Thursday, January 16, 2014

Review: Mere Christianity Analysis Journal

The Homeschool Adventure Co. has taken us on an adventure with the Mere Christianity Critical Analysis Journal. I feel very blessed to be a part of this book launch team. I have loved getting to know Stacy and I appreciate all of the time and work she has invested in creating a quality product for us to use in our homeschool. Today I am excited to share with you about our journey in this review!

How this looks in our homeschool...

Since we incorporate Bible Principles in our studies, we decided to begin with a word study just to make sure we correctly understood what the word *mere* means (and you all know how I love word studies!). :-) 

Webster's 1828 Dictionary 

MERE, adjective [Latin merus.] This or that only; distinct from any thing else. 1. Absolute; entire. MERE, noun [Gr. to divide.] A boundary; used chiefly in the compound, mere-stone. MERE, verb transitive To divide, limit or bound.

What the Bible says about divide?

Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them: “Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall.." Luke 11:17

"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15

Leading Idea: There are distinct, absolutes that unite Christians as believers in Jesus Christ the Messiah.

Bible Principle: Focus on unity.Luke 11:17  {We are learning as we study the Word of God and are in different places in our faith journey.} 

As we read through Mere Christianity and as we walk through the questions in the Mere Christianity Critical Analysis Journal, we learn that C.S. Lewis was trying to get down to the core of what the Christian Faith is about. Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined. We can't let that happen amongst ourselves! If we understand what the core of the Christian Faith is, the hope is that Christians will not be divided against each other over their different areas of personal growth and Biblical scholarship.

I did receive a copy of Mere Christianity Critical Analysis Journal in an ebook format in exchange for my honest review. I keep my printable sheets from the ebook in this nice binder. I love having an answer key available; it helps me to keep focus (as you know, I have several little ones yet and you can imagine they need me frequently during studies). As a part of Stacy Farrell's journal design, the teacher's journal has space available to jot down notes and references as one chooses.

In order to go through the Mere Christianity Critical Analysis Journal, I needed a copy of Mere Christianity. My book budget is sadly depleted for a time and while the library had a copy, I couldn't make it down there. Thankfully there is this fabulous thing called the Public Domain and I printed out a copy from there. This worked out better for me in the long run because I could make little notes in the margins and highlight like a mad artist. 

I had never read Mere Christianity {though I had heard of it}. I now know that Lewis was writing about "Absolute or Entire Christianity." And the Mere Christianity Analysis Journal helps us to discover what C.S. Lewis meant (with this journal, I didn't feel that I needed a background with this book by C.S. Lewis). So, I took Scientist and Artsy girl on this Homeschool Adventure Co. expedition and we explored Lewis' thoughts together.  

Scientist and Artsy Girl are in Junior High and the Mere Christianity Critical Analysis Journal is a good fit for where they are at educationally. It goes right along with the heart of our homeschool. We want our children to learn to think and to challenge ideas. We want them to hold ideas up in light of Scripture and to learn from great thinkers... to learn a Biblical Worldview.

Our children are very familiar with C.S. Lewis' writing style (I have lost count how many times they have read the Narnia series!). Just the same, some of his wording is complex as he presents complex matters about the Christian Faith. Therefor, we have hit some spots where they weren't comprehending a point C.S. Lewis' made, so we pulled out Webster's 1828 Dictionary and got creative with analogies.

I'm thankful to have this excellent resource in our homeschool. With a houseful of imperfect people (raising hand), we have a lot of discussion about thoughts that Lewis' expressed. Many of his ideas highlighted within the Mere Christianity Critical Analysis Journal can easily be key topics for family life... after all, the body of Christ outside of home is a larger extension of the home.

We are still making our way through the journal. I want to be sure to linger a while in each chapter and each point so that we are sure to consider Lewis' thoughts and apply the 4R Method (Research, Reason, Relate and Record). It's important for us to make sure that what Lewis' says agrees with Scripture... to know it for ourselves. 


Here is what you can find in the journal...

Book One – Right and Wrong as a Clue to the Meaning of the Universe
Book Two – What Christians Believe
Book Three – Christian Behavior
Book Four – Beyond Personality (or First Steps in the Doctrine of the Trinity)

Each chapter contains...

There are 10-16 questions in each chapter. Each one causes us to reflect on a point which C.S. Lewis made, to discuss it, and in our family we felt driven to research the Bible to see if indeed it holds up to Biblical truth (it's good practice!). Responses in our journals vary in length, depending on each individual. (While the teacher guide does include answers found within Mere Christianity, I like to have our children narrate and relate in their own words.)

How much does the Mere Christianity Analysis Journal Cost?...

The Mere Christianity Critical Analysis Journal is available from the Home School Adventure Co. for $28.95. The cost of the book Mere Christianity is separate (or you can download it from the Public Domain for free). If you'd like to purchase the book for $9.96 via my link to help support Principled Academy, it would be appreciated! :-)

I recommend the Mere Christianity Critical Analysis Journal for... 

Since the Mere Christianity Critical Analysis Journal teaches from a Biblical Worldview, this would be an excellent resource for:

Homeschool Co-ops
Study Groups
Private Christian Schools
*All Christians regardless of how long they have been a Christian

*This would help Christians from Jr. High to adults to reason from Scripture what it is that unites us and defines us as Christians. All too often division is caused over things that do not meet the definition. Going through the Mere Christianity Analysis Journal will help believers to have a mature, Biblical framework to go by.  Mere Christianity is used in many seminaries but it does not need to be limited to those scholars!

You can also find The Home School Adventure Co. on facebook by clicking on this link here.

Author Bio

Stacy Farrell’s worldview changed when she embarked on her homeschooling adventure in 2002.
Her background as a consultant and writer well-prepared her to teach communication skills; however, only hands-on experience (and much time spent on her knees) equipped her to mentor her sons through the character-transformation required to help them work toward their full potential.

Stacy has spoken at a variety of homeschool conferences and has published articles in leading Christian magazines. She wrote scripts for Willow Creek’s youth ministry, copy for Pastor Bill Hybel’s “Defining Moments” Audio Newsletter, and a broad range of material for corporate and non-profit clients. She also managed a law firm that specialized in civil rights litigation and constitutional law. Today, she loves to help empower students to recover territory lost by “fuzzy thinking” and low expectations. To that end, she created:

Philosophy Adventure™—Pre-Socratics – designed to help students 6th-12th grade cultivate and defend a biblical worldview by teaching them how to write skillfully, think critically, and speak articulately as they explore the history of ideas.

Philippians in 28 Weeks™ — a simple and painless way to memorize an entire book of Scripture.

The Wise Woman with Literary Analysis Journal Questions – an enchanting fable that unmasks the ugliness of pride and selfishness.

Mere Christianity Critical Analysis Journal -- a powerful tool to strengthen critical thinking while cultivating a biblical worldview.

Although Stacy loves to write, speak, and teach, she considers her role as wife to Roger and mother to two precious sons to be her greatest work and privilege. You can learn more about her resources at Homeschool Adventure.



  1. How lovely! You've done a wonderful job here. :)