The Chronicles of Narnia. It’s a book that tells a story, call it an allegory, metaphor, or simple story reminiscent of what our Savior did in our world.
I say that every Christian should read it because it’s a book from which we can learn a lot; perhaps more than most. Christian fiction is a great way to teach us, to show us our faults, and to show us how things could be in a better world. Even non-Christian fiction can have valuable lessons, such as the Russian novel, The Cancer Ward.
Narnia is not an allegory, Lewis said; it is simply a story of what would have happened if another world needed a savior. And it is a wonderful story, full of adventure – adventure with something we can see in the characters: bravery, faith, love, kindness, and almost any other virtue that you can think of.
In the first book, we see a sort of creation of all the creatures, talking animals, dwarfs, and the like, by a Lion whose name is Aslan. Aslan has invited people from our world (Sons and Daughters of Eve) to witness this event.
Just before this though, there is a witch (called the White Witch) who enters the human world (our world) and comes back to Naria in time to witness Aslan “creating” the creatures and making them talk.
In every book but one, Sons and Daughters of Eve will enter this world by some strange way (whom you will certainly fall in love with, especially Lucy) and have adventures and do great things. They are always send by Aslan for some sort of “mission,” and it is here that we find the most admirable lessons from which every reader can be taught.
There is one little girl, whose name I stated above, who is so small and childlike that nobody listens to her. Once, when she and her co-Kings and Queens were trying to find their way to the new capital of Narnia, she spotted Aslan, showing the way. Unfortunately, nobody took her seriously until almost too late. Through this, and in others, we see the childlike faith of Lucy – a faith which the ideal reliant faith for all Christians.
Aslan himself is more perfect that we can imagine. Throughout the stories, we see him forgive time and again. The way he forgives is in itself gentle: his voice is stern but loving, and he always hugs you, shrouding you in his huge but cozy mane. It is clear that Aslan keeps no record of wrongs, that his forgiveness is complete, even to those who certainly don’t deserve it.
We have adventures that parallel our adventures as Christians. We see the likeness in the story to our lives, and that, if we can have the kind of qualities that they have, we also can conquer anything in our lives.
In the last book, entitled “The Last Battle,” we can see Evil, a pawn of Evil, and then the Most Evil (whom even Evil did not really believe existed.)
We also find that this really is the end of Narnia, and that Aslan has prepared a place for them that none could ever image. It was a world within a world, Narnia within Narnia, where the inside was bigger than the outside. This world was the real Narnia, while the other had been “only a shadow or a copy of the real Narnia which has always been here and always will: just as our own world, England and all, is a shadow or copy of something in Aslan’s real world.” (See Col 2:17)
Some stories have many parallels, some have fewer; some are clearer than others. But it’s a worthwhile read. Of course, one reason to read The Chronicles of Narnia is not only to learn, but to relax and enjoy.
Andrew Scribner - firstname.lastname@example.org
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