Wartime book still rel­e­vant

Seymour Telegraph - - NEWS -

Start­ing on Tues­day at Christ Church in Sey­mour, the Angli­can Parish of Cen­tral Goul­burn will be run­ning a dis­cus­sion group on C.S. Lewis’ book Mere Chris­tian­ity. Fr Gary Ather­ton in­vites peo­ple in the com­mu­nity to come and take part in the dis­cus­sion group.

When Great Bri­tain was in the grip of World War II, Win­ston Churchill was not the only one to use the air­ways to mo­bilise and em­bolden the na­tion.

Ox­ford don C.S. Lewis, who later wrote The Chron­i­cles of Nar­nia, also fa­mously made use of the BBC to de­liver a num­ber of hugely suc­cess­ful talks to a war-torn na­tion.

And, al­though he lacked the Shake­spearean gusto of Win­ston Churchill, Lewis’ clear, step-by-step rea­son­ing, his hon­est and unas­sum­ing tone, and his use of com­mon­sense ex­am­ples drew in a broad and di­verse range of lis­ten­ers.

The talks were orig­i­nally pub­lished as sep­a­rate works.

Then, in 1952, they were col­lected into one vol­ume and pub­lished as the book the world to­day knows as Mere Chris­tian­ity, one of the most read and beloved Chris­tian books of all time that pro­vides you with a very clear un­der­stand­ing of the prin­ci­ples of Chris­tian­ity and how it can help you make sense of the ev­ery­day is­sues of mod­ern life.

Al­though he was a lay­man of the Angli­can Church, Lewis did not write the book to pro­mote the doc­trines of any par­tic­u­lar Chris­tian de­nom­i­na­tion.

‘‘Ever since I be­came a Chris­tian I have thought that the best, per­haps the only, ser­vice I could do for my un­be­liev­ing neigh­bours was to ex­plain and de­fend the be­lief that has been com­mon to nearly all Chris­tians at all times,’’ he wrote in the pref­ace, mak­ing his in­ten­tions clear to his read­ers.

In these troubled times, more than 70 years after Lewis de­liv­ered his first ra­dio talk, more and more peo­ple are dis­cov­er­ing the rel­e­vance of Mere Chris­tian­ity.

You can find out why at a Mere Chris­tian­ity dis­cus­sion group at Christ Church Angli­can Church in An­zac Ave, Sey­mour on Tues­day morn­ings at 10 am, start­ing on October 10.

The ses­sions, which run for eight weeks, come com­plete with study guides and videos to help you ex­plore the his­tory, mean­ing, and rel­e­vance of C.S. Lewis’ greatest book.

For more in­for­ma­tion or if you would like to join the dis­cus­sion group, phone Fr Gary Ather­ton on 5799 0283.

— Fr Gary Ather­ton

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