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July 15, 2005

Some Thoughts on Narnia

I just walked into my apartment and turned on the television to see Jack Nicklaus walking off the 18th hole at St. Andrews after shooting a birdie. I follow the major tournaments but I'm not a golf connoisseur, and I still got partly choked up. Sheesh.

To speak on something completely unrelated, I'm halfway through The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I can't fully speak on the book yet, but I've noticed something of a theme in Lewis' tale. Here it is: When all four of the children first reach Narnia, Edmund is against Aslan. He is fearful, bitter and, indeed, angry. Why? He has a direct encounter with evil. The other children are excited about the thought of meeting Aslan. Their hearts are warmed by the very mention of his name.

I think C.S. Lewis is herein suggesting that though we come to God through Christ alone, we approach Him through two different means. One on hand, some of us might be driven to the Cross by guilt, anger or even shame. We know we have done some grave wrong, and we long to have that wrong made right. We know that we have some deep-seated resentment or bitterness, and we search for someone who will relieve us of such weight. Like Edmund (and Paul!), we are kicking against the goads. On the other hand, we are sometimes like Peter, Susan and Lucy. We come to the Cross out of a sense of wonder and amazement that the great King who made the whole world would love each of us as individuals. We are awed by the love and the mercy of the Cross.

I don't think that Lewis is arguing that we are without sin. Not by any means. I think he is simply discussing one of two things. First, he may just be acknowledging the two paradigms of the Christian life. At times in our life we are drawn to our Lord by the weight of sin and shame. At other times we come to Him out of a sense of joy and wonder, wholly amazed by His beauty and grace. The second possible argument that Lewis is establishing is simply the motive of our coming to the Cross. Of course we come to Christ by His grace alone, yet we are human and I believe that the Lord makes appeals to our personality. Some of us have life experiences that would send us to the Cross with a greater sense of our frailty, others come to it by simply seeing a glimpse of the Savior's majesty and there finding something worth chasing and pursuing with all our might.

Just some thoughts on Narnia and the King. Hope you like it.

I cross-post most of my pieces of this nature, but others like this can also be found at Matt Crash!

Posted by Matt at July 15, 2005 06:31 PM

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I've been thinking about this for a few days now. I just re-read LWW last summer, so it's relatively fresh in my mind. I think your contrasts about how we come to Christ are valid and full of truth about human nature.

I also think there is an additional truth related to how the children found out about Narnia in the first place. Lucy went first and when she came back, they were all making fun of her, but Edmund was the worst. Why? He was the second youngest and thus had the most to gain by making his sister out to be full of fantasy and stories. He begrudged Lucy for the happiness she had found (like finding a great church before actually finding God). Then, when he went to Narnia, he met the mean queen first, he was swayed by her. That sway was exacerbated by his prediclictions against Lucy's happiness.

This I think goes to the fact the enemy uses what is in us, the ways in which we are already inclined to sin, in order to draw us away from God so that when we finally do meet God we don't recognize Him for the great, all-powerful, *all-loving*, King that He is.

Thanks Matt, I hope you post some more about what you notice in the series.

Posted by: Abigail at July 18, 2005 11:24 PM