The Chronicles of Narnia for Grown Ups
A Presentation for Churches
Click Here for my review of the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe movie. Prince Caspian is due out in mid-May, 2008. Here is one of my posts on the Christian themes in Prince Caspian. Click here for information about a bulletin insert on Prince Caspian. This presentation is in line with my ministry that aims to apply the arts to the promotion of Christianity as described at my formal non-profit ministry page at www.athanatosministries.org
Frequent attention is given to C.S. Lewis’s obvious Christian elements of his ‘Chronicles of Narnia’ series, especially in connection to helping children understand the Christ story with them and in them. Indeed, the Narnian tales provide a great opportunity to share the Christian story in a new way, even in some ways right under the nose of our secular society. The clearest example is “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.”
But there are six other books as well, and these too are packed with insight into reality from a Christian perspective. They receive far less attention then TLWW but provide as much interesting and usable material. However, before Christians can apply the lessons from these books the way we apply lessons from “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe,” adults must be made aware of them.
The Chronicles of Narnia recently came under ‘attack’ by the Philip Pullman series, “His Dark Materials.” Pullman wrote that Narnia disgusted him which is a reaction that most Christians would find surprising to say the least. (To read my responses to the whole “Golden Compass” mess click here) What the Pullman series really does is illustrate the world view gap between Christians and others, in particular secular humanists and atheists. Thus, even though the Narnia series is written for children, Christian adults must take an interest. Pullman did, and he wrote a response.
This presentation covers other important Christian themes in the Chronicles of Narnia as well as the obvious ones in the more famous “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.” All of these themes are ones that are fruitful for adults to explore and if Christian parents are familiar with them and their importance they can more effectively and deliberately transmit those principles to their children. Below are several of the themes that Lewis weaves into his tales that are covered in this presentation:
- Courage and Bravery
- Moral Cause and Effect
- Greed and Avarice
- Fantasy and Adventure
These and more are matters that adults must think about as much as children need to. Sadly, our children do not hear much about such topics as deliberately and intentionally as they ought. However, adults- parents, teachers, and pastors- can use Lewis’s books to do just that in a way that is fun and entertaining to children. Fortunately, they are fun and entertaining for adults, too.
The presentation can be reduced to 90 minutes, or it can be expanded to up to four hours.
Here is the outline of the presentation, regardless of the time frame:
01. —- Introduction to C.S. Lewis, his works, and the “Chronicles of Narnia” in particular.
02. —- Special attention to the explicitly Christian material in “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.”
03. —- The Adventure of our Lives: Are we Narnians? Exploration of the themes in the Narnian Tales of Myth, Fantasy, and Adventure.
04. —- Morality is not All Negatives: Courage, Bravery, Loyalty, Duty, Devotion and Love- re-discovering the positive truths of Christianity.
05. —- Cause and Effect isn’t only for Physics: God’s System of Moral Cause and Effect. Greed, Avarice, Accountability.
06. —- Why we are Here: God’s purpose in delaying the End, and the End that is Coming.
07. —- Summary: What we adult Narnians can learn from Lewis.
08. —- Application: Connecting with an Entertainment Driven Society and the Children within it.
09. —- Application: Mastering Media, but not being Mastered by It: Using but not being Used. Teaching children how to discern.
10. —- OPTIONAL Application: Ideas for how to use modern media in our churches and homes to teach lessons about Christianity.
11. —- Conclusion: God is the master and maker of the universe, and we are his heirs. All good things are ours: courage to live in grace (adventure) and re-claim the good things (that our rightfully ours) that world has tried to take away from us.
12. —- Discussion
As you can see, cramming this into 90 minutes means being overly concise. Recommended is a 3 hour session, broken up into two 90 minute blocks, with a light snack provided by the host in between.
If you are interested in having me present this material, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, use this form Here, or call me at 202-280-7971. If you would like this or similar material covered (for example, discussion of The Lord of the Rings, as well) or have a specific format you need adaptation to, please do not hesitate to explain your situation.
I will travel nationally provided transportation is covered.
Click Here for more biographical material about me.
I have been involved in teaching and ministering for about 10 years. Some of these years were spent teaching in junior high and high school, but in two of those years I also taught at a college as well. I am a Christian that went through an intense time of examination, even to the point possibly where I could have called myself an atheist. My experiences have prepared me well for Christian apologetics.