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How many of us at one point have tried to convince somebody of something way out there? Whether it be the boogieman, that monster in your closet, Easter bunny, Santa Claus, or even God, it boils down to I swear I saw it! I swear! Thats how Lucy from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe felt as she stepped out of the wardrobe and tried to explain to her siblings what had just happened.
We have all found ourselves in this predicament, special recognition to theists. Somebody who believes in God often finds themselves in this situation, trying to explain spirituality to somebody who has never experienced it is like explaining color to a blind person, its impossible. The modernists, heirs to the Age of Reason, they refuse to accept anything if it cannot be proven logically. They live with a complete lack of faith.
To them, Christianity is nothing more then irrational superstition, a matter of inner, subjective feelings rather than any kind of truth about what exists in the real world (pg 196 - 197, The Soul of the Lion). This is nothing new to the world, masses of people have always thought If I cant see it, its not there and many theists have gotten stuck on this answer. They have come up with you cant see the wind, but you can feel it and see the effects of it, but with molecular research this has gone back to square one. So how can theists have any standing ground in the matter?
There is one category of mysticism that everybody can relate to, story-telling. This is the one area that Christianity shines. The Bible is full of allegory, parables, love, death, salvation, you name it, it goes there. For thousands of years men and women have lived and died for this book and what it stands for. However with the Age of Reason it was left behind and labeled as creative story-telling. A man by the name of C.
S Lewis published a book called The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe in 1950. Since then it has been acclaimed as one of the greatest childrens books of all times, boasting a total of 7 books in the collection, a cartoon series, and even a newly screened movie. This story has become popular with people from all walks of life, especially the Christian community, but why? Arent Christians bent against fairy-tales and mysticism? In most cases (Harry Potter) yes, they are.
However this one is special. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe goes where few have. Its a giant tear jerking, edge of your seat, nail biting allegorical rendition of the ever so popular Christian Bible. Whether it was intended to be written as that is disputed. However it is a well known fact that C. S.
Lewis was a born again Christian himself, so its argued in favor of it being written as interpreted by the Christian community. The story begins with four brothers and sisters, Peter, Edmund, Lucy and Susan. It takes place during World War II, in which the children have been relocated to an old mansion in refuge of the London bombings. During the course of which a wardrobe is found, not just any wardrobe, but one to another world all in its own, stumbled upon by the youngest, Lucy. When she tries to explain what amazing things she saw through the wardrobe she is labeled as just an imaginative child and her thought are dismissed (sound familiar? ). She then gets Edmund, the mischievous brother, to go through with her.
He meets the White Witch, who we will get to later. After they come back Lucy tells Edmund to tell the others of what they both saw. When attention turns towards him, he blatantly lies and denies it all. Saying that they were just playing, pretending there was a Narnia is all. The older siblings, Peter and Susan, worried about Lucy and her insisting that there is a Narnia; go to the professor for help. When they inquire to the professor about their sister Lucy, they are taken aback when he asks them how they know that what she has been saying isnt true.
They have been assuming that a story about a world in the wardrobe just cant be true. They have been operating out of what their worldview allows them to believe, not out of any evidence or logical train of reasoning (pg 50). He mentions three possibilities: either Lucy is lying, or she is insane, or she is telling the truth. In his book Mere Christianity, Lewis applies this same logic to the claims of Christ. Either He is a liar, a lunatic, or the Son of God.
Not that Lucy is a stand-in for Christ, or Narnia for heaven. But both in his nonfiction apologetics and in his radically fictional fantasy novels, Lewis is demonstrating how to think. Eventually all of the children make it through the wardrobe, where a series of dramatic events ensues. Narnia is consumed by winter; they are told it is because of the reign of the White Witch, the character Edmund met on his first visit to Narnia. They are told Aslan, the king of Narnia, is gone and the White Witch has taken rule over the land transforming it into a place of perpetual winter.
The struggle between good and evil in this story is obvious, which makes it easy to relate it to the struggle between sin and virtue in the Bible. The White Witch needs the sons of Adam and the daughters of Eve (an obvious biblical reference) for her reign, and Aslan is there to free them. The White Witch is the ruler of Narnia as Satan is the ruler of earth, by conquest not by right. She is the beautiful queen of Narnia, and just as the devil Satan disguises himself as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11: 14). We discussed how Edmund ran into the White Witch during his first visit to Narnia.
Upon his first encounter with the Queen she presented him with sweets and drinks, and promised him much more if he brought back the other sons of Adam and daughters of Eve (his siblings). This leads us to the betrayal, the original sin. By bringing sin into Narnia, he triggered Aslan's return and upcoming rule. When the children enter Narnia the second time, Edmund goes off on his own to tell the White Witch of his siblings presence. To his surprise he is not treated with the appreciation and hospitality as he expected, instead he is locked away as the witch goes off in search of his brother and sisters. As the story progresses we meet Aslan in all his grace and glory.
C. S. Lewis does something interesting by depicting Jesus as Aslan. Instead of making Jesus out to be meek and mild as depicted in the Bible (the lamb), he makes Him out to be a Lion, the most powerful and graceful of all animals the king of the jungle.
This is a good depiction, as we have a domesticated God today, not the God of power and fury as in the Old Testament. When Aslan returns, the winter frost begins to thaw and spring presents itself, which leads us with another symbol. The fact that the most joyful holiday takes place in the depressing depths of winter is symbolic in itself. The light of Christ comes precisely in our moment of greatest darkness (John 1: 4 - 5). In winter we find a time of hope (pg 56).
The children arrive at Aslan's army's encampment along with their newly acquainted beaver friends, Edmund being absent after being captured by the White Witch. He is found in the Witch's camp and brought back to Aslan's encampment. After talking with Aslan, Edmund returns to his siblings with Aslan at his side, Aslan says Whats done is done, there is no need to...
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