Before the first Narnia film came out, I was very skeptical. I simply did not believe that non-Christians would get it right. Narnia is suffused with a Spirit they do not know.
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe managed to exceed my low expectations, but it still Hollywoodified the story—from opening with explosions to turning Peter into an unkingly jerk. Worst of all, it put Aslan in a cat-carrier in the back seat. He wasn’t the commanding presence he is supposed to be as the son of the Emperor-over-the-Sea. Still, the visuals were great and Lucy was sweet (even if her conversation with Aslan about fighting in the battle was adjusted to fit modern sensibilities).
The second movie, fed through the non-Christian worldviews of writers and director, also came out distorted and empty. Can we please have a kids’ story without a love interest, especially one featuring a girl who kisses the boys? Did Caspian and Peter have to have issues? Did we need shoehorned action scenes?
So here comes the third movie. What hope do honorary citizens of Narnia have that our second homeland will be recognizable?
We do have some hope, because there are Christians involved. Without them, this little vignette from Christianity Today tells us what would happen:
[Kathy, wife of Tim] Keller says that they got another critical scene right: The “un-dragoning” of Eustace, which many consider the highlight of the story. (In the book, the selfish boy Eustace turns into a dragon due to his greed; it is only through confession and penitence, and the Christ figure Aslan’s help, that he is able to shed the dragon skin and become human again.) Keller says she learned that writers originally wanted Eustace, still in dragon form, to fight a sea monster and “earn” his return to human form. But she says [producer Micheal] Flaherty, a committed Christian, “put them straight that you don’t earn grace, you receive it once you are humbled and aware of your need.”
Your worldview matters. It takes regeneration to truly get grace.
HT: Brian Collins