Mere Christianity: Summary, 11 Key Lessons and Book Review

mere christianity
TitleMere Christianity
AuthorC. S. Lewis
Rating★★★★★ (5 stars)
Purchase LinkBuy Here

Mere Christianity is CS Lewis’ most famous non-fiction book, in which he presents the foundations of the Christian faith in 100% current language.

This is one of C S Lewis most famous books, and for a reason — it’s very clear and understandable nowadays. You can read other book summaries in this link!

Who is the author of Mere Christianity?

So, who wrote this book? Why should we give him a tru?

The author of Mere Christianity is CS Lewis, author, university professor, and theologian. Lewis is famous for writing several Christian works, as well as the literary classic “The Chronicles of Narnia”.

This author’s name is very well known: he was very famous, and spreaded even more after the Chronicles of Narnia movie adaptations.

What is the summary of Mere Christianity?

This book is small, but very useful and give powerful insights through all of its pages.

In the book, CS Lewis explains the basics of the Christian faith: that Christians believe in Jesus as God, and not as a prophet, and that being a Christian is to seek continuous improvement, something much more difficult than it seems. In addition, he teaches important Christian values, such as the fact that truth is objective and not merely a matter of opinion.

Lewis also speaks of our distorted view of love and sex: passion is something that passes and gives rise to something much deeper, charity love, which goes beyond sexual satisfaction and feeling.

Finally, the author teaches important points about the practical experience of faith, such as the difficulty of overcoming periods in which your faith is shaken and the need to moderate your habits. You can buy Mere Christianity clicking here.

What are the main lessons of Mere Christianity?

The main lessons of Mere Christianity are:

1. Don’t encourage division among Christians

Why are there so many types of christians? Lewis addresses this question.

In the book, Lewis says that he is only writing to defend Christianity, that is: just the core of the religion, the beliefs common to all denominations. Furthermore, he too says that divisions within Christianity should never be discussed for non-Christians, and should only be left in Christian circles.

Indeed: according to him, this will only drive unbelievers away from the faith.

Thus, discussions such as clothing, alcohol or doctrines should only be kept between Christians.

2. Objective truth exists

Many people think there’s no such thing as objective morality, but Lewis thinks different on the subject.

Lewis argues that there is a conception of right and wrong in human beings. That is: that we have a built-in sense of justice. Thus, CS Lewis claims that only God could have instilled this moral sense in all of us.

If you want to check other C. S. Lewis’ book summaries, read a summary about The Four Loves clicking here.

3. The atonement is necessary

As a christian, Lewis himself speak about the atonement for the sins that we practice.

The author refers to the Christian’s atonement: every believer needs to atone for his sins. Despite having several theories in the most varied Christian denominations, there is always the concept of atonement present.

4. Every Christian needs temperance

Moderation is very important, and even Aristotle said that virtue is in the middle.

The author brings the concept of temperance. Although people often tend to equate temperance with drinking and sex control, it must be present in all areas of our lives. That is: we need to think about the moderate use of all things. So there is a purpose for alcohol, tobacco, and other substances.

In this way, they are organized in existence, and to live the Christian life publicly, we ourselves must follow the teachings of Christ in our personal lives.

5. Free will exists

Are we free or are we binded by our destiny? Here’s what the author thinks.

Lewis thinks it is the succession of free choices that make us creatures of heaven or hell, not God’s election.

6. We need to put sexuality in its proper place

Everyone thinks about sex all the time, but the author think this is not something normal or even healthy!

When discussing sexual immorality, the author also says that marriage is complete fidelity. So this is opposite to our sexual instinct, which is totally depraved today and wants pleasure at all costs.

People act on sexual desire in excess – so much so that many just think miso, especially in our current age. You can buy Mere Christianity clicking here.

7. Love and Passion Are Different Things

We confuse love and passion, thinkin their two are the same thing. However, they have many differences.

Lewis tells us that the justification that sex isn’t so bad shouldn’t be an excuse for people to say they’re not in love anymore, because love isn’t just an emotion. In fact: the promise of marriage involves much more, and it is through him that love perseveres after the emotion of passion fades, so that passion is just the initial push.

Then the passion will cool and it will give rise to something better and more mature: the kind of love within Christian marriage.

8. Pride is the worst sin

Pride is present in everyone’s life: I can bet you felt pride in a bad way before — I did!

The author says that the great sin of humanity is pride. Pride is the worst vice, since it is inherently anti-God. Indeed: because of pride, man wants to rise and power above everyone else.

So God hates pride – not because it hurts his own pride, but it hurts the truth that God is above man.

9. Faith is the weapon of the Christian

What are the weapons that the christians can use? C. S. Lewis explains.

Lewis talks a lot about faith: there is no need to be praised for accepting evidence, but it takes strength to fight the times when we are tempted to abandon our faith. This faith is developed by prayer life.

If you want to deepen your knowledge about C. S. Lewis, click here and read a summary about A Grief Observed.

10. Christianity is difficult

It’s not hard to follow christianism: it comes with a lot of things you have to let go.

In fact: the aim of Christianity is the transformation of our being. It is true that Christ asks us to carry our cross, but he promises that the yoke will be light. Thus, the church, with social activities and missions, are often seen as an end in itself, but in fact it is the only means to the main objective: the transformation of human nature.

11. Christ is God, not a philosopher

People like to think that Christ was only a philosopher, a scholar. But even He himself talks the contrary. 

Lewis tells us that many accept Christ as a great thinker or philosopher, but he claims several times in the Gospels that he is the Son of God.

Therefore, if he is not, he is either a lunatic or the devil. Therefore, the view of Christ as a thinker is not realistic at all. To know more about this, read a summary of The Everlasting Man here.

What is the review of Mere Christianity?

This book is very positive and has many cool points to it. The main ones are as follows:

The book has completely current language and manages to present complex concepts even for those without any theological training. In addition, the book’s teachings are valid for every Christian denomination, as it was made to be the most comprehensive work possible (without losing the principles of faith).

Therefore, reading the book is mandatory for all Christians and for all those who have an interest in this topic. You can buy Mere Christianity clicking here.

What are the negative points of Mere Christianity?

I can think of only one downside to the book. 

At times, it may be necessary to reread some of the more theological parts. But it’s nothing that makes it impossible to read.

However, it doesn’t spoil the reading experience. You can still fully understand the book.

What are the positive points of Mere Christianity?

This work is so good that it might be difficult to summarize all of the good points, but I’ll try.

The book has a current and very practical language, being accessible to readers of all types. Furthermore, it is a comprehensive book, aimed at all Christians. The book makes many arguments that might interest atheist or agnostic readers.

As such, it is an excellent introductory work on the Christian faith. To improve your knowledge, read a summary about Orthodoxy by G. K. Chesterton here.

Is Mere Christianity worth reading?

In the end, is it worth reading or not? I think that, if you read my entire review, you’ll already know, but I’ll provide a clear answer.

Mere Christianity is worth reading. The book is straight to the point and has valuable teachings for Christians and non-Christians alike.

If you are interested in reading Mere Christianity, you should give it a try! You can buy Mere Christianity clicking here.

Vítor Costa

PhD in Polymer Science and Technology. Loves to read and study about sciences, psychology, philosophy and other subjects.

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