Books I Loathed discussion

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Loathed Titles > Mere Christianity

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message 1: by christina (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:35AM) (new)

christina CS Lewis. Got 19 pages in and said, "fuck this." what in the hell is he talking about? Maybe I didn't get it because I am godless. but I tried hard!


message 2: by Joel (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:04PM) (new)

Joel | 3 comments If you really want to read something by CS Lewis that is NOT the Narnia chronicles, try "The Screwtape Letters." It is the correspondence between a lesser demon and his nephew, Screwtape. Funny, witty, and ultimately uplifting, even for a godless heathen.


message 3: by David (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:04PM) (new)

David | 8 comments I recommend "Letters From The Earth" by Mark Twain.


message 4: by Xysea (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:04PM) (new)

Xysea  (Xysea) I think, in my estimation, that it does depend where you are in your relationship with Christianity. A lot CS Lewis' Christian-centered writings are attempts to rationalize, or argue in favor of, his beliefs. If Christianity isn't your thing, then maybe that will be hard to swallow.

I felt the same thing reading Sam Harris' book, and anything by Richard Dawkins. A lot of sophistry and I just couldn't get where they were coming from.

(And no, I'm no Bible-thumper, but I was raised in a Presbyterian Church...lol)

PS I would heartily recommend the Screwtape Letters, too. Great satire, creative commentary.


message 5: by Alex (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:04PM) (new)

Alex (alexinmadison) | 64 comments The Screwtape Letters is brilliant. If you're an audiobook person, there's an audio version that's read by John Cleese which adds a whole different level of humor to the "story".


message 6: by Joel (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:06PM) (new)

Joel | 3 comments Strangely enough... I was raised in a Presbyterian Church too... With my father as the Pastor. No, I am not a bible thumper either, but I do find value in faith-based literature, whatever the faith. Writings that can expand and illuminate someone elses faith or system of beliefs can be very enlightening. I also find alot of historical and literary value in the Bible, however distorted and misinterpreted it has become.
Books like Gilead are very interesting to someone like me who spent his childhood in the church and who's father is a minister. It is a beautifully written book with a lot of very relatable situations and emotions, however it may not be particularly relatable to everyone, which is why I think that book has shown up on this list.


message 7: by Chrystal714 (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:10PM) (new)

Chrystal714 | 47 comments Ok I am not Christian, and have been burned by a few people who claim to be Christian and use it as a sword of judgement. My sister especialy who has not spoken to me sense I came out to her 8 years ago. I guess when I stopped lieing to her I became evil.

Anyway when she was speaking to me she suggested I read "The Screw Tape Letters". I really disliked it. Maybe it was because of my above mentioned struggles. I felt like it was blaming demons and satan for very human behaviors/characteristics. It was the very essence of judgementalness that I hate in some Christians. The very reason I don't claim the faith myself. I just don't believe God made us with all our imperfections in order to judge us and send us to hell.

I guess I don't really believe in the devil either.


message 8: by David (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:11PM) (new)

David | 8 comments I, too, had a minister for a father. And his father was a minister as well. They were both religion and philosophy professors, which required them to be ordained (Methodist) ministers, and my father raised me with a healthy respect for all faiths. When my brother and I were growing up, my father used to take us to religious services of all faiths -- Christian and non-Christian.

I suppose that accounts for the fact that I don't really feel comfortable affiliating with any particular denomination. For that matter, I feel uncomfortable with organized religion because, inevitably, the leader of the religion in question, whether he's on the left or the right of the political spectrum, has his own agenda. Anyone who thinks he has all the answers is not to be trusted, as far as I can see.

For that matter, I don't think one can completely trust the books of the Bible, since they were selected for inclusion in the Bible by men who had their own agendas to pursue.

I guess my philosophy is that God is where you find him. Some people find God in a church or a synagogue or a mosque. That's fine for them. Other people find God when they go for a hike in the forest or on a mountain. I guess, if you're in a place or a state of mind that brings you closer to your God, that's good.

Chrystal714, my view of God is, simply, that he isn't as cruel and petty as some people would have you believe. And only a God who is cruel and petty would create us and tell us he loves us and then comdemn some to eternal damnation while permitting others to exist throughout eternity in paradise. Cruetly and pettiness are human shortcomings. If God really does exist -- and, I must say, there are times when I see great beauty in the world and I think to myself that there must have been an intelligent, higher power behind it -- but, if God truly does exist, he created our weaknesses as well as our strengths, and he's pulling for us to rise above our weaknesses.


message 9: by Chrystal714 (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:11PM) (new)

Chrystal714 | 47 comments David I agree with you entirely!


message 10: by Dave (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:18PM) (new)

Dave | 1 comments David,

Your philosophy and view of God struck a chord with me, too. I was brought up in a fairly conservative Christian denomination - one that was quite legalistic back in my formative years. Later, as I grew to have my own ideas about things, I found myself in fear of not measuring up enough to be saved by God. I came to the place that, because I know that I am not a perfect person (a sinner) and could not ever be "good enough" to earn a place in heaven, I might as well try to find heaven on earth. I spent several years following the philosophy of "if it feels good, do it". In my early 20's, my concept of what, and who God really is evolved from a God that was going to punish me, to one that loved me so much that He paid the ultimate price to rescue me from my sinful self, and offer it as a GIFT...

David, I tend to agree with you when you said "my philosophy is that God is where you find him". I would add not only where "YOU find Him", but perhaps where "HE finds YOU"... It all depends on how open we are. I am not one that forces my ideas and beliefs on anyone else... Where I am at in life after more than a half-century living my life on this planet, is a place of gratitude. After looking for answers in many places, I choose to believe that this world, and it's inhabitants are not here by mistake.

Because this is a book-lovers social networking site, I enthusiastically recommend Eugene Peterson's paraphrased bible entitled "THE MESSAGE". It is written in todays language, and makes the greatest selling book of all time (The Holy Bible) very readable. I am a history buff, so I enjoy the history of the Old Testament, but the first person accounts of the Gospels in the New Testament, and especially the Pauline letters really speak to me where I am at today.

Regarding organized religion (i.e denominations), it is good to remember that although they are Christian churches, they are still human organizations, subject to the foibles and failures of humanity. There are people that I respect highly, but in my own experience, as soon as I place them on a pedestal, I will soon be disappointed. Spirituality is where it's at in my book, NOT religion.


message 11: by David (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:19PM) (new)

David | 8 comments Dave, I think spirituality is really the key. As an example, I think it was no secret that George Harrison was the Beatle who sought a relationship with God more than any of his bandmates. I think he was truly the most spiritual of the four. You can hear it in the music and lyrics of many of his songs. I think that's where he found God. Creative types like George Harrison find God in things they create.

Or perhaps that's where, as you say, God found him.

I suspect we've had similar experiences. Although I haven't quite managed to exist on this planet for half a century, I seem to have been through many of the same phases, including that "if it feels good, do it" phase. Perhaps I yielded to that phase too often in my life, because I had a mild stroke in March. I don't know if God was trying to get my attention or what, but I'm still looking for some direction from him. If he has a purpose for my life, I wish he would let me in on it!


message 12: by David (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:31PM) (new)

David | 8 comments Well, I hope I haven't run people off from this discussion! Religion is a good topic to discuss, whatever the book in question might be.


message 13: by Norman (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:31PM) (new)

Norman | 48 comments If you want to find religion in literature, read Zorba the Greek. The 'Zorbatic' world view is refreshing and enlightening.


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