toxic thought waste site

Theological whimsy, metaphysical larks, and other spiritually radioactive waste products.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Passion of the Cat

So we just finished watching The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. It's interesting to revisit memories of reading it as a kid. I don't think I had any profound theological insights upon that first reading. Nothing more than, hey, Aslan is Jesus. Cool.

Watching the movie now I'm struck by how much more sense it makes than the Bible. The only flaw is that Aslan doesn't just kill the witch the first time they meet at the camp. That would be the practical thing to do. But not a very interesting story. Here's how TLTWATW makes more sense:

- Edmond has actually committed a sin/crime. He's a traitor. I'm not sure who created the Rube Goldberg universe that says he must die because of this, but there is at least some argument to be made that he should pay. This is a LOT more satisfying of an answer than "original sin". You couldn't write a story with a concept like original sin because it doesn't make any sense. No one would tolerate such an idea.

- Aslan is a true hero because: (1) he doesn't *have* to sacrifice himself he just does. It's not part of a divine plan, it was just a pure expression of love. (2) Aslan is bound by the magical laws of his universe. Presumably, if he could change the rules and avoid dying he would. It's clear from the story and dialog that he can't, so he doesn't. He does the next best thing and plays the rules in the wisest and most compassionate way. Jesus's sacrifice on the other hand doesn't make any sense. Someone earnestly tried to explain to me god's love for us with the analogy that god is driving a car that is about to hit us and is yelling for us to get out of the way. The point being the god is not accountable if we don't heed the warning. It seems unavoidable from this analogy that either god is incapable of stopping the car or made the universe to have such crazy rules in the first place. Either way I'm not impressed.

It also occurs to me that a universe where the outcome of the battle between good and evil is not known a head of time is a lot more interesting than one where the final chapter was written before the first chapter was even started. I'm guessing that C.S. Lewis was a closet Manichaean. This makes him a great story teller but would have gotten him excommunicated had he lived much earlier.

The ending where they come back home as kids again actually seems like a nightmarish conclusion to their adventure. Imagine being an adult with adult experiences, desires, beliefs trapped in a child's body. Awful, awful, awful.



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