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Contrasting views on Christianity in “Mere Christianity,” “Age of Reason,” and “Why I am not a Christian

Dec 25, 2022 | 0 comments

Dec 25, 2022 | Essays | 0 comments

Christianity refers to the belief in the account of Jesus’ stories that he came into existence from a virgin birth, performed miracles, faced humiliations, passed away, and was resurrected. Christians believe that Jesus is the Son of God who lived an extraordinary life, and his death was to save humankind from sins. Several critics revolve around theories that explain the origin of religion and Christianity. This essay seeks to explore the argument on the notion of Christianity according to “Mere Christianity,” “Age of Reason,” and “Why I am not a Christian.” The discussion pursues the similarities and differences as portrayed by the three readings on Christianity.

In “Mere Christian,” Lewis supports Christianity by constructing a rational basis for faith and building a whole religion upon it. He explains that the Law of Nature exists among humans. The natural law came to reality by the Supreme Being, and humans respond to it (Lewis, 2009). He describes God’s existence as ordinary because it occurs in three forms: God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The association between the Father and the Son portrays the flow of love. The Holy Spirit acts as a channel for heavenly adoration. Therefore, Son’s role is to ensure many souls reach the Father. The Trinity nature of God gives an account of the origin of Christianity and the guardian Holy Spirit.

Lewis (2009) describes Christians’ beliefs and behavior as true. Accepting Jesus Christ as a savior is the initial stage of becoming a Christian. Religious beliefs depend on rational argument, while the code of conduct involves numerous features that Christians should put into practice. Believers in Christ exhibit their behavior and live according to God’s laws. The spiritual nature becomes stronger as one moves closer to living like Jesus. However, no human in history has and can never be exactly like him. The errand of God goes to those individuals who put behind worldly pleasure and seek Jesus because he came to interact with humankind and rescue them from their sins.

According to Lewis (2009), Jesus Christ is the way to eternal life, and no human can reach there without his help. He argues that Christianity is the only upright religion and that non-Christians should turn their ways toward accepting Jesus. The subsequent phase in human development is seeking Christianity and attaining eternal life (Lewis, 2009). He aspires for new personalities with Christian behavior in the next generation rather than biological developments. The Mere

Christian adds that as a believer, one accepts that Christ conducts the ultimate faultlessness of the human soul after death. The human body dies, but the spirit goes to the Father only through Jesus Christ.

In “Why I’m not a Christian,” Bertrand Russell argues that one must have a given degree of belief in Christ to be a Christian. He defines a Christian as believing in God, Christ, and immortality. He disagrees with the current methods believers use to portray themselves as Christians by saying that living decently does not give its full meaning. If being a Christian means living a decent life, then does it mean non-Christians do not have good living (Russell, 2004)? He adds that anyone who uses the statement “Why I’m not a Christian” must give a concrete reason why they do not believe in God, Christ, and immortality.

Russell’s arguments on the character of Christ indicate that he does not agree with Christianity. He disagrees that Christians base their beliefs on the scriptures about Jesus yet the writings are the work and opinion of the human (Russell, 2004). He says the same believers never practice what they read from the scriptures. Those who claim to be great Christians do the exact opposite of Jesus’s teachings. For instance, He talked about humans and judgment: that those who arbiter will get back judgment. Christian magistrates and judges arbitrate as part of their profession but forget that it is wrong as believers. Christian believe in the existence of God and Jesus Christ through the scriptures but do not live according to the teachings.

Russell (2004) questions the existence of Jesus, the morals of His teaching, and wisdom. He has historical uncertainty about the existence of Jesus since Christ himself did not write the Gospels about him. He further argues that the Gospel of Christ has certain factors that portray that Jesus was never the wisest man, as some belief. For example, he says that Christ predicted his second coming would be very soon, which he claims was the foundation of the moral teachings of Jesus. Russell doubted the moral of his teachings especially pronouncing the punishment to those who opposed the gospel. He argues that no human would believe in eternal punishment and a hell of fire.

Thomas Paine admits the existence of a Supreme Being but discards all the key beliefs in the world. In his Age of Reason, he supports the belief in his mind as his church. He said, “All institutions of churches appear to me no other than human inventions set up to terrify and enslave mankind…” (Sartre, Caute & Sutton, 2009). Paine showed great disbelief in the history of Christ. He argues that the belief in miracles, virgin birth, ascension, and resurrection is a reflection of the heathen mythos. In his writings, he states that stories about Christ were the written account of other individuals and not his writings. Pain disagrees with the belief in Jesus by linking Christianity to traditional beliefs.

According to Sartre, Caute & Sutton (2009), Paine debates the Bible as the word of God. He claims that the scriptures in the Bible are the outcomes of human configuration and, therefore, have internal issues. He questioned the reality revolving around the stories of the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Paine based his arguments against Christianity on the fact that Bible writers and translators were human like him but failed to understand the writers were under the influence of the Holy Spirit (Paine, 1884). Bible Scriptures were never human’s opinion but the message of God to his people through the Holy Spirit.

The three readings: “Mere Christianity,” “Why I am not a Christian,” and “Age of Reason,” have contrasting arguments over Christianity. The Mere Christian support the existence of God and Jesus and that those who believe in Christ should behave like him. Russell believes in the Supreme Being and condemns the behavior of Christians because they are different from the teachings of Christ. However, the Age of Reason fully disagrees with Christian religious beliefs. I agree with the arguments of Lewis and Russell that a Christian should behave like Christ and his teachings, but presently their actions outmatch their belief. The ideologies of Paine contrast my knowledge and belief about Christianity.


Lewis, C. S. (2009). Mere Christianity: A revised and amplified edition, with a new introduction, of the three books, Broadcast talks, Christian behavior, and Beyond personality. San Francisco: HarperCollins e-books.

Paine, T. (1884). The age of reason. London: Free thought Pub. Co

Russell, B. (2004). Mysticism and logic. Mineola, N.Y: Dover Publications.

Sartre, J.-P., Caute, D., & Sutton, E. (2009). The age of reason. London: Penguin Books.

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