In his book Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis tries to employ logic and reason to prove that God exists in the form of a powerful and non-material creature, and he later supports Jesus Christ’s divinity. The two major arguments in the book are the argument from ethical guidelines and morality and discussion on the Christianity trilemma. The two cases illustrate Lewis’s entire aim of justifying Christianity using logic. Lewis begins the first chapter of the book Mere Christianity by postulating that the issue of morality is real and its existence is independent of the concept of humanity, making it similar to all individuals over time. According to Mitchell (423), Lewis presents several arguments explaining why the idea of morality is universal and not a construct by human beings. One of the examples he uses is the fact that the moral behaviors and codes over time have a striking similarity at least on basic categories and levels, for example, Christ and Confucius asserted that people should treat others the way they desire to be treated. Lewis further claims that the presence of an unchanging and universal concept of morality reveals God’s existence, where God is an omnipotent and, spiritual, and pure being.
Lewis claims that the universal concept of morality did not just formulate itself or accidentally come into existence; instead, there was a unique creature that brought it to reality. Lewis uses relevant strategies of logical arguments such as a thesis and premises, adequate evidence to argue for the thesis, and refutations regarding the possible objection to his thesis. Lewis tests his thesis by employing Jesus Christ’s teachings as written in the bible and asserts that Jesus Christ who claims that he could forgive people’s sins must have been God, a liar, or insane. Lewis rejects the theory that Jesus Christ was not divine but a moral instructor (Mitchell 423). Therefore he claims that there is an intrinsic contradiction between Jesus Christ’s moral teachings and humanity and thus individuals should either believe that Jesus Christ was a man or an exceptional moral instructor, but not both. Lewis’s argument on the Christianity trilemma that is Jesus Christ was either God, a liar or instance reveals limitations and strengths of employing logic to support Christianity. Generally, reason and logic are vital but not essential enough to defend Christianity.
The central theme outlined by C. S. Lewis in his book Mere Christianity is morality, reason, and religion. Lewis supports the logical rationality regarding Christianity, offers defense for the religion’s criticisms, and expounds on the nature of Christian life. Lewis elaborates on human nature and laws and outlines how striking it is to find a similar moral set of codes in varying communities. Lewis also discusses several competing approaches of the all-powerful creatures’ identity based on varying religious groups. As postulated by Mitchell (424), Lewis explains the various views regarding God; for instance, the pantheists claim that God represents the universe and thus all things in the world are divine. The Muslims, Christians, and Jews claim that God established the universe and has a distinction from it, and therefore He is kind and requires human beings to sustain and preserve the world. In his book Mere Christianity, Lewis outlines that Christians further believe that there exists an ultimate devil. However, Christians view evil as unequal to goodness where sin, therefore, represents a distorted good or the corruption and perversion of morality.
In his book Mere Christianity, Lewis also introduces the concept of Jesus Christ being at the center of Christianity. Lewis outlines that the only way for an individual to be virtuous is by worshiping Jesus Christ using various methodologies, but agreeing on the truth on Christ’s existence and salvation. Lewis further claims that Christian life entails harmony between self, others and the consistent vigilance of achieving salvation. He gives the four vital virtues to Christianity thus is fortitude, prudence, justice, and temperance, and elaborates on the significance in the Christian life and boosting morality. Lewis vastly defends the most unrecognized concept of Christian morality which is chastity. According to Mitchell (425), the modern community is characterized by sexuality where individuals believe that sexual practices are healthy and normal. However, Lewis claims that similar to other instincts, the sexual instincts should not be controlled and he further defends the marriage institution. He believes that married couples should stick together and illustrate respect and loyalty for each other as human beings and should not follow their emotions. Lewis warns Christians about pride as it is the most dangerous sin that triggers human beings to place themselves before God.
Generally, in his book Mere Christianity, Lewis attempts to expound on three themes; the theme of reason, religion, and morality. Lewis claims that different societies have similar moral codes that govern their behaviors. Lewis also reveals that he believes in an all-powerful and divine God who not only created the universe but also established moral laws. Lewis further expounds on the issue of Christianity and morality however, he gives the essential values surrounding the Christian life, for instance, justice prudence, fortitude, and temperance. Throughout the book, Lewis also warns human beings to avoid pride as it is a major sin that distorts their relationship with God. Lewis touches on theology where he expounds on the holy trinity and urges human beings to worship the one true and real God.
Mitchell, Philip Irving. “Reading CS Lewis: A Commentary, written by Kort, Wesley.” Religion
and the Arts 21.3 (2017): 423-425.