CS Lewis Saturday

Mere Christianity – Preface

One can not get past the preface of this wonderful book without finding enough wisdom to fill pages. That is the gift of Lewis – few but profound words. He actually blistered me in the very first paragraph when he explained the editing process of turning these radio broadcasts in to printed matter. He explains that originally he used italics to emphasize the written words that he had also emphasized with his voice but later realized it was a mistake. He says, “A talker ought to use variations of voice for emphasis because his medium naturally lends itself to that method; but a writer ought not to use italics for the same purpose. He has his own, different, means of bringing out the key words and ought to use them.” So my friend C.S. would not like the way I emphasize my words, at all. *sigh*

Today’s Selected Quotes:

On his attempt at explaining ‘Mere Christianity’ and not simply putting forth as common something which would be peculiar to the Church of England:

“It is at her centre, where her truest children dwell, that each communion is really closest to every other in spirit, if not in doctrine. And this suggests that at the centre of each there is something, or a Someone, who against all divergences of belief, all differences of temperament, all memories of mutual persecution, speaks with the same voice.”

I have learned from experience that when I was least “centered” is when I was the most argumentative. There are basic tenets of faith that all evangelicals hold to. Don’t you think it would make God smile if we could find unity in our commonality instead of being on the ‘lunatic fringe’?

To summarize the true purpose of the book, Lewis explains he does not intend to present an alternative to creeds of existing communions, but rather:

“It is more like a hall out of which doors open into several rooms. If I can bring anyone into that hall I shall have done what I attempted. But it is in the rooms, not in the hall, that there are fires and chairs and meals. The hall is a place to wait in, a place from which to try the various doors, not a place to live in.”

So it is the hallway my girlfriends where we should strive to bring others. Not to say I don’t prefer they go through the same door as me, but I will have succeeded if I have inspired someone to try the doors.

Finally, in encouraging unity, Lewis urges us to obey the ‘rules of the house’:

“When you have reached your own room, be kind to those who have chosen different doors and to those who are still in the hall. If they are wrong they need your prayers all the more; and if they are your enemies, then you are under orders to pray for them. That is one of the rules common to the whole house.”

The common rules of the house…I love that concept. May we be gracious to those whose chore charts differ from our own.

** Please join in with your own insights about these quotes….I am so interested in knowing what you take away from this…Have a great weekend!