The great difficulty is to get modern audiences to realize that you are preaching Christianity solely and simply because you happen to think it true; they always suppose you are preaching it because you like it or think it good for society or something of that sort. Now, a clearly maintained distinction between what the Faith actually says and what you would like it to have said or what you understand or what you personally find helpful or think probable, forces your audience to realize that you are tied to your data just as the scientist is tied by the results of the experiments; that you are not just saying what you like. This immediately helps them realize that what is being discussed is a question of objective facts – not about ideals and points of views.
– C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity.
I read Mere Christianity because I was in search of what was affirming. I wanted to feel sane, I wanted to feel “yippie, somebody gets me!” and I decided that C.S. Lewis was that person. C.S. Lewis has a reputation for resonating with many hassling Christians and I enjoyed his other fictional works and hey, he was friends with J.R.R. Tolkien. What’s there not to like?
Mere Christianity was a journey, a long journey that covered not as many pages. While I read, I would pause to breathe or laugh or pray. I would share interesting excerpts (like the one above) with my friends. Sometimes, I would pause to simply say “omo, this guy brilliant sha”. What a sound mind. What a talented writer. What a thinker.
C.S. Lewis should be intimidating but he is not. He doesn’t pretend to have all the answers. He doesn’t overwhelm you with too much theory or how much he knows. He takes deep theological truths and makes them easily comprehensible. Yes, once in a while you will have to read the paragraph three or four times, you will have to check a dictionary or pause to breathe but you won’t feel like an olodo. I promise. He lays a foundation for his arguments and takes you through it all, touching every aspect of our lives here on earth.
I think the most appealing thing about Mere Christianity is that it discusses only the fundamentals, the tenets of our faith. Lewis talks about what it means to be and live as Christians and leaves the rest to our discretion. Like I read somewhere, Lewis is “firm but not demanding, impactful but not onerous”. I couldn’t agree more.
So, I wholly recommend reading Mere Christianity. Whether you’re a hassling Christian or not, I trust Lewis’s ability to open up new worlds for you. And don’t worry about time, it’s a short book and each chapter is easily consumable. So, what are you waiting for? (I just had to say that, it’s the Nigerian in me).
Don’t forget to revert when you eventually read the book. And if you already have read it (leave a comment joor!), there are tons of other C.S. books waiting for you. I’m happy to give recommendations.