the dance of the ink riddled fingers

Mere Christianity

Posted in book club by enisea on 31/01/2011

I made a resolution to read at least one book a month at the beginning of 2011. I finished this yesterday – the second last day of January.  Evidently, one of my favourite authors in a [slightly] less than rivetting account of that religion this globe loves and hates.  The title captures it brilliantly, ‘Mere Christianity’.  I find this especially dedicated to those who doubt the validity of Christianity and/or Christians be they of the faith or not.  Somewhat scarse in scriptural references (surprisingly, for a book dedicated to defending it), these chapters are analogically rich – which is probably the strength of it.  Lewis’ ability to apply these concepts to an understandable and familiar parallel is why he’s a favourite.   This book is exactly that, foundational.  Sort of like basic, basic, basic, unreferenced Theology for the layman.  Quadrants of four ‘books’ under the one title, the pages originated from parts of British broadcasted radio, where Lewis was invited by the BBC to deliver his defence and justification for faith during wartime 1942-1944.  Reading these pages requires an open mind and a willingness to hear out the faith before attempting to rebut it.  By all means, rebut – if you can.  The last five chapters I’d liken to learning calculus because I found myself trudging unwillingly through it… but the punchline – the revelation that all of that working out finally produced an answer which justified the means – was, to me, quite satisfying!

Recommended only to the patient, the doubtful, the curious, the dissatisfied and restless earthling craving more than mediocre, and those who think there is nothing more stupid than Christianity… oh and anyone who likes reading.

If you want a more tactically twisted and fantastical Lewis, of the three I’ve read, I’d recommend ‘The Screwtape Letters’.  Written in the persona of a demon on the how-to’s of tormenting humanity, the literary challenges are much thicker and you will find yourself a little uncomfortable at some stage – or I did.  Having read this as an introductory to Lewis’ writing style, I found myself reading paragraphs over and over for attempts to grasp his more eloquently elderly english – put it down if you’re half asleep, you won’t enjoy it.

For a more gradual and pleasantly fantastical imagination, find yourselves in pages of ‘The Great Divorce’.  I enjoyed this one the most, which is surprising since it’s the slowest moving of the three I’ve read.  A rather abstract musing of the chasm between hell and heaven – much more intriguing than current stereotypical speculations of it!  Again, I found the concepts well illustrated and a soft sort of reminder of the timidity of mortality.

Yeah. Most of my 2011’s resolutions are progressive, so they’re measurable at least monthly. 

We’re 11.77% through the year, how are your resolutions progressing? Scrap that, how is your life progressing?


4 Responses

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  1. Rach said, on 31/01/2011 at 11:33 PM

    Hey, I like your progressive resolutions concept! It’s brilliant, and easier to keep track of :) I am supposedly ‘still’ thinking about my NY resolutions, ha!

    Love C.S. Lewis. This was the first book of his I read (perhaps bar Narnia), and I was like: So THIS is why every-bloody-body quotes him!!!

    • enisea said, on 01/02/2011 at 7:13 PM

      hahaha, have you seen the new “C.S.Lewis Bible”? It’s on the shelves at Christian bookstores, and I’m sure Lewis would be groaning in his grave to have been comprised such unnecessary comparisons. As a fan of his – but one without obsession, I’m sure that from the person who boasted ordinariness – as much as I understand through his books, he would be heartbroken. They’ve ironically made Christianity more it already ‘merely’ is by peppering his quotes through a new edition of the bible. When I saw it, I was actually crushed.

      Ps: I’m able to ‘reply’ to another friend on tumblr, so I’m convinced you haven’t enabled that function! I wanted so much to comment how pretty you looked twirling in your bargain buys in your photo a while back!

      Pps: I got really excited when I saw you’d left a comment – I actually love hearing from you :)

  2. The Gods of Vice said, on 05/02/2011 at 12:05 AM

    Intelligent. I actually have never read anything by CS Lewis beyond the Narnia books myself-nor had I ever thought to. Might change that after reading this!

    That’s a pretty good resolution you made, everyone should take the time to read some more. I made a “will not buy meat anymore” resolution. That doesn’t mean I won’t eat it, just won’t buy it. For instance if I catch my own fish, I will certainly eat them. I just find the industrialisation of meat produce rather macabre. I’m surprised at how easy a goal it is to achieve, so far no temptation!

    • enisea said, on 05/02/2011 at 5:01 PM

      Hahaha, that’s so bizarre! You will not buy meat. Time to start rearing some cattle and chicken! That’s one of the most ridiculous resolution I’ve heard (of course with good intentions), that’s a runner up to a friend’s laughable “will make out with at least 3 females in 2010”. And true, I think if we’re serious about our limitations, it’s not at all a difficult battle. Our willpower can be immoveable if our mind is uncompremising – which has the potential to be very good and very bad.

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