The hallway.

In the preface to  Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis describes his approach for this summary of the core of the Christian faith:

“The reader should be warned that I offer no help to anyone who is hesitating between two Christian ‘denominations.’ You will not learn from me whether you ought to become an Anglican, a Methodist, a Presbyterian, or a Roman Catholic.”

“I hope no reader will suppose that ‘mere’ Christianity is here put forward as an alternative to the creeds of the existing communions, as if a man could adopt it in preference to Congregationalism or Greek Orthodoxy or anything else. It is more like a hall out of which doors open into several rooms. If I can bring anyone into that hall I shall have done what I attempted. But it is in the rooms, not the hall, that there are fires and chairs and meals. The hall is a place to wait in, a place from which to try the various doors, not a place to live in.

It is true that some people may find they have to wait in the hall for a considerable time, while others feel certain almost at once which door they must knock at. I don’t know whey there is this difference, but I am sure that God keeps no one waiting unless He sees that it is good for him to wait.

When you have reached your own room, be kind to those who have chosen different doors and to those who are still in the hall. If they are wrong, they need your prayers all the more; and if they are your enemies, they you are under orders to pray for them. That is one of the rules common to the whole house.

This is still a worthy project.

6 thoughts on “The hallway.

  1. Joseph Ruiz

    A noble cause indeed. Just read in my devotions this morning that the Spirit is given to the community and that is where the strength is. Such a timely reminder and yes, a noble project. May the Lord grant us all wisdom, strength, love and compassion
    Grace and Peace


  2. Rich Dixon

    I find myself quoting from this book so often that I have to remind myself that it’s not part of scripture.

    Whenever someone (like me) gets a bit too sure that “their church” has it all figured out, I picture Jesus in that hallway. And of course I’m absolutely sure He onlky cares about those who entered my particular room.

    “In My house are many rooms …”


  3. Frank Reed

    Watched a 60 minutes piece n Christopher Hitchens on Sunday and wondered what it would have been like for him to talk to C.S. Lewis about God. Have also been studying Revelation and it hurts to think that even with all of the evidence many will choose to never enter the hallway. Time to pray, huh?


    1. Jon Swanson

      There’s an interesting book by Peter Kreeft called “between heaven and hell.” It’s a conversation between Lewis, JFK, and Aldous Huxley, who died the same day, about faith. I read it long ago.


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