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Monday, December 19, 2005

Aslan, Not Safe But Good

More thoughts on the Narnia movie. One of the key scenes is when the children are with Mr. and Mrs. Beaver and are first told about Aslan (the Christ figure). The movie shortened the dialogue, so I want to offer you this bit here from the novel itself:

"Is - is he a man?" asked Lucy.

"Aslan a man!" said Mr. Beaver sternly. "Certainly not. I tell you he is the King of the wood and the son of the great Emperor-Beyond-the-Sea. Don't you know who is the King of Beasts? Aslan is a lion - the Lion, the great Lion."

"Ooh!" said Susan, "I'd thought he was a man. Is he - quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion."

"That you will, dearie, and no mistake," said Mrs. Beaver, "if there's anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they're either braver than most or else just silly."

"Then he isn't safe?" said Lucy.

"Safe?" said Mr. Beaver. "Don't you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you."
This passage is crucial for understanding the character of Aslan and, I would suggest, for understanding Jesus Christ. Elsewhere through the series, the slogan is "Alsan is not a tame lion." Well, folks Jesus is not a tame God. He is not safe, but He is good.

One of the deepest troubles of many of our churches is that we have adopted a tame Jesus, a domesticated deity who obeys our commands, and wags his tale when he sees us and generally wants to please. If that is your basic understanding of Christ, you may be worshipping an idol. Beware.

The person who says, "I don't need the church to be saved," essentially has no fear of God. He does not understand his need for Word and sacrament. The person who believes that the essence of Bible study is to give us practical rules for living, has a defective sense of who Jesus is and what He is all about.

Many of us don't want a Savior, we want a therapist. We don't want an Incarnate God, we want feel-good spirituality. We don't want a cross, we want self-realization. We don't want Jesus, we want ourselves.

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Carl said...

Thanks for another excellent post! The root problem of those who stay away from Word and Sacrament is varied and multi-faceted and can only be dealt with on an individual basis. I believe that we pastors have been stripped of one "key", that is, to bind sin.
Everyone is quite content to have us preach the "loosing of sins," but few (at least in the case of inactives) will bear with
the "binding" key. Since we can do little to "bring them back" short of proclaiming the Word of God (law and Gospel) all we can really do is pray for them. If they refuse the Word then they must face the consequences of that. I really believe that we are living in those days described by our Lord when "many will turn away" (from the faith) Matt.24:10
May the Lord keep us faithful til the end!

yak attack said...


I really enjoyed this post, and the boldness you use in sharing the Truth. I quoted you in my blog (, leaving a link to yours.

Thank you for such good writing!

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