The Chronicler of Narnia

In recent days many evangelical Christians have been intrigued and enriched by the reexamination of the works of C. S. Lewis. As you probably know, C. S. Lewis was among the most notable Christian writers of the 20th century. His writings include nonfiction as well as fiction. Perhaps he is best known for his fictional books in a series called The Chronicles of Narnia. During the last few months I had the opportunity to read some interesting books that have been published simultaneous to the release of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobeas a motion picture.

Perhaps no one alive today knew C. S. Lewis as well as his stepson, Douglas Gresham. His most recent biography of the famous apologist and literary scholar is entitled Jack’s Life. The essence of this tribute is summed up in the statement: “Jack was the finest man and the best Christian I have ever known. I loved him and I cherish his memory.” This biography adds a personal flavor to the increasing amount of information written about this 20th-century Christian voice. It is well worth the time to reflect upon this immensely personal account of Lewis.

C.S. Lewis’s Case for Christ: Insights from Reason, Imagination, and Faith is a book for C. S. Lewis lovers to cherish. Art Lindsley has approached the writings of the 20th century apologist with the organizational skills of a systematic theologian. In essence the book is a discussion of how Lewis balances and blends the insights of reason, imagination and faith. The unique format of the book is helpful to the learned reader and the layperson as well. In each chapter there is an imaginary discussion group featuring a Christian, a seeker, a skeptic and an atheist. Lindsley has enriched the growing corpus of material on Lewis with the addition of this book.

Narnia Beckons: C. S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe-and Beyond is yet another addition to the rapidly growing number of books designed to help readers understand the significance of the Christian message, which permeates the series written by the well known author, C. S Lewis. Ted Baehr and James Baehr collaborated on this project. Both of these men have dedicated themselves to leading Hollywood to make movies friendly to family audiences, and also for Christians seeking to have wholesome entertainment as opposed to the violence and promiscuous sex depicted in many current films. This book is a most helpful guide for readers of the nonfiction works of the famous scholar, C. S Lewis.

With the blockbuster movie sensation, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, popular culture has turned its attention again to the writings of C. S. Lewis. Further Up & Further In: Understanding C. S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, written by Bruce Edwards, is a usable companion to the original story. In this work the author proves himself adept at casting the single volume depicted in the movie into the larger context of the seven installments found in the classic series, The Chronicles of Narnia. The title of the book is an expression vital to the overall story of Narnia. If you are looking for some commentary on this series, this book will be your friend.

Currently, there is a revival of interest in the writings of G. K. Chesterton. Dale Ahlquist is a leading authority on Chesterton. His book, G. K. Chesterton: The Apostle of Common Sense, is an excellent overview of this creative genius from yesteryear. Chesterton had a positive influence on another literary icon of the 20th century, C. S. Lewis. He was also a writer of fiction as well as Christian apologetics.

This article by Rick Lance was originally published in the January 2006 edition of ‘FOCUS on One Mission’, a monthly supplement to The Alabama Baptist newspaper.

Executive Director of Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions

State Missionary Rick Lance was elected in June of 1998 to serve as executive director of the State Board of Missions and treasurer of the Alabama Baptist Convention. Rick leads state missions efforts and facilitates Great Commission Ministries for the Convention's 3,200+ churches and more than one million Alabama Baptists.

Rick and his wife, Pam, are members at First Baptist Church, Montgomery. They have two daughters.

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