Thirty-five years ago, I sat in a car and wept after my friend Tom Phillips read me a chapter from C. S. Lewis's Mere Christianity. If you have read my book Born Again, you know the story. Lewis's incisive words about the "spiritual cancer" of pride forced me to evaluate my own life in a way that left me shaken and humbled. That night—alone in my car and sobbing—I prayed the first real prayer of my life.
Since my conversion, I have discovered that I am not the only one so deeply affected by the words of the unassuming don from Oxford, C. S. Lewis—one of the best-known, best-loved, and most respected of Christian writers, and for good reason. If you have not yet explored Lewis's works for yourself, now is a great time to start. That is because this month's "Great Books Audio CD" from Dr. Ken Boa is all about the book that led to the change of my life.
Lewis's carefully reasoned, logical style lends itself well to Ken's teaching style. Ken concisely, but comprehensively, takes us through the major arguments of the book: our fallenness and need for someone to do something we could not do for ourselves; the "invasion" of our world by the God-man who could do just that; the new kind of life He provides for us; and, especially, the way this new life changes us from the inside out, giving us new purpose and new hope and making us into whole new persons.
Standard stuff for Christians—or it should be. But, as I have pointed out here time and again, it seems these days that even many Christians will go after any new idea—no matter how unbiblical—if it seems to promise them self-esteem and happiness. The new rule seems to be that if Oprah is promoting it, Christians (among others) are buying it. Some of them justify this by saying that they do not really believe the unbiblical parts—they just want something that makes them feel better about themselves, or helps them improve their lives.
But an approach to life that feels good, but falls apart under serious logical scrutiny and biblical evaluation, cuts no ice with Lewis—or me, and for good reason. Lewis always addresses the whole human being—heart, soul, and mind. And, as a devout, thinking, and truly humble Christian, Lewis knew what man's real problem is. As he wrote in Mere Christianity, "Fallen man is not simply an imperfect creature who needs improvement. He is a rebel who needs to lay down his arms."
And I was such a rebel. What Lewis's book did for me is proof of the power of truth to truly transform a person. Lewis did not make me feel good about myself—quite the contrary. God used his book to convict me of my sinfulness. Only when I faced up to that could I recognize my need for a Savior who could make me new.
I cannot recommend strongly enough that you listen to Ken Boa's excellent teaching on Mere Christianity, and then pick up your own copy of the book, or give it to someone else. But be careful. It just might change one's life.
To subscribe to Ken Boa's "Great Books Audio CD" series, call 1-877-3-CALL-BP, or visit BreakPoint.org.
From BreakPoint®, June 12, 2008, Copyright 2008, Prison Fellowship Ministries. Reprinted with the permission of Prison Fellowship Ministries. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or distributed without the express written permission of Prison Fellowship Ministries. "BreakPoint®" and "Prison Fellowship Ministries®" are registered trademarks of Prison Fellowship