#9 – Mere Christianity by CS Lewis (My 100 Favorite Books)

CS Lewis is definitely one of my favorite authors of all time. His Narnia series was one of the first books I remember reading that gripped me and instilled a love of reading in me.  Over the years I’ve read many of his books and am impressed by how wide-ranging the subjects are that he wrote on.  Recently I read his The Discarded Image: An Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Literature.  This book was nowhere near a favorite of mine, but it made me realize that if Lewis had wanted to be, he could have been a great academic writer known for deep research and books only specialists read.  Instead, he chose to write for a popular audience.  We’re all the better for it.

Mere Christianity is his most well-known work of non-fiction.  I’m not sure I would say its necessarily my favorite of his works.  All of his works are impactful in different ways.  But I didn’t want to fill my top ten with just CS Lewis books, and Mere Christianity was most helpful to me at a turning point in my life, so for that reason it deserves a place in my top ten.  In other words, this one book is representative for me of Lewis’ great works of nonfiction.  Its a fantastic place to start (though I recall two pages in there that were pretty bad, and very dated and poorly argued, in regards to relationships between men and women).  Start with this one, but then move on to The Four Loves, The Great Divorce and more.

Beyond that, when I read it again about a decade later, different parts stuck out to me.  In college, it was his apologetic arguments (the famous Liar, Lunatic, Lord trilemma).  As an adult, it was more the practical points of Christian life, such as his comments on praying in the Trinity.  The mark of a great writer is their work is good for endless rereads!

*Last year I wrote two posts covering my top ten CS Lewis books – you can see them here and here.

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