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About Narnia
Written by Dr Andrew Corbett, President of ICI Theological College Australia, and author of the popular commentary on the Book of Revelation- The Most Embarrassing Book In The Bible,

CS Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia are now acclaimed as the standard for what is considered 'classic' in Children's fantasy literature

The Chronicles of Narnia were first published in the 1950s. CS Lewis wanted to write a "good" story rather than a "Christian" story. Yet the allegorical message in the Chronicles of Narnia is hard to miss. In fact, to loosely quote from the Magician's Nephew (Book 1 in the series), "Even though you know that the lion was singing, if you pretend really hard - you make yourself believe that it is just a lion roaring!" And in the same way, if you pretend really hard you could make yourself believe that CS Lewis was writing about something other than eternal truths...

What did CS Lewis want his readers to know from Narnia

The Chronicles of Narnia take vital elements of the Gospel and communicate them in fantastic (literally- "of fantasy") images. The eternal truths of a Supreme Emperor, an incarnated Son of the Emperor, the problem of evil and sin as a universal condition of all people, the ultimate redeeming sacrifice of the Creator Himself, the empowering of all those who chose to follow the Creator, and the promise of a final solution to evil are key ingredients to the Narnia stories.

CS Lewis used the term "magic" in a different way from the way it is generally used. By "magic" he meant something closer to science. To him, magic has an author, rules, an initiation, and practitioners. Magic is what he called the realm of knowledge beyond what science had unravelled. It was therefore, the science of the mysterious. Before the reader imagines that Lewis was restricting knowledge to rationalism it must be understood that to Lewis the unseen spiritual real was something that natural science had little or no way of classifying. To Lewis, this realm was probably more real than the "physical" realm in which we live. In the Magician's Nephew he describes those first humans in Narnia as feeling like they had awoken from a long dream. This is an insight into how Lewis contrasted this physical real with the spiritual realm where we will spend eternity either with God or exiled from His presence depending on our response to his offer of forgiveness in this life.

What about all the withches, fauns, and mythical creatures?

The use of such mythical creatures as -

Centaurs (half man half animal) -
Minotaurs (half animal half man) -
Minoboars -
Fauns -
Evil creatures -
Witch -

-have prompted some concerned people to declare that these stories are of no use to Christians at all. Some parents have forbidden their children reading the Narnia Chronicles because it uses such mythical creatures as an integral component to the stories. But Christians need to consider several factors regarding this type of fantasy-

  • The Bible also contains references to witches, witchcraft, and sorcery. (eg. 1Sam. 28)

  • The world of Narnia is not our world. It is a make-believe world.

  • The Bible also describes fantastic creatures (eg. Ezek. 1-2; Book of Revelation) these include flying dragons, half scorpion-half humans, beasts with multiple faces including that of a man, seraphim, cherabim, and "beasts" that arise from the sea (Dan. 8; Rev. 13).

Perhaps this is to be distinguished from "bad" fantasy stories where evil creatures interact in our world and their evil actions are justified as reasonable. CS Lewis does not do this.

The Stone Table picture

The climax of The Lion, The Witch, and Wardrobe is the Stone Table scene. This is one of the most profound allegories of Calvary ever written. Many believers have testified how this Narnia scene has enhanced their appreciation of the Cross.


WHO IS ASLAN?

But one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.”
Revelation 5:5

The parallels between Aslan and Christ are obvious: Son of the Emperor, Creator, Incarnate One, Redeeming Sacrifice, Empowering Lord. CS Lewis wrote to an 11 year girl, Hilla, answering her question about Alsan by asking her who it was who (i) arrived at the same time as Father Christmas, (ii) said He was the Son of the Great Emperor, (iii) gave Himself up for someone else's fault to be jeered at and killed by wicked people, and (iv) came to life again. The obvious answer is Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

When you see the latest movie release, enjoy the story, admire the film, wonder at the symbolism, and then read the books with your children!

Download a FREE Powerpoint presentation which outlines the story of the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe with explanatory notes.

POSTSCRIPT:

THE TASMANIAN CONNECTION TO CS LEWIS

The sole relative of CS Lewis is Douglas Gresham (his step-son). He was 8 when he first met his father-to-be. He was 18 when CS Lewis died. After he graduated from College and married he moved to Tasmania where he farmed and moonlighted as an announcer on 7BU. He moved to Ireland the mid 1980s where he still lives, but he is a regular visitor back to Australia. His memoirs of his relationship with Jack (CS) Lewis were published by Collins as The Lenten Lands.

Douglas Gresham as a 6 year old boy-
Douglas Gresham as a boy

Doug Greshem today, aged 60 -
Douglas Gresham at the age of 60

It is Douglas Gresham who has produced the Disney distributed film- The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.

Andrew Corbett, December 2005

- - -

THE MOST EMBARRASSING BOOK IN THE BIBLE by Dr Andrew CorbettI have written a fuller explanation of the book of Revelation in my eBook- THE MOST EMBARRASSING BOOK IN THE BIBLE (click here to read a preview). The application from the Book of Revelation is that despite what appears to be an impotent Church struggling to serve an apparently impotent Christ, the Church is in reality made up of overcomers who lay down their lives gladly to promote Christ and His Gospel. In so doing, the Kingdom of Christ is extended, prayers are offered and heard, miracles are graced, and the believer can die with infinite hope that their Lord will keep them for eternity and clothe them with a new body which can not be subject to pain, injury, sorrow, or sin. With this knowledge we can endure momentary hardship during the brevity of this life on earth. We can be assured that our greatest delights and deepest moments of fulfilment are yet to come in the life to come.

John 5:25“Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.

Amen.

Dr. Andrew Corbett, Legana, Tasmania, Australia February 16th, 2011

Download Dr Corbett's eBook The Most Embarrassing Book In The Bible.

Regarded as one of the leading exponents of the Book of Revelation, Dr Andrew Corbett in this 4 Part series on the Book of Revelation (presented as a seminar) is now available as a 4 Audio CD set.

Order this 4 Disc Audio CD for just $20 plus $9.95 shipping anywhere in the world).

Listen to Disc 1 online now []

   

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