You Don't Know Jack

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You Don't Know Jack

MovieBob would like to introduce you to the real C.S. Lewis, creator of Narnia.

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Did you knewd, that the guy who wrote Brave new world Aldous huxley, Also died at the same day as him and JFK?

I should read these books already.

"Good deeds are good deeds." has basically been my philosophy on how to live my life and what should happen with whatever sort of god/afterlife there is/isn't.

"Don't be a dick." is also part of it. :p

A topic near and dear to my heart. Always fun to hear a little bit more about the people behind all this stuff we see. Nice article.

Before the inevitable all-encompassing flame-war starts in, I want to thank you for this thoughtful, even-handed look at the relationship between Lewis's faith and fiction. I think it's one of your best columns.

Interesting post, Bob.

I think Lewis subscribed to the same interpretation of "No one comes to the Father except through me" as I do: Doing the right thing *is* putting faith in God even if we do not realize it.

Onyx Oblivion:
I should read these books already.

"Good deeds are good deeds." has basically been my philosophy on how to live my life and what should happen with whatever sort of god/afterlife there is/isn't.

"Don't be a dick." is also part of it. :p

Speaking as a long time fan, yes, yes you should. Even ignoring all the theological parts (I completely missed them the first time through) it's great fantasy and a good read.

npath:
Before the inevitable all-encompassing flame-war starts in, I want to thank you for this thoughtful, even-handed look at the relationship between Lewis's faith and fiction. I think it's one of your best columns.

Seconded. Thanks for the insight Bob.

Bravo. This was an excellent write-up.

Fascinating article Bob, perhaps Lewis' grab-bag approach not only applied to forging the mythic world of Narnia, but also bringing together the various religious sects

Fantastic writeup Bob. I see why my mother loves the Narnia books so much. She's also what would be called a "theistic evolutionist". :)

Onyx Oblivion:
"Good deeds are good deeds." has basically been my philosophy on how to live my life and what should happen with whatever sort of god/afterlife there is/isn't.

"Don't be a dick." is also part of it. :p

sorenity34:
I think Lewis subscribed to the same interpretation of "No one comes to the Father except through me" as I do: Doing the right thing *is* putting faith in God even if we do not realize it.

To the both of you -- what do you mean by "do good?" Can I still be doing good if I'm doing something contrary to the word of God? Or are you saying that if you follow the word of God, it's still good, even if you're not doing those things because it'd the word of God?

OT: When I opened this, I went "Oh Christ it's four pages," and I only read it because I'm cooking lunch and I don't have much else to do. But it turned out to be really interesting. I read The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe for English class in like 7th grade, and it really just didn't do it for me. In fact, fantasy books like Tolkien's and Lewis' never have. I hated The Hobbit. However, the story of Lewis' life and his struggles with faith and nostalgia is very meaningful to me. It makes me reflect on all the different ways and reasons a person can be a follower of Christ. It's not just one faith with one set of rules. Not everyone who believes it does so for the same reasons, and the reasons can be really out there themselves.

So yeah, the relationship to the fantasy world of Narnia didn't make this article for me, but the ruminations on the nature of faith really did. Damn good article Bob.

This is one of the best written and most thoughtful articles I've read on this site. Also very educational. Thank you, Bob.

MovieBob:
Last week, actor Liam Neeson - who voices the lion messiah Aslan in the films - invited a firestorm of controversy simply by opining that, to him, Aslan need not represent only one faith to be meaningful.

Precisely why I distrust organized religion (except Buddhism). Just an excuse to divide people over NON-ISSUES. You don't need to be Christian to appreciate that Aslan is awesome, all you have to do is read the books.

summerof2010:

Onyx Oblivion:
"Good deeds are good deeds." has basically been my philosophy on how to live my life and what should happen with whatever sort of god/afterlife there is/isn't.

"Don't be a dick." is also part of it. :p

My personal definition of "do good", is "try not to harm anyone".

It's loose, but I haven't really encounter any terribly contrived situations in my life that have torn be apart yet.

Really interesting intermission today. I've always been a CS Lewis fan and kept being one even after I realized the Christianity of them, so this was really enlightening for me

MovieBob:
MovieBob: You Don't Know Jack

MovieBob would like to introduce you to the real C.S. Lewis, creator of Narnia.

Read Full Article

Damn you Bob! I have just spent 15 minutes trying to find the nearest library so I can read the books again... I will have to find out if my parents still have them.

Very insightful as always. Also, as always, sending me to discover or rediscover something!

summerof2010:

To the both of you -- what do you mean by "do good?" Can I still be doing good if I'm doing something contrary to the word of God? Or are you saying that if you follow the word of God, it's still good, even if you're not doing those things because it'd the word of God?

To clarify: "good" meaning "according to God's will."

A stellar piece on an incredibly interesting and influential man.

If you want to see a man's biggest struggles laid bare, read Lewis's "A Grief Observed," written after the death of his wife.

I didn't read much "children's" literature growing up. By the time I was reading fantasy I was into my teens and didn't look back. So since I didn't try reading the Narnia books until I was in my mid-20s, they didn't do much for me. Then again, other than The Hobbit, neither did Tolkien. But I greatly respect the role both played in laying the foundations of the genre, and the concept of world-building. Maybe they were too good at it, since it took half a century for the literary genre to really break away from their influence, while films and especially video games are still treading their same ground.

I'm not as impressed with Lewis as an apologist--I find it kind of surprising a folklorist, especially a smart guy like him, couldn't see the biggest weakness against his own Trilemma. And his so-called "atheist" period always sounded more like adolescent rebellion: is there any point in discussing someone's faith until after they've actually thought long and hard on it? But I respect his integrity, open-mindedness and intellectual honesty, and would rather debate the issue with someone like him than most of the ranting idiots you find--on either side.

Damn, Bob. You put some work into this one. I also get the impression you're a pretty big Lewis fan (not many folks know the Space Trilogy, even though it's some of his best work). Thoroughly enjoyed the article, thank you very much.

Damn, Movie Bob. You should write a book.

I'd like to get my two cents in before the TL;DR comments start.

C.S. Lewis was probably the most polarizing author I had growing up. My grandmother's sister and her family her very anti-Narnia, saying that the books were sacrilegious at best and direct deceptions from Lucifer at worst. Everyone else would just smile and nod at family reunions whenever they would talk about Narnia, and my great aunt actually tried to take me over her knee when I started reading The Silver Chair.

For that reason, the books themselves were an odd way for me to let out my "teenage rebellion" without having to resort to drugs or other "aberrant" behaviour.

OT: Well thought out article Bob. I've read Jack's story before, but it's nice to see that The Escapist is running good stories like this too.

@ Bob
I found it interesting that you labeled the Left Behind series as 'genre' fiction. Within the Christian community those books are largely regarded as 'speculative guesswork' i don't know anyone that would call them sci-fi, or fantasy, because of how closely the authors tried to stay to the events foretold (in very involved symbolism) in the book of Revelation.

There ARE actual others that delve into sci-fi and fantasy territory that also publish themselves as "Christian Authors." (I personally hate the term, as I hate "Christian Music" and Christian Films". These are people that are simply catering to a specific audience for backing, while turning their back to the people that, if we are to follow the Bible, need to hear the Christian message more.)
A couple of these authors that write fantasy and science fiction with Christian labeling are; Ted DekKer, author of the Colors trilogy (Black, Red, and White) and Three, (which was made into a half decent movie.) as well as waaay too many others. Another author worth mentioning is Robert Liparulo, author of a book called "Comes A Horseman" that delves into a character that believes he is the antichrist, and even gets to the point of infiltrating the Vatican, with a host of followers. A REALLY tough sell in the so called 'Christian' market.

"Comes a Horseman" is a really good read, and I highly recommend it. Ted DekKar's work though can be a bit preachy and heavy handed with it's allegory and is a perfect example of a lot of the problems of authors writing to a solely Christian audience.

As for your essay on C.S. Lewis, thank you, I haven't heard much about his upbringing and the psychological analysis is enlightening.
If you are interesting in understanding the 'logic' that Lewis saw from his collegues in Oxford, seriously check out an essay he did called "Mere Christianity". You've probably heard of it, but if you haven't read it, it's got some great stuff in there, especially the first couple chapters.

I remember feeling oddly betrayed when I got to 'a horse and his boy' (which is where I started noticing the religious undertones, 14 year old me was pretty dumb). There is the one... parable? Where Aslan tears up the Boys back to mimic the whippings given to the slave who had taken punishment for his actions, and it was just a little more than I could bear.

Still though, the books are very creative and fantastical. I especially liked the Voyage of the Dawntreader because it seemed like it had better pacing than the others.

A fantastic man, and perhaps the best blueprint for us all to consider religion, religious or not.. to see how it fits into, and impacts our lives. He didn't really need or want a church, and nor did Christ.

It's an interesting post, although I have to argue that the title is misleading, as all of the information in it is widely known. At least, I thought so anyway.

I would disagree that anything that features in the Daily Mail could, or should be considered a "firestorm of controversy".

Great article. I've long been a fan of Lewis myself, so it's nice to read this and see others appreciate his work.

Onyx Oblivion:
My personal definition of "do good", is "try not to harm anyone".

It's loose, but I haven't really encounter any terribly contrived situations in my life that have torn be apart yet.

Simple, easy to work with, respectable. I dig it. So as long as a person subscribes to that code of ethics, they're heaven bound, right? What if someone places, say, their country over the lives of millions? Though they have a different code of ethics, they're still doing what's "right." Or what determines your code of ethics? I'm going somewhere with this.

sorenity34:
To clarify: "good" meaning "according to God's will."

So you're saying, "Follow God's will, even if you don't believe in God?" Seems kind of counter-intuitive to me.

EDIT: I just thought of an even better response to both of you. This is my point exactly. Even though you both seem to have the exact same philosophy, you believe completely different things. One says not hurting folks is good, the other says whatever God says is good is good. And you both say "do good." Frankly I think it's closer to the truth that neither of you, nor Jacksie in his quote, are saying anything at all.

Very good read. However, one bit near could be debated.

MovieBob:
Aslan comforts a former-follower of Tash - the demonic "false-god" of Narnia's enemies - who now fears punishment for having worshipped the wrong idol. Aslan dismisses his fears, explaining that since he'd lived a morally-upstanding life it didn't matter. Good deeds were good deeds, regardless of which god they were done for, so welcome to Aslan's Country (read: Heaven.) That's about as far away from "No one comes to the Father but through me!" as you can get.

Personally, it sounds to me like the follower of Tash still entered "through" Aslan. I think this is a different interpretation of that quote--if they lived good lives, then people can convert during their judgement and enter Paradise through Christ--not an opposing opinion.

good article, is it worth noting that aslan as a character takes a lot from the pagan sun god as well, dying so winter may rise then being reborn to chase away winter, in the lion the witch and the wardrobe?
The concept of death and ressurection was nothing new in religion and folklore neith was virgin birth, it all occured in older faiths, I think tolkien recognised this and used alsan to debate paralells with christianity and older religions from which christianity took its myths.

Nice article (accompanying a nice review) :D

I needed to be reminded of why I like MovieBob ^^

Wow, the people who slated Neeson in that news article REALLY pissed me off... *HUFF* *HUFF* ... now excuse me while I go and read the rest of your article Mr.Bob.

*finished reading* wow that was good, REALLY good. Made me feel better. Whats funny is that even though Aslan said "its all good as long as its good" people still got annoyed at Neeson for emplying he has links to other religions. He may not have been a representation of anyone but Jesus but he in no way condems others for thinking differently.

Kind of the dumb, they cant accept others ideals but Aslan can.

Wow bob, that was good. More like this in the future.

Great article, Bob. We can really see how much you respect Lewis' work and life.

This article was VERY good, yes! </Heavy>

Falseprophet:
Then again, other than The Hobbit, neither did Tolkien

I agree. Read The Hobbit in the sixth grade, when news of the movies was coming out, and like Gollum (CHapter 5, which was sampled for the front page of the book). Then, when I tried reading the LOTR books, I got through the first and a bit into the second (or: about halfway through Fellowship), and haven't gotten to finishing it. The world is interesting, but the writing was too much.

starwarsgeek:
Personally, it sounds to me like the follower of Tash still entered "through" Aslan. I think this is a different interpretation of that quote--if they lived good lives, then people can convert during their judgement and enter Paradise through Christ--not an opposing opinion.

Yeah, Aslan kinda approved him, so -- without having read the books -- it sounds to me that the ex-Tash-er* was repenting of his old way and looking to Aslan for consolation. I'm not Christian, but I sit with the view that no one can get into Heaven by deeds alone.

However...hrm... I feel I'd need to read the text to make a proper interpretation, but trying to rationalize this by the aforementioned stance I side with... Is there a Biblical verse to the effect of "God's name is stamped upon our hearts"? I think I had heard/read that before, and it's the basis of my ruminations on baby deaths, that since their hearts know God, and they presumably wouldn't have the mind to have willfully disregarded/rejected Him, they'd be in Heaven. This also plays into wondering about being at all fair to places in the world that wouldn't know God as "God"/"Yahweh"/"Jehova"/whatever: would they "know" God, even if under an incorrect moniker? Would this Tash-follower have been doing right by God's will, even if he was doing so under the premise of another god? I figure one would be driven to good works by the grace of God/the Holy Spirit, that God's presence is the means by which "good" is done. So, is it that the ex-Tash guy, by evidence of leading a righteous life, does, inside, "know" godliness, even if it's not until recently that he consciously knew from whence it came?

Dammit, now you (Bob/Lewis) have gotten me to make walls-o'-text. Good going, heroes.

*BTW: "Tash" is an awxome god-name.

Cool article, bro. I learned a lot about this C.S. Lewis fellow.

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