Love my woman, love my baby, love my biscuits sopped in gravy.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Regarding "How to Tell if The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a Christian Film"
After Edmund Pevensie betrays Aslan and his brother and sisters, the Witch claims his blood in accordance to the laws of "Deep Magic." Aslan concedes this and offers himself up in proxy, announcing glumly, "I have settled the claim on your brother's blood." Miraculously revived, he explains, "the Witch knew the Deep Magic. But if she could have looked a little further back... she would have known that when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor's stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards."

This is Christianity in a kid-lit veil. Like any good sermon, its key points can be traced to Biblical citations—here mostly from the Letters of the apostle Paul. Edmund's treachery corresponds to the sins of humanity, which Paul explains is inherently doomed to violate God's Law ("The Deep Magic"). Because of this violation, writes Paul in Romans, humans are literally owned by Satan ("slaves of the one whom you obey"); and "the wages of sin is death." The idea that Aslan, because he is sinless, can voluntarily pay for Edmund's blood with his own, is the powerful Christian doctrine of blood atonement, developed from texts like the First Letter of Peter: "You know that you were ransomed... with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot." Like Christ's, Aslan's resurrection is inevitable ("If Christ has not been raised, then ... our faith is in vain," Paul writes in First Corinthians.) And it conquers not just his death (or as Aslan would say, causes it to move backwards) but that of all believers, who will also see resurrection. Paul rejoices: "Death is swallowed up in victory... O death, where is thy sting?" In The Lion, Aslan and Lucy Pevensie celebrate with a "mad" game of tag.

The article goes on to say that if this little line from the book is left out of the movie, the revenues won't be as great for the film had they remained because of Christians who will flock to see it. Not sure that I share that premise for several reasons.

First, I don't know that people will pay close enough attention to the film to notice a line missing from the book, unless the film makers attempt to twist the meaning of the entire film by changing the dialogue to mean something different.

There is so much psuedo-theology in movies and television today that it makes me wonder how much of it people accept. The governator's "End of Days" is a great example of popcorn effects with no biblical substance.

A colleague of mine said they liked Keanu's "Constatine" because of the special effects, which was about the only thing that made that movie interesting. There was really nothing in that film that was biblical.

Narnia will probably be a hit for the same reason. The special effects will be good, and if left unchanged, the story is better than any of Harry Potter's adventures.

The last point is that even if the line is left out of the movie, Aslan does come back to life. Hopefully people who are stirred by this will want to read the book or research why Lewis had that happen. The entire story hinges on the resurrection of the Lion, so to remove that would be like removing the glass slipper from the Cinderella story. Either way, the story is a Christian one.

In the end, it's a reflection of the real story, and in that one, God does defeat death in our place. The movie is just entertainment.


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