The Ending of "Mere Christianity"

This is it for Mere Christianity, for now. Quotes worth a second look from the last 5 chapters:

Rats in the Cellar
...Surely what a man does when he is taken off his guard is the best evidence for what sort of a man he is? Surely what pops out before the man has time to put on a disguise is the truth? If there are rats in a cellar you are most likely to see them if you go in very suddenly.

But the suddenness does not create the rats: it only prevents them from hiding.
In the same way the suddenness of the provocation does not make me an ill-tempered man: it only shows me what an ill-tempered man I am.

Like the Dentist
Our Lord is like the dentist. If you give Him an inch, He will take an ell. Dozens of people go to Him to be cured of some one particular sin which they are ashamed of... Well, He will cure it all right: but He will not stop there. That may be all you asked; but if once you call Him in, He will give you the full treatment.

Ordinary Cottage or a Palace?
He is the inventor, we are only the machine. He is the painter, we are only the picture. How should we know what He means us to be like?

We may be content to remain what we call “ordinary people”: but He is determined to carry out a quite different plan. To shrink back from that plan is not humility; it is laziness and cowardice. To submit to it is not conceit or megalomania; it is obedience.

You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.

Nice Doesn’t Cut It
We have been talking, in fact, as if Dick were all right; as if Christianity was something nasty people needed and nice ones could afford to do without; and as if niceness was all that God demanded. But this would be a fatal mistake. The truth is that in God’s eyes Dick Firkin needs “saving” every bit as much as Miss Bates. In one sense...niceness hardly comes into the question.

But we must not suppose that even if we succeeded in making everyone nice we should have saved their souls. A world of nice people, content in their own niceness, looking no further, turned away from God, would be just as desperately in need of salvation as a miserable world—and might even be more difficult to save.

God became man to turn creatures into sons: not simply to produce better men of the old kind but to produce a new kind of man
. It is not like teaching a horse to jump better and better but like turning a horse into a winged creature.

New Men
Every now and then one meets them. Their very voices and faces are different from ours; stronger, quieter, happier, more radiant..They do not draw attention to themselves. You tend to think that you are being kind to them when they are really being kind to you. They love you more than other men do, but they need you less.

[Others' thoughts from Book IV of “Mere Christianity”]

2 comments:

danielle said...

What does he mean in the last one? Christians? ha C.S. Lewis is over my head most the time. BUT i love to understand him and his deep thoughts. ha so who is he talking about here?

Lisa said...

Oh, that was a cool section--you would relate to it.

He's talking about those who have been truly transformed by Christ: "Already the new men are dotted here and there all over the earth. Some, as I have admitted, are still hardly recognisable: but others can be recognised."

"But you must not imagine that the new men are, in the ordinary sense, all alike. ...The more we get what we now call "ourselves" out of the way and let Him take us over, the more truly ourselves we become."


This is a great C.S. Lewis book. All this is from the very last chapter. You are so ready for it. :-)

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