VDT: From lamb to lion

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

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Re: VDT: From lamb to lion

Postby decarus » Oct 05, 2009 7:17 pm

I actually don't think that they need to show Aslan as a lamb. I actually always thought this part was a little weird in the books, maybe because it is so overtly Christian. I do like the dialogue though from 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.'

I think one of the reasons i like it is because i always wondered what Aslan said to Peter and Susan when they were to leave Narnia and i have decided that he said this, he said what he said to Edmund and Lucy when they were to leave Narnia for the last time.
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Re: VDT: From lamb to lion

Postby 220chrisTian » Oct 06, 2009 9:10 pm

decarus wrote:I actually don't think that they need to show Aslan as a lamb. I actually always thought this part was a little weird in the books, maybe because it is so overtly Christian.
You think the lamb part is overtly Christian. Good! But why do you think so? Because that's the key to why Aslan appears as a lamb at all. It's definitely necessary. Re-read my question below [from pg 1]. ;)

What does the lamb represent in the Bible? Sacrifice! And what happens in LWW? Sacrifice! So why does Aslan appear as a lamb in VDT? Do you see any sacrificial imagery in that book, any references to Aslan's sacrifice in LWW?


decarus wrote:I do like the dialogue though from 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.' I think one of the reasons i like it is because i always wondered what Aslan said to Peter and Susan when they were to leave Narnia and i have decided that he said this, he said what he said to Edmund and Lucy when they were to leave Narnia for the last time.
Interesting observation! :)
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Re: VDT: From lamb to lion

Postby decarus » Oct 07, 2009 1:53 pm

I am still not convinced that it is necessary. The reason it is overtly Christian is because the Bible refers to Jesus as the Lamb and i am not sure that any other religion refers to their god in that way. I also just thought it was a little weird even when i read the book. I really think the lines are enough for me.

'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.'

I also think it very unlikely that they will go overtly Christian.
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Re: VDT: From lamb to lion

Postby 220chrisTian » Oct 07, 2009 4:35 pm

decarus wrote:I am still not convinced that it is necessary. The reason it is overtly Christian is because the Bible refers to Jesus as the Lamb and i am not sure that any other religion refers to their god in that way. I also just thought it was a little weird even when i read the book.
Yes, the Bible refers to Jesus as the Lamb. But you haven't explained why. The Lamb is a symbol of sacrifice. What did Aslan do in LWW? Voluntarily sacrifice himself for Edmund.

In Revelation, John is told "the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book" [5:5]. But John doesn't see a lion. He sees a lamb: "in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain" [5:6]. Why is this important? Why does the Lion become a Lamb? The beasts and elders sing, "Thou art worthy to take the book and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood..." [5:9]. A much larger group then sings, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain..." [5:11].

What is the ever-repeated method of victory in the Bible? Sacrifice. What is the method of victory in LWW? Sacrifice.

Remember Aslan's Table in VDT? It has on it the knife the White Witch used to kill Aslan at the Stone Table. This table is like our communion: it shows the Lord's death until He comes again, and foreshadows the marriage supper of the Lamb. The food is eaten and renewed every day, like manna in the desert [Exodus 16]. It shows our dependence on God for daily physical and spiritual sustenance. And what did Jesus say in John 6? He said, "I am the bread of life," the true manna. And how do we partake? Calvary. At the Lord's supper, we partake of Christ's flesh and blood. This is just one reference to sacrifice in VDT. [I also posted this paragraph in the "Christianity in VDT" thread.]

If we want a whole Christ, we must see him as both Messiah--the Son of God--and Suffering Servant. So if Edmund, Lucy, and Eustace and the others want a whole Aslan, they must see him as both Lion and Lamb. :)
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Re: VDT: From lamb to lion

Postby decarus » Oct 10, 2009 10:37 am

I am not really seeing the relevance of what you are saying. They showed Aslan's sacrifice in LWW and they will hopefully show salvation in VotDT by showing Eustace being undragoned, but you haven't proven to be the necessity of showing Aslan as a lamb. It isn't as if Jesus was ever a lamb for real, it was just symbolism and is now overtly Christian because of the connection.

I have a real problem with how they show Aslan's character in general in the films. If anything they need to do a better job showing him as Lion and not as Lamb. It seems to me that in the films he is more a part of the kids plans instead of the kids being part of his plans.

I also think you are reading too much into the knife on the table and the connection to communion. I think that a lot of things in Narnia do not have an exact relations to real things in our world.
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Re: VDT: From lamb to lion

Postby daughter of the King » Oct 10, 2009 7:44 pm

True, Decarus, a lot of things in Narnia don't have any relationship to our world. But a lot of them do. The Chronicles are not an allegory, so not everything means something, however, many things do mean something. That is what sets these books apart from so many others.
Yes, Jesus is not actually a lamb. However, he is not actually a lion either. Aslan is a "true beast," not a man. Jesus is referred to both as the Lion of Judah and as the Lamb of God. So why should Aslan not appear as both? As for it being overtly Christian, I think that is the point. C.S.Lewis was a Christian, and Aslan in a way, portrays Jesus Christ. How could it not be Christian? If it wasn't overtly Christian than C.S.Lewis would have failed to get his message across.
Edit: I hope you don't mind my butting in on your conversation decarus and 220Christian. Sorry if you do!
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Re: VDT: From lamb to lion

Postby 220chrisTian » Oct 10, 2009 9:20 pm

daughter of the King wrote:A lot of things in Narnia don't have any relationship to our world. But a lot of them do. The Chronicles are not an allegory, so not everything means something, however, many things do mean something. That is what sets these books apart from so many others.
Exactly! Thank you!
Yes, Jesus is not actually a lamb. However, he is not actually a lion either. Aslan is a "true beast," not a man. Jesus is referred to both as the Lion of Judah and as the Lamb of God. So why should Aslan not appear as both?
Exactly! Thank you! Lamb/lion = symbolism! With many meanings!
As for it being overtly Christian, I think that is the point. C. S. Lewis was a Christian, and Aslan in a way, portrays Jesus Christ. How could it not be Christian? If it wasn't overtly Christian than C. S. Lewis would have failed to get his message across.
Exactly! Thank you!
I hope you don't mind my butting in on your conversation decarus and 220Christian. Sorry if you do!
You're not butting in the conversation, daughter! [nice username, by the way :) ] I wish more people would post something! I don't want just two voices. I want many voices! [And some backup for my viewpoints and arguments :p]
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Re: VDT: From lamb to lion

Postby aslansothername » Oct 11, 2009 5:20 am

decarus wrote:It isn't as if Jesus was ever a lamb for real, it was just symbolism and is now overtly Christian because of the connection.


Well, in Revelation it is a lamb that John sees opening the seals. John says that the Lamb that was Slain was the ONLY one who could break the seals. You also have to remeber that Jesus was THE sacrifice for all human kind, but before him it was a lamb that was sacrificed. So Jesus was the perfict lamb, as Aslan was the perfict sacrifice. The Lamb does show sacrifice, but it also show humility. Humility to lay down it's life to save anothers. I'm sorry decarus if you have a problem with it being "overly Christian", but that is how CS Lewis wrote it. He was a Christian too, and his beliefs came out in his writings.
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Re: VDT: From lamb to lion

Postby decarus » Oct 11, 2009 7:58 am

The reason i do not think it needs to be overtly Christian is because i do not think Christianity is overt. I think that every person can believe or not believe. That God has left enough room for their to be a real choice about whether or not a person believes. I think by making this overt connection to Christianity it somehow takes away that choice to see that connection to Christianity in the Chronicles of Narnia at large.

I am aware that C.S. Lewis wrote it this way, but i have always thought it was a little strange and would be fine if it was left from the film. It probably won't be and the line will be left out or changed. I would much rather have the lines: 'Are you there two, 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.' I would much rather they keep the lines and lose the lamb.

Also, i am not really sure why quoting scripture is relevant to this discussion. It isn't that i disagree necessarily with what you are quoting, excepting maybe Revelations, but i just don't see the relevance. Revelations in general is symbolism. Just because Jesus was called a lamb and a lion does not prove, to me, that they need to show him as both. If anything his character in the films is to be questioned because he is more like the king in Narnia then like the god in Narnia.

PS. I don't mind at all if anyone wants to enter the conversation as long as we can disagree peaceably which so far we have done so.
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Re: VDT: From lamb to lion

Postby daughter of the King » Oct 11, 2009 2:18 pm

decarus wrote:I think by making this overt connection to Christianity it somehow takes away that choice to see that connection to Christianity in the Chronicles of Narnia at large.

Okay, I think I understand you better now. However, I really don't think the Chronicles leave room for choice. You can choose whether to believe in Jesus Christ or not, but whether you do or not does not change who He is. The Chronicles have a Christian base. The reader can choose to see that or not, but that does not change that it does.
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Re: VDT: From lamb to lion

Postby decarus » Oct 11, 2009 3:31 pm

I do think the Chronicles of Narnia give room for choice about whether or not you want to see their connection to Christianity or not. I think this moment of the lamb is one of the only that is overtly Christian in it's symbolism and i have always thought it was a little weird because of that.

I do agree that regardless of whether or not people believe in Jesus or not does not change who he is. I agree that the Chronicles of Narnia are based on Christianity and that there is a lot of Christian symbolism in them and that it exists regardless of whether or not people want to see it. I do think that people have the choice to not see it though.
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Re: VDT: From lamb to lion

Postby Aravis Narnia » Oct 11, 2009 4:48 pm

More than appendix, it seems like a big clue by four! He did throw in a lot of symbolism- the fish, the lamb, the actual revealed clues.
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Re: VDT: From lamb to lion

Postby daughter of the King » Oct 11, 2009 5:22 pm

Okay, decarus, yes, people can choose. But I do not think this scene takes away from that ability. The reader can still choose whether or not to see the Christian elements coming through if Aslan appears as a lamb. Just as they can choose to see it or not to see it during LWW at the Stone Table where Aslan is the sacrifice in Edmund's place. The choice remains.
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Re: VDT: From lamb to lion

Postby 220chrisTian » Oct 11, 2009 6:49 pm

decarus wrote:Just because Jesus was called a lamb and a lion does not prove, to me, that they need to show him as both. If anything his character in the films is to be questioned because he is more like the king in Narnia then like the god in Narnia.
Lion = strength. Lamb [which is basically what he became on the Stone Table] = sacrifice, humility. How many names does Aslan have in the Narnia series? What animals does he appear as? Now apply this to Jesus! He has more than 640 names in the Bible. He appears as both lion and lamb. Aslan is god and king. So is Jesus! He's the Son of God and the King of Kings! Aslan is the leader/head of his army. So is Jesus! Jehovah-Nissi means "the Lord my banner," i.e. into battle. :)

I do think the Chronicles of Narnia give room for choice about whether or not you want to see their connection to Christianity or not. I think this moment of the lamb is one of the only that is overtly Christian in it's symbolism and i have always thought it was a little weird because of that. . . .I agree that the Chronicles of Narnia are based on Christianity and that there is a lot of Christian symbolism in them and that it exists regardless of whether or not people want to see it. I do think that people have the choice to not see it though.
To me it's more than a choice, more than wanting to see or not. Many don't see the connection because they don't know the Bible. They're ignorant of God's Word. Not seeing the connection has nothing to do with wanting to or not. Every time I've picked up the Bible in the last six months, when I start reading a passage I think of Narnian parallels. And I've been doing the same with the Narnia books. When I read VDT and LB, I would start thinking of biblical parallels. And the only reason I'm able to do this is because I know the Bible. Those who don't, can't. It has nothing to do with readers' choice. Many times, it's inability and spiritual blindness.
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Re: VDT: From lamb to lion

Postby narnian_at_heart » Oct 12, 2009 8:43 am

In that section, Eustace or Edmund asks Aslan something (don't remember what) and Aslan replies by saying, "I Am". In the Bible, I Am is one of Jesus's names. I've always thought Lewis put that in delibaretly to make another similarity between God and Aslan.
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Re: VDT: From lamb to lion

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Oct 12, 2009 12:45 pm

decarus wrote:I am still not convinced that it is necessary. The reason it is overtly Christian is because the Bible refers to Jesus as the Lamb and i am not sure that any other religion refers to their god in that way. I also just thought it was a little weird even when i read the book. I really think the lines are enough for me.


Apart from what Aslan says at that stage, identifying himself by 'another name' in Lucy's own world, there is also that story Lucy reads in the Magician's book, the one for refreshment, which looks suspiciously like it quotes the Easter story, itself, so the Christian symbolism of the lamb turning into a lion only emphasizes what is being said.

Aslan is the supreme being of Narnia, a land of talking animals, so he may well have the ability to change into other animals. As well as Aslan turning into a lamb he also turns into an albatross, to lead the Dawn Treader out of the Dark Islands. He changes from a toy horse to himself in Jill's Silver Chair dream, and into a cat in Horse and His Boy to keep Shasta company. Keeping that in mind, I don't find it weird at all. Why not a lamb as well as an albatross?
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