Summary: We probably all identify with the nobler characters in this movie - Noble Peter, Loyal Lucy, Steadfast Susan. But in reality, we are all Edmund. Student ministry PowerPoint format.
[NARNIA – JUST CALL ME EDWARD]
Slide Graphics – picture of Lucy standing by lamppost, picture of C.S. Lewis
Slide Text – “There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Natures, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals that we joke with, work with, marry, and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.” (C. S. Lewis)
When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.
~Of Other Worlds: Essays and Stories,”On Three Ways of Writing for Children”
C.S. Lewis was an amazing man. Some would call him the greatest author of the 20th century. He published over 40 books while he was alive. 20 more were published after his death. Books critiquing medieval literature, books explaining the doctrines of Christianity, Books on difficult subjects such as grief – many more spanning many genres. Yet among his most beloved, enduring books were are series of seven children’s books, known collectively as the Chronicles on Narnia.
Disney is has made a movie from the first book in the series – The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. While it’s based on a children’s book. Disney believes the film will be their best seller of all times and are betting over $100,000,000 that it will become their best-selling movie of all times. Much has been said about the Christian symbolism in these books. Normally in Quest Groups, we use the Bible as our foundation for all we discuss. Today we are going to depart briefly from that practice to take a look at C. S. Lewis’s book, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
[C.S. LEWIS – THE OXFORD ATHIEST]
Slide Graphic – Lewis at his desk, Lewis and the Inklings, Inklings cartoon from “C.S. Lewis for Dummies”
Slide Text – “I find in myself desires which nothing in this earth can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world” (C. S. Lewis)
Before we look at the book itself, you need to understand a little about the fascinating man who wrote it – C. S. Lewis.
Clive Staples Lewis was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 1898. By the time he was 4 years old, he hated his name and insisted on being called Jack for the remainder of his life. His mother died when he was 10 years old. His distant and unemotional father sent him away to boarding school in England the next year. During his formative years, C.S. Lewis learned to read classic literature in 5 languages. When he graduated from the British equivalent of high school, he wanted to go to Oxford. WWI had begun. Since he was Irish, not English, he was not obligated to join the British army at all and could have begun his study immediately, however, he felt it his duty to join. He took the Oxford entrace exams anyway, because if he were accepted, he would be eligible to join the Officers Corps and earn a commission. His examiner stated that Lewis’ exams were “the best even seen” in the history of Oxford. He served as a lieutenant in the British Army in the trenches, and was wounded three times in battle.
His closest friend during the war, Paddy Moore, was killed in the trenches. Paddy had asked Jack to look after his mother and sister if something should happen to him. Jack kept this obligation and, after the war, he brought them into his home and supported them both for the next 31 years, even while working his way through college. He became one of the most popular professors at Oxford, and a brilliant and undefeated debater.
Throughout this time and until he was 30 years old, Lewis was an avowed atheist. Interestingly, Lewis did not believe there was a God, but he said that he resented God for not existing. But a change began to take place in Lewis while he was a professor at Oxford. Lewis became friends with 2 other professors who happened to be real Christians. One was Hugh Dyson, the other was J.R.R. Tolkien, the author of the Lord of the Rings. The three met at a local pub called the Eagle and Childe after work each Tuesday and Thursday for many years, discussing many subjects and critiquing each other’s work. As Lewis got to know these two, he became persuaded that their faith was real. In the summer of 1929, he became convinced that Jesus Christ really was an historic figure, that He really did die on the Cross as a substitute for sins of the world. So Lewis bowed his head and invited Christ into his life.