Summary: We have the Bible. Why read children’s books like the Narnia Tales?
The Chronicles of NARNIA
A special opportunity has come to the screens this Christmas. “The Chronicles of Narnia” is a movie that could open the eyes of many to more than just Hollywood splendor. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (LWW) is one of seven books in a series about the adventures of children in a place called Narnia where a Lion called Aslan, Son of the Emperor Over-Sea, Creator and King of Narnia, teaches the children about who they are and who they can be. C.S. Lewis, the author, was a Cambridge professor who was an atheist until he received Christ in his forties. Lewis was an associate of J.R.R. Tolkien (the Lord of the Rings) and others who wrote fiction that spoke from their Christian background. Lewis wrote many other books such as Mere Christianity and The Screwtape Letters that speak to our need to know more about Truth, the Person of Jesus Christ. This message is not about lifting up CS Lewis nor his writings but the Christ about whom Lewis writes.
In Revelation 5, we are told by John the Revelator that the book of seals cannot be opened by members of mankind. If there is any prophecy or joy or salvation, we cannot know it unless we open the Book of Life. Only God can reveal this information to us. In Rev. 5, John sees the Lion of Judah, the Messiah longed for since David, approaching the Book. As the Book is opened, a revelation of the Lamb of God appears. This Lamb who took died in our place, who became the ultimate sacrifice on the cross, took away the penalty of our personal rebellion and gave us Resurrection Hope! What does mankind need now to open its eyes to the Lamb of God? Could one way possibly include a book/movie about a Lion? The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a book that could have wonderful outreach affects in your family as well as your community.
I Why read Narnia Tales since we have the Bible? First, parents can help their children learn discernment by starting with "children’s books" and showing their children how to read ‘between the lines’ in the Bible as well as modern books. God did not stop speaking to us after the Bible was finished. Although the Bible is the perfect message to us, His general revelation is all around us (Romans 1:16-32). People look at the same world and some see a natural evolution to this point in time. Others see that there is an order to the universe, from nebulas to the smaller universe of DNA and atoms, that shows intelligence behind all that there is. In our world, there are many clues to God, but some do not see them as reflecting a personal God who stepped across the stars to walk among us.
As parents read through all the Narnia tales, creation, sin, judgment, obedience and the will of God can be seen in the pages of the various volumes. To talk about Aslan as the Christ figure can be a very important step in spiritual growth of our children. Narnia may not be true but it contains spiritual truth in its pages. As children read the Bible, they see the Truth in the life of Jesus, the Lion of Judah. In the LWW, we see the Witch/Satan as an absolute evil against the absolute good and holiness of Aslan/Christ. (Harry Potter and other books show a person of lesser evil fighting a villain of greater evil and so people tend cheer for the lesser of the two evils as the hero.)
In LWW, the Wardrobe is a way of leaving the secular world (where there is no supreme being) we live in and seeing life from a different viewpoint. Aslan eventually tells the children that they must return to their time and they were brought to Narnia not to stay but to experience something more real. The children are to remember this brighter, more vibrant, more joyful dimension when they return to a more drab natural world in which very few people believe in a supreme Creator. One of the children grasp this as she says, “It’s not Narnia that we will miss. It’s You, Aslan.” We all miss the God we need, the God we want, the God who must be there for our life to have some order, meaning or purpose.
Narnia is not heaven. Heaven is seen in the last volume of Narnia, The Last Battle where a Stable is found on a battlefield in which “something bigger than the whole world” resided. The Door of the Stable speaks of death which leads followers of Aslan “Farther In and Farther Up” to Aslan’s country- The perfected Narnia with a Garden, etc. Judgment, false gods, the Lamb, the Lion and other reflections of the book of Revelation are seen in the last volume of Narnia.