Book Review: Mere Christianity (Book 3, Chapter 10: Hope)

Book 3, Chapter 10: Hope

Hope is one of the theological virtues. It means always keeping alive in our hearts the longing to be in our “true country” — Heaven. Our ultimate goal is to get there and to bring our loved ones (and everyone else) there. God has planted inside of us the desire for Heaven — that is, the desire for Heavenly things: the things that are good, beautiful, and true (truth, goodness, justice, beauty, etc.) The desires we have in us for these eternal things all point towards the existence of another world beyond ours, Heaven.

I love this quote:

“Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for these desires exists. A baby feels hunger; well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim; well, there is such a thing as water. Men feel sexual desire; well, there is such a thing as sex. If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”

The philosopher Peter Kreeft called this argument by Lewis the “Argument From Desire”. It is so fascinating and powerful. The argument goes like this:

Premise 1: Every natural, innate desire in us corresponds to some real object that can satisfy that desire.
Premise 2: But there exists in us a desire which nothing in time, nothing on earth, no creature can satisfy.
Conclusion: Therefore there must exist something more than time, earth and creatures, which can satisfy this desire.

Kreeft develops it in more detail here.

This is such a beautiful chapter. Heaven must be an indescribably beautiful and joyful “place”. Recall your most beautiful and joyful experience in life. Magnify it a hundred times, no, a million times, or better, to infinity. It’s hard to imagine, but that must be what Heaven is like.


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