Sunday, April 30, 2006

Chronicles of Narnia

Ok, I am sure this subject has been beaten to death with a stick many times over since the movie came out awhile back. However, I finally was able to see it this afternoon.

This was my first exposure to the movie, as well as the series in general. I have heard about the Narnia books, and have been aware of them for some time. I was informed that the other books are adventures these same kids take in the wardrobe as well, though I am not as aware of the titles or what they are about.

I enjoyed the movie, and I think it is good for older kids to watch...younger kids could as well, though I don't think the battle scenes are particularly something they need to see. It is also a good movie for adults to watch, in my opinion.

I love how C. S. Lewis used symbolism throughout the movie, relating to Jesus, etc. I feel fairly certain in saying that any Christian wouldn't (or shouldn't) have any difficulty picking the symbolism out. Non-Christians might not be able to as well (or maybe at all), unless they are aware of what the movie is really depicting. I know my brother (who is 30 and does not follow Christ) knows about this series, and was surprised that it was full of Chrisitan symbolism. He said he didn't know it was "a Christian movie" (his words). I think he had/has more knowledge of these books than I do, and may have read the book(s) at some point.

Anyway, I have often wondered what the difference is between such a fantasy movie/story as The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe and that of Harry Potter. My friend and I had a discussion on this once back before the movie had been released, and she had been reading the book to her young daughter. I posed the question basically because I didn't know anything about the Narnia books, but I do know what Harry Potter is all about. I asked what the difference would be, since both seem to include witches and some form of "magic". My friend responded by saying that maybe the difference lies in the fact that in the HP books, they try to disguise magic/spells, etc. as being good and that there is nothing wrong with it. In The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, magic and witches are bad/evil.

Now, I admit that I have listened to the HP books. But don't hate me. I read them so that I would know what they are about and so that I could be informed when discussing them with non-Christians (or even Christians) and be able to explain what the big deal is and why many Christians are opposed to them. I didn't want someone to say something to the effect of, "well, you haven't read them so how can you know what they are about or if they are so bad or not." So, I went ahead (praying before hand for the Lord to guard my heart and mind) and listened to them. I know what it is about, I know that they condone magic and spells and sorcery. I also know what the Bible says about these things, that we are not to have any part in these things. Was I wrong then in listening to these books? I don't know. I am sure some will think that I am some sort of heathen or something, but truly that is not their judgment call to make. Have I taken part in any magic or spell chanting or whatever? No way.

So, Narnia. With regard to the magic used by the witch in this movie (I guess you could call how she turned everything to winter and what she did with those she didn't like a form of magic), it is portrayed, in my opinion, as sinister and wrong. Though, this has just got me wondering with the whole "potion" thing given to the little girl (sheesh, I forget her name already), the one she uses on her brother, Edmond. How is that different; how can that be good? Or, is this 'potion' supposed to be symbolic of something?

In HP, the things that we know are evil (magic, spells) are portrayed as being good, fine, nothing wrong with them unless you use it for the wrong purposes. In the Narnia book, evil is exactly what it is - evil. Narnia shows you the difference between good and evil, while the HP books show you that there is evil, but instead of combating it with good, more evil is used - though it is disguised as good.

Anyway, I think I'm just rambling now so I am going to stop. Again, I don't know if I am making any sense with this post and I am sure that I will get comments on being judgmental against the HP books, or that I am bad for even reading them. I'm sure I'll even get comments saying that I shouldn't even compare the two series at all. But, you know what? It's my blog and I can do what I want!

Have a Christ filled day!


Jezreel said...

I've read the books, but I've yet to see the movie. All I can say is....

The chronic -what?- cles of Narnia...

Jennifer said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jennifer said...

Sorry, my earlier comment got screwed up :-(

Shelley, I applaud you for reading the HP books because you wanted to know about them. I have read them, because my daughter was reading them in school and I wanted to know what was going on so I could discuss it with her. I have read for her scripture saying not to be involved in sorcery, etc., and that HP is just pretend. It's okay to pretend! It's when we start trusting those things and following after them with our hearts that it becomes dangerous, imo. Mostly I think the stories are just a lot of fun.

I was very interested to learn that J.R.R. Tolkein had written Lord of the Rings with an undercurrent of Christian themes, as well. Someday I will read the series again and see if I pick up on it.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Hi Shelley. I too have seen the HP movies...mainly because I didn't like Rowlings style of writing. I viewed these for the same reason that you did. So that I would know what I was talking about when I discussed them.

I do not believe that "pretending" about witches and sorcery and spells is okay. It makes my stomach turn every time I see a HP party and the children are dressed as witches and warlocks.

When you desensitize a society to evil...after a while it isn't evil anymore...and we will answer to God for that!

Great subject for a post! Good job!

Joe said...

The whole point of the HP stories is magic. The whole point of the Lewis writings is Jesus.

That's a pretty big difference!

Thanks for a good post.

And, no, you are not a heathen for seeing the HP stuff.

Jayleigh said...

Shelley- ROCK ON my sister!!!!!

I finished READING the first two books of the Chronicles of Narnia on Sunday. I have yet to see the movie.

I loved the books. Had I not known ahead of time that they were depicting Christianity, I think I would have been able to pick out the symbolizm. But I think I would have had the same guilt as reading the HP books.

BTW I have read ALL of the HP books. The first 3 I read before I was truly saved. I knew I shouldn't have read them, but I did anyway. The rest of them, Rob and I read together, after MUCH prayer and deliberation.

As you said, the books are so popular and I didn't want to be uninformed. I have to be honest here and say that I truly enjoyed reading the books... but you're right in saying that they fight evil with evil disguised as good.

If I had kids, I don't believe I would let them read HP. Parents are responsible for everything they let their child do... therefore I think I wouldn't want to have to answer to letting them read about magic when they were too young to distinguish the difference.

A high schooler, though... if my child were old enough to know right from wrong, and was aware of what the Bible says about Magic and sorcery and was reading HP to see what all of the fuss is about (like I did)... I think it would be a different matter altogether. And one for my child and me to pray about and for them to ultimately decide for themselves.


J.J. said...

The Narnia movie shows that the public wants good, truthful entertainment. It's Disney's most profitable movie ever.

Thankfully, a lot of Christians turned out to support the movie. And I'm sure the sequels will be popular, too.

Darlene said...

I was surprised to see that the movie retained so much of the obvious symbolism, I was expecting that it would be hard to spot. I watched with my kids, and through so much of the movie I kept saying, "That's just like what happenned to Jesus!" I want to see it again with them, it was a great family movie.

Live, Love, Laugh said...

Great Post, I haven't read the HP Books and haven't seen the Narnia movie, been too busy, but plan to see it soon!!

GeorgianaD said...

Great post, and timely too! I think it's great that you've stayed informed so you can have an intelligent conversation, instead of being like me and just saying it's bad, bad, bad...

Annette Burkett said...

I read the Narnia books as a kid and as an adult and I've seen the movie! I LOVE The Chronicles of Narnia.

I haven't read Harry Potter, but I have seen a couple of the movies. I don't have an opinion about HP because my kids don't care anything about it and I'm not another child's parent.

I read The Da Vinci Code so I could have an opinion instead of just saying it was wrong and that was that.

Regardless of my opinion about anything, I stand by what I continue to stand by, we are EACH responsible for working out our OWN salvation. Once you get that you understand the part about working it out with much fear and trembling.

Back to The Chronicles of Narnia, it seems like it's kind of like Christian music. People who don't like Christian music seem to be able to tell it's Christian before they even hear the word Jesus or Halleluah in the lyrics. I think it's the same with the movie.

Sheraton Roth said...

I read your post this morning and was thinking about it today. There was a part of Harry Potter's story that struck a cord with me. It had to do with the rejection he experienced from his aunt and uncle. Lucy in Chronicles of Narina also experienced rejection but look at the different ways the two children handled it. It just spoke volumes to me. I am glad I read your post this morning. And now I see you have put on another so I will read it too.