Why are You a Christian?
I have been reading a fantastic book! Maybe I’m just late to the party and you already know all about it but, Wow! C.S. Lewis is perhaps most notably known for the Narnia series (who else remembers the horrible PBS version they would play once a year of “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe”?) I loved that movie, bad graphics and all! I knew he was an author of more than one book and maybe I even saw a documentary on him once but to say that I had really read his work, I had not.
I purchased a couple of his books that I had heard about at the book store maybe a year ago and this week finally made it a point to pull one off my shelf. Guys, this book, Mere Christianity, is amazing.
Lewis takes you from a place of questioning the beginning of the universe and human nature all the way to the why of Jesus being fully God AND fully man at the same time.
The things he gets you to think about are so profound and comforting and exciting all at the same time.
In the time and culture we are living in no one believes anything at face value. Everything has to be proven and if you are one of those Christians you’re just uneducated or crazy or both. There is such a superior mindset that has raised itself up in this time. A mindset that says “I’m too educated to believe that.” or even worse, “I‘m too enlightened to believe that.”
If you are a follower of Christ, you need to be able to have a response, in love and logic, of why you believe what you believe. Will everyone suddenly get a lightbulb over his head when you tell them what you believe? Probably not. Even Jesus explained this to us in the parable of the sower.
“Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “Consider the sower who went out to sow. As he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seed fell on rocky ground where it didn’t have much soil, and it grew up quickly since the soil wasn’t deep. But when the sun came up, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it. Still other seed fell on good ground and produced fruit: some a hundred, some sixty, and some thirty times what was sown. Let anyone who has ears listen.””
Matthew 13:3-9 CSB
We can’t expect everyone to get it but we should expect of ourselves to understand what it is that we believe and be able to give an account of it in a logical and intelligible way.
“But even if you should suffer for righteousness, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear or be intimidated, but in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, ready at any time to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. Yet do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that when you are accused, those who disparage your good conduct in Christ will be put to shame.” 1 Peter 3:14-16 CSB
This book, Mere Christianity, can do that for you. Because Lewis lived a portion of his life as an atheist he is able to ask questions that we may have never thought about asking. They are certainly questions that I had never thought of and, had I been presented them by an atheist, would probably have been intimidated to attempt to answer, even though in my heart I know the answer to everything has to be Jesus. But telling an atheist “because Jesus...“ won’t make any headway into convincing them.
In order to have a ready answer to these questions, we must start at the very fundamentals of human nature and the existence or non-existence of powers and forces and the start of the universe. Those are the kinds of questions we must have an answer to before we can hope they will listen to us about Jesus.
The book goes on to describe what it means to really be a Christian, and I promise, it isn’t all what you think it’s going to be. It will challenge you and encourage you and draw you into a place of wanting to get to know the person of Jesus better. I hope you’ll read it. If you do or if you already have, drop a comment and let me know your thoughts!