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Discussion Forum : News and Current Events : Trouble In Narnia

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Joined: 2006/6/19
Posts: 927


C.S. Lewis didn't consider Narnia an allegory of the Bible at all. It's not meant to be an allegory in the sense that Pilgrim's Progress is an allegory. It's a totally fictional story he created. It's not meant to explain the Bible in some kind of allegorical form, and Lewis himself has stated such.

Taylor Otwell

 2010/12/19 13:17Profile


GOD is not the Author of confusion.
'Fiction' of any sort from a renowned 'Christian' speaker or author is risky business - nonetheless.
We either represent Christ or we play with non-reality and confuse Truth with our fiction, parables or allegories.
I respect Bunyan, but few can do fiction or allegory without leaving Much to one's imagination or interpretations.

I can't understand why a man of his reputation would write anything that doesn't use the Bible... what was the purpose for it then? - spiritually speaking.

 2010/12/19 14:33

 To quote him...


You are mistaken when you think that everything in the books 'represents' something in this world. Things do that in The Pilgrim's Progress but I'm not writing in that way. I did not say to myself 'Let us represent Jesus as He really is in our world by a Lion in Narnia': I said, 'Let us suppose that there were a land like Narnia and that the Son of God, as he became a Man in our world, became a Lion there, and then imagine what would happen.'

C.S. Lewis, quoted in Walter Hooper, C. S. Lewis: A Companion and Guide

End quote.

I think the important word in this quote is "imagine". Lewis, as a literary scholar, was steeped in imaginative works of literature and that is reflected in his writing. I think in his view, influenced heavily by the Romantic poets of the early 19th century, the imagination is something of a license for asking "What if?" Looking to scripture, the author of Job gave an imaginative representation of the actions and personality of Satan (though this doesn't negate the theological truth behind the text, nor question the inspiration of it... I hope this discussion doesn't go there!) that helps us to understand the threat he poses to humanity. Coming from a different theological background, Lewis had a different take on the role of the imagination than contemporary evangelicals... not influenced by the Puritan censures placed upon art and literature.

It may be that his imaginings seem irresponsible to some nowadays. That's fine. Don't read them. As to the threat of anyone delving into the occult or other darknesses because of Narnia, I think someone so easily swayed as to be led astray by children's stories will likely be moved elsewhere by the next wind to blow past.

 2010/12/19 14:40

Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 2013
Joplin, Missouri

 Re: Trouble In Narnia

Having read much of what C.S. Lewis wrote, I would have to say that the article posted by dspks really mis-characterizes Lewis' writings. I have not been able to agree with all that Mr. Lewis wrote, but then again there were some real troubling things that one can find by digging about in the writings Luther, Finney, etc. But in all I have read I have encountered a man who understood many deep things of God. I thoroughly enjoyed the Chronicles of Narnia. I do not necessarily like all that Hollywood had done to them in making the movies, but they are in no way promoting the occult.


 2010/12/19 14:42Profile

 Re: Trouble In Narnia

Articles like this are testimonies to the quality of education that we have in America.

 2010/12/19 15:02


Education indeed, when an article consists of mainly quotes - as this one does - "Lewis said" - yet we remark as if the author of the article pulled things out of the sky. Sad commentary of how bias blinds or we hadn't read the article at all?

 2010/12/19 15:10


Quote: "yet we remark as if the author of the article pulled things out of the sky"

Given the illogical manner in which the quotes are arranged, without any context or analysis, the author may as well have pulled them from the sky. He creates a straw-man argument and knocks it down by quoting the Bible to say that sorcery is evil.

We've all seen how the Bible gets used out of context to supposedly "prove" lies about God, Christ, and the church, and we castigate such use.

This particular article does the same thing with utterances of Lewis', and those of his influences and friends, to suggest that Narnia is not wholesome reading. I can fully appreciate that one may not read Narnia for one reason or another. It is not right, however, to smear a man based on these reasons to justify or validate one's concerns with a text.

God bless those who are concerned with the purity of the church and the spiritual welfare of others -- because far too few are. But, it seems to me, we have to be rigourous in such analysis before judgment is pronounced.

 2010/12/19 15:35


I read the article...I even went to the website and read the article....yesterday.

One can proof text any writer, especially someone as published as Lewis (and so honest) to backup one's own already established conclusions.

The article is a testimony to our poor quality of education in America because it proves that, in general, Americans do not know History, and so as someone has already stated,

Why cut the man down because he wasn't an revival-believing-evangelical from the 21st century?

I understand that an education is not necessary to be a believer in Christ, but if someone is not educated, that someone should not attempt to write a critique of a man who was very well educated.

The article is a display of ignorance of not only Lewis' writings, en masse, but of the history of the Church, literature and the world.

as a side note....what is wrong with being influenced by someone who isn't a believer? (i.e. George MacDonald) are not all men created in the image of God? Do unbelievers have no truth?

 2010/12/19 15:43


I'm sorry that I misunderstood your first post Brother.

It is only because Lewis DID set himself up to be a teacher by the amount of Christian books that he wrote and the Word of GOD says that anyone who "teaches" is even the more accountable.
Anyone setting themselves to be "teacher to The Church" must be so much the more careful of what they feed the sheep.

It is not those books that are my problem but the title of this article and main subject line is Narnia. I have some of Lewis' books myself. But it is true what this author of this article has written here -

"""The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" is the third book in the Narnia series. It directly promotes spells and magic. Chapter 10 ("The Magician's Book") features a book of spells that is on an island inhabited by invisible creatures called Dufflepuds. Lucy works a spell to make the Dufflepuds visible. She goes through a spell book, and it is beautiful and fascinating. Then she finds the right spell and says the words and follows the instructions. And then the Dufflepuds (and Aslan) become visible. Her spell made Aslan visible, and he is pleased with what she did. The book of spells is beautiful and fascinating. One spell is illustrated with pictures of bees that look as if they are really flying. In the world of C.S. Lewis’ day, this would not have caused practical problems. However, these days, kids can go to regular bookstores and buy spell books written by modern witches.
Many Christians are treating the Narnia books as being an allegory, with Aslan representing Jesus and the children representing Christians. If you do this with “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader,” then you portray Jesus as being pleased when Christians do magic and work spells. And you support the idea that that there are “good” spells and “good” magic. That belief is the basis for modern “white” witchcraft. However, the Bible clearly forbids any form of witchcraft""

This is the part that stands out the most. I've read other critiques about Narnia years back that pointed out the same dangers.
This women is not the first to critique Narnia and it's dangers to young minds/spirits - besides what dabbling in non-reality does to the psyche of any human.

 2010/12/19 16:19

Joined: 2009/5/15
Posts: 1042
Pacific Ocean


I too agree that the article completely mis-characterizes Lewis. The first paragraph just made me stop reading. The author does not even go into what was in the "spell book," which was merely a literary device Lewis used since he had such a penchant for using dramatic backdrops to illustrate a simple point, and in that book Lucy is confronted by her own lust and vanity when she is captivated by her own image.

The quote was de-contextualized just like Jesus statement about the temple being destroyed and risen three days later spoke of his body, yet detractors used his statement out of context to crucify him.

Like I said, I have read so much from Lewis, and to think that he advocated the use of magic is absurd. He has a whole dialogue in the book "That Hideous Strength," where one character completely chides another for the use of Magic, saying that it is wrong to use. Soooo...I consent that the article is misleading.

Jeremiah Dusenberry

 2010/12/19 18:13Profile

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