Summary: #1 of 8 Narnia teachings. Geared to help you draw out and apply the powerful scriptural truths found in C.S. Lewis’ classic: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.
Are you ready to journey to Narnia?
Over the next eight weeks, we’ll be exploring the wonder & awe of Narnia. Today…I want to set the stage for our 8-week journey that takes us to Christmas Day. Paint a vision on where this spiritual journey to Narnia might take us. Explain why we’re taking this eight-week spiritual journey in the first place.
First, let’s pray.
God…You are a God of awe & wonder. Your ways are not our ways. Your thoughts are not our thoughts. You are eternal & timeless while we are limited in all ways. You are bigger than the universe itself, your story of salvation stretches further than our minds can comprehend. Lord, fill us with YOUR WONDER as we explore your eternal truth as it is revealed in the stories of Narnia. AMEN
First & foremost, let me tell you a bit about the story, The Lion, The Witch & the Wardrobe.
CS Lewis wrote The Lion, the Witch & The Wardrobe in 1950. It’s the first book in a series of 7 books Lewis wrote called the Chronicles of Narnia. The series has sold over 85 million copies in 30 different languages. But unlike other fantasies, where stories glamorize witchcraft, evil potions & dark spells. CS Lewis clearly defines good and evil and as you’ll find out over the next nine weeks, presents a world Narnia where the spiritual truths of the Scriptures become crystal clear.
As a matter of fact, if you’ve never read LWW or seen a video of the story, I believe you’ll be thrilled to find ‘The Story within the story”.
Many of you have never read LWW…maybe never even heard of it. Others of you grew up reading CN or studying them in school...they’re considered literary classics.
Some you here love to read. Others rarely read and have no intention of reading.
Let me tell you my story with LWW.
I had never heard of CS Lewis growing up. Never heard of LWW. My mother was a reading teacher but neither my brother or I were readers. I loved TV and rarely had the patience to sit down & read a book cover to cover. I’m still guilty of starting dozens of books and rarely having the patience to finish them.
God has a sense of humor. In 1978, I was hired to manage a Christian bookstore. Not because I knew a lot about Christian literature, but because I was a strong administrative business-type guy who happened to be a Christian. In the process, I went on a crash-course of learning about Christian books and authors.
Our strongest sellers year-in-year-out were written by a group of authors named the INKLINGS.
The Inklings were a prominent group of writers, professors & intellectuals who met together regularly in a back room at the Eagle and Child (affectionately known as "the bird and baby") public house (a pub) in Giles Street, Oxford University in England during the 1930’s and 40’s. Their most prominent members were C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and Charles Williams, CK Chesterton, Dorothy Sayers and others.
JRR Tolkien & CS Lewis were close friends. Lewis, being younger, looked up to Tolkien and was intrigued with Tolkien’s fantasies like Lord of the Rings. Tolkien, a devote believer in Jesus, played a pivotal role in bringing Lewis from atheism to deep Christian faith between 1929 and 1931.
Born in 1898 Clive Staples Lewis (in Belfast, Northern Irelans) Lewis’ mother died of cancer before he was 10.
Over the years, Lewis became a steadfast atheist.
In 1929...Lewis took his first step toward God.
“In the Trinity Term of I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England. I did not then see what is now the most shining and obvious thing; the Divine humility which will accept a convert even on such terms. The Prodigal Son at least walked home on his own feet. But who can duly adore that Love which will open the high gates to a prodigal who is brought in kicking, struggling, resentful, and darting his eyes in every direction for a chance of escape?”
In 1931 Lewis became a Christian:
One evening in September, Lewis had a long talk on Christianity with J.R.R. Tolkien. That evening’s discussion was important in bringing about the following day’s event that Lewis recorded in Surprised by Joy:
"When we [Warnie and Jack] set out [by motorcycle to the Whipsnade Zoo] I did not believe that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, and when we reached the zoo I did."
CS Lewis went on to become one of the greatest literary figures of the 20th century and to write some of the most important books about the Christian faith, including Mere Christianity, The Great Divorce, Surprised by Joy and the Screwtape Letters.