Finding God in the Land of Narnia

Overview

In Finding God in the Land of Narnia, best-selling authors Kurt Bruner and Jim Ware explore the deep spiritual themes of redemption and grace found in the popular Chronicles of Narnia series by C. S. Lewis. With amazing clarity that captures the tone and style of C. S. Lewis himself, the authors offer a depth of insight that will surprise even the most ardent Lewis fan. Each chapter will help readers gain not only a deeper understanding of the popular Lewis series, but a deeper understanding of God himself. ...
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Finding God in the Land of Narnia

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Overview

In Finding God in the Land of Narnia, best-selling authors Kurt Bruner and Jim Ware explore the deep spiritual themes of redemption and grace found in the popular Chronicles of Narnia series by C. S. Lewis. With amazing clarity that captures the tone and style of C. S. Lewis himself, the authors offer a depth of insight that will surprise even the most ardent Lewis fan. Each chapter will help readers gain not only a deeper understanding of the popular Lewis series, but a deeper understanding of God himself. Tyndale House Publishers
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Editorial Reviews

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C. S. Lewis's fantasy classic The Chronicles of Narnia can be read as entertainment, for edification, or for enlightenment. In Finding God in the Land of Narnia, Kurt Bruner and Jim Ware explore the deep spiritual currents that underlie this gentle saga about two runaways. The authors illuminate the themes of redemption and grace that resonate throughout Lewis's work.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780842381048
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/28/2005
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 485,054
  • Product dimensions: 5.62 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Read an Excerpt

FINDING GOD IN THE LAND OF NARNIA


By KURT BRUNER JIM WARE

Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2005 Kurt Bruner and Jim Ware
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-8423-8104-X


Chapter One

In the darkness something was happening at last. A voice had begun to sing. -THE MAGICIAN'S NEPHEW, CHAPTER 8, "THE FIGHT AT THE LAMP-POST"

ASLAN'S SONG

* * *

It was pitch-black. Not one of the six could see a thing. Frank, the Cabby, assumed they had accidentally fallen into an open manhole over subway construction. A reasonable guess, since the last thing he recalled was running down the street chasing a tall woman in white who was atop his stolen horse. There was some commotion involving two young children and an older gentleman, and then sudden blackout. Not a trace of light could be detected. Eyes open or shut made no difference. They were enveloped by complete and utter darkness.

The children, Polly and Digory, had a different idea. Using the magic rings to enter the Wood between the Worlds, they had intended to get the White Witch back to her home, the dreaded land of Charn. They hadn't intended to bring Uncle Andrew, or the Cabby, or his horse. But anyone touching a person wearing the rings magically goes along.

"Perhaps this is Charn," suggested Digory, thinking they'd arrived in the middle of the night. But the Witch knew better. It was not Charn. They had entered the wrong pool, bringing them into an empty world-a world not yet formed. Nothingness.

Uncle Andrew, the magician who got them into this mess to begin with by meddling with dark arts and magic rings, cowardly whispered to Digory that the two of them should use the rings to return home at once, leaving the others behind. Digory resisted, unwilling to abandon Polly or the other innocent bystanders. As Andrew chastised the boy, they were suddenly hushed.

Something was happening. The silent darkness had been invaded by something, distant and slight at first, but gradually rising. It was music, a lovely song performed by a singular voice. Then other voices joined-as if beauty, strength, and awe were approaching the frightened band to overtake their stifling emptiness with vibrant life.

And then, on cue with the latter voices, the black sky exploded with the blazing light of stars-performing in response to and in harmony with the First Voice. After that, colors emerged from the horizon, again following the melodic instructions of the song, and a brilliant, newborn sun arose. To Polly, Digory, and Frank, these were moments of pure bliss, like diving into a cool, refreshing pool on a hot summer's day. But to the Witch and Uncle Andrew, they were terrible-prompting an ominous dread rather than an unspeakable joy.

The chorus continued, spawning hills and valleys, rocks and rivers-all bursting forth as if seedlings sprouting from the garden of what would become a much larger world teeming with life.

And then he appeared, the First Voice from whose mouth the great song bellowed. It was a huge, shaggy Lion, facing the sun and seeming to empower its illumination. He altered the music, as if a new movement in a symphony had begun. It had, inviting grass, trees, frogs, panthers, beavers, mice, birds, Fauns, Dwarfs, and all forms of living creatures to blossom into being.

Finally, to the shock and thrill of the watching children, the great Lion spoke: "Narnia, awake." It was a command mixed with invitation, the form of life receiving the breath of life. His words were like a conductor's dropping baton. It was time for the music he had placed before them to be performed.

* * *

"And it came to pass," begins the mythology behind Tolkien's Middle-earth, "that Iluvatar called together all the Ainur and declared to them a mighty theme, unfolding to them things greater and more wonderful than he had yet revealed. ... 'Of the theme that I have declared to you, I will now that ye make in harmony together a Great Music.... But I will sit and hearken, and be glad that through you great beauty has been wakened into song.'"

Narnia is not the first world to begin with a creation song. Decades before C. S. Lewis published his first Narnia tale, close friend and spiritual mentor J. R. R. Tolkien penned The Silmarillion, a creation myth for a world whose inhabitants would be Hobbits, Elves, Wizards, and Dwarves. Both men loved ancient mythology, created other worlds, and shared a devotion to Christian faith. And both men drew inspiration from the story of how our real world came into being as described in Scripture.

The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. (GENESIS 1:2)

Ours was once like the dark, unformed world into which Digory, Polly, and the others fell. If it were possible to visit and experience that place, you would feel much like those falling into the wrong pool in the Wood between the Worlds. Eyes open or shut, you would sense only a silent, oppressive nothingness.

But everything would quickly change as you began to hear the first notes of a distant, building song.

Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. (GENESIS 1:3)

Suddenly, as if switching on a lamp so that you could observe the rest of the music coming to life, light would dispel the darkness.

Then God said, "Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear"; and it was so. (GENESIS 1:9)

Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind." ... And God saw that it was good. (GENESIS 1:11-12)

Then God said, "Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens." ... Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind"; and it was so. (GENESIS 1:20, 24)

In the yet incomplete world of Narnia, the great Lion sang-and it was so. In our forming world, God spoke-and it was so. No masterpiece can take shape without an artist. No story can be told without an author. Nothing exists but that which came from the brush and pen of God. He composed the symphony others merely echo and painted the portrait others reflect. He engineered the first architectural structures, called mountains and trees; programmed the first computer, called the brain; and invented the first miracle drug, called the immune system. They all started in His imagination, an imagination that has enabled our own.

So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (GENESIS 1:27)

We compose, paint, invent, write, and plan only because He did it first. Or rather, because He spoke it first. God's word, like Aslan's song, invited us into the miracle of Creation-a creation that began with Him, is sustained by Him, and will culminate in Him.

For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen. (ROMANS 11:36)

And that is the reason our world, and our lives, can be transformed from pitch-darkness to glorious, life-giving light!

REFLECTION

God spoke, or rather sang, our world into existence.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from FINDING GOD IN THE LAND OF NARNIA by KURT BRUNER JIM WARE Copyright © 2005 by Kurt Bruner and Jim Ware. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2006

    Full of Interesting Insights!

    This book is perfect for any Christian or otherwise fan of the series. It offers insights to the meanings in the books and like I said is perfect for any Christian. A Great Gift!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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