157. The Horse and His Boy

New Warhorn Media post by Nathan Alberson:

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I think you guys are going to be visited by three Narnian ghosts some night to show you the error of your ways.

There’s great stuff in the Ward book about this one. I know he’s part of the Lewis Industrial Complex but he pointed out a lot of obvious things I’d never really thought about (like the contrast between the stilted prose of the Calormenes and the eloquence of the Narnias, the way everything is in pairs since Mercury is associated with Castor and Pollux for some reason, etc.).

At least we know what the Pevensies would think of your review: “You could see that they were ready to be friends with anyone who was friendly and didn’t give a fig for anyone who wasn’t.”

Love,

Jay

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So they … would be friends with us?

I think you have been overcompensating for the entire series.

These Narnia books have been a blessing in many ways, and by giving such cursory nods to the good contained here, you undermine the good warnings you are giving.

If you were to take the time to show that you understand and value what is great about these books, your cautions would have more weight.

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So.

Long time listener and supporter here.

This ep was a stinker. It happens. Looking forward to next week.

:smiley:

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I hope you guys will enjoy our episode on The Magician’s Nephew. We only spend 30 minutes talking about Harry Potter in that one.

Kidding! :drum:

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I think I understand what you guys are trying to do and I appreciate it, but I think you’re going about it the wrong way.

From what I gather there are a lot of people that idolize or misuse Lewis and you want to push back on that. That’s fair. However, your approach hasn’t been as effective as it could be.

For starters, you’ve been factually wrong on a number of your claims. Lewis wasn’t a universalist as you asserted in today’s episode. Lewis explicitly rejected universalism in his non-fiction and implicitly in some of his fiction (c.f. The Great Divorce ). Nor did Lewis deny the existence of Hell. It is true that he pushed back on traditional notions (c.f. The Pilgrim’s Regress ) and speculated about annihilationism in The Problem of Pain , but he did accept the doctrine of Hell and eternal punishment (though he was not sure if eternal meant everlasting).

I’m guessing you all and a lot of your listeners don’t completely agree with Lewis’s soteriology (e.g. Rahner’s idea of “anonymous Christians” that he seems to accept in The Last Battle ) or his openness to annihilationism. That’s completely fair. But it is important to get the facts straight. When you tie Lewis to doctrines that he never asserted = that push him far away from orthodox faith, it seems like you are grasping at straws to undermine him, which in turn undermines the legitimate points you want to make.

Second, I think we live in a society that is too eager to put the worst interpretation on something and deconstruct or reject it. One way we as Christians can be counter-cultural is to charitably read things, especially from fellow believers(!) and especially when the person in question is dead and cannot defend or clarify himself. It is just way too easy to give something a hostile reading and debunk or refute it—this is how cable news and every sophomore operates! But it makes our arguments weak and it is often wrong. Calvin, for example, argued that “do not slander” doesn’t just mean refrain from speaking evil, but that it has a positive side: interpret things in the best possible light—if there is a way to see something as good or noble, see it that way. I think that reading the fallen star section of Voyage of the Dawn Treader as believing that Lewis thinks we need to be under the tutelage of demons before we can come to God is a place where we can and should read him more charitably. It just shouldn’t be the case that fellow Christians are taking a more hostile approach to Lewis than non-Christians.

Ultimately, if there are people that are misusing Lewis, point that out and refute that . And do so in a way that is charitable and I think your arguments will be more effective and better received.

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