by simon baird

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Christians on Narnia & Harry Potter

I've realised from Scott Adams that the secret to successful blogging is to post on controversial topics... So, what's the deal with the Christian backing of Chronicles of Narnia? I read those books as a child and didn't notice any Christian message. Maybe it's there, fair enough, whatever. But how can the same people that want Harry Potter burned think Narnia should be shown at Sunday school? Observe:

Harry Potter Chronicles of Narnia
Hero whisked away to magical world via train Heros whisked away to magical world via portal in wardrobe
Magical spells and creatures such as dragons, centaurs, mermaids Ditto, but add some talking animals and fauns
Triumph over Voldemort with the help of Dumbledore Triumph over the White Witch with the help of Aslan
Reference various elements from non-Christian western folklore Ditto, maybe a little less on the witchcraft

So are any Christians out there anti-Potter and anti-Narnia? At least that would be consistent.


squim said...

the christian connection is, sadly, there... c.s. lewis, although a much better writer than rowling (in my opinion) was a super christian guy! the story of the lion the witch and the wardrob is just the story of christs sacrifice in a different setting. aslan = jesus... i still think christianity as practiced by c.s. lewis is probably a little more down to earth than all the bible thumpers version... but still... by the last book it's the same kind of thing that i have problems with in tolkiens books (also a christian and a freind of lewis) the evil humans are dark skinned forigners...

Daniel said...

I wondered about this when I re-read the series recently, having not read them since I was a kid. But I didn't notice any more preachiness than I did when I was young. Aslan does say stuff like "you can find me in your world, under a different name" or somesuch, but it's pretty vague.

The stories have the cool stuff that Christianity has, with the magic interventions of a powerful good entity etc, but none of the stupid stuff -- the children who visited Narnia didn't blow up any abortion clinics, beat up gay people, or send their Centaur armies to invade a country that didn't worship Aslan but had lots of gold mines ;)

There's even a cool bit in the last book, where someone who worshipped some evil god gets told by Aslan that his acts of faith to this other god count as acts of faith to Aslan, and so the guy will still get the benefits of being on Aslan's side. You don't see *that* kind of thing in Christianity much these days.

So I think the funding is probably misguided if the money givers are trying to actually convert agnostics. Unless the movie differs from the book in some fundamental ways.. hmm.

tim said...

Almost completely unrelated to your post, but worth checking out anyway:

The Chronic of Narnia Rap (better than that sounds, trust me)