Book Review: Mere Christianity

Book Review

‘The Beloved Classic on Christian Belief’, that subheading says it all really. I used to love C. S. Lewis, the way he writes and his unique ability to draw a metaphor that fits with what he is saying fantastically. Who am I kidding, I still do love him.

I recently subscribed to two new Podcasts. “The Eagle and Child” (now called ‘Pints with Jack’, which works through Mr Lewis’ works a chapter at a time and draws out the themes he raises within that chapter. I also subscribed to “The Lamp Post Listener“, which does the same thing, but with the Narnia books. Narnia is Mr Lewis’ popular fictional works that he wrote for young children, and within them, you can clearly see the themes of his non-fiction work (like Mere Christianity) expressed.

These are two great podcasts, and I have been in contact with both of the hosts of each show. They are Christian, but I don’t think that should stop anyone from listening. We need to hear the other side. Truth should be what we seek over the confirmation of the beliefs we hold. I don’t think that means you should listen to everything and anything, but if someone is helpfully explaining to you the world view that they sit within, it is important to listen, before we dismiss or accept anything.

I try to laugh, because if God is real, then surely the pursuit of truth far out ways blind belief in something I know I don’t believe. Surely?

Now you need to know that C.S Lewis helped me through a couple of horrific years of depression and re-reading it the last few weeks has really broken me. I have come away shocked by how much want it to be real, I want the journey and the life Lewis illustrates to be more than the projection of hope. But I can’t help but think that is all it is.

Lewis boils down the Christian belief to its most basic form. Here is my ‘one sentence’ summary of what Lewis is trying to say within Mere Christianity: We are called as individuals to partake in the Trinity, and this life is a testing ground to help us to die to self, and to be formed into the image of Christ. Which as a Christian sounded amazing, but as a none believer I have found it really upset me that people can be so convinced in their reality of a God that they can then convince themselves that everything they go through in life is for a reason and has a purpose.

Mr Lewis casts the reader a lifeline of hope. This hope built upon his interpretation of the Biblical story and a lot of Christians would agree with his words. But the world I see around me, the churches, the people, the confusion and the ideas. If God was real, I can’t help but feel it wouldn’t be this flipping hard to know He is real. That I wouldn’t feel like no one is there, that I am trapped and can’t get out.

I want to believe. Which is why I cry I think, and I do cry, at 30, when I read the things that Lewis is talking about, they are beautiful, at least I know I used to think they are, and I am now in mourning. Some part of me still wants it to be true. But it isn’t, at least not to me in this place I find myself. Surely, I can’t decide what does and does not sway my mind? Surely it isn’t my fault I can’t see Him anymore? I wonder if He was ever there.

I want to believe something that is true.

As you can see, this was a really hard read for me. I probably did it at the wrong time, having just stopped leading a church and ‘come out’ to a few close friends as no longer believing in God. I think it is all the memories attached to My Lewis’ work. All the hope I once lapped up. Now all I see is hope in unfounded spiritual claims that grant an understanding of the world we find ourselves within, but not a line of truth…

Only a few of you will get this. It feels like I am trapped in the wardrobe, unable to get to Narnia because it isn’t real, and having closed the door behind me, like I was warned so many times not to do, I can’t get back to where I was. Stuck with the smell of moths, coats and stale air.

_End of Blog Blurb_

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. It has taken me a few years to get to a place where I am able to share my loss of faith and to start writing about the journey that I am still on for you all. I hope you find it useful.

Podcast: If you like what you read then you could always check out the podcast ‘When Belief Dies’, it is available on all major podcasting platforms or you can listen via YouTube. Dave and I upload and publish via Anchor FM each Wednesday at 7 am.

Grammar, spelling, capitalisation and punctuation: I am massively dyslexic. It has taken me years to get to the level I am currently at with writing and I have done this mainly through reading. I want to be better and ask you, reader, to please forgive any errors in my writing. I hope you notice improvement upon improvement over the coming years.

Time Frame: This blog is roughly six to nine months behind where I currently am at in my journey out of religion. It’s important to remember that when reading and commenting.

If you want to connect with me, then you can get in touch via any of the social media links that can be found at the top of the page. If you want to get every post straight to your inbox then you can do that by either following directly via WordPress or with your email address, whichever you prefer – the links are to the right.

I’ll see you back here at the same time next week 🙂


Farewell For Now When Belief Dies

It's time to stop, even though it breaks my heart. This episode serves as my reason why.   -Sam
  1. Farewell For Now
  2. When Belief Dies #100 – 'Psychedelics, Philosophy & God' with Peter Sjöstedt-Hughes
  3. When Belief Dies #99 – 'Open and Relational Theology' with Thomas Jay Oord
  4. When Belief Dies #98 – 'The Take Over' with Daniel Kelly & Roger Bretherton
  5. When Belief Dies #97 – 'The End?' with Daniel Kelly

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