Mere Christianity Book Summary

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C.S. Lewis argues that he is not looking from the view point specific to a certain branch of Christianity

While he is anglican. The name Christians was first given at antioch (Acts 11:26) to ‘the disciples’. To those who accepted the teachings of the apostles


The book started as Radio broadcast delivered from 1942-1944 in WW2. He served in WW1

Lewis christianity is not philosophy or theology but a way of life

The Law of Human Nature

People are moral creatures
the Law of Nature refers to morality
Morality is the standard to which all people expect all others to act Everyone has different ideas about what is right and wrong(subjectivity) Human beings know morality and consistently break it

Some Objections

Herd Instinct?
No, instincts pull us in many directions, we still choose which to follow Social Convention?
No, while decent behaviour is taught to us, even children know right from wrong(regardless if they choose to follow it) There is no real or objective right vs wrong, only different ideas of it

Reality of the Law

The law of decent behaviour is what people ought to do.
They usually do not follow this
People should be unselfish and fair but they rarely are
Law of Decent Behaviour is not what is necessarily useful, but what ought to be

What Lies behind the law

The materialist view
matter and space just happen to exist
everything that happens is a sort of fluke
uses science
science uses experiments to prove
the religious view
what is behind the universe is more like a mind than anything else we know
it is concious, has purposes
produces creatures like itself(with minds)
religion doesn’t need proof it needs faith

the life-force view
creative evolution
a God that uses evolution(a life-force)
C.S. Lewis refers to this as wishful thinking

We Have Cause to be Uneasy

God is a great artist but also merciless and no friend to man The Moral Law within us is perfect expression of God
it does not care how hard or painful or dangerous whatever it asks us to do is God is impersonal absolute goodness
We make ourselves his allies and his enemies
Christian religion is a thing of unspeakable comfort but it begins with dismay

What Christians Believe
Rival Conceptions of God

-Christians believe God is good and completely seperate from the world he created Pantheists believe God is beyond good and evil and is the universe Atheism is too simple
if the world has no meaning, we never should have found out it has no meaning

The Invasion

Christian view: God created a good world that went wrong
Dualism believes the world is a battleground in which a force of good battles a force of evil Christianity believes in a force of evil that was created by God to be good and went wrong(satan)

The Shocking Alternative

God created things with free will
Satan’s sin was his want to be God
transferred this sin to Humanity
Judaism hammers God and his morality into it’s members
this is why Jesus’ claim was blasphemous(God is seperate) Jesus was a great moral teacher so he must have been either the Son of God or the Devil of Hell

The Perfect Penitent

Atoning for sins is an important part of Christianity
it is unlearning self will and self conceit
undergoing a kind of death to be one with God
Only bad people need to repent
Only a good person can repent perfectly

Jesus’ death was Gods atonement for all of our sins

The Practical Conclusion

Christ-life refers to a new kind of life that God wants and prepares for us 3 things spread Christ-life to us.
baptism, belief, holy communion
Christ-life is what enables us to get back up when we fall it helps us repeat the voluntary death Christ is operating through us in this Christ life
God will invade the planet, but wanted to give us a chance to join his side freely

Christian Behavior

The Three Parts of Morality

1.Fair Play and Harmony between individuals
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