Summary: Introduction to our Narnia Christmas series; coincided with the opening of the film The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. This message provided information regarding the author (C.S. Lewis) the basic story, the characters and specific themes

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Narnia Christmas Series

“Begin the Journey”

Oakbrook Church 12/4/05

Intro.- The scenes and music start slowly; children standing by a train station, later playing a game of hide and seek at an old country mansion. A little girl climbs into a giant wardrobe and is magically transported to a winter wonderland. The orchestra swells louder and louder, as rapid fire images of knights, swords, a battle with mythical creatures, a larger than life roaring lion and regal kings and queens fill the screen. Between the images, words flash: “In this house...there are many rooms...there are many doors...but only one...leads to another world.”

Such is the opening of the epic film The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, taken from The Chronicles of Narnia, the C.S. Lewis classic. The film opens in Green Bay next Friday (Thursday at midnight for the adventuresome). We begin our Narnia journey today and during this Christmas season will we uncover the rich spiritual themes woven within this children’s fantasy.

The Author- The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was written by one of the 20th century’s greatest and most well known Christian thinkers, Clive Staples Lewis (now you know why he’s known as C.S. Lewis). Actually, as a child he renamed himself “Jacksie” and later “Jack”. He was one of the most influential writers of the previous century. Translated into at least thirty languages, his works have sold more than two hundred million copies worldwide—100 million copies of the Narnia stories. Nearly all of Lewis’s thirty-eight books are still in print, and for decades they have sold more than a million copies a year around the globe.

Born in 1898 in Belfast to a middle-class, Protestant (Church of Ireland) family, his mother died when he was 7 and his father sent him to boarding school the next year. He learned to read classic literature in 5 languages. At 19, when he took the entrance exams for Oxford, his examiner stated that Lewis’ exams were “the best ever seen” in the history of Oxford. He fought briefly in World War I, graduated with a brilliant record from Oxford, and then taught English Literature there for nearly thirty years.

Although raised as a Christian, Lewis had, by his teens, become a "convinced atheist," considering Christianity on the same level as Norse mythology—and preferring the latter.

In a letter to a friend in Oct. 1916 he said, “I believe in no religion. There is absolutely no proof for any of them, and from a philosophical standpoint Christianity isn’t even the best. All religions, that is, all mythologies to give them their proper name, are merely man’s own invention.”

Through reading G. K. Chesterton and discussions with believers, Lewis became a Theist in his late twenties. He writes of his spiritual journey, "In the Trinity Term of 1929 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." This from the one who later would became one of the twentieth-century’s leading Christian apologists, who in his words, came to Christianity “kicking and screaming”.

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