Book IV: Beyond personality… (Continued)
I continue flitting about the book and alighting on points I deem interesting.
Nice people or new men
God demands perfection from us. Of course, we cannot achieve it on our own without help from Him who demands it. It would therefore logically follow that Christians would be the nicest people around.It doesn’t take much to notice that we aren’t, and Lewis asks why in this chapter.
If Christianity is true why are not all Christians obviously nicer than all non-Christians? Continue reading
This is a special post: it is my hundredth blog post. I’ve actually found something to say 100 times…
Continuing with the matter at hand:
Book IV: Beyond personality: Or first steps in the doctrine of the trinity.
Lewis starts off by telling his reader that he’d been warned not to write a section on theology, since ordinary readers want “plain practical religion”. His rebuttal is that we’re not children, and therefore shouldn’t be treated as children. And thus he launches into 11 chapters of doctrine. I’ll simply provide some highlights, since I don’t feel that I could adequately summarise the content.
Making and begetting
One of the creeds states that Christ was “begotten, not created”. To beget is to become the father of; to create is to make. Continue reading
In addition to the cardinal virtues of prudence, temperance, justice and fortitude, Lewis introduces us to what he designates ‘theological’ virtues: faith, hope and charity.
Charity means ‘Love, in the Christian sense’. But love, in the Christian sense, does not mean an emotion. It is a state not of the feelings, but of the will; that state of the will which we have naturally about ourselves, and must learn to have about other people.
So how do we cultivate charity in ourselves? Continue reading
Hmmm… I thought I’d be through with this book in 3 posts or so, but that clearly isn’t the case!
Lewis revises his statement that chastity is the most unpopular virtue: forgiveness may just be more undesirable. He poses the question, “What does it mean to love your neighbour as yourself?” [As Alistair Begg put it, “Does it mean going round saying, ‘I love me, I love me, I love me’?”]
He says loving your neighbour is not: Continue reading
The two chapters of Book II that I thought the most brilliant are those titled Sexual Morality and Christian Marriage.
Lewis makes the proposition that chastity is the most unpopular Christian virtue. He differentiates between chastity and modesty, defining the latter as a social construct that varies depending on geographical location and time period. Chastity he describes as, “Either marriage, with complete faithfulness to your partner, or else total abstinence.” Unfortunately, many today think chastity is only to be practised before marriage. Continue reading
Book III: Christian Behaviour
This must be that part of Mere Christianity that makes it a classic. Lewis makes very good arguments on how Christians ought to live. Despite its age, the content is still fresh and valid today.
Lewis points our attention to what he calls ‘cardinal virtues’ i.e. those virtues all civilised people recognise. They are prudence, temperance, justice and fortitude. Continue reading
Here I go again, reading old books. C. S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity was published in 1952, though its contents had previously been separately published 8-10 years earlier. It has since become a Christian classic, though as many discerning readers will find out, there are parts of it that are best skipped. Lewis comes close to open theism (the belief that God doesn’t know the future) and inclusivism (the belief that people of other religious persuasions will receive eternal life), and supports evolution (which he regretted in later life, according to a comment I read on a blog).
Book I: Right and wrong as a clue to the meaning of the universe
Book I was originally a series of talks given on air during WWII, in which he deals with the existence of a universal moral law from a philosophical point of view. Not being a philosopher, I’ll leave it at that.
Book II: What Christians Believe
Lewis was an atheist before his conversion, and he says this about atheism: Continue reading