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"Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis

I just finished reading “Mere Christianity” by C.S. Lewis. While initially reading it, I felt quite disappointed in Lewis’ tortured logic, twisted metaphors, and simplistic deductions. There is really a spectacular dearth of reason. He dismisses virtually all but Christian belief (except non-Christian belief systems which share similarities with Christianity), and makes sweeping generalizations supported by non-sequitur examples of everyday life occurrences. He attempts to equate religious beliefs (via his “Law of Human Nature” doctrine) to testable scientific laws, but provides no basis for this assumption and finally succumbs to the “it must be so” argument. He states many “facts” without any apparent vetting.

I have to admit, though, that on finishing the book, I believe I was able to feel some of Lewis’ profound joy about his beliefs. He communicated this well in his last chapters. Not a believer myself, I think that Mr. Lewis was a sincere and moral individual who recognized some of the pitfalls of supernatural thinking (tribalism, superiority, suppression of others) and warned against them. His happiness in what he believes to be the supernatural cohesiveness and his understanding of the universe is palpable.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this book for its poetic, but not intellectual value. I was also impressed that Mr. Lewis did not negate scientific inquiry even once in this book. On the contrary, he did not abandon his scholarly roots and even attempted (though failed) to show logic in a quasi-scientific fashion. He supported the fact of Darwinian evolution over “thousands of centuries”, so at least he wasn’t a new-earther. He even paid Darwin a splendid compliment by breathlessly hoping that a Christ-filled human could be our species’ next evolutionary step.

-Gretchen

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