Well, we made it through all seven Chronicles of Narnia! I hope that you enjoyed looking at these wonderful stories with me. However, we have been considering them as more than just stories. We’ve been looking at the themes that these stories are trying to communicate.
First and foremost though, the Chronicles of Narnia are good stories, and I think it is safe to say that few of us would read them if they were not. They could have the best possible moral lessons and communicate truth, but if they were not compelling stories, no one would read them. Do you want proof of this? Go to Amazon and look at how many Christian fiction books are for sale, and then tell me how many of them have been as successful as the Chronicles of Narnia?
I don’t have an exact number for you, but there are not many. It is not that these other books are not trying to present the Christian worldview and probably contain good themes and elements of truth.
The difference is in the story itself. While basically anyone has the ability to insert a specific lesson into a storyline, sometimes it comes across extremely awkwardly. I’m not going to call out any particular books for obvious reasons, but if you have read any Christian fiction, there are those that try to present the Gospel which is of course a good thing, but when you put it in the greater context of the book’s storyline, it is incredibly awkward and just does not come across as good writing.
For a comparable image, consider a sculptor who wanted to create an image of Jesus Christ. The sculpture could be done very well (like the one in Johns Hopkins in Baltimore), or it could be very poorly done. The sculptor is expected to create that sculpture to the best of his ability, so the one that is well done is more consistent with that goal.
This is not to say that a poorly made statue of Jesus might not have good intentions behind it. Whoever made that bad statue might sincerely be trying to create a work of art that helps people understand truth. There is something noble in that pursuit without a doubt. The bottom line however is that if it is not very well made, it is not going to be nearly as effective as a beautiful work of art that takes people’s breath away. People are more likely to be moved by that which is beautiful.
This is what we see from CS Lewis . Many people have written about how they were influenced by the work of CS Lewis. His Christian worldview was evident through his work and communicated through his art, but it was not all there was. There was also a good story that made people want to read it, and that is obviously important when you are an artist. There is a lot we can learn from this series beyond the truth that it communicates.