Books for the Road, No. 4

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

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We continue our journey in Narnia with the most famous book in the series: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. 

The story introduces us to the Pevensies: Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy, who have found themselves sent to the countryside during the Battle of Britain in World War Two. Having found a mysterious wardrobe, they enter the cold world of Narnia, finding it ruled by an evil White Witch. Through the power of Aslan, the witch’s power wanes and the Two Sons of Adam and Two Daughters of Eve defeat the witch and become the Kings and Queens of Narnia, bringing in the golden age of that county.

I have often heard that C.S. Lewis’s friend, and writer of The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien, thought Lewis was too obvious with his Christian themes and disliked the series because of it. Not remembering the book exactly from the first time I read it years ago, I had since assumed it was because of poor craftmanship in his writing that Lewis could not be more subtle with his theme, whereas in The Lord of the Rings the Christian theme is subtle, if not subconscious. However, reading through this book and series again, I see that it was not Lewis’s intention to be subtle. In fact, I might argue that he is presenting the Gospel in a fictitious form for a new age and audience. Now, having said that, as Lewis was a devout Anglican and famed apologetic, he would not be trying to rewrite the Gospel and would understand that it cannot be rewritten or changed because it is the True Word of God. Instead, I wonder if this series is not meant to point others to the Gospel, and ultimately, to Christ. I can see why Tolkien might object to this, but I now better understand what exactly he was objecting to.

Anyways, it was a great read and one I hope you pick up. Next month we have the third book in the series: The Horse and His Boy.

Thank you for reading!

 

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