Reality is not simple and neither is Christianity

The excerpt below is from the book Mere Christianity by CS Lewis (pages 40-42) 

Very well then, atheism is too simple. And I will tell you another view
that is also too  simple.  It is the view I call Christianity-and-water, the
view  which simply says there is a good God in Heaven and everything is  all
right-leaving  out all  the difficult and  terrible  doctrines about sin and
hell and the devil, and the redemption. Both these are boys' philosophies.

     It  is no good asking for a simple religion. After all, real things are
not simple. They  look simple, but they are not.  The table I  am sitting at
looks simple: but ask a  scientist to tell you what it is really made of-all
about the atoms and how the light waves rebound from them and hit my eye and
what they do to the optic nerve and what it does to my brain-and, of course,
you find that what  we  call "seeing  a table" lands you  in  mysteries  and
complications  which  you can hardly  get to  the end of. A  child saying  a
child's prayer looks simple.  And if you are content to stop there, well and
good. But if you are  not-and the modern world usually is not-if you want to
go on  and ask  what  is really  happening-  then you  must  be prepared for
something difficult. If  we ask  for something  more than simplicity,  it is
silly then to complain that the something more is not simple.
     Very often, however, this silly procedure is adopted  by people who are
not  silly,  but  who,  consciously  or   unconsciously,   want  to  destroy
Christianity. Such  people  put up a  version of Christianity suitable for a
child  of six and make that  the  object of  their  attack. When you  try to
explain the Christian doctrine as it is really held by an  instructed adult,
they then complain that you are making their heads turn round and that it is
all too  complicated  and that if there really were  a God they are sure  He
would have made "religion" simple, because simplicity  is so beautiful, etc.
You must be  on  your guard  against these people for they will change their
ground every minute and only waste your tune. Notice, too, their idea of God
"making religion simple": as if "religion" were something  God invented, and
not His  statement to us of certain  quite unalterable facts  about His  own
     Besides  being complicated, reality, in  my experience, is usually odd.
It is not  neat,  not obvious, not what you expect. For instance,  when  you
have grasped that the earth and the other planets all  go round the sun, you
would naturally expect that all the planets were made  to match-all at equal
distances from each other, say,  or  distances that regularly increased,  or
all the same size, or else getting bigger or smaller as you go  farther from
the sun. In fact, you find no rhyme or reason (that we can see) about either
the sizes or  the distances; and  some of them  have one moon, one has four,
one has two, some have none, and one has a ring.
     Reality, in fact, is usually something you could not have guessed. That
is one of the reasons I believe Christianity. It is a religion you could not
have  guessed. If it  offered us  just  the kind  of universe we had  always
expected,  I should feel we were making it up. But, in fact, it is  not  the
sort of thing anyone would have  made up. It has just that queer twist about
it  that  real  things  have.  So  let  us  leave  behind  all  these  boys'
philosophies-these over-simple answers. The problem is  not  simple and  the
answer is not going to be simpler either.
     What  is the  problem? A universe that contains much that  is obviously
bad and apparently meaningless, but containing creatures like  ourselves who
know that it is bad and  meaningless. There are only two views that face all
the facts. One is the Christian view that this is a good world that has gone
wrong, but still retains the memory of what it ought to have been. The other
is  the view  called  Dualism.  Dualism means the belief that there are  two
equal and independent powers at the back of everything, one of them good and
the other bad, and that this universe is the battlefield in which they fight
out an endless war. I personally think that next  to Christianity Dualism is
the manliest and most sensible creed  on the market. But it  has  a catch in
it. You can read the rest online at  
Friends, it is time that we put simple religion behind us. When Jesus was asked, "What is the greatest commandment" part of His response was to "love God with all our mind" (Matthew 22:37-42). Mere Christianity helps us to do that.