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Friday, May 16, 2008 

Chronic(what?)cles Of Narnia!

Well, Prince Caspian, the latest installment of the Chronicles of Narnia opens today. Yeah, yeah whatever. I know the hate mail is sure to start piling up in the ole inbox now.

I’m sorry but I just didn’t think The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was as good everybody else around me thought it was. I remember taking the youth group to see it and wishing I could see what was running during the previews as opposed to what was playing in my little corner of the multiplex. I recall thinking the upside was that the other youth group, a few rows in front of us, were getting more Jesus in CGI than they probably were getting at their church given the state of Americanized Christianity these days.

I know some of my more reformed minded friends loved the fact that Hollywood was making a “religious” movie. And therein lies my problem with the first installment of the series. If I want to hear or watch something about God I’m very fortunate in that I’m able to attend a church where the Word is preached purely and the Sacraments are administered rightly. I don’t need to see Jesus dressed like a computer generated lion when I can see him every Sunday in the place He has promised to be, His Church.

The more I study and teach Scripture, the less I want to play around with fables and metaphors. The more I learn through the eyes of faith about very real incarnate Lord the less I am mesmerized with a lion made up of pixels and polygons. At the end of the day, I’d much rather go to the local art museum and stare for hours on end at renaissance era paintings depicting scenes from Scripture than watch anything out of Hollywood. Those paintings certainly ain’t perfect, but there is almost a purity in them to be sure.

Now this is not to say that the new movie’s release hasn’t gone unnoticed in my house. Already the missus is rolling her eyes with my constant recitation of Saturday Night Live’s “Lazy Sunday” digital short. She might have thought it was funny the first ten or twenty times I did it but now I fear she is only getting annoyed with me.

“Lazy Sunday” is easily in my top five skits list of the last twenty years. The fact it aired during Tina Fey’s watch, and that it’s still funny, makes it that much better. Watch it for yourself and you’ll understand why.

The film was not made for you. The books were not written for you. They were intended for the little darlin's you took to the movie.

So just go, go, go and fine new ways to describe the antichrist.

“The film was not made for you. The books were not written for you.” That’s not what the 600 Club says.

I personally agree with you, but then I am totally left brain, or whatever side of the brain is the rational one.

I will admit though, that I have theological friends who I trust deeply who are actually edified byt this kind of thing.

BTW - thanks for linking our website on your list - laymen with issues etc. I look forward to your neice serving her internship with us next year!

Frank, I just saw Prince Caspian. It stands on it's own as a Fantasy/Action flick. Much better than the first and better than any of the made for tv fantasy flick on scifi channel. They first one was crappy in my opinion. This one is worth seeing; at least at the $1.50 show.

Pr. Rossow, you are one lucky parish to be getting Valerie. Her aunt and I are going to miss her a bunch but we know she had to move away eventually.

Concerning the link; hey, I'd put up a hundred links if folks were as willing as you to speak the truth concerning the synodocrats. It’s obvious that these folks are playing hardball politics worthy of the biggest fortune 500 company. With that in mind, I’m sorta surprised that so many pastors have been willing to stand up to the ‘crats. With calls treated as only employment and pensions and livelihoods at risk, you guys are showing the world what it means to bear witness to Christ’s gospel.

tgeek, I'm agonna save my $1.50 for The Dark Knight in July or The Spirit opening up on December 25.

Have you ever read the books? Believe me, the movie didn't do the book justice at all. And it's definetly not for everyone. It's more for children who are beginning to learn about the Lord, and for fairy tale lovers. Did you even try to grasp what the book was saying, though? I think Lewis did an excellent job portraying Jesus through Aslan.

Anon, I have read the books and yes they are very well written, just not my cup of tea. This is why I say the more I study and teach Scripture, the less I want to play around with fables and metaphors. I can enjoy Lewis’s or even Tolkien’s work as fiction but I don’t get all warm and fuzzy over what are very solid Christian themes running through each of the author’s works. Some of my more reformed minded friends say that Hollywood has finally seen the light every time one of these kind of movies come out but they are mistaken; Hollywood doesn’t “get religion” and never will. Hollywood exists to make money plain and simple.

"It's more for children who are beginning to learn about the Lord"- here is my real problem with the books. The level of catechesis or teaching is so poor within Christendom that I believe it is a misguided effort teach sound Biblical doctrines through the use of fairy tales and myth. I know far too many people that are happy to sit and read the Narnia books but who only show up with their kids to attend Sunday school when they have ushering duties. If all the kids are exposed to is myths, will they understand the realities of the Incarnation and Christ’s propitiating sacrifice on the cross? The children need to start with the God’s Word first and understand that we are all poor sinful creatures who need Jesus to be declared righteous before the Lord and not fictional Aslan.

Now in fairness, I have seen children that are well schooled in sound Biblical teaching and who understand some of the more complicated teachings (better even than some adults) because they have great parents and who have been introduced and enjoy the Narnia books. It’s all about great parenting at the end of the day.

Does that explain it a little better?

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  • I'm Frank Gillespie
  • From The Haut South
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