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Thursday, May 26, 2005

"Chronicles of Narnia" Movie Trailer

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis are wonderful fantasy stories written for children, but enjoyable for adults as well. I loved reading them as a young person, but I think I've loved them even more sharing them with my son. We've read and re-read them together. Go to my Chronicles of Narnia link on the right of my blog if you have never read them.

Lewis wrote The Chronicles as allegories (sort of like extended parables) to illustrate basic tenets of the Christian faith. He once said that since people have little interest in Christian doctrine these days, you sometimes have to smuggle it in to them. And that's what he does.

The Chronicles of Narnia are really seven books. Originally, the first book was "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe." Disney is about to release Lion as a movie this December. Here is the first glimpse of its preview:

Lion in Quicktime

Viewing Options at "Coming Soon"

The Narnia Movie website

Thanks to Beggars All for bringing this to my attention.

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Mutti said...

Hey pastor,
Just a note the first book is actually the Magician's Nephew, although it is often overlooked, and I agree they are all wonderful!

Pastor Scott Stiegemeyer said...

Hi. Thanks for the comment.

Actually this is a big debate. "The Magician's Nephew" takes place earlier in the story, sort of a prequel, if you will. But they were originally published with "Lion" first. Look at the copyright dates. "Lion" was published in 1950. "Nephew" didn't come out until 1955. My personal opinion is that one should read the books in the order in which Lewis wrote them ("Lion" first). Others think it's better to read them in the sequence the story takes place. I say, "whatever," as long as they are read. But there is a big discussion on this whole question.


I'm psyched about the movie!!

Funky Dung said...

I'm for the original publication order. A prequel is written with the previous works in mind and is not a proper introductory story.

Regarding allegory, you seem to have missed the relevant section of the page you site in your comment.

C.S. Lewis used a very strict definition of the word "allegory" -- after all, one of his most important academic books was a study of this subject. He wrote to some Maryland fifth graders in 1954:

"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.'"

Mutti said...


Wow, I missed that. So do you think we'll see Christ (allegorically) in the movie?

Pastor Scott Stiegemeyer said...

I certainly hope so. I think that if the producers are loyal to the text, the answer is a resounding yes. By allegory, I don't mean that "Lion, Witch, Wardrobe" recounts the Gospel narrative point for point. However, it is very clear, I think, that Aslan represents Jesus Christ. The White Witch is the Devil. The "Emperor Beyond the Sea" is God the Father. Narnia is being enchanted by the witch so that it's "always winter but never Christmas." The way Lewis writes this is an insightful description of the world corrupted by sin. As the redemption takes place, the world begins to thaw and new life and color erupts forth. The betrayal of Edmund. The shearing of Aslan. The sacrifice at the stone table. The apparent defeat of Aslan and apparent victory of the witch. The great battle. Aslan's words to Edmund after the reconciliation. All of it sounds like the Christian dogma I know and preach.

What I love from all 7 books of the Chronicles is the way Lewis describes Aslan as "not a tame lion." Dr. Stephen Mueller wrote a book on that called "Not a Tame God" and it's very good. Lewis understands what Luther meant by "we should fear and love God." In fact, no one I've ever read explains that as well as C.S. Lewis in his depictions of Aslan.

Like I said, I'm psyched.

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