C.S Lewis and The Chronicles of Narnia

I’ve not known about the late C.S Lewis for long but like one of the people impacted by the life he lived, I can say a few things about the self-taught apologetic/theologian. He put his literary talent into use to explain things that you would rather need to sit down and argue out with a seemingly non-budging old apologetic with a pair of circle-shaped glasses settled on his nose. In the picture I painted, he looks quite the kind that unnerves right? Yeah, but this kind (C.S Lewis) tells Bible truths as children’s stories (The Chronicles of Narnia). I guess you really need to wear the shoes of a child to understand Bible truths. His explanations of the Bible were quite subtle especially for the non-Christian since they are shrouded under the theme ‘fantasy’. 

Here is a C.S Lewis quote for people who are afraid of being seen as kids.

When I became a man, I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.

C.S Lewis

The man, C.S Lewis

Clive Staples Lewis was a British who held positions in English literature at both Oxford University and Cambridge University. Well, this man was a ticking time bomb who became an atheist at the age of 15. C.S Lewis was angry with God for not existing and had one of the strongest arguments for atheism. That apart, he was drawn to the occult, more like the Celtic pagan mysticism but had to change to the Celtic Christian mysticism after he converted back to Christianity.

The turnaround moment for this returnee prodigal was a result of the arguments he had with his friend, J. R. R Tolkien, (author of the lord of the rings) alongside a book that influenced his conversion back to theism. He resisted conversion and an explicit description of how much he resisted can be read in his book, surprised by joy. You can learn how to download the book here.

His spouse was a fellow intellectual, Joy Davidman whom he married at first by civil contract but finally by a Christian marriage at her deathbed. More and more about this man can be read from his memoir, ‘Surprised by Joy’ which I mentioned earlier, a movie made about his life; The most Reluctant Convert which you can see on any platform where you see movies.

The Chronicles of Narnia

A seven-fold novel series that happened in a fantasy land of Narnia was written by this literature academician who could have been looked on as someone who only writes in big grammar for the highly intellectual; since he wrote books on apologetics.

The Lion, the witch and the wardrobe, Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, The Horse and His Boy, The Magician’s Nephew, and The Last Battle included a fantasy world of magic, mythical beasts, and talking animals. Most were about children who lived in the real world but somehow got transported into the magical world of Narnia.

Three of these books/novels have been made into live-action movies, I.e The Lion, the witch and the wardrobe, Prince Caspian, and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. You can also find animated versions of some of the Narnian novels out there. 

Aslan the Great, a wise and compassionate talking Lion was one of my favourite characters, then next came Lucy Pevensie who had the purest heart. I guess that in our times, Lucy could easily become a Hearty (This is the link on how to follow hearty Christian stories on Instagram) She was the one to whom seeing Aslan was easiest in Prince Caspian.

Although, C.S Lewis refutes the claim by Christians that the book sounds like it was made “Christian” even in instances such as that in which Lucy, the one with the pure heart, is the one who finds Aslan (supposed allegory of Jesus) as can be seen in Matt 5:8 

“Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.”

Matt 5:8

My Horse and his boy moments:

The other characters were fun to read and watch but it is funny that I was introduced to the Chronicles of Narnia through “The Horse and his Boy”, the one which had more corrupt officials, the brown Calormen (I see what C.S Lewis did here☺😊) than the children from the real world.

I started off reading it like I would any Enid Blyton children’s book but very soon, I was catching on to what C.S Lewis described as ‘Supposedly Christian’.

“How do you know?” The momentary dialogue that changed my perspective started.

“I was the Lion.” And as Shasta gaped with an open mouth and said nothing, the Voice continued. “I was the lion who forced you to join with Aravis. I was the cat who comforted you among the houses of the dead. I was the lion who drove the jackals from you while you slept. I was the lion who gave the Horses the new strength of fear for the last mile so that you should reach King Lune in time. And I was the lion you do not remember who pushed the boat in which you lay, a child near death so that it came to shore where a man sat, wakeful at midnight, to receive you.”

“Then it was you who wounded Aravis?”

“It was I.”

“But what for?”

“Child,” said the Voice, “I am telling you your story, not hers. I tell no one any story but his own.”

This was my first awestruck moment. I had read something about fools comparing themselves to themselves in the bible and I guessed that Shasta just wanted the information on Aravis for no particular reason or for the reason why some people want to learn about others–comparison. Or, why else would he want to learn about her except if he was a prophet or something that could warn the owner of the story about an impending event?

But one thing was clear, the Lion, aka the Voice had a private relationship with Aravis and also with Shasta. 

“Who are you?” asked Shasta.

“Myself,” said the Voice, very deep and low so that the earth shook: and again “Myself,” loud and clear and gay: and then the third time “Myself,” whispered so softly you could hardly hear it, and yet it seemed to come from all around you as if the leaves rustled with it.

Then I knew, I was reading no ordinary book. And then, I found other situations like this in the seven novels.

Conclusions for C.S Lewis and the Chronicles of Narnia

No matter how great a human is, there will always be criticisms. If the humans who lived in C.S Lewis’ time had not criticized his marriage, they would have called the book pro-soft pagan.

I used to wish that this man was still alive, but then I thought, how many more awesome stories would we read if everyone presently on earth decided to tell their stories in their own manner or how many more do we have to miss out on?

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