Edmund's Salvation

C. S. Lewis, his worlds, and his faith.

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Edmund's Salvation

Postby Ithilwen » Oct 17, 2010 10:25 pm

There's a lot of talk about Susan's salvation, but surprisingly, there's very little talk about Edmund's salvation -- even though there's a very interesting point about it (which I first heard from the podcast).
In real life, if we are to become a Child of God, we hear the gospel and then believe it if we want. But Edmund, as far as I know never hears that Aslan died for him. C.S. Lewis made a point to show in the book that Lucy wanted to tell him, but Susan told her not to.
So, did Edmund never know? And if not, why was he able to enter Aslan's Country?

And why did C.S. Lewis point out that they would not tell Edmund? It was like he wanted all the readers to know that Edmund was not told. What was he trying to say?


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Re: Edmund's Salvation

Postby Valiant » Oct 18, 2010 4:27 pm

I've been wondering about that too. Honestly I don't really know. Maybe he was told by Lucy later. Or maybe he found out someway. I think that Edmund knows Aslan did something for him but doesn't fully know. Even we do not fully understand Christ's sacrifice.

Maybe someone else can offer better explanations. :p
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Re: Edmund's Salvation

Postby aragorn2 » Oct 19, 2010 3:41 pm

I think a lot of the stories are supposed to be parallels, rather than allegories. So I'm not sure what exactly Lewis intended with all the stories. We can ask him when we get there. :)
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Re: Edmund's Salvation

Postby stargazer » Oct 19, 2010 6:43 pm

It's a good point that the Narnia stories are suppositions (to use Lewis' own term) rather than straight allegories (like The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan) - in which each element of the story corresponds clearly with something in real life.

And why did C.S. Lewis point out that they would not tell Edmund? It was like he wanted all the readers to know that Edmund was not told.


Perhaps this is an extension of Aslan's proverb that "no one is told anyone's story but his own" ?

So, did Edmund never know?


It's my suspicion that he knew, at least at some point before VDT. Consider this conversation between Eustace and Edmund, which comes in chapter 7, shortly after Edmund's un-dragoning:

[Eustace asks] "But who is Aslan? Do you know him?

"Well - he knows me," said Edmund. "He is the great Lion, the Son of the Emperor over Sea, who saved me and saved Narnia. We've all seen him. Lucy sees him most often. And it may be Aslan's country we are sailing to." (emphasis added)


Paul Ford, in his Companion to Narnia, even calls this a sort of informal Narnian creed, or expression of faith. Edmund notes that Aslan knows him - that's more significant than Edmund knowing him. It mentions Aslan's person, what he has done (notably saved Edmund, in this context), and points out that they've all seen him, and the hope and faith that even now they may be going to Aslan's country.
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Re: Edmund's Salvation

Postby Valiant » Oct 19, 2010 7:12 pm

I agree that the stories aren't meant to follow Christian beliefs word for word, so Edmund's salvation doesn't have to be exactly like ours. Maybe stargazer, is right. We aren't meant to be told. Only Edmund would know.

Anyways, some would argue that even if you are not given the chance to know Christ and his sacrifice for humanity (you are not told by others, or ever find out for yourself) you would still have a chance at salvation if you "live in love."

Consider Emeth who did good things, in the name of Tash, not realizing he was doing in Aslan's name really. He never knew Aslan was "God", but he did know in his heart what what right and wrong. And he did the right thing. Therefore he was able to entre Aslan's country.
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Re: Edmund's Salvation

Postby aragorn2 » Oct 19, 2010 7:56 pm

I think the story of Emeth might have just been bad theology on Lewis' part, it is not like he is infallible, he can make mistakes too.
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Re: Edmund's Salvation

Postby Ithilwen » Oct 19, 2010 8:35 pm

^^ I always thought Emeth was allowed to enter Aslan's country because he was really worshipping Aslan in his heart, and just had the names confused.

There are some other good theories about it on the podcast too. I know C.S. Lewis can make a mistake, but I don't believe he would have made a mistake that big. I mean, he knew better than to believe that works can get you to heaven. I'm sure there is an explanation and reason behind what Lewis wrote about Emeth.

Lewis didn't belive in salvation through works. Otherwise he would not have written what he did about Eustace -- that Eustace could not stop being evil on his own, but had to have Aslan's help. (Removal of the Dragon-skin part in VDT)

That said, it is interesting that Edmund said Aslan saved him and narnia. So, I guess he did find out. I wonder if Lucy told him, or if Aslan told him during their talk, or if he found out some other way...


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Re: Edmund's Salvation

Postby Lady Haleth » Oct 20, 2010 7:02 am

Yes, I think that Edmund must have found out.
And as for Emeth, I always thought that in Aslan he found what he was really seeking. He thought it was Tash, it turned out that Aslan was his true desire.
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Re: Edmund's Salvation

Postby Valiant » Oct 24, 2010 6:55 pm

What I meant was that Emeth didn't know Aslan personally but he was still able to go to Aslan's Country.
Maybe its not the best example, but what I meant was that maybe Edmund did not have to know about Aslan's sacrifice to be saved. But I guess Edmund did find out one way or another.
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Re: Edmund's Salvation

Postby DOECOG » Oct 24, 2010 8:46 pm

Even if Edmund didn’t know about Aslan’s sacrifice he still knew about Jesus’ sacrifice. Remember Aslan’s words to Edumund and Lucy in VDT:
"Are—are you there too, Sir?” said Edmund
“I am,” said Aslan. “But there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.”
(VDT Chapter 15)

So even if he had never found his way into Narnia he still could have know Aslan (but by a different name), Narnia is just the map Aslan used to bring Edmund to him.
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Re: Edmund's Salvation

Postby Narnia-Fan1 » Nov 03, 2010 6:59 am

I'm sure someone told him. Maybe the moment where Susan tells Lucy not to tell him, it was not the right time...Probably Aslan himself told him after the battle.
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Re: Edmund's Salvation

Postby sandyentersNarnia » Nov 04, 2010 1:15 am

Hmmm, in my point of view, maybe Susan felt that Aslan didn't wanted them to. Aslan didn't die just to let Edmund know so he would get some commiseration for him, but he did it because He loves him. There are lots of answers to this very tricky question, but this is only the only answer I can think so far.
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Re: Edmund's Salvation

Postby Eustace » Nov 08, 2010 8:58 am

I always thought that was told some time later probably by Lucy because Susan didn't want to tell him but Lucy did. It does sound like Edmund knew in VDT and HHB.
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Re: Edmund's Salvation

Postby Lirenel » Nov 10, 2010 9:54 am

I think Edmund knew. I don't remember the quote, but I think in VODT at Ramandu's Island Lewis specifically points out that Edmund grew quiet when they saw the Stone Knife on the table. Edmund wouldn't have even noticed it unless he knew what it had been used for.

Eustace+Jill wrote:Lewis didn't belive in salvation through works. Otherwise he would not have written what he did about Eustace -- that Eustace could not stop being evil on his own, but had to have Aslan's help. (Removal of the Dragon-skin part in VDT)


'Salvation through works' is a misnomer - no Christian believes you can be saved without faith. However, some Christians believe that faith without works will not save you either - even the demons believe Jesus is God. Eustace's undragoning shows our helplessness when it comes to trying to save ourselves. But Aslan only undragons him once Eustace has realized his sins, repented of them, and showed his repentance through helping the others with rebuilding the Dawn Treader and such. Eustace can't undragon himself, even with having repented, and needs Aslan to save him; but his helping others comes out of his repentance and faith. I'm sure I'm not explaining this fully - I could get much deeper into the theology of it - but just wanted to point out that there are different views on salvation, even within Christianity.
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Re: Edmund's Salvation

Postby Ithilwen » Nov 16, 2010 10:55 pm

Lirenel wrote:'Salvation through works' is a misnomer - no Christian believes you can be saved without faith. However, some Christians believe that faith without works will not save you either - even the demons believe Jesus is God.


Yes, but demons have not accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior. That is the difference. Works don't actually determine your salvation -- although they are a good indicator of whether or not a person is saved, since it can reveal where their heart truly is.


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Re: Edmund's Salvation

Postby Lirenel » Nov 28, 2010 3:07 pm

But what is faith? If one says "Christ is my Lord and Savior" and believes it, but then does nothing to change, become a better person, and help others than do they *truly* believe? If Edmund had learned that Aslan had sacrificed himself for him and truly believed that he was free from the Witch because of it, and yet had not moved to become a better person and help others, developing into King Edmund the Just, what use is his belief? He would still be the same Edmund and soon would push away Aslan.

I see it personally in people who 'believe' that Christ is their Savior, but they don't even try to change. They are the seeds that fall on shallow ground, but because they don't grow roots they wither and die, falling away from faith.
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