Toni, Marcel and I have begun reading through C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity together. I bought an e-book discussion guide to help spark conversation and I’m pleased with how our first go at it went.
For anyone not familiar with Mere Christianity, it’s Lewis’ attempt at outlining the most basic beliefs that lie at the core of Christianity while intellectually defending those beliefs. It’s probably the best non-biblical starting point for anyone wanting to learn more about what Christians believe.
It’s actually a great resource for our little group because even among the three of us there are differences in the ‘frills’ of our individual faiths. By that I mean that we grew up with different kinds of worship services and we differ on some church doctrines. It’s nice to be taking a long look at the things that unify us and also separate us from other worldviews.
The first chapter of the book, which was the basis of our first discussion, wants to establish two points:
1) That all human beings believe that there are ways that they should behave
2) That they don’t behave in the way that they believe they should.
Living in China presents a unique challenge to our belief in an objective morality. For example, before moving here I would have said that all humans everywhere believed that it’s wrong behavior to spit on the floor at the gym. Now I know that I have to take certain issues like that out of the ‘universal morality’ category and put them into the ‘cultural norms’ category, just like I have to take my sweatshirt off of the gym floor and put it into a locker.
It’s such a privilege to be able to explore God’s truths outside of a Western World context. American Christianity can sometimes blur the lines between what’s cultural and what’s universal. Can’t wait to go further.