Mere Christianity, by C. S. Lewis, is known as one of the three most influential books to impact the evangelical community since 1945. I have never taken the time to read it. However, I am doing so now. I indicated to a friend what I was reading. He immediately lit up and said, “When I started, I couldn’t put it down.”
It has been an intriguing journey for me. The problem I have with most Christian apologetic writers is they ask questions I never really considered.
I grew up in a trusting environment. Things appeared to be black and white in my little world. My family defined right and wrong. Respect for authority of a trustworthy source was expected and given. Most information I received came from reliable, trustworthy relatives. This was true if the information was about things on the farm or around the house. It was true of relationships and many other areas of life. This trust level spilled over into my faith training and the teachings I received from those who taught the Bible. They were convinced of what they shared. I trusted them. The information they shared was consistent with their values and lifestyle. Even when they taught me about a man that lived 2000 years ago who walked on water, healed the sick, died, yet came back to life, I believed. These teachings were reinforced by the Holy Spirit in my heart and head.
Eventually I encountered doubters, skeptics, and opponents of what I had trusted my all and my eternity. Legitimate questions were presented and I had to think deeper. My sources needed to be confirmed as it related to truth and that which could stand the test of time. My faith is the substance of things hope for, the evidence of things not seen. One of my favorite phrases in the Bible is from Hebrews 11, “By faith we understand …” For me, this is enough. It is confirmed by the Spirit and has been tested repeatedly throughout life.
Then there is a revelation, a command. “Go and make disciples of all … baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe ALL THINGS I have commanded you.” An assignment I had to take seriously. Now I find myself confronted with sincere skeptics, people who live in a world of distrust. As kids these folks have been lied to, hurt and not taught by reliable, trustworthy folks. So coming to grips with the idea of an Invisible Creator to be worshiped which includes a Man-God whose presence today is described as an Invisible Spirit who claims to have a personal plan for each human presented by means of ancient manuscripts that have been rather remarkably preserved and translated into a language we can understand today is difficult for others. I have been convinced and I stake my present and my future on the claims of Christ. People like C.S. Lewis help me to know the questions I did not know to ask so that I might be better prepared to fulfill the assignment God has called New Heights to fulfill. Go! Make! Baptize! Teach! Observe! I have commanded you!
And you! And you! And you!