On “Mere Christianity” and Trinitarian Thinking

Mere ChristianityI’ve just finished reading C.S. Lewis’ book “Mere Christianity” today. I really enjoyed this book, but I also have a few thoughts on it.

I think Lewis would have done much better if he had began with his understanding of the Trinity, and then proceeded to work out the rest of the book from there, rather than just tacking it onto the end. It’s still a great book, but it’s much like most of our modern day Christian ways of thinking. We often start by thinking through our concepts of God, salvation, and morality then we add on stuff like the Trinity. But what if we were to be strictly Trinitarian first, and then see all these other things in the light of the Trinity? Wouldn’t everything else have a much richer and fuller meaning if understood within a Trinitarian framework?

I think so, but sadly we have often done just what Lewis has done. We work out our doctrines apart from the Trinity, and then give a statement or two about it at the end. But the Trinity cannot be just a nice doctrine we add onto the end of our theology. If the Trinity is true, then it must be central. For if God truly is Trinitarian, then this is the deepest truth about who He is, and therefore, all that we say and think about Him must be said and thought out in a strictly Trinitarian way.

 C.S. Lewis does do an excellent job here in describing the Trinity, however. He makes some truly stunning statements. For example: “It [the Trinity] matters more than anything else in the world.” (153)

And one of my favorite quotes from the book: “In Christianity God is not a static thing–not even a person–but a dynamic, pulsating activity, a life, almost a kind of drama. Almost, if you will not think me irrelevant, a kind of dance.” (152)

So I give him credit. Lewis at least gets around to the Trinity. Most Christian books never even get that far. But we should take the Trinity far more seriously. If it is true, and I believe it is, then we must rethink all of our ideas about God and life from this starting point. A Trinitarian theology does not just give lip-service to the Trinity. A true Trinitarian theology sees everything as a Trinitarian issue, and works out all theology from a strict Trinitarian perspective.

May we think more Trinitarian, and see what makes God so stunning and wonderful!

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If you want to learn more about what it means to “think Trinitarian” check out this podcast.

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