Let’s just start off with a bit of honesty, shall we? The mention of C. S. Lewis makes me grind my teeth together in an attempt to not roll my eyes or say too many pretentious, hurtful things. I feel that he, quite rightly, is one of if not THE token intellectual for Christians, particularly evangelical Christians. I say ‘quite rightly’ because the man was brilliant: a top scholar, a good communicator, an imaginative storyteller, and not afraid of asking the difficult questions about and of his faith. But his sheer ubiquity among Christians of an academic inclinations whatsoever is enough to drive me crazy – or at least, very sarcastic.
I offer this preface by way of saying that what I’m going to endeavor to do here, by blogging through Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia, is not a new thing. It’s not even kind of new. All the same themes about imagination and discipleship and doubt and anonymous Christians and warfare are going to come up. The reason that I decided to start a series on Narnia, however, is because they have been so formational to the aesthetics of my faith. This is something I realised when recent events – my dad’s death, repeated visits to Michigan, big questions about vocation, etc – were forcing me to realise that the faith that I had as a child has undergone a rather more drastic change than I thought it would have done (and for the better!). But still the emotional and aesthetic ‘places’ in which I work out my faith in fear and trembling (that juicy Pauline/Kierkegaardian phrase) are Narnian.
So I’ll be reading and blogging through the books in chronological order of the story, rather than the dates of publishing, doing some musing and digging and doubtless plenty of off-color joking. For those of you who grew up on these books, as I did, please feel free to join in the conversation in the comments, and may the voyage begin!
Those who haven’t seen ‘Lazy Sunday’, the SNL short to which the ‘Chronic-WHAT-Cles of Narnia’ makes reference, should do so now. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Go here if you are in America or can watch US-based/hosted videos. For UK-dwellers, a slightly poorer quality video.