Friday, April 24, 2009

The Invasion

According to Anthony Burgess of New York Times Book Review, C.S. Lewis “Mere Christianity” book is the ideal persuader for the half-convinced, for the good man who would like to be a Christian but finds his intellect getting in the way.” I must agree.

CS Lewis is popular for his powerful and rational case for the Christian faith. He had always been quoted for most of the books that I have read. Unfortunately, I can’t find any of his books in our bookstore. A day after I arrived here, my husband brought me to one of the oldest missions in California. Ah, you just don’t know how happy I was to finally able to get hold to one of his books in the mission’s tiny bookstore.

Until now, I kept glancing into the books that had helped me and gave me some sort of deeper insights on a lot of things. Here's a simple glimpse of that:

“Very well then, atheism is too simple. And I will tell you another view that is also too simple. It is the view I call Christianity-and-water, the view which simply says there is a good God in Heaven and everything is all right—leaving out all the difficult and terrible doctrines about sin and hell and the devil, and the redemption. Both these are boys’ philosophies.

It is no good asking for a simple religion. After all real things are not simple. They look simple, but they are not. The table I am sitting at looks simple: but ask a scientist to tell you what it is really made of—all about the atoms and how the light waves rebound from them and hit my eye and what they do to the optic nerve and what it does to my brain—and, of course, you find that what we call seeing a table’ lands you in mysteries and complications which you can hardly get to the end of, A child saying a child’s prayer looks simple. And if you are content to stop there, well and good. But if you are not—and the modern world usually is not—if you want to go on and ask what is really happening—then you must be prepared for something difficult. If we ask for something more than simplicity, it is silly then to complain that the something more is not simple.

Very often, however, this silly procedure is adopted by people who are not silly, but who, consciously or unconsciously, want to destroy Christianity. Such people put up a version of Christianity suitable for a child of six and make that the object of their attack. When you try to explain the Christian doctrine as it is really held by an instructed adult, they then complain that you are making their heads turn round and that it is all too complicated and that if there really were a God they are sure He would have made ‘religion’ simple, because simplicity is so beautiful, etc. You must be on your guard against these people for they will change their ground every minute and only waste your time. Notice, too, their idea of God ‘making religion simple’; as if ‘religion’ were something God invented, and not His statement to us of certain quite unalterable facts about His own nature.

Reality, in fact, is usually something you could not have guessed. That is one of the reasons I believe Christianity. It is a religion you could not have guessed. If it offered us just the kind of universe we had always expected, I should feel we were making it up. But, in fact, it is not the sort of thing anyone would have made up. It has just that queer twist about it that real things have. So let us leave behind all these boys’ philosophies-these over-simple answers. The problem is not simple and the answer is not going to be simple either.”
--- CS Lewis, Mere Christianity

8 Grateful Heart's Words:

sandy said...

Reading your article puts me in mind of a question my younger brother kept asking these past couple of weeks while our Mother lay dying at the hospital. She suffered horribly, pain not controlled by meds. Why is she dying, so in so's mother been sick for years and she's still living. The truth from my perspective is, when it's your time, it's your time. Medical Science kept her alive longer than she was intended to live. She would not have suffered so had she passed earlier. Why is anyone made to suffer, this is a question I've never been able to come to an understanding myself. Though I do believe Christianity is pretty simple. Believe, lead a good life, and do right by others.

Nice post
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Secondary Roads said...

It was after reading Mere Christianity by CS Lewis that I began to feel that I understood what Christianity is about. He writing really speak to me.
Have you read his Sci-Fi trilogy (Out of the Silent Planet, Perlandra & That Hideous Strength)? Different, but with an interesting twist.
-- Chuck

Hi! I'm Grace said...

Great post, Shawie.
True religion is having a closer personal walk with God. :)

waluyo said...

reading in your blog make me plus informations. thank's

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis was one of the very first Christian books I read when I became born again and it made a lasting impression on my soul. His book, so simple yet so profound, will surely leave an indelible imprint in one's soul after it is read. Thanks for featuring him in your post. God bless you always.

Salute said...

Nice post. Life's journey is never simple, but complex yet rewarding with the grace of God.

Mhar's Display said...

We have to bear in mind to appreciate everything that we have-big or small.

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Alicia said...

I love C.S. Lewis I don't think there is anything I have read by him yet that I disagree with. He was a truly inspired man!!

One scripture I am familiar with encourages deep study and to never stop learning, especially when it comes to the things of God:

"seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom, seek learning even by study and also by faith."