148. The Chronicles of Narnia, Part 1

New Warhorn Media post by Brandon Chasteen:

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Please change our names to “Jay and Katie who are cold and love cheese and C.S. Lewis including Till We Have Faces.”

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ooooooooh shots fired.

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The only possible resolution: you guys invite us back up for a C S Lewis Q&A/roudtable/rap battle … options are limitless.

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My wife insists it’s a good book, too. I found it very disturbing, though.

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I like the book. I think if you go to it looking for a beautiful display if the gospel (a la The Lion, the Witch…) it misses. But as a comment on human nature it works. I can see myself in the main character. (My least favorite party of the book is her weird name though) It’s no Hideous Strength nor Horse and his Boy. But it works for me.

Or maybe that’s the irrational malice talking :grin:

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Yessir!

Disclosure: I was converted reading Mere Christianity when I was 22 so yes I feel like you’re bashing my friend every time you take Lewis to the woodshed.

(Edit: thought this was THe Humble And Obedient Host when I was replying.)

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Dance off.

Or if Warhorn or Clearnote ever hosts Doug Wilson again y’all can go out and he can be Lewis’ champion.

And you can discuss your (least) favorite topic: Shakespeare’s true identity conspiracy theories.

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I think that Lewis’s comment in Surprised by Joy as well as his use of paganism in Till We Have Faces don’t actually come from his theory of joy, but rather his theory of sin/evil. As I understand Lewis, he follows St. Augustine in viewing sin/evil as a negation/corruption/perversion of something good. Given that, there is no such thing as absolute evil—everything that has any form of existence has at least some good. In this understanding even Satan has good in some sense—he has intelligence, existence, etc. He did not give himself these things, rather they are gifts given by God that Satan has used for corrupt and evil ends. But even though he has only misused them, it does not follow that things like intelligence and existence are evil.

If this understanding of sin and evil is true, then it follows that everything has some good kernel that has been debased, corrupted, perverted, etc. In Till We Have Faces paganism, as Lewis portrayed it, recognized the key truths that sin affects community, that it must be atoned for (it cannot be overcome via philosophy), and that atonement must come in the form of blood. In Surprised by Joy I think Lewis is doing something slightly different. In the 1950s I think his comments would have been pretty shocking. I think he is trying to say that these young men were so spiritually depraved in their pride and ambition that their physical depravity, because it had at least an element of self-forgetful love, was comparatively divine (I know I may be reading into the text something that is not there), i.e. that this could lead them to something higher and better far easier than their all-consuming pride and ambition, both of which seemed to be beyond redemption. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t have put it that way myself, but I do think it is a misreading to ground that comment in his view of joy or the transcendent when I think it is better understood in light of his view of sin and evil.

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Last night, a few hours after prodding a friend to try listening to you guys for the second time, I received this text:

“Haha, the first podcast I’m listening to with Warhorn Media (the book one), they’re talking about how they don’t like Lewis… these guys had better be good.:rofl:”

You’re killing me smalls!:slight_smile:

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Lol. You should have picked specific things for your friend to listen to! It’s not like inviting somebody to church where the sermon that week is just the sermon that week and you’ve got to trust God with it.

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I personally enjoyed the Chronicles of Narnia Series as a whole. I believe there is good stuff to get along the way. I’m sure if I sat and thought long enough I could find things that I would have issue with, but overall it was a really good book series. There were references that obviously pointed to doctrines and references in Scripture. I enjoyed the movies made and disappointed they didn’t make more. I was hoping they would make movies of the books that would have provided more context to the ones they made. For example making a movie adaptation of The Magician’s Nephew would have explained The Wardrobe and the Lamp post as well as the character, Professor Diggory.

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That quote from Surprised by Joy reminds me of something else I recently read by Lewis, in which he reminds me very strongly of the Revoicers:

It so happens that the impulse which makes men gamble has been left out of my make-up; and, no doubt, I pay for this by lacking some good impulse of which it is the excess or perversion. I therefore did not feel myself qualified to give advice about permissible and impermissible gambling: if there is any permissible, for I do not claim to know even that.

Apparently from the preface to Mere Christianity, but I read it here: http://lutheransandcontraception.blogspot.com/2007/10/c-s-lewis-on-birth-control.html

Revoicers say that their attraction to and lust for the same sex is, at bottom, a gift from God and worth keeping (“queer treasures in the New Jerusalem”).

I find that people love to use this idea (something good in at the center of everything evil) to excuse all sorts of sin.

Edited to add: good episode, guys. :slight_smile:

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