First, hear C.S. Lewis on his Chronicles of Narnia books. “The Whole Narnian story is about Christ,” he wrote. Aslan the lion “is an invention giving an imaginary answer to the question: ‘What might Christ become like if there really were a world like Narnia?’ ”
Now, hear Liam Neeson, the voice of Aslan in the Narnia movies. “Aslan symbolizes a Christ-like figure,” Neeson said, “but he also symbolizes for me Mohammed, Buddha and all the great spiritual leaders and prophets over the centuries.”
You know, all those others who died sacrificial deaths to save the world, then rose again — oh, wait, they didn’t.
And hear Mark Johnson, producer of Voyage of the Dawn Treader. “We don’t want to favor one group over another,” Johnson says. “Whether these books are Christian, I don’t know.”
*Sigh.* I know, we expect to hear this sort of thing by now. But still, *sigh.*
Funny thing is, the movies are clear on the point. In a Dawn Treader scene right out of the book, Aslan says that he can be found not just in Narnia but in this world. But there, “I have another name,” he adds. “You must learn to know me by that name.” (Singular: “name,” not “names.”)
That’s because there were people involved with the film who got Lewis’ message. “They worked very hard to keep it Christian, even though many of the cast and crew aren’t Christians,” said Ted Baehr of Movieguide, an evangelical voice in Hollywood. “They may not understand what they have created. I know Liam Neeson doesn’t get it.”
Pray that one day he will, along with many others. Pray for not only the insight but the strength they’ll need. Strength to stand against the world, as all believers ultimately must do. Strength to reject the all-faiths-are-paths-to-God placebo, and to openly embrace Him Who says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.”
And pray for strength for those of us who know Him to be consistently forthright about that. Telling anyone there’s any other way to the Father but the Son does them no favors.