Sunday, May 17, 2009

A classic book

I am giving brief book reviews for the bookstall at the church I am a member of. I wish to encourage people to read (and give away) various classic Christian books since I think they are often better than the latest new release bookstores are promoting. This morning I reviewed Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis. It is based on radio lectures Lewis gave during World War II. The content is pretty timeless. I first read it about 25 years ago and recently began re-reading it with my teenage daughter.

The first chapter, contains a very elegant argument (observation) which he summarises as:
First, …human beings, all over the earth, have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way, and cannot really get rid of it.
Second, … they do not in fact behave in that way. They know the Law of Nature; they break it. These two facts are the foundation of all clear thinking about ourselves and the universe we live in.
This is the argument that Francis Collins found so compelling, and led to him to re-assess his atheism. I also think this more persuasive and significant than arguments in the realm of natural theology. This is because attempted justifications for the Gospel from natural theology are disconnected from the nature of humanity and our need of redemption.


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  2. Hi Ross
    I agree with this point. I believe that natural philosophy is there to demonstrate that nature and God is in agreement, and conversely, competing world views and nature is not. However, it makes no demands of us. I like Lewis' argument, though I think he misses one extra point which I think is as crucial: human beings have also a sense of eternity in them, of something beyond themselves. In this regard I think the apostle Paul added this missing part in talking about the resurrection in his lecture at the Areopagus.
    What do you think?