Tolle Lege: What I Learned in Narnia

Readability: 1

Length: 168 pp

Author: Douglas Wilson

This recommendation isn’t for everyone. What I Learned in Narnia is for those who “grew up” in Narnia, either as children, or as adults who wish that they had lived their longer. If you then are one for whom this recommendation does not pertain, then I suggest you remedy the situation by making it pertain to you. The Chronicles of Narnia is recommended for everyone, no matter their age. You can “grow up” here. You can learn things here.

For those who already love Narnia, Wilson will thrill your eyes with truths you may not have noticed, warmly remind you of some you may have forgot, and freshly capture those you have long adored. Don’t worry about Wilson ruining Narnia by moralizing it. Wilson is not some disinterested scientist dissecting Narnia, he is a resident. He is a longtime disciple of Lewis having grown up Narnia himself.

A rush to moralize has wrecked many a good story, and I don’t want to do that here. But at the same time, good stories are the sorts of stories you do learn from – as C.S. Lewis knew fully well. And if we learn from his wonderful stories we should be albe to discuss it.

You should never trust people who have strong views of authority when talking about people under them, but have very weak views of authority when talking about people over them.

True submission never grovels, true authority never accepts flattery.

Aslan cares about confession of sin, but there is always something beyond it. In other words, being honest about our faults and failings is like washing up for dinner, so you can enjoy that dinner with clean hands. But imagine if someone just washed up for dinner, all the time, over and over, but they never came to the table? Washing is important, but it is so that we can enjoy the meal.

Stories are powerful things, and that is why the villains always try to undermine them from within. It is far easier for bad guys to mix a true story in with their lies than to invent a new story from scratch, because by doing so they can take advantage of the power of true stories while twisting them to their own needs.

This is why Lewis said that a good adventure story is truer than a dull history. The events in the story might not have happened, but it more closely resembles the type of world that God made than a soulless retelling of true events. And when we finally enter heaven we will realize in full how all the best stories were prefiguring that last, greatest story of all.

Beware of anyone who claims to be neutral, for they always have an agenda.

 

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