man and not the Messiah, then His life and ministry was based on a lie. We cannot have both. He is either a liar or Lord. And if Lord, then subject to worship and obedience.

There is one unfortunate argument laid out in the book that must be brought up: inclusivism. Inclusivism is the argument that some outside Christianity will be saved in the end. Lewis embraces this heresy. He embraced it so much that he included it in his Chronicles of Narnia series, namely, in the last book, "The Last Battle." There we see Aslan, representing Christ, allowing those who rejected him but embraced other faiths into heaven.

This is perhaps the most unfortunate part of Lewis' life and theology. "Mere Christianity" is so influential, it is sad to see such an important issue to have to be raised. But nonetheless, I recommend this book based on its philosophical influence and logical conclusions (outside of the inclusivist argument which runs against Biblical revelation). For those wanting a good introduction to Lewis' non-fictional writings, this is a great place to turn.

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