I remember reading The Chronicles of Narnia as a child and simply falling in love with this land of adventure and magic. When I was in college I discovered there was more to the man who wrote this delightful series and I learned of his deep faith in Christ as I read his autobiography. Two years into our marriage A Grief Observed comforted me after the loss of our first child to miscarriage. The Screwtape Letters has challenged me to recognize the very real nature of spiritual warfare. Now Mere Christianity is reminding me of the basics of my faith and challenging me to share those who do not believe. The writings of C.S. Lewis are classic, yet timely for every generation.
Although I thoroughly enjoy everything C.S. Lewis writes, he is deep, very deep. His writing has beautiful structure, but it is complicated, especially when I am years away from the collegiate world and I’m more likely to have Dr. Seuss in my hand than anything else. When I pick something like Mere Christianity up I need a little help sometimes. I’m thrilled to be able to review the Mere Christianity Critical Analysis Journal by Stacy Farrell. This is the type of resource I love when I’m studying on my own. It has helped guide me through the various chapters and I am getting much more out of it this for this reason.
I appreciate there are questions within this journal which fall into the many levels of Blooms Taxonomy. Having a background in education I see the unique value in this and appreciate the effort clearly made by the author to ask questions on many levels. My girls are young now, but I plan on using this journal once they reach middle school or high school. I think it will solidly benefit their learning experience and enable them to better understand what they are reading.
Something I found throughout this study is being challenged to truly own my faith. I grew up as a pastor’s daughter so the foundations of my faith were imparted to me from my earliest memories. I accepted Christ at a very young age, but I remember clearly the moment when I realized my faith was personal, not just something I inherited from my parents. At this point I began to seek a deeper relationship with my Savior. My Christian life became more than just a set of moral guidelines. It became a daily process of seeking obedience to Christ as the result of deep love and gratitude I felt from fully understanding all He sacrificed for me. The Journal has reminded me of these things and helped me recall some of those early moments when I was really discovering my faith as my own.
Mere Christianity started out as a series of radio broadcasts during World War II. I never knew that. Lewis was commissioned to bring a series of talks to the British people to encourage them in their time of discouragement during the war. The BBC says many came to Christ as a result of these talks. Lewis did everything he could to bring the basics of the Christian faith to the world and leave out all other denominational differences. In doing so he gave what we can think of as the bare bones of the Christian faith, what all believers can agree on as they debate. I love how the journal reflects this and stays right on target with the purpose behind the original radio talks. While ever reader will glean something different it is important they reach their own conclusions without an author bias.
My purpose in reading Mere Christianity is to strengthen my own faith as well as challenge myself more academically. As I said before you are more likely to find a picture book in my hand than much else at this stage in my life. While there is nothing wrong with this I want to grow intellectually as I teach my girls. C.S. Lewis is a great starting point for this!