And of course, I can't stop writing just yet! The site (www.theage.com.au) that the picture is from had this (and other things) to say about the first Chronicles of Narnia film (from December 18, 2005):
Earlier in the article, the woman who played the witch in the movie was quoted.
Clearly, nobody involved in the film was especially concerned with C.S. Lewis' allusion to the central story of Christianity. And why should they be? Isn't it a good story - one of the greatest, most primal of stories, in fact, along with the Greco-Roman and Norse myths on which Lewis also drew? Of course, it is true that Lewis did see the books as preparatory texts in Christian spirituality, easing the way for the juvenile reader's encounter with the real thing in later years.
However, given that the Narnia books are, in Andrew Adamson's estimation, generally read by children between eight and 13, this seems a fairly benign version of indoctrination; Lewis seems to be assuming his readers will be innocent of hard-core religion at least until their teens. There is none of that scary stuff about getting a child at seven and making him God's for life.
All Lewis is suggesting is a spirited romp with centaurs, beavers and a rather unpredictable lion: make of it what you will. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is hardly likely to deprave and corrupt nature's young atheists; most children don't even get the metaphor and, if they do, it is probably because the God-botherers already have them in iron thrall.
Now that Lewis has been signed into service by the American evangelists, however, all this is cast in the light of that disquietingly foreign religion, with its cheesy excess of good cheer, glib materialism and suspect political connections.
Any "Christian subtext" thus becomes "dodgy", as Zoe Williams has noted. The implication of that "dodgy", she wrote, is that Christianity is "inherently unsound, as if it had, without our noticing, ascended to the ranks of anachronistic wrong-headedness, like Nazism or hissing at single mothers".
It seems unfair to everyone, including - but perhaps not especially - C.S. Lewis himself. Forget those awful evangelists for a moment. Really, there is no good reason why a fantasy story should not be based on Christian narratives and iconography. Our entire culture, after all - most notably the laws of the land - derives from a Judeo-Christian understanding of the world. There is no good reason why he should not recount the Resurrection, albeit using furry animals instead of humans as dramatis personae.
There has to be a good case for knowing any of these stories, emblematic as they are. Does anyone, especially a thinking atheist, actually want to argue that children should be told less about anything? Surely not.
So bring on the lion, bring on the minotaurs, bring on the dancing horses. Apart from anything else, the pious don certainly knew how to spin a yarn.
"The Christians are welcome," she says, with composed irony. "As everyone is welcome. Honestly, the connection had to be explained to me. And the more I got to know about Lewis ... I know he was a very devout Christian and that he was capable of writing, as he did his entire life, very obviously Christian tracts. This is not one of them."My first thought once I'd read this was, "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." (1 Corinthians 1:18) Sometimes it really hurts when God's truth is totally misunderstood, misrepresented, or deliberately twisted or ignored. In this instance, however, I just couldn't believe how blind the authors (and actress) were to Lewis' message.
Narnia is undoubtedly spiritual, she says, but its world derives from myths and legends that prefigure the religion of tracts. "In fact, if anything - and I cannot believe I am going to say this - I think it is almost anti-religious," she says.
If I had no clue what Christianity was about, after reading this article I might conclude that it was somehow caught up in pedophilia. After all, Christians have an "iron thrall," and use "fuzzy animals" for their own devices!
And to top it off, "There is none of that scary stuff about getting a child at seven and making him God's for life." Good gracious! This almost made me laugh!
Of course, in CEF (Child Evangelism Fellowship) we talk about how much better it is for a child to come to Christ at an early age. That's one reason why there's so much urgency in our message: each generation needs to have the opportunity to know Christ themselves, and not depend on their parents' or grandparents' faith.
That being said, I have never considered witnessing to be a way to "get" people. If I was into headhunting, I probably wouldn't be living in a quiet little neighborhood with no weapons within a 10 mile radius!
I can't help but contrast the article on the Chronicles of Narnia to my Grandma's view of things. Her prayer has always been that "not one of them be lost." That prayer was first of all for her five daughters, and then, over the years, for all of us grandkids. Her request was not that all of us would be brainwashed into believing some stale, stinking dogma that oppressed women and glorified pea-brained men. Instead, she wanted all of us to truly KNOW Christ and worship Him.
That's why all of us cousins have heard about Him from the beginning of our lives and onward. Our mothers, fathers, and grandparents wanted to share with us the sweetness of knowing Christ. Since they were convinced of the veracity of Scripture, and the incarnation of Christ, they wanted us to know about it too.
Praise God for men like C.S. Lewis who have found new ways to illustrate the gift of God's Son, Jesus Christ. And praise God for grandmothers, grandfathers, and parents who pass on God's truth to their families.
LORD: thank you for your gifts!