Tom Baker as Puddleglum in the classic BBC production of The Silver Chair… One of my favorite Narnians
I still get comments from Christians who think The Chronicles of Narnia are rubbish and their author, C.S. Lewis, just two shades short of being an out-and-out pagan.
Well, his friend, J.R.R. Tolkien, warned him: put all those fauns and centaurs and river gods in Narnia–and Bacchus, of all things!–and readers are going to think there’s something not quite right about your Christianity. Worse, in the Narnia finale, The Last Battle, he has the old Professor say, “It’s all in Plato!” I love these books, but that line makes me cringe.
Nevertheless, I am here to plead with Narnia-knockers–please, give the man a break! He was an academic, surrounded by other academics along with college students. He could have just as easily wound up worshiping a box of rubber bands. That he had any Christianity at all is cause for celebration.
There is Christian gold in Narnia. It’s not hard to find. If you don’t care for it, only a fool tries to convince someone that he ought to like something that he doesn’t like. But at least grant me this:
For a man who started out as an atheist and was a college professor for most of his life, old “Jack” Lewis did just fine.