Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Aslan as a Type of Christ

I like this quote from the movie, Prince Caspian. Lucy (the youngest) is talking with Aslan who is thought of as a type of Christ. She asks him why he (Aslan) didn't come to their rescue the way he did last time.

Aslan: "And why would that stop you from coming to me."
Lucy: "I'm sorry, to scared to come alone. Why didn't you show yourself, why couldn't you come roaring in and save us like last time."
Aslan: "Things never happen the same way twice, dear one."

This is obviously just CS Lewis' understanding about the way Father operates, but I have come to believe this way also . That is, God will never work the same way twice. He is a God of, not chaos, but endless variety.

The Shack describes the Spirit's work as fractals. Beautiful geometrical shapes with incredible complexity.

The way I was taught and used to think was that God always works in a set way for every believer.

That not only is life-killing, but puts God in a box. Perhaps it's what we do to make Him more human.


Alison Fincher said...

Not so much a response to your post as to the film...

I have to say that I thought the director of Prince Caspian's reading of Aslan, particularly given that he is a figure of Christ, really missed the point.

In the film, Aslan is barely in the story at all. He lets the children make a terrible mess of the situation, lurking in the forest until Lucy comes to beg for his forgiveness. He then sweeps in to solve the problem, completing the task for the children in one anticlimactic rush.

In the book, however, Aslan is a constant presence. The reader feels for Lucy, understanding why she does not go to him. At the same time, the children's frustrations and lack of direction feed into the reader's feeling of desperation--"Go to Aslan!" we silently plead. We they do find him, we are certain that he has been there all along. He wasn't waiting for them so much as guiding them to him, even if they didn't know it.

The major difference is that the book highlights the most important feature of God's relationship with us. He is always there, whether we feel him or not. Things may not happen the same way twice, but we can always count of him to be there for us.

Thanks for your post! I've missed your blog.

John Fincher said...

Thank you Alison. Your literary insights are always valuable.

I would like to have had the training you have had concerning literature. You can see the depth and richness of the written word.

I was thinking that CS Lewis stated that The Chronicles were NOT to be read metaphorically. That is, as Hemingway said, "Sometimes a fish is just a fish and a boat is just a boat."

Perhaps a talking lion is just that - a fantastical creature.

Thanks again. Love you.

Joel B. said...

"Our God is consistent.
But He’s also unpredictable.
You never know what God is going to do next.
You always know what He’s going to be like.
You never know what He’s going to do."

This is from a video/mp3 by Graham Cooke that someone recently shared with me, with a very good full-of-grace message. I'm not sure who Graham is, but it seems as if I've heard of him before.

I'm going to be sharing links on my blog when I get around to it, but if interested here are the links.

The Nature of God mp3

The Nature of God Part 1 (video)

The Nature of God Part 2 (video)

Joel B. said...

For some reason that first link didn't format correctly. Here is is:


Alison Fincher said...

I think Lewis was in denial. I believe what he actually said was that the books aren't allegories, and even that is a stretch. I assume what he had to have meant was that they work on a literal and metaphorical level--the stories stand alone, even if you lack the context for reading them. Of course, they are much richer if you do read Aslan as a type of Christ.

I don't think Lewis ought to have been embarrassed about his stories' metaphorical level. Tolkien was a much more sophisticated myth-maker, but even The Lord of the Rings is highly metaphorical. Besides, Lewis was a medievalist and ought to have appreciated stories with multiple meanings.

Awesome redesign, btw. I've been blogging more myself, of late.