J.B. Phillips

Plain Christianity

J. B. Phillips is perhaps best known for his translation of the New Testament, which was released piecemeal throughout the late 1940s and into the mid-1950s. He was an Anglican clergyman for over twenty years. Sometime in the early 1950s, Phillips gave a series of evangelistic talks for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. In 1954, these talks were compiled and published as a little book entitled Plain Christianity. The book is a warm-hearted, commonsense discussion about the Christian faith and message. With its mid-20th century British cadence, the book reminds the reader of C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity, which was also derived from a series of radio talks.

In this excerpt,1 Phillips discusses whether people can live without God.

There is a question which I think is in a good many people’s minds, though they may not often put it into words, and I am going to try to answer it. The question is simply this: ‘Can I live without God?’

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