On November 22, 1963, the world was captured by the tragic death of John F. Kennedy. But across the Atlantic, another man died. He was and is one of the most influential writers of all time. His name was Clive Staples Lewis, better known as C. S. Lewis. He is most famous today for his Chronicles of Narnia, but his influence upon Christianity through his books that challenged and strengthened the mind and heart of believers, cannot be underestimated. His books have been translated into 30 languages and they continue to sell a million copies a year. One of the most influential of Lewis’ works is his classic, Mere Christianity. Below I have included several quotes form this awesome book. Enjoy!
On thinking hard: “God is no fonder of intellectual slackers than of other slackers. If you are thinking of becoming a Christian, I warn you, you are embarking on something which is going to take the whole of you, brains and all.”
On fact of Christianity: “If Christianity was something we were making up, of course we could make it easier. But it is not. We cannot compete, in simplicity, with people inventing religions. How could he? We are dealing with Fact. Of course, anyone can be simple if he has no facts to bother about.”
The centrality of hope: “Hope is one of the theological virtues. This means that a continual looking forward to the eternal world is not [as some modern people think] a form of escapism or wishful thinking, but one of the things a Christian is meant to do. It does not mean that we are to leave the present world as it is. If you read history, you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next.”
God’s glorious purpose in testing: “The explanation is that he is building a quite different house from the one you thought of- throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”
The test of genuine Christian giving: “I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than you can spare. In other words, if our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusements, etc., is up to the standard common among those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too little. If our charities do not pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to do but cannot do because our charitable expenditure excludes them.”
He was not a great moral teacher: “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: “I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.” That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic- on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg- or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
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