Did you first believe in Jesus Christ because of C.S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity?
The more people I talk to over the years, the more I’m surprised at how many lives God has used this book to change.
I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, considering the circumstances in which Lewis wrote it—or rather, spoke it. Lewis was doing a series on the radio during World War II, on the invitation of the BBC, and he was answering those tough life questions that just can’t be ignored during a time of war: Why is there suffering? What do we do with evil? Is Jesus God, and does it make a difference? Am I really a sinner?
(Make sure you don’t miss listening to a recording of C.S. Lewis explaining part of the Christian life.)
War makes people ask the important questions because you can’t hide behind binge-watching your favorite show or hunting for sales online. All of the distractions are stripped away and what you’re left with is frankly, frightening.
There are other experiences and seasons in life, though, that tend to prompt people to think deeply. One of those is when one comes of age, which is the season I was going through when I picked up Mere Christianity.
I was 18 and looking forward to college. But I was starting to wonder if the hamster wheel—working hard, succeeding, moving on to the next challenge—was all there was. Would it ever satisfy?
At a friend’s house I found Mere Christianity and since I recognized the author from The Chronicles of Narnia, I decided to give it a go.
I wish I could pinpoint the page when God overwhelmed me with his grace.
I do know that it had a lot to do with Lewis’s loving, logical arguments. Here are a few that I underlined in my first copy of the book (partway into reading the borrowed copy, I bought my own):
[We] … are not born with desires unless the satisfaction for those desires exists.
Faith is the art of holding on to things that your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods.
This world is a great sculptor’s shop. We are the statues and there is a rumour going round the shop that some of us are some day going to come to life.
The thoughts were irresistible then, and they’re irresistible now.
On June 6, as we remember the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the end of the terrible war that Lewis witnessed, we also recognize that the U.S. has been at war for now 13 years. Lewis’s war is over, ours is still going. We still need the hope that Lewis provided in his talks about Christianity.
Our main source for hope is that there’s a third war, the war for the cosmos, and it has already been won.
Jesus has already fought back the Evil One and saved us from our sins.
Today, if we believe in Christ, we can also celebrate a second D-Day, the D-Day for our souls.
Want to learn more? Make sure to pick up a copy of C.S. Lewis At War, an audio book of the full story behind the World War II radio broadcasts, which includes a dramatic reading of Mere Christianity.
Lindsey M. Roberts spent years writing exclusively for secular journalism, including such outlets as The Washington Post, Architect, and Gray magazine, before she first tried to write about Jesus. She’s thrilled to explore in words how everything from cleaning the kitchen three times a day to delighting in the maritime history of Nantucket is an opportunity to meet and glorify God. Lindsey lives with her husband, a pastor and U.S. Army Reserve chaplain, and son in Virginia.