Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Facing the Supernatural Part 1: What Narnia says about America

(read before Part 2)

Saturday night I went with some friends to see Prince Caspian, the sequel to CS Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Of the seven Chronicles of Narnia, Prince Caspian is my favorite. I try not to think of allegory unless it occurs to me when I read CS Lewis. So my appreciation for the story is quite apart from any meaning of the novel. The story moves quickly, and there are fascinating characters and a glorious victory.

The movie, as Hollywood is wont to do with my favorite things, greatly altered the book. The basic plot was there, and some of the same events. I dare say the duel was taken call by call from the book. A major battle was added, and important events were out of place, which puts a very different spin on the themes of the book.

One point is the same in the book and the movie. Narnia has been invaded by a tribe of humans called the Telmarines. They killed or exiled every talking animal and mythological thing when they conquered, and have for some generations denied the existence of dwarves, fauns, centaurs, and talking mice along with anything supernatural. King Miraz rules a world he understands and controls. And in the story all of a sudden everything they never believed existed came marching up in front of their face.

What a picture of our country! So content in our insistent denial of the supernatural, we wander along in a world we think we can control. If there is a God, he doesn’t interfere with the natural course. If God does redeem the soul, He does not give any power to the Christian. If a Christian has power, it is just excellence in normal gifts and talents. There are no demons and no miracles. Waters do not part. Men do not come back to life. Angels are legends for Christmas trees and graveyards. Dreams are not prophetic. Judgment is never more than consequences or human vengeance.

So we seem to believe.

If God sent undeniably fantastic events and figures upon the world, what would we do?

To God be all glory.

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