Mere Christianity By C.S. Lewis Essay

1092 words - 4 pages

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

Mere Christianity, by C. S. Lewis, is written as set of guidelines of Christian belief. Lewis does not say there is any particular way to believe but he does make a point that the topic of religion itself is serious. As you consider whether you want to believe or not, you have to recognize how much thought it requires, and how thought provoking a process this decision is. Lewis covers Christianity in four different books within his book. In book one, Lewis discusses the Law of Nature and makes note of a tendency in humans of appealing to a standard of absolute truth in quarrels and arguments. He calls this standard the Law of Nature or the Moral Law. The Law isn't the same as the law of gravity because in the latter case, we have no choice but to obey physical laws. The Law that governs human conduct is distinct, then, from the "way the universe works." Lewis concludes that the moral law is alive and active in human lives. According to Lewis, science cannot be used to discover the mind behind the creation of the universe. In book two Lewis simply states what Christians believe. He talks about the major divisions within belief in God, and discusses what he calls Christianity-and-water. Lewis speaks on free will, Satan, and the nature of Christ. Book three contains The Three Parts of Morality. He discusses what he calls the cardinal virtues. According to old writers, there are seven virtues. Four are called cardinal and the other three are theological. Lewis argues for morality between man and man, and what a society would be like if it were completely Christian. He also discusses chastity, marriage, forgiveness, the great - sin pride and self-conceit, and gives another look at the theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity. The fourth book is Lewis' argument for the doctrine of the trinity.
Lewis' argument in the third book is most important to the point I want to discuss. He argues through this chapter the Christian behavior. Morality is what he considers to be the basics of good Christian behavior. Lewis states that morality is not simply, "something that prevents you from having a good time", but rather morals are the "directions for running the human machine". Every moral rule is there to prevent wear and tear on the way machine operates. He realizes that is why the rules seem to be constantly getting in the way of are natural behavior. Lewis sees that some people think in terms of moral ideals not rules and obedience. Ideals suggest preference to personal taste. Something that subjective would be meaningless in practice. Idealistic notions are meaningless unless we try to carry them out. Acting on ideals requires rules. Lewis uses the analogy of the ship to show how ideals without rules can go wrong. If the ships keep on having crashes they will not be able to sail. If their steering gears do not work they will not be able to avoid crashes.

The cardinal virtues are seven virtues that help...

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