Lewis never intended the Narnia books to be an evangelical tool. But he did hope that they would show children the beauty and power of Christianity in a fresh light, rather than burdening them with the stale, as he put it, “stained glass and Sunday school associations” that could inadvertently “freeze feelings.” At a time when, as the newspaper Guardian reports, “Forty-three percent of people in Britain [can’t] say what Easter celebrate[s],” the need for such fresh approaches to faith is more urgent than ever.
Whatever audiences may make of the film, we Christians have an unusual opportunity right now. The limelight is notoriously fleeting, and Lewis knew that all too well. He once wrote, “To move with the times is, of course, to go where all times go.” His refusal to “move with the times” is in part what gave his work its timeless quality.
But for the moment at least, Lewis and his work are drawing worldwide attention, which gives us Christians a great opportunity. Take your friends to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, explain the Christian message it portrays, and then give them a copy of one of Lewis’s books. A list is available on our website, or we will send you a copy if you call us (1-877-322-5527). My choice, which comes as no surprise to anyone, is Mere Christianity—it might change their lives, just as it did mine.
For further reading and information:
Today’s BreakPoint offer: With The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe coming out this month, what better time to get unsaved friends and loved ones C. S. Lewis’s book Mere Christianity? Get a bulk supply (25 for a donation of $100, or 50 for a donation of $200)—a great ministry opportunity for churches and Bible studies! Call 1-877-322-5527.
Get a bulk supply (25 for a donation of $100, or 50 for a donation of $200)—a great ministry opportunity for churches and Bible studies! Call 1-877-322-5527.
Here is a selected bibliography of other books by C. S. Lewis from the C. S. Lewis Institute.
Gina Dalfonzo, “The Pre-Baptism of the Imagination: Narnia in a Secular Culture,” BreakPoint WorldView, November 2005.
Jay Tolson, “God’s Storyteller,” U.S. News & World Report, 12 December 2005.
Lisa Miller, “A Man and His Myths,” Newsweek, 7 November 2005.
Max Davidson, “Inklings of Immortality,” Telegraph (London), 3 December 2005.
Greg Stacy, “The Good Book: Aslan the Lion vs. the Lamb of God,” Orange County Weekly, 2-8 December 2005.
Richard N. Ostling, “It Was Faith that Made the Fantasy,” Washington Post, 3 December 2005, B09.
Dr. Anne Carson Daly, “Lewis’s Beloved Narnia,” To the Source, 22 November 2005.
Polly Toynbee, “Narnia Represents Everything That Is Most Hateful About Religion,” Guardian, 5 December 2005. An example of some secularists’ hostility toward the film and Lewis.
Gina Dalfonzo, “The Impoverished Imagination: Why Good Fantasy Must Stem from Reality,” BreakPoint WorldView, March 2004.
Adam Gopnik, “Prisoner of Narnia: How C. S. Lewis Escaped,” New Yorker, 21 November 2005. (Another article critical of C. S. Lewis.)
Erik Brady, “Is That Lion the King of Kings?” USA Today, 2 December 2005.
Colleen O’Connor, “God or Fantasy?” Denver Post, 20 November 2005.
Alan Jacobs, The Narnian: The Life and Imagination of C. S. Lewis, HarperSanFrancisco, 2005.
Robin Parrish, interview with Michael Flaherty (president of Walden Media), Infuze, November 2005. (Free registration required.)
Hollywood Jesus has set up a Chronicles of Narnia blog with links to a large number of articles on the subject. Christianity Today’s website also has a special section devoted to the film. Also see resources from the C. S. Lewis Foundation.
BreakPoint Commentary No. 031121, “Three Died That Day: Reflections on November 22, 1963.”
BreakPoint Commentary No. 051109, “All Things to All People: C. S. Lewis’s Case for Christ.”
BreakPoint Commentary No. 030812, “One Night in a Driveway: Reflections on Thirty Years of Faith.” (Colson tells how C. S. Lewis’s book Mere Christianity helped lead to his salvation.)