A Literature Lesson from Professor Lewis

narnia

by Steve Rabey

There's a powerful new condition going around that one Christian magazine called "Narnia Mania." The most common symptom is a heightened sense of anticipation surrounding the December release of Hollywood's latest big-budget film based on C.S. Lewis's phenomenally popular Chronicles of Narnia books.

Lewis was a balding, British bachelor who was more intimate with books than he was with boys and girls; but that didn't stop him from writing a collection of seven novels that was the world's bestselling children's series until a student warlock named Harry Potter arrived on the scene. (The Narnia books have sold some 85 million copies, while the Harry Potter books have sold twice that number.)

Christians love Lewis's Narnia novels and his books on Christian theology and apologetics such as Mere Christianity. Christianity Today even called Lewis a "patron saint" of the evangelical movement, a movement that hasn't always been known for attracting large numbers of intellectuals (see Mark Noll's The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind).

While millions of Christians celebrate Lewis' lasting legacy, many of us routinely contradict his guidance about how we should treat literature and art…

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