Wednesday, 8 December 2010

C.S. Lewis & Karl Barth: my week

Disclaimer: this blog does contain spoilers, but I'm going to guess a lot of you have read the book, so... read on at your peril. Or something.

Last night I went to see a showing of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. For free. In 3D. Before it's out in the cinema, at least in this country.

It was a good film, not great. In my personal opinion, they should have either stuck to the book more closely, or distanced themselves from it, and been original. As it was, it seemed like they tried to chug through the book, without giving real attention to the beautiful plot carved out by CS Lewis.

However, there were some very good moments - it was well written, and Reepicheep and Eustace's lines were often priceless, and delivered brilliantly. My favourite moment was one towards the end, when Eustace was asked how it felt to be changed from a dragon back to a boy by Aslan. He responds:
"I couldn't do it by myself. It hurt, but it was a good pain."

I've mentioned to a few people that there was a strong Hollywood layer over the top of the brilliance of the book, but at that moment, Mr Lewis shone through.

We can't do this by ourselves. We can't escape from our human nature, our degradation, our greed, jealousy and avarice, by ourselves. Which reminds me of a quote I used on Sunday in a sermon about John the Baptist, that I had been meaning to put up on the blog for a while:
We must once and for all give up trying to be self-made individuals. Let us cease preaching by ourselves, being right by ourselves, doing good by ourselves, being sensible by ourselves, improving the world by ourselves. God wants to do everything, certainly through us and with us and never without us; but our participation in what he does must naturally originate and grow out of his power, not ours. whatever does not grow out of God produces smoke, not fire. But that which is born of God overcomes the world.
I have a feeling that both Lewis & Barth knew what they were talking about, don't you?

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