As a young Christian, one of my favorite authors was C. S. Lewis. I loved the Chronicles of Narnia, and thoroughly enjoyed his space trilogy, most specifically Perelandra was my favorite. Then I read most of his books regarding Christianity, from “The Abolition of Man” to “Surprised by Joy”. I read his apologetics with relish, but found that some of his basic arguments for believing that Christianity was the only faith that served God paled when compared to the more basic theology presented in the stories he wrote for the children.
In the book where the children see Aslan (the Logos of God, also in Lewis’ theology the Son of God, as in Johns gospel), singing the world into being, my heart skipped a beat, as that made incredible sense to me. I hear music all the time, even in the silence. Most of the time it is gentle violin and flute stuff, and very seldom the hard metallic stuff, (though that stuff distresses me no end when I hear it in my mind, as it generally means something is terribly wrong in my world!)
In the last book of the series, “The Last Battle”, where the world is gathered in on Judgment day, Aslan tells the children (I’m paraphrasing here, as I no longer have a copy, couldn’t afford to replace after I gave my set away.)that you cannot worship the Dark with good deeds and you cannot worship God with evil deeds, there are several things said in that, that I am not sure Lewis intended to convey. The first, that there really is only one God.
The second, that it didn’t matter what you call yourself, Christian, Muslim, Ivrit, Jain, Buddhist; no matter what you believe in, no matter where you worship, the one true God hears your prayers and sees into your heart. I quit worrying about whether people were converted to Christianity or not, and started teaching those who were under my influence that you must live according to the Golden Rule, that that was more important than anything else, and that you must do it because you genuinely care, from deep within you, and that if you could not find that caring in your heart, that that was what you were to pray for.
Having read his theological works, I am certain that is not what he wanted to convey in his children’s stories, but it is there, nevertheless. In fact, I gave several sets of those books to children whose parents practice Christianity to the exclusion of all other faiths with the express purpose of exposing them to a greater truth, and for many years did not even speak of what I had found to be solid core truth in Lewis stories for children, most especially to those parents.
I only bring it out now, as it seems that the stories are being made into movies. I have not seen even the first movie, though I would very much like to. I suspect they are wonderful with all the special effects. And, for me, the larger, more solid core of spiritual truth is ripe and ready to be explored by the citizens of our world, who seem most weary of One set of God’s children finding exception in another set of God’s children and starting wars that can only flow over to the rest of us in horror, pain and suffering.
It really is time, folks, the God that is real is much larger than your imagination can allow. This God is above gender, truly cares about all life, has given free will to these puny humans, (and I am not sure that God has not regretted that, but without free will, obedience to the high principles is not true obedience). Has said in the Torah that the desire is for obedience to these principles rather than sacrifice, so even the act of worship is not truly understood by the religious, and wants us to be kind to one another.
Edit, 2.3.09, I have seen both the Lion the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and Prince Caspian. The filmography was wonderful, and there is little or no preaching in them, well done.