What a pleasure to have an old and dear friend with me today. Ron and I grew up in the same community and attended the same high school. His wife, Stacy Morris, was in my graduating class. When our children were very small, we lived in another small Arkansas town with Ron and Stacy. Both of our young families were on the threshold of life and believing God for very big things. The Smiths now reside in Georgia.
Ron and I are giving away one copy of his book, A Mere Christian, to two people who enter our drawing. All you must do is make a comment below concerning this interview and include your email address. Entries will end on midnight (CST) October 16, 2014. After a fair and random drawing, I will announce winners on Friday, October 17, 2014. Participation is limited to U. S. residents, eighteen and older.
Congratulations Betty Wingfield and David Owens. You are the winners!
Ron, I am so thrilled to have you visit today! Tell our audience why you wrote this book.
Hi, Ann. Well, even seasoned Christians have to continually take one more step no matter how dark the woods. You knew our struggle with our daughter, Laura, from the beginning, and you personally know the challenges of rearing children with disabilities and health issues. You and I have both lived in dark woods, where the unknown stretched before us.
Laura lived 24 years. Stacy and I cared for her at home. We met the needs of her severely handicapped little body with all the love we had inside us. When she passed in April of 2012, we were tired and in need of the Lord’s presence more than at any other time in our lives. I was in a place of self-examination, as well. You see, through the years I’d stood in faith for Laura to be healed, and when there was nothing else to do… Well, Stacy and I kept standing. When Laura passed, I needed to be reassured in what I’d believed. God. Was He faithful? I was hurting.
I’ve long been a fan of C. S. Lewis and for several years before Laura went on to be with Jesus, my 45-minute commutes to and from work were spent listening to his books, in particular, Mere Christianity. So what is Mere Christianity? Lewis put down in words what he thought was common Christian belief.
I used what he taught like a magnifying glass to examine what I believed. What I found was that the long hard road with Laura had left me exhausted but unshaken. God indeed is faithful. I wondered how many others needed to clearly know what they believed and why they believed it.
I began teaching Mere Christianity by Lewis to our adult Sunday school class. Almost a year later, what I learned was much more than what Lewis had originally taught. What is a mere Christian? And so I wrote my book, an analysis of Lewis’ book, but a greater in-depth sharing of what Christians should believe. These are not theoretical ideas. We clearly understand more about the Bible and our God these days than in Lewis’ time. I stand on the shoulders of Lewis and others just as they stood on the shoulders of Christians who came before him.
Like Lewis, I want all Christians to be able to stand in faith. This grows harder every day that we get closer to the return of Christ. A Mere Christian is more than Mere Christianity. It is not a replacement, but it is more like a second book in a series. Mere Christianity is perhaps harder to read for many people than A Mere Christian. In fact, I think reading my book will help when you go back and reread Mere Christianity.
Ron, how has your background in medicine and the sciences played a part in the making of this book? How has your personal walk been a birthing process?
I think medicine has been the starting point, but not the reason for my life. Many well-meaning people said through the years that God gave Laura to us because our faith could withstand. God didn’t do this thing to Laura or to us. God gave us Himself, which is what we have needed to meet this attack of Satan. Our enemy uses the depraved human condition to kill and destroy. He is a liar and a thief. God is our refuge.
I think it is an excellent read to convey Christianity. By including some apologetic content about God, the theory of evolution, and mankind’s inner moral conscience, you provided a groundwork for removing stumbling blocks for many in this generation. Your use of Scripture was effective. I wish you all the success. Rick Reynolds, D. Min.
The struggle for me in particular with Laura was that I had to be both her father and her physician. While I had to have sound medical judgment, I also had to be her loving father who walked with her through life. How do you carry a broken heart and keep your head on straight to make good clinical decisions? This wounded me all those years. It has only been in the last months, I’ve seen the Lord restore me.
When C. S. Lewis compiled his World War II radio talks into the book, Mere Christianity, I don’t think he understood fully, the profound effect it would have. His book is both apologetic to non-believers as well as to Christians themselves.
When I started teaching Mere Christianity it was not only a very rewarding experience, but it has spurred me in my Christian faith.
Smith’s use of the scientific method to explain the vastness of God would have made C. S. Lewis proud. Jeff Friend
What I found is that not only is Lewis’ work on basement level Christianity important, it is even more crucial today than it was in his era. As a Christian, my heart breaks for Christians who are swayed like seaweed with the currents of modern thinking. Unknowingly, they are abandoning the very foundational elements of a Biblical relationship as the sharpness of black and white gives way to lukewarm grays of modern thought.
I wrote A Mere Christian to remind fellow Christians of our roots and to bring back the contrast of black and white.
We are created by God in whom there is a settled, holy nature. He does not change with time. Indeed he is outside of time and unaffected with our frailties.
My purpose in writing A Mere Christian is of course to share what I’ve gleaned from Lewis, Chamblin, and others. The closer we get to the ever-certain return of Christ for his Church, the more God makes us to understand what has previously been a mystery. Our view of that return is closer than was Lewis’ and more of God’s mystery is revealed now.
Christians are not buckets to be filled but fires to be kindled. What Christians believe and do is more important than what happens to us. Above all, A Mere Christian stands with fellow believers and shouts to the world just how great is our God!
Ron, thank you so much for sharing with us today. Please tell us where readers can purchase A Mere Christian and where they can find a study course for the book.
Everything can be found at https://www.amerechristian.com/.
Reviews can be found on the website, as well.
Thank you, Ann.