C. S. Lewis on “Jolly Beggars”

There is no better introduction to Christianity than Lewis’s Mere Christianity (1952). If you are looking for an intellectual starting point, consider this ground zero. Or if you are a more visual thinker, consider watching the Christianity Explored videos (each is only five to ten minutes long). Then, take the next step. Pick up a copy of the Bible and begin reading any one of the four gospels, perhaps the gospel of John. Find a Christian friend to discuss it with you. Read the Westminster Confession of Faith, the Westminster Shorter Catechism, or the Heidelberg Catechism. Or go to an orthodox church, any one of them that teaches from a solid Biblical perspective and explicitly teaches and believes the historical church creeds like the Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed. And begin the journey to becoming a “jolly beggar.” It’s the only journey that leads to eternal life with God.

It is easy to acknowledge, but almost impossible to realize for long, that we are mirrors whose brightness, if we are bright, is wholly derived from the sun that shines upon us.…Grace substitutes [for hubris] a full, childlike and delighted acceptance of our Need, a joy in total dependence. We become “jolly beggars.”

From C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves (1960)