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Saturday, December 10, 2005

The Chronicles Of Narnia

I found a story via Narnia Web titled, Is that lion the King of Kings?. The writer asks, “Is the world created by British author C.S. Lewis a rip-roaring piece of fantasy — or a fairy tale suffused with Christian imagery?"

Both. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a fantasy story replete with Christian imagery. With the power of his voice, Aslan the Lion sings Narnia into existence. God created the world by speaking it into existence. Christ, free from sin, sacrificed himself on the cross for those he came to save, all guilty of the most heinous crimes. Aslan, innocent of the crime, sacrifices himself for the guilty party. Aslan the Lion is a creator. Christ, the Lion of Judah, is the Creator made flesh. These parallels are only surface level, but the imagery goes much deeper.

I’m blogging about the USA Today article because this passage caused me to pause:

    “I’m an evangelical Christian, but the enthusiasm with which my fellow evangelicals are leaping at the possibility of using this film as an ‘evangelistic tool’ — a phrase that’s often used — is distressing to me,” says Jacobs, author of The Narnian: The Life and Imagination of C.S. Lewis. “Lewis wrote a story about redemptive sacrifice, but he didn’t set out to write that. He set out to write a children’s book that would be exciting and adventurous.

    “He was not trying to win anyone to Christianity with this story. And I think you can tell that by the way so many people can read it and love it without having any idea of the biblical connection.”

The author misses the point- for many people, accepting Christ requires a fundamental change in their way of thinking- a shift of perspective that allows all the details to fall in place, revealing the imprint of God. I finished reading C.S. Lewis’s autobiography Surprised By Joy today, and he experienced such a shift when he read George MacDonald’s Phantasies. He writes that the book taught him “what holiness is,” and was a crucial step on his path to become a Christian. The themes involved in The Chronicles of Narnia will resonate with Pre-Christians’ [an optimistic Lutheran-ism] need for God. On this account, the movie is inherently evangelistic by virtue of what it is, regardless of C.S. Lewis’s intent.


Blogger Peace Moonbeam said...

It's surprising how many people, some "Christians" included, ignore the dictate that those of us who accept Christ are to actively spread the Gospel by all means neccesary.
Regardless of C. S. Lewis's intent, this movie presents a great opportunity for discussion about deeper things, especially with children.

December 11, 2005 2:37 PM  

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