Most have probably heard of C.S. Lewis, author of the famous Chronicles of Narnia, a book series, turned into a successful movie franchise. Many have enjoyed the film over the years, and most have noticed the huge similarities of the books/films to Christianity.
If you’ve watched the movie or read the books, you’ll know that Aslan, the great lion that ruled over Narnia, is a direct analogy to Jesus Christ. As C.S. wrote in a letter:
“The whole Narnian story is about Christ. That is to say, I asked myself ‘Supposing that there really was a world like Narnia and supposing it had (like our world) gone wrong and supposing Christ wanted to go into that world and save it (as He did ours), what might have happened?’ The stories are my answers.”
Although C.S. Lewis’ intention was to provide a story about Christ, many have found the Narnia chronicles to be a terrible and weak representation of Christianity. Many have found the Chronicles of Narnia to be misleading. Aslan is described as this majestic lion that reigns over the kingdom of Narnia. In addition, the book explains that Aslan’s sacrifice was due to the sacrifice of anyone who has a pure and good heart.
In contrast to the life of Jesus, He is described as the lamb, a great difference to a lion. In John 1:29, Jesus is described as the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John, 1:29). Jesus is the world’s majestic and powerful savior, but he is the “Lamb of God,” because the lamb is a symbol of the pure and innocent sacrifice, and peace and purity.
Moreover, in the book of Matthew, it is described that the death of Jesus was the only sacrifice that could save all human beings from sin. This can also been seen in the Revelation 1:5, “Jesus Christ…who loves us and who has released us from our sins, by His blood” (Rev. 1:5). Unlike in the C.S. Lewis books, anyone who is good enough can be a sacrifice, which the Bible explains only one person, the son of God, Jesus Christ, can save us from sin.
There is also the problem of the whimsical and magical aspect of the stories. Children, even adults, are caught up with the magical aspect of Narnia, and are amazed with the wars and fighting of evil, that the big picture of Christianity is missed; Christ Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins, so that we may live with God in Heaven.
As explained in Dei Verbum from Vatican II, “Through Christ…human beings can draw near to the father and become sharers in the divine nature” (Dei Verbum, 85). In addition “ [Jesus’] death and his resurrection from the dead… [is] His message that God is with us to deliver us from the darkness of sin and death” (Dei Verbum, 86). Christian religion focuses on the revelation that Jesus sent his one and only son to die for us so that all may live forever.
The magical aspect of Narnia is truly great and entertaining, but as the author states it’s relation to Jesus Christ, is it a good representation of Christianity? Should this book be advertised as a Christian text, or advertised for Christians to read? These series are a huge franchise around the world, should we be concerned with its associations to the Christian theology? Also, are there any other aspects in the books that are a terrible representation of the faith? Or do you think that there are no problems with the series?
Toynbee, Polly. “‘Narnia represents everything that is most hateful about religion'” The Guardian.
Guardian News and Media, 05 Dec. 2005. Web. 05 Feb. 2017.
Benedict, James Carroll, and Edward P. Hahnenberg. Vatican II: the essential texts. New York:
Image, 2012. Print.
The Bible. Authorized King James Version, Oxford UP, 1998.