Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Weighing in on Narnia

It was my original intent to write a review of this film, but time has passed and I'm not sure I would sy anything that has not already been said by people who can say it far better than I. So instead of reviewing the film, which I enjoyed, I want to share some mental meanderings that are closely connected to it. These have been born out of conversations I have had regarding the film.

I guess my biggest question is that I wonder how people who did not read the books reacted to the film, but more importantly, I think my question should be, how do those who do not know the Gospel, respond to the Narnia stories and the film.

You see, when I saw the film, I reacted to particular points emotionally, just as I did when I read the books. As I was watching the movie, I could sense two different sources for that kind of reaction.

The first source was connecting what I was watching to the story I had read and loved not all that long ago (I did not read the books until my first year at Seminary at 26 years old), I remember specifically making the connections to the points in the story that I liked so well, and I was reacting with gladness or slight disappointment at how the movie stayed or strayed with the story written by C.S. Lewis.

But there was a deeper connection going on as well. Just as when I read the book for the first time, the story that Lewis tells is deeply connected to another story that lives within my very self, the accounts of Jesus Christ in the Gospel. This movie connects me to a much deeper and much broader narrative, and it is that narrative that gives me the love I have for these books and this movie.

And so, that being said, I have to wonder how others who do not have that other narrative inside them respond to these books and this film. The interactions I have had so far with those who did not like the books was precisely because they did not 'get it'. In fact, one woman said she could not follow the story at all and really hated it. She felt it did not make any sense at all. When the parallels to the Gospel were pointed out to her, she did a complete 180 on the spot, seeing the connections and having made them, said she needed to go back and read the books again.

I know I should expect that those who do not know about redemption should not be expected to 'see it' in these books and films - but I just can't get past thinking "How can they not see it?"
Interesting and wonderful to think how the work of the Holy Spirit extends past understanding of Scripture and Salvation and touches every part of our lives and how we view the world around us.

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