I bought my copy of Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis February 25, 1980.
I know this because the receipt is still in the book. I bought it those four decades ago at the now defunct Village Green Book Store here in Rochester, N.Y.
I was on a C. S. Lewis binge back in those days. I would only later really discover the greatness of Chesterton.
Currently, I'm trying to increase my spiritual reading, so I thought it was a good time to reread this book, which is based on radio addresses Lewis gave.
It's only been some 40 years, after all!
Unlike the Village Green Bookstore, the ideas in the book are clearly not defunct.
And as I was reading, it hit me that they seem really familiar. I have used many of the same explanations and arguments myself over the last 40 years.
The more I read, the more I began to wonder if this book was the source of some of my own thinking, or if what he wrote clarified ideas that were forming in my mind at the time that I read the book. His method of creating common situations, anecdotes, or "parables" to help explain more complex theological points - such as his description of a writer creating a novel to help explain how God is outside of time - is a technique I have used in my own teaching and theological discussions. Did I learn that from him? Or did he simply reinforce a tendency already in me?
I was not aware of it at the time, but I now know that his own conversion came about in part from reading G.K. Chesterton, so I began wondering if some of Lewis's ideas came from Chesterton or were clarified by reading him. Perhaps I'm just another link in a chain.
I'm almost done with Mere Christianity. I'm also rereading The Screwtape Letters as part of a Catholic reading group as well.
I suspect I will be rereading more Lewis when I am finished with these books.