I have seen quite a bit of discussion online about The Voyage of The Dawn Treader, the newest Narnia movie which is now playing in theatres. Although much of the discussion on these various blogs is civil and has merit, there is one thing which thoroughly irritates me about some of the comments. Let me explain.
I saw several comments where people said they thought the Narnia stories were nice at first, but then they found out that Aslan was a type and symbol for Jesus Christ, and it made them angry. One person stated that they wanted to throw The Voyage of The Dawn Treader across the room when they realized and understood the connection.
Here is my beef with that. First, I am Christian. I am a firm believer in Jesus Christ as the Redeemer of mankind. And you know what? So was Clive Staples Lewis. I don’t know all of the details of his conversion to Christianity, but suffice it to say that he had publicly declared himself to be an atheist as a young man, and then things started to change in his life. He had some really good friends who were believers. When he decided for himself that he truly was a believer in Christ, he went on to pen works such as Mere Christianity (an apologetic work, defending the Christian faith), The Screwtape Letters (a satire based on conversations between devils who are trying to cause the fall of a man), Miracles, The Great Divorce, and many more.
These are all Christian works. In fact, MOST of his books are deeply religious.
The Chronicles of Narnia series is no different.
We can debate all day long over whether the movie should have included Aslan’s statement to Lucy or not. Let me quote it here: “But there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.”
Debate if you wish, but those words are in the book! I don’t have the movie script to compare, but I’ll bet they are nearly verbatim. They are Clive’s words. Those words made C.S. Lewis who he was.
Maybe you wish those words had not been spoken in the movie? As for myself, I was quite pleased with the portrayal of Aslan. In fact, the movie could have been even more Christian . . . in the book, Aslan first appears as a lamb, on the beach, by a fire, where fish are roasting to feed the hungry children. Jesus Christ did the same for his disciples in John chapter 21, verse 9, not long after his resurrection. I think the imagery is wonderful.
Perhaps you are offended by that. You certainly have a right to be offended if you choose to be. But know this: You can’t go blaming C.S. Lewis for sneaking up on you and tricking you with a taste of Christianity. C.S. Lewis was no sneak. He was VERY open about being Christian. In fact, Mere Christianity started out as a BBC Radio series during World War II. If there is fault to be assigned for your being caught off-guard, it has to lie with you, even if it is merely ignorance on your part for not knowing what kind of a writer he was.
Let me suggest something which makes this really easy: if Christianity offends you because you are atheist, or Buddhist, or Muslim, or whatever . . . don’t get angry. Just don’t bother reading any of his books, or seeing the movies based on them. Why? Because they are very CHRISTIAN.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Before I forget . . . one more warning: Don’t read my books either. I don’t think you’ll like them.