I finished Tony Reinke’s book, Lit, last week and was challenged at the lack of variety concerning my reading. I mainly ministry-based books. That’s good since I am a pastor, but I lack other genres. I decided to change my order around due to his prodding. He encouraged the need to read fiction and fantasy to get us to imagine a little bit more.
“By using fantasy and engaging our imagination, God can reveal forces, communities, and struggles in a way that straightforward language cannot.” -Tony Reinke (Lit, 86)
I decided to tackle Lewis and Tolkien first in my newly-formed rotation. I read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe when I was a child. I loved the book. The movie was a great reminder of some of the greatest lines. I am ashamed to say that I have never read the other 6 books in The Chronicles of Narnia series. So, I decided to begin with book 1, The Magician’s Nephew.
On a daring quest to save a life, two friends are hurled into another world, where an evil sorceress seeks to enslave them. But then the lion Aslan’s song weaves itself into the fabric of a new land, a land that will be known as Narnia. And in Narnia, all things are possible.
I loved connecting this prequel to its more famous successor. You could see all the things coming together. If you aren’t aware, Lewis’ series does a wonderful job of portraying truths of Christ throughout the narrative. Aslan is mean to represent Christ. While not all details of the full story have an exact correct theological distinctive, the overarching story warmed my affections for Jesus.
Reinke was right: this book caused me to think about truths of God with a greater awe and wonder than I would receive reading the truths only in common language. It caused me to look upward.
I am passing this book along for my boys to begin to read. It is so rich.
- “Grown-ups are always thinking of uninteresting explanations,” said Digory (10-11).
- “It had long been known to the great kings of our race that there was a word which, if spoken with the proper ceremonies, would destroy all living things expect the one who spoke it” (66).
- “Now that the Witch was no longer in the same room with him he was quickly forgetting how she had frightened him and thinking more and more of her wonderful beauty” (82-83).
- Speaking of the voice of Aslan at Creation: “A voice had begun to sing…Sometimes it seemed to come from all directions at once…the most beautiful noise he had ever heard…louder and more triumphant…they were drinking in the sound, and they looked as if it reminded them of something” (106-108).
- Speaking of watching things be created: “They made you feel excited; until you saw the Singer himself, and then you forgot everything else” (110).
- Aslan: “Narnia, Narnia, Narnia, awake. Love. Think. Speak. Be walking trees. Be talking beasts. Be divine waters” (126).
- Creation: “Hail, Aslan. We hear and obey. We are awake. We love. We think. We speak. We know” (127).
- “Aslan threw up his shaggy head, opened his mouth, and uttered a long, single note; not very loud, but full of power. Polly’s heart jumped in her body when she heard it. She felt sure that it was a call, and that anyone who heard that call would want to obey it and (what’s more) would be able to obey it, however many worlds and ages lay between” (149).
- “…great shining tears stood in the Lion’s eyes. They were such big, bright tears compared with Digory’s own that for a moment he felt as if the Lion must really be sorrier about his Mother than he was himself” (154).
- “Wouldn’t he know without being asked?” said Polly. “I’ve no doubt he would,” said the Horse (still with his mouth full). “But I’ve a sort of idea he likes to be asked” (163).
- He was very said and he wasn’t even sure all the time that he had done the right thing; but whenever he remembered the shining tears in Aslan’s eyes he became sure (179).
- “Things always work according to their nature” (190).
- For the rest of that day, whenever he looked at the things about him, and saw how ordinary and unmusical they were, he hardly dared to hope; but when he remembered the face of Aslan he did hope (198).