Tag Archives: Narnia

‘A Brief Defense of C.S. Lewis and Narnia’ (2015)

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Puddleglum–theologian in training?

To boil it down all the way–C.S. Lewis was an atheist and could very easily have remained one all his life: so whatever quibbles we might have with his theology, however late he came to work in the Lord’s vineyard, he did the best he could.

https://leeduigon.com/2015/11/21/a-brief-defense-of-c-s-lewis-and-narnia/

If God requires of us more than that, we’re all in deep, deep trouble.


All Out for Narnia

There’s a bus that will take you to Narnia in time to help Peter and Edmund stand against the White Witch. It’d be nice if there were another bus that could bring them here to help us against our own wicked witches: but then, as Aslan might say, “You have looked, my child, but you have not seen. Look again!”

Or perhaps the Prophet Elisha put it even better, when he and his servants were surrounded by the chariots of the king of Syria: “Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.” But the servant couldn’t see what Elisha saw, so Elisha asked God to open the young man’s eyes: and he saw; and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire about Elisha. (2 Kings 6:14-17)

You board the bus to Narnia, needing no money for the fare, just by opening the book, or starting the tape, or even looking into your mind instead of looking out: because that’s where the bus stop is. Usually the bus is already there, waiting for you.

Now there’s not much point in going to Narnia except to see the Lion, Aslan. In our world He has another name: Jesus Christ the Son of God, Our Lord and Savior. Sometimes here in this complicated, fallen world, our vision grows dim and we don’t see Him. For some of us, a visit to Narnia and a glimpse of Aslan is all it takes to get our eyes focused back on Jesus.

They that be with us are more than they that be with them.

God said it, so it’s true. The chariots of the wicked will exist for not a moment longer than God allows them to exist. They glory in their imagined power, as the White Witch gloried in hers.

All aboard!


The Next Narnia Movie (Maybe): ‘The Magician’s Nephew’

First it was going to be The Silver Chair, but everything got shuffled around and now the next Narnia movie’s going to be The Magician’s Nephew–or so it seems ( http://teaser-trailer.com/the-magicians-nephew-movie/ ). Really, I just can’t keep track of it anymore. But they’ve got a movie poster ready for it, even though they can’t give us a release date. Not this year, and probably not next year, either.

Whoever is actually working on the movie now–guys, could you please get this one right?

(While you’re waiting for them to get it right, sit back and enjoy this rendition of the theme music from the BBC-TV Narnia productions of the 1980s–still the gold standard for bringing Narnia to the screen.)

The first three Chronicles of Narnia movies of the 21st century didn’t do all that well at the box office, and no one in Hollywood seems to know why. Allow me to enlighten them.

Yo, the movies underachieved because:

a) You guys kept messing around with the stories, and the changes you made were never for the better. Never.

b) You’re afraid of C.S. Lewis’ forthrightly Christian message, so you kept soft-pedaling Aslan, which was to miss the whole point of the stories.

c) You don’t seem to think your audience is capable of appreciating the stories as C.S. Lewis wrote them, so you keep trying to shape them to what you think is the taste of a dumbed-down, text-messaging, doofus audience.

Like many, many others, I want these movies to succeed; but so far the movie-makers have been their own worst enemy.

But we should be thankful they haven’t taken the books down with them.


Back to Narnia–With a Question

All right, I couldn’t stay away any longer. I’m headed back to Narnia, via The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

I like to read them in the order C.S. Lewis wrote them, which is not the chronological order. As a writer myself, I’m interested in how he went about writing the Narnia books. Always looking to learn new tricks.

For those Christians who either despise these books, or who just don’t see the point of them–well, I’m not here to tell you that you should like them, what’s the matter with you? No. But bear with us who love Narnia. These stories by C.S. Lewis, a recovering atheist, do speak to us. Once you’ve seen Jesus in these stories, you can’t un-see him.

Like all good stories, the Narnia tales show me something new every time I read them. Usually I revel in Lewis’ prose style–which looks as simple as can be, but just try imitating him! He can say more in two or three sentences than I can say in a whole page. So I’ve given up trying to imitate him.

This latest visit to Narnia has raised a question in my mind. As soon as I thought of it, I laughed. Narnia fans, cast your minds back to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and the children’s visit to the Beavers’ house, and ask yourselves…

“Where in the world did Mrs. Beaver get her sewing machine?”

Think about it. The sewing machine in our world was part of the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century–in other words, we had to reach a pretty advanced stage of technology before we could invent the sewing machine.

But back in Narnia, Mrs. Beaver has one. What? Does this not imply the existence of a factory where sewing machines are manufactured? And if sewing machines, why not… well, things like steam engines and gunpowder and printing presses, etc?

I’m not trying to pick holes in Narnia. No–I’m delighting in C.S. Lewis’ boldness as a fantasy writer. I wouldn’t dare put a sewing machine in my books!

It leaves me shaking my head, with a smile on my face.


And the Next Narnia Movie Will Be…?

You could go bats, trying to keep up with this. But as of last month, the next Chronicles of Narnia movie will be The Silver Chair and not The Magician’s Nephew as earlier reported. (See http://www.narnia.com/us/news-extras/ narnia-news .)

It seems that somehow Douglas Grisham, stepson of C.S. Lewis, got out of his contract with Walden Media and has a new deal with someone else, and they’ve hired a screenplay writer, and so on.

Well, who could blame him, after the hash that was made of the last Narnia movie a couple years ago, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader? They totally changed Lewis’ story. And before that, there was the mess billed as Prince Caspian, perpetrated by Walden in cahoots with Disney. It’d be hard to say which was more revolting–and I say that as someone who very much wanted these movies to succeed. Of course, I’ve also said all along that the old BBC productions from the 80s were vastly better than these glitzy new special-effects extravaganzas.

Prince Caspian turned the title character from a boy to a brooding 20-something hunk, so he could have a sort-of romance with Queen Susan, whom they turned into an Invincible Female Warrior; and they turned Reepacheep the Mouse into a furry Bart Simpson. They corrected all these mistakes in Dawn Treader, but piled on enough new ones to make it just as bad.

In general, I’m in favor of anything that gets kids–and adults!–to read the Chronicles of Narnia, not only because of their strongly Christian content, but because they’re terrific good stories. Currently the Young Adult fiction market is dominated by what can only be called garbage, cranked out by adults who think teens need to be even more overacculturated than they already are. Hopefully, readers who develop a taste for Narnia won’t bother with the crap that’s out there.

But to Mr. Grisham and his new movie-making partners, I say… Get it right this time, fellas, or give it up.

(Sorry, the above link doesn’t work. I don’t know why–it’s some computer whatchamacallit.)


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