Christian Themes in The Last Battle

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

Moderators: coracle, Lady Arwen

Christian Themes in The Last Battle

Postby 220chrisTian » Oct 04, 2009 1:37 pm

I'm about a third of the way through The Last Battle. And it seems to me that there's more to this book that needs to be discussed than just Emeth! ;)

So, what Christian themes, allusions, symbols [etc] do you see in The Last Battle? Here's what I've noted so far.

-God's perfect timing: Shift's finding of the lion skin, Tirian's inability to tell the Narnians the truth about the false Aslan, Tirian appearing at the Narnian friends' party, Eustace and Jill to the rescue, Tirian finding a Calormene guard asleep
-The prophecy of "some great evil hanging over Narnia" written in the stars ... "The stars never lie, but Men and Beasts do."
-Evolution: why does Lewis portray Shift as an Ape? Why does he call himself a Man? Why does he keep calling the talking beasts "brutes" and make them work?
-Atheism: Ginger the cat, Rishda Taarkan, all Dwarfs but Poggin
-Slavery vs. freedom ... and what is true freedom?
-Deception: Shift the Ape/Man; Puzzle/Aslan; Aslan/Tash
-The nature of faith/belief vs. sight/unbelief

Add other themes, allusions, and symbols as you wish! Discuss away! :D
User avatar
220chrisTian
NarniaWeb Guru
 
Posts: 2181
Joined: Mar 23, 2009
Location: U.S.
Gender: Female

Re: Christian Themes in The Last Battle

Postby narnian1 » Oct 04, 2009 5:48 pm

I see the atheism in those characters, as there are many atheist in our world of course. There's no denying that.

As for evolution,
I don't really think that Lewis referenced that at all.
Shift being an ape I think happened by mere chance. Narnia is a world with animals, he just chose that particular one.
Why calls himself a man? He just pretended to be something he's not to get place himself above the animals I guess.

I do think Shift as a picture of the antichrist of sorts, (Puzzle is a whole other matter which I'll not get into). This book is clearly Revelation's supposal in Narnia where comes the end of times. The real Narnia is definitely heaven,
and as they pass the door to get into it, or not, is judgment day.


I really enjoy Lewis portrayal of death in this book,
though he shows us the sad and grieving part of it. He quickly changes to the glorious aspect of death. Death, from our perspective is an upsetting moment in life, but from His point of view it's a glorious moment in which His children are united with Him for eternity never having the fear of separation again.

(if I may, I always compare it to Rowling and Harry Potter, where she only shows the grieving portion of it, she does it well I must say, but she writes as a human would. Lewis writes not from our side, but from the spiritual side of things and I quite prefer that.)
User avatar
narnian1
NarniaWeb Guru
 
Posts: 1983
Joined: Apr 26, 2008
Gender: Male

Re: Christian Themes in The Last Battle

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Oct 05, 2009 12:13 am

Agreed, up to a point. Rowling doesn't buy into notions of life after death apart from her assertion that everyone has an immortal soul, she just mentions 'going on'. That, I agree, is a muted response to make which would not satisfy those looking for a Christian hereafter. Lewis also made the same sort of muted response to evolution, I think. Like Rowling's attitude to the hereafter, Lewis didn't buy into arguments with science or with religion which would detract from what he wanted to say. I note that in Magician's Nephew or Voyage of the Dawn Treader he had no problem with accepted wisdom about the Solar System, the roundness of the Earth, and also with keeping the general and traditional poetic idea of Creation separate from Evolution, as it is now understood to have happened on Earth, long before man could be a witness, to see and to hear.

In fact his portrayal of the ending of the Narnian world is not unlike Astronomy's idea of what is predicted to happen to the Earth once the Sun reaches the end of its life.

narnian1 wrote:Shift being an ape I think happened by mere chance. Narnia is a world with animals, he just chose that particular one.
Why calls himself a man? He just pretended to be something he's not to get place himself above the animals I guess.


Er, Shift is an ape, and a particularly shifty one at that, excuse the pun. He wants to ape humans, in particular, King Tirian and the Calormenes. Having the power of speech, he wants to have power over everything else in Narnia. He doesn't see a lion as being any more special than he is himself, hence his desire to dress up Puzzle in the Lion skin. Come to think about it, if Aslan gave speech to animals, why should Shift the Ape be more important than the other animals? Why should he pull rank over humble Puzzle the Donkey?

Otherwise, I think Shift's behaviour is in line with what Mr Beaver says in LWW: 'But in general, take my advice, when you meet anything that is going to be human, and isn't yet, or used to be human once, and isn't now, or ought to be human and isn't, you keep your eyes on it and feel for your hatchet.'

I can see Ginger the Cat being similarly uppity about Lions. But what I don't understand is the lack of information among the other animals which allowed them to be sucked in so easily. What about customs, festivals, writings and education? Bree might think that Aslan wasn't really a lion, but he had spent most of his life as a captive in Calormen. Whereas although several generations had passed since Rilian and Caspian, that is still only hundreds of years, not thousands of years since Aslan had last visited Narnia.
User avatar
waggawerewolf27
NarniaWeb Zealot
 
Posts: 8137
Joined: Sep 25, 2009
Location: Oz
Gender: Female

Re: Christian Themes in The Last Battle

Postby 220chrisTian » Oct 05, 2009 1:46 pm

waggawerewolf27 wrote:Er, Shift is an ape, and a particularly shifty one at that, excuse the pun. He wants to ape humans, in particular, King Tirian and the Calormenes. Having the power of speech, he wants to have power over everything else in Narnia. He doesn't see a lion as being any more special than he is himself, hence his desire to dress up Puzzle in the Lion skin. Come to think about it, if Aslan gave speech to animals, why should Shift the Ape be more important than the other animals? Why should he pull rank over humble Puzzle the Donkey?
I agree with you that there's more to Shift than just an Ape. Yes, he's shifty. Nice pun. ;) Why does he pull rank? Why does he think he's more important? Because he wants to be recognized as a man. He wants to classify the talking animals and make them lower than he is, in order to have a basis for taking control. He says, "I hear some of you saying I'm an Ape. Well, I'm not. I'm a Man. If I look like an Ape, that's because I'm so very old: hundreds and hundreds of years old. And it's because I'm so old that I'm so wise." Yeah, whatever. /:) "And it's because I'm so wise that I'm the only one Aslan is ever going to speak to. He can't be bothered talking to a lot of stupid animals. He'll tell me what you've got to do and I'll tell the rest of you." Then he makes them work like slaves. The lie of evolution classifies and gives value/worth to different groups of people according to what they do, what they're capable of, not who they are intrinsically. And those who don't measure up are exterminated. The truth of creation says all people are alike because they're made in the image of God. No one is more, or less, valuable to God based on what they do or don't do. God values us because of who we are. :)

Did you notice what a Boar said? "When he [Aslan] used to appear in Narnia in the old days everyone could talk to him face to face." The same is true for us! Through the blood of Christ, we can run to the mercy seat. We can stand in God's presence. In prayer, we can "talk to him face to face." :)

EDIT
waggawerewolf27 wrote:But what I don't understand is the lack of information among the other animals which allowed them to be sucked in so easily. What about customs, festivals, writings and education? Bree might think that Aslan wasn't really a lion, but he had spent most of his life as a captive in Calormen. Whereas although several generations had passed since Rilian and Caspian, that is still only hundreds of years, not thousands of years since Aslan had last visited Narnia.
Bree: I haven't gotten that far in the book yet. :ymblushing: But regarding the animals being sucked in, I wondered the same thing. Didn't Tirian and Jewel, and the others, realize that Puzzle/Aslan's actions [thanks to Shift] were totally out of character for Aslan, even if that information was second- or third-hand? Tirian knew the stories of Aslan appearing with children, when Narnia needed them. Did children appear this time when they first heard of Aslan? No.

The interesting part to me, though, is Lewis' comment that "no one who had ever seen a real lion would have been taken in for a moment. But if someone who had never seen a lion looked at Puzzle in his lionskin, he just might mistake him for a lion." But then note the "ifs": "IF he didn't come too close, and IF the light was not too good, and IF Puzzle didn't let out a bray and didn't make any noise with his hoofs." I think this says a lot. It's all about knowing Aslan for oneself, and spending time in his presence. Tirian had never seen a lion before, neither talking nor dumb. But he knew the stories of Aslan's sacrifice and that he and Tash were not the same god. That was enough for him to know that "the whole thing" [Shift's deception] "must be a cheat." :)
/EDIT
User avatar
220chrisTian
NarniaWeb Guru
 
Posts: 2181
Joined: Mar 23, 2009
Location: U.S.
Gender: Female

Re: Christian Themes in The Last Battle

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Oct 08, 2009 1:14 am

I agree with you that there's more to Shift than just an Ape. Yes, he's shifty. Nice pun. Why does he pull rank? Why does he think he's more important? Because he wants to be recognized as a man. He wants to classify the talking animals and make them lower than he is, in order to have a basis for taking control. He says, "I hear some of you saying I'm an Ape. Well, I'm not. I'm a Man. If I look like an Ape, that's because I'm so very old: hundreds and hundreds of years old. And it's because I'm so old that I'm so wise." Yeah, whatever. "And it's because I'm so wise that I'm the only one Aslan is ever going to speak to. He can't be bothered talking to a lot of stupid animals. He'll tell me what you've got to do and I'll tell the rest of you." Then he makes them work like slaves.


I'm afraid I have a different take on Shift, in particular. Whatever the slow processes involved in Creation, and however Man and his fellow living beings were raised from the Dust, the fact is, nobody actually saw it happening to write it down. What we know until the 1800's, when some of the jigsaw started to fall into place through investigation, is received wisdom, passed down through the ages, orally transmitted, and then later transmitted faithfully, through written text, and vitally important because it establishes the Who and contradicts the polytheistic ideas of the contemporary Babylonians, Romans, Greeks and Assyrians, not to mention later comers.

Be that as it may, and however the world came to be, Man is still the Steward of Creation, anointed by God in Genesis, and by default by Evolution. However intelligent other animals may be, whatever their capacity to learn, to think and to communicate, they still can't talk in any recognisable language, let alone write or argue persuasively.

When C.S.Lewis wrote his fictitious Narnia series, he gave many of the more complex birds and animals the power of speech and reason. But Aslan also appointed Man to be Kings and Queens of Narnia, not the animals, however gifted they were. And if you look at the wording of what he expects of King Frank and Queen Helen, it is obvious what sort of leadership he expects from them. As Stewards, not Tyrants.

This position of Man was confirmed when Prince Caspian became King. Trufflehunter said that Narnia was a place for Man to be King in PC. Aslan confirmed that Prince Caspian's humanity entitled him to be King. But by the time Shift came to be, even King Caspian wasn't recent history. Shift, having the power of speech, unfortunately, and also having the ability to bamboozle humbler creatures like poor Puzzle, and being addicted to being in charge, wanted to set his sights higher. He wanted not only Puzzle running to his beck and call, but also the whole of Narnia run according to his personal convenience. Just like a tyrant.

And then Shift met the like-minded Rishda Tarkaan, a typical scheming Calormene -and goodness knows when that was. Until then, I very much doubt he ever met a Man, let alone King Tirian, and saw only the privileges of what he thought King Tirian and men in general had access to, and which he envied and wanted for himself. In some ways, Shift's claims to be a Man echo his passing off Puzzle in the Lion Skin as Aslan. If you stood a long way back and had never seen the real McCoy, yes, you might be fooled. That is what Shift hoped. And of course the feline Ginger, who, like most cats, liked the world for her own convenience, also fell into step.

EDIT: I saw what you said about the Boar. And it confirms what I suspect about Shift and all his works. The Boar asks why he can't meet Aslan face to face the way it was done beforehand. And Shift's answers, all of them, show that meeting Aslan face to face is the last thing he would want. It would unmask Shift's charade, now wouldn't it? Not only the deception with Puzzle, but Shift's own pretensions to be something he isn't. The animals would see at close hand that Shift is nothing like a man, that he is no fit intermediary for anyone, and that Puzzle's dress-up is a travesty of what Aslan represents.

The danger is that others like the dwarves, seeing the deception, would cease to believe in anything or anyone.

Isn't it appropriate justice that it was Ginger who lost the power of speech, and that it was Tash who ate up both Shift and Rishda Tarkaan?
User avatar
waggawerewolf27
NarniaWeb Zealot
 
Posts: 8137
Joined: Sep 25, 2009
Location: Oz
Gender: Female

Re: Christian Themes in The Last Battle

Postby 220chrisTian » Oct 08, 2009 7:26 pm

waggawerewolf27 wrote:Whatever the slow processes involved in Creation, and however Man and his fellow living beings were raised from the Dust, the fact is, nobody actually saw it happening to write it down. What we know until the 1800's, when some of the jigsaw started to fall into place through investigation, is received wisdom, passed down through the ages, orally transmitted, and then later transmitted faithfully, through written text, and vitally important because it establishes the Who and contradicts the polytheistic ideas of the contemporary Babylonians, Romans, Greeks and Assyrians, not to mention later comers.
Correct. But even though "nobody actually saw it happening to write it down," God told the story of creation to somebody! Adam, who orally passed it down to his descendants? Moses, who wrote it down? I don't think there were "slow processes involved in Creation" either. It happened in six literal days. /:) Genesis is a faithful account. 1. God said that's how it happened. 2. God is not a man that He should lie [Num 23:19, 1 Sam 15:29]. That's enough for Me. ;)

Be that as it may, and however the world came to be, Man is still the Steward of Creation, anointed by God in Genesis, and by default by Evolution. However intelligent other animals may be, whatever their capacity to learn, to think and to communicate, they still can't talk in any recognisable language, let alone write or argue persuasively. When C.S.Lewis wrote his fictitious Narnia series, he gave many of the more complex birds and animals the power of speech and reason. But Aslan also appointed Man to be Kings and Queens of Narnia, not the animals, however gifted they were. And if you look at the wording of what he expects of King Frank and Queen Helen, it is obvious what sort of leadership he expects from them. As Stewards, not Tyrants.
Regarding authority and power in Narnia, thanks. I didn't realize this. :ymblushing:

In some ways, Shift's claims to be a Man echo his passing off Puzzle in the Lion Skin as Aslan. If you stood a long way back and had never seen the real McCoy, yes, you might be fooled. That is what Shift hoped. . . .The Boar asks why he can't meet Aslan face to face the way it was done beforehand. And Shift's answers, all of them, show that meeting Aslan face to face is the last thing he would want. It would unmask Shift's charade, now wouldn't it? Not only the deception with Puzzle, but Shift's own pretensions to be something he isn't. The animals would see at close hand that Shift is nothing like a man, that he is no fit intermediary for anyone, and that Puzzle's dress-up is a travesty of what Aslan represents. The danger is that others like the dwarves, seeing the deception, would cease to believe in anything or anyone.
Good points. Deception is a major theme in LB, isn't it? It's like appearance and reality, which I saw a lot of in VDT, on steroids! And let's not forget LWW! :)

Isn't it appropriate justice that it was Ginger who lost the power of speech, and that it was Tash who ate up both Shift and Rishda Tarkaan?
Oh yes!

FYI: I love this description of Aslan in LB...
As he spoke the earth trembled. The sweet air grew suddenly sweeter. A brightness flashed behind them. All turned. Tirian turned last because he was afraid. There stood his heart's desire, huge and real, the golden Lion, Aslan himself, and already the others were kneeling in a circle round his forepaws and burying their hands and faces in his mane as he stooped his great head to touch them with his tongue. Then he fixed his eyes upon Tirian and Tirian came near, trembling, and flung himself at the Lion's feet, and the Lion kissed him and said, "Well done, last of the Kings of Narnia who stood firm at the darkest hour."
Nice, isn't it? :) This reminds me of the parable of the talents, when Jesus says, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant" [Matt 25:21, 23]. You know what else I thought of? Churchill and England's "darkest hour" during World War II... ;)

EDIT
Here's an even better description, given by Emeth. How did I forget it?! :-o
The speed of him was like the ostrich, and his size was an elephant's; his hair was like pure gold and the brightness of his eyes, like gold that is liquid in the furnace. He was more terrible than the Flaming Mountain of Lagour, and in beauty he surpassed all that is in the world, even as the rose in bloom surpasses the dust of the desert.
Nice, huh? Jesus is the Rose of Sharon [Song of Solomon 2:1]. "His eyes [are] as a flame of fire and His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace" [Rev 1:15]. And get this! "The desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose" [Isaiah 35:1]. :)
/EDIT
User avatar
220chrisTian
NarniaWeb Guru
 
Posts: 2181
Joined: Mar 23, 2009
Location: U.S.
Gender: Female

Re: Christian Themes in The Last Battle

Postby aslansothername » Oct 09, 2009 5:15 am

220chrisTian wrote:Correct. But even though "nobody actually saw it happening to write it down," God told the story of creation to somebody! Adam, who orally passed it down to his descendants? Moses, who wrote it down? I don't think there were "slow processes involved in Creation" either. It happened in six literal days. /:) Genesis is a faithful account. 1. God said that's how it happened. 2. God is not a man that He should lie [Num 23:19, 1 Sam 15:29]. That's enough for Me. ;)


I couldn't agree more!!!!! Also if you look up the word "day" that is used in Genesis in the Strong's Concordance, you will see that is means 24 hours, as opposed to when Peter talks about a day being as1000 years the word that he uses for day means season.

The Last Battle is really a great book, and for me the thing that stands out to me is how many of the animals are forgetting who Aslan is, and are WANTING to get rid of and make his look like they want he to be. How often we see that today. In schools, and even (I'm sorry to say it) in churches were preachers do not talk about peoples sin, and how we need to repent of our sin and ask God to forgive us. So also do not say that a Christians life will be full of difficulties . I tell you this, I think that life can get harder after you become a Christian, but you always have Christ to fall on.
Image
Want to become an informed American teen?
http://www.t4at.webs.com/
User avatar
aslansothername
NarniaWeb Nut
 
Posts: 171
Joined: Sep 05, 2009
Location: Texas, as a proud homeschool student
Gender: Female

Re: Christian Themes in The Last Battle

Postby 220chrisTian » Oct 09, 2009 7:50 am

aslansothername wrote:Also if you look up the word "day" that is used in Genesis in the Strong's Concordance, you will see that is means 24 hours, as opposed to when Peter talks about a day being as1000 years the word that he uses for day means season.
Well, "day" in Genesis is yowm [3117] and can mean the following: "from an unused root meaning to be hot; a day (as the warm hours), whether literal (from sunrise to sunset, or from one sunset to the next), or figurative (a space of time defined by an associated term), (often used adverb)." But I think the "to be hot" part is interesting. ;) And it's translated in the KJV "age, + always, + chronicals, continually(-ance), daily, ((birth-), each, to) day, (now a, two) days (agone), + elder, X end, + evening, + (for) ever(-lasting, -more), X full, life, as (so) long as (... live), (even) now, + old, + outlived, + perpetually, presently, + remaineth, X required, season, X since, space, then, (process of) time, + as at other times, + in trouble, weather, (as) when, (a, the, within a) while (that), X whole (+ age), (full) year(-ly), + younger." source That's a lot, isn't it? But this source is more user-friendly. I think the important part in Genesis 1 is the phrase "evening and morning." How obvious is that? :)

The thing that stands out to me is how many of the animals are forgetting who Aslan is, and are WANTING to get rid of and make his look like they want he to be. How often we see that today. In schools, and even (I'm sorry to say it) in churches were preachers do not talk about peoples sin, and how we need to repent of our sin and ask God to forgive us. So also do not say that a Christians life will be full of difficulties. I tell you this, I think that life can get harder after you become a Christian, but you always have Christ to fall on.
Thanks for pointing this out! Many of the talking animals in LB have forgotten who Aslan really is, which is why they're so easily deceived. And those who never really knew Aslan in the first place are practicing the deception, making Aslan into something other than who he is. It's the age-old sin of men wanting to (re)make God in their image. Preachers are doing the same today. They say things that aren't of God. People who know God and His Word won't be deceived, but those who don't, will. Deception is widespread and will increase before Jesus returns. :(
User avatar
220chrisTian
NarniaWeb Guru
 
Posts: 2181
Joined: Mar 23, 2009
Location: U.S.
Gender: Female

Re: Christian Themes in The Last Battle

Postby Dr Elwin Ransom » Oct 09, 2009 12:02 pm

A brief swerve-aside, after which I'll encourage most if not all of the creation/evolution subtopic to continue in the general-doctrine-discussion Christianity, Religion and Philosophy thread in The Spare Oom. :)

WWW wrote:Whatever the slow processes involved in Creation, and however Man and his fellow living beings were raised from the Dust, the fact is, nobody actually saw it happening to write it down.

As 220 notes, God saw it, and did it! I'd just as soon not start doubting the text of Genesis -- otherwise, why stop and not doubt the rest of Scripture?

WWW wrote:Man is still the Steward of Creation, anointed by God in Genesis, and by default by Evolution.

But if I don't believe Genesis about the six days of creation (setting the standard for our working weeks), and birds created before dinosaurs, and the global flood, etc., why should I believe man is creation's steward when Genesis says that? ;)

Also, Humanists themselves are divided about whether man is really the "superior" creature. Classical-style Humanists (such as Gene Roddenberry, creator of Star Trek) see humans as getting better and better, the pinnacle of evolution and accomplishment indeed. From what I've read, your more New-Age-style "Humanists" see humans as the blight on an otherwise pristine planet, who either need to thin themselves out or evolve into something non-human something "greater" and more "spiritual."

Finally, about the meaning of yom: Strong's has its uses, for sure, but here it should be said that far more than Strong's support the meaning of yom as a 24-hour day. Yes, it's often used in other contexts, yet always in Scripture when used in this sense it means a literal day. (Also, why let people who a priori separate God and origins science set the new "rules" of re-interpretation of the Bible?)

A search on Answers in Genesis for an in-depth study about the term and its clear meaning will yield much more support for the literal reading.


Now, some thoughts about the topic and specifically the Last Battle's inclusion of the lies about Aslan (isn't it sad?) ...

220chrisTian wrote:Didn't Tirian and Jewel, and the others, realize that Puzzle/Aslan's actions [thanks to Shift] were totally out of character for Aslan, even if that information was second- or third-hand? Tirian knew the stories of Aslan appearing with children, when Narnia needed them. Did children appear this time when they first heard of Aslan? No.

Similar things happen all the time today, just as they've happened throughout church history: "Aslan's" true nature is perverted and modified according to cultural "felt needs" and the whim of leaders who focus on themselves and not the Lion. This is unfortunately true regardless of how much we know about Who the Lion is and how He operates.

Actually, it's not surprising this could happen in the land of Narnia, where all the news about Aslan is mostly oral tradition (though very reliable). What's more surprising is that this happens in our world, where we have the Word of God copied down throughout generations. Yet starting with the assumptions behind understanding meaning and truth themselves, the Word has been undermined by many professing "Christians" almost to the point of being rejected entirely. The half-truths and Shift-like lies often include these:

- It's arrogant to say we know the truth, and humble to say we really know nothing for sure, including God. (But God Himself obviously thought we needed to know about Him -- though we don't know everything, we can know some things for sure.)

- I don't worship a book; I worship the God behind the book, and His Spirit guides me. (But the Spirit directed the book's writing. How if I were to say I love my wife, and yet never read anything she wrote to me?)

- I'm not about all these theologies and rules about religion; I just want a relationship with Jesus. (But Jesus has a specific message to share, and the only way to have a real relationship with anyone includes knowing things about him or her; again, what if I used this "logic" with my wife?)

Even better than the Narnians' knowledge of Aslan, we have a Book that, while written by men, is Spirit-inspired. We have even less excuse when we buy into lies about God, His nature, and how He works in the world!
Image

Speculative Faith
Exploring epic stories for God's glory.
Blogs, guest authors, novel reviews, and features on hot fiction topics.
User avatar
Dr Elwin Ransom
Moderator Emeritus
Moderator Emeritus, "... and he almost deserved it."
 
Posts: 3279
Joined: Mar 09, 2004
Location: United States
Gender: Male

Re: Christian Themes in The Last Battle

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Oct 09, 2009 3:06 pm

Well, "day" in Genesis is yowm [3117] and can mean the following: "from an unused root meaning to be hot; a day (as the warm hours), whether literal (from sunrise to sunset, or from one sunset to the next), or figurative (a space of time defined by an associated term), (often used adverb)." But I think the "to be hot" part is interesting.


I, too, find that definition and translation interesting, as historically it was the Chaldeans of the Babylonian Captivity who first defined a day as a measurement of 24 hours. Did you know that those Chaldeans and the earlier Assyrians had a polytheistic version of Creation, highly similar to monotheistic Genesis, called the Enuma Elish? And so I'm sorry, I will have to agree with you that I disagree that this world was formed in six literal 24 hour days.

But if I don't believe Genesis about the six days of creation (setting the standard for our working weeks), and birds created before dinosaurs, and the global flood, etc., why should I believe man is creation's steward when Genesis says that?


Because Evolution never contradicted man's stewardship, seeing as no other species has got to the stage of arguing about it. :) Stewardship doesn't imply superiority anyway, merely responsibility and leadership. Humanist or not, I'd be ashamed to claim superiority for humans over other animals, given how miserably humans often behave, either individually or else in the name of one ideology or another. :| I agree that Shift the Ape was not really exalting himself by pretending he was a man, as the Narnian dogs made clear. Otherwise, I have no problem accepting the processes of Evolution as being the truth of how the world was made, much as I accept the world isn't flat, and that the Earth goes around the Sun. Nor do I have any problems with Genesis's assertion of Who made the world, not the Babylonian and Assyrian deities, the Rainbow Serpent or any other God but the One God. :p

Nor do I find any other reason to doubt the truth of the Torah/Pentateuch, let alone the rest of the Bible, and I thank you, Dr Ransom, for saying that you don't worship a book, written, edited or compiled by fallible humans, however faithfully, reverently and accurately it has been copied, transcribed and translated ever since, but the One God behind the book.

What I fear about Last Battle and Magician's Nephew is that they will never be filmed, just because of this debate, and insistence on a literal seven days rather than a figurative seven periods of time. Just as the BBC never got past televising The Silver Chair. And that would be a pity. Because the conclusion of C.S.Lewis' fictitious Narnia chronicles would be an absolutely awesome film to see, especially the ending of the Narnian world, and C.S.Lewis' vision of heaven. :D

And there is so much else to discuss anyway. Such as why the Dwarves who followed Griffle, having seen Shift's masquerade unmasked, then decided not to believe anybody at all, shooting down both Calormenes and those opposed to them. Why didn't more Dwarves go along with Poggin? Because of Griffle's leadership? Or was it rather because of Tirian's Calormene disguise which complicated the masquerade? Why weren't the dwarves more grateful at being freed? Doesn't the whole story of Last Battle suggest that before the rumours of Aslan being in Narnia began to surface, Tirian, himself, rather than Aslan, had been a somewhat complacent and little known leader, remote from his subjects, and failing to keep them informed? How was it that whilst Tirian was spying out Calormen, that Calormenes were infiltrating Narnia without his knowledge?
User avatar
waggawerewolf27
NarniaWeb Zealot
 
Posts: 8137
Joined: Sep 25, 2009
Location: Oz
Gender: Female

Re: Christian Themes in The Last Battle

Postby 220chrisTian » Oct 09, 2009 10:16 pm

Dr Elwin Ransom wrote:Finally, about the meaning of yom: Strong's has its uses, for sure, but here it should be said that far more than Strong's support the meaning of yom as a 24-hour day. Yes, it's often used in other contexts, yet always in Scripture when used in this sense it means a literal day. (Also, why let people who a priori separate God and origins science set the new "rules" of re-interpretation of the Bible?) A search on Answers in Genesis for an in-depth study about the term and its clear meaning will yield much more support for the literal reading.
GotQuestions.org addresses the Biblical use of yom. And it says that "outside of Genesis 1, yom plus a number (used 410 times) always indicates an ordinary day, i.e., a 24-hour period. The words “evening” and “morning” together (38 times) always indicate an ordinary day. Yom + “evening” or “morning” (23 times) always indicates an ordinary day. Yom + “night” (52 times) always indicates an ordinary day." So what's the implication for Genesis 1? A literal 24-hour period! God created the 7-day week, not us. When it comes to time [astronomy, other fields] God is highly exact: 24-hour day, 30-day month, 360-day year [before flood?], etc. This website also addresses the question of the sun, moon, and stars being created on the 4th day. And here's Answers in Genesis on just this question. :)

Actually, it's not surprising this could happen in the land of Narnia, where all the news about Aslan is mostly oral tradition (though very reliable). What's more surprising is that this happens in our world, where we have the Word of God copied down throughout generations.
Good point. The bit about oral tradition in LB reminds me of certain scenes in PC [book? movie?]. Cornelius tells Caspian that everything he's heard about Aslan, talking animals, and the history of Narnia is true. But surely some of this was written down. :-\ And yet, not everyone believes it. :(

waggawerewolf27 wrote:I, too, find that definition and translation interesting, as historically it was the Chaldeans of the Babylonian Captivity who first defined a day as a measurement of 24 hours.
The Chaldeans didn't "first define a day as a measurement of 24 hours." God did, in His Word. PLEASE check out the links I provided above. :(

And so I'm sorry, I will have to agree with you that I disagree that this world was formed in six literal 24 hour days.
What are you talking about? I know "this world was formed in six literal 24 hour days." How do I know? God tells me so, in His Word. ;)

Because Evolution never contradicted man's stewardship, seeing as no other species has got to the stage of arguing about it. :) Stewardship doesn't imply superiority anyway, merely responsibility and leadership. . . .I have no problem accepting the processes of Evolution as being the truth of how the world was made, much as I accept the world isn't flat, and that the Earth goes around the Sun.
1. Species don't progress. They regress. It's the spiritual law of degeneration. 2. No species has metamorphosed into another. I accept no part of evolutionary theory as true, period. It's a horrible lie. But you're right, "stewardship doesn't imply superiority." And yet God has made man "a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands: thou hast put all things under his feet" [Psalm 2:5-6]. This applies to mankind in the physical sense and Christ in the spiritual/prophetic sense [see Heb 2:7-8].

Such as why the Dwarves who followed Griffle, having seen Shift's masquerade unmasked, then decided not to believe anybody at all, shooting down both Calormenes and those opposed to them. Why didn't more Dwarves go along with Poggin? Because of Griffle's leadership? Or was it rather because of Tirian's Calormene disguise which complicated the masquerade?
Maybe Griffle, maybe Tirian's disguise. But I think
1. The Dwarfs [note spelling] were just tired of being deceived.
2. They didn't have the brains to discern true from false. They kept insisting on "seeing is believing." They were plagued with relying on their physical senses from the beginning, which explains their end in which they think they're in a small, filthy stable instead of Aslan's Country.
3. They thought they could govern themselves ["the Dwarfs are for the Dwarfs"], which was also Israel's mistake in Judges: "In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did that which was right in his own eyes" [17:6, 21:25]. Isn't this the problem with atheists? They don't recognize the sovereignty of another greater; they think they can govern themselves. And yet look at the rules of the road they obey! But the end of atheism is anarchy. /:)

Doesn't the whole story of Last Battle suggest that before the rumours of Aslan being in Narnia began to surface, Tirian, himself, rather than Aslan, had been a somewhat complacent and little known leader, remote from his subjects, and failing to keep them informed? How was it that whilst Tirian was spying out Calormen, that Calormenes were infiltrating Narnia without his knowledge?
Interesting. Where was Tirian when he heard news of "Aslan's" return? In a place special to him but remote. He liked to "get away." But that doesn't make for a good ruler, does it? At least not one close to his subjects. Still, Tirian was faithful in Narnia's darkest hour! :)
User avatar
220chrisTian
NarniaWeb Guru
 
Posts: 2181
Joined: Mar 23, 2009
Location: U.S.
Gender: Female

Re: Christian Themes in The Last Battle

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Oct 10, 2009 4:27 am

The Chaldeans didn't "first define a day as a measurement of 24 hours." God did, in His Word. PLEASE check out the links I provided above.


/:) Are you telling me that all the History of Mathematics and Ancient History teachers I ever had got it wrong? That my old print Encyclopedia Britannica is wrong as well as online information about the Babylonians? Of course other people did have different ideas about days, and weeks in particular, and I'd also agree that their Hebrew captives probably put in the hard yakka for the Babylonians/Chaldeans to claim the credit. 8-| We learn a lot about those Babylonians in Daniel and Ezekiel, as Daniel had a job in the King's court, as an interpreter of dreams. Something like Roonwit's centaur position.

I quite agree that God the Creator, created the laws of physics, chemistry and mathematics. But it is Man who must discover, theorise, measure and calculate. The Babylonians might have measured time, but it was the British who learned to work out longitude, and it was this and the rotation of the Earth which is responsible for the horribly endless night I spent two weeks ago in a plane from London to Singapore (12.00 pm to 8.00 am and then from 9 am to 7pm to my destination, something like 31 hours altogether, much of it in darkness. #:-s #:-s And it feels like it, too. I wouldn't blame God for that at all.

According to Isaac Watts:

'A thousand ages in thy sight
Are like an evening gone.
Short as the watch that ends the night
Before the breaking dawn.'

3. They thought they could govern themselves ["the Dwarfs are for the Dwarfs"], which was also Israel's mistake in Judges: "In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did that which was right in his own eyes" [17:6, 21:25]. Isn't this the problem with atheists? They don't recognize the sovereignty of another greater; they think they can govern themselves


Agreed. The trouble is with the dwarves' atheism is that no higher authority can pull them into line. They haven't a hope of successfully defying the Calormenes who do have a form of religion and they aren't supporting those opposed to Calormen either.

I agree that the dwarves were just tired of being deceived. I don't think it was lack of brain power, or relying too much on their senses that was a problem, when their sense of smell was overridden by their suspicions.
User avatar
waggawerewolf27
NarniaWeb Zealot
 
Posts: 8137
Joined: Sep 25, 2009
Location: Oz
Gender: Female

Re: Christian Themes in The Last Battle

Postby Pattertwigs Pal » Oct 10, 2009 7:13 am

It seems very fitting with what we know about they dwarfs that they would not believe after finding that they had be deceived. Two of the dwarfs we know best, Nikabrik and Trumpkin, show similar tendencies. I'm working on a background for my computer with Nikabrik and Trumpkin on it and I want to use quotes from them on it. I am trying to find a quote for Nikabrik and I keep thinking "The dwarfs are for the dwarfs" and I keep having to remind myself that he didn't actually say that. Nikabrik was willing to believe in Aslan as long as he thought Aslan would help him. The dwarfs were willing to believe that Aslan had returned until they found out what had happened. Instead of switching like Nikabrik did to the White Witch or another power they decided to reject all of them. Since two of the main powers had been shown to be nothing but a donkey in a lion's skin, they had nothing left but their own power. The dwarfs were the hardest to convince in PC to join Caspian and the first to show doubt in Aslan. I am not saying that all dwarfs follow this pattern but that it seems to be a tendency. Trumpkin needed proof of who the children were and that Aslan existed. These dwarfs had thought they had proof that Aslan existed and once they saw that that was false they assumed that everything was false. They were probably embarrassed and angry that they had been taken in. The part that they weren't grateful reminds me of the story where Jesus heals the ten lepers and only one comes back to say thank you.
Here are my ideas about Tirian from the thread about LB in Talk about Narnia:
At times Tirian and Jewel make me angry too. Tirian does not heed what Roonwit tells and even after he is convinced something is wrong he doesn’t listen to Roonwit’s advice. I also can’t help feeling that if Tirian spent less time at his hunting lodge and more time paying attention to what was going on in his realm he would have figured out the ape’s plot much sooner. He and Jewel aren’t sure it isn’t Aslan who is doing all of those things for quite awhile. Tirian doesn’t realize it until the ape says Aslan and Tash are the same. I also am upset they are so rash.

Once Tirian got on the right track he did do a good job and it seems likely to me that is what Aslan was referring to.
Image
Silver Chair Reading Group
NW sister to Movie Aristotle & daughter of the King
User avatar
Pattertwigs Pal
Moderator
Cookie Queen of NarniaWeb
 
Posts: 5188
Joined: May 16, 2009
Location: U.S.A.
Gender: Female

Re: Christian Themes in The Last Battle

Postby 220chrisTian » Oct 10, 2009 5:43 pm

Wagga: I'll get back to you on the Chaldeans, after I do some historical research. ;)

waggawerewolf27 wrote:I agree that the dwarves were just tired of being deceived. I don't think it was lack of brain power, or relying too much on their senses that was a problem, when their sense of smell was overridden by their suspicions.
Maybe lack of brain power is unfair. Because of our sinful nature, we use our brains to deny God rather than serve Him. :( But "the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom" [1 Cor 1:25]. :)

Regarding the Dwarfs' senses, they rely on them when they shouldn't.
And you’ve got a better imitation, I suppose!’ said Griffle. ‘No thanks. We’ve been fooled once and we’re not going to be fooled again.’
‘I have not,’ said Tirian angrily. ‘I serve the real Aslan.’
‘Where’s he? Who’s he? Show him to us!’ said several Dwarfs.
‘Do you think I keep him in my wallet, fools?’ said Tirian. ‘Who am I that I could make Aslan appear at my bidding? He’s not a tame lion.’ . . . You keep a civil tongue in your head, Mister,’ replied the Dwarf. ‘I don’t think we want any more kings – if you are Tirian, which you don’t look like him – no more than we want any Aslans. We’re going to look after ourselves from now on and touch our caps to nobody. See?’
At one point the Dwarfs even tell Shift the Ape that “seeing is believing.” They have no faith in the unseen.

But the Dwarfs' senses basically lie to them in Aslan's Country.
‘Well if that doesn’t beat everything!’ exclaimed Diggle. ‘How can you go on talking all that rot? Your wonderful Lion didn’t come and help you, did he? Thought not. And now—even now—when you’ve been beaten and shoved into this black hole, just the same as the rest of us, you’re still at your old game. Starting a new lie! Trying to make us believe we’re none of us shut up, and it ain’t dark, and heaven knows what.’
There is no black hole, save in your own fancy, fool,’ cried Tirian.
What’s going on? Instead of seeing “the sky and the trees and the flowers” like the rest, the Dwarfs think they’re “in this pitch-black, poky, smelly little hole of a stable.” They think they’re “blind in the dark.” Instead of a flower, they think they smell “filthy stable-litter.” And instead of “pies and tongues and pigeons and trifles and ices and ... wine” that Aslan gives them, the Dwarfs think they’re eating and drinking “hay ... an old turnip ... a raw cabbage leaf,” and “’dirty water out of a trough that a donkey’s been at!’ ... 'You see,’ said Aslan. ‘They will not let us help them. They have chosen cunning instead of belief. Their prison is only in their own minds, yet they are in that prison; and so afraid of being taken in that they cannot be taken out.’”

Pattertwig: interesting stuff on the Dwarfs in PC! Thanks for the comparison with Jesus and the ten lepers. And I really like this observation.
Trumpkin needed proof of who the children were and that Aslan existed. These dwarfs had thought they had proof that Aslan existed and once they saw that that was false they assumed that everything was false. They were probably embarrassed and angry that they had been taken in.


EDIT
I was thinking about the Boar today, wanting to see Aslan face to face, and Shift saying he couldn't. And why? So Shift could continue the deception. And this made me think of the Catholic Church. They say people can't see or talk to Jesus "face to face" in prayer, that they need a mediator to do so--Mary, saints, etc--when Christ Himself is our mediator! Why create such a deception? /:)
/EDIT
User avatar
220chrisTian
NarniaWeb Guru
 
Posts: 2181
Joined: Mar 23, 2009
Location: U.S.
Gender: Female

Re: Christian Themes in The Last Battle

Postby daughter of the King » Oct 11, 2009 2:27 pm

220chrisTian wrote:I was thinking about the Boar today, wanting to see Aslan face to face, and Shift saying he couldn't. And why? So Shift could continue the deception. And this made me think of the Catholic Church. They say people can't see or talk to Jesus "face to face" in prayer, that they need a mediator to do so--Mary, saints, etc--when Christ Himself is our mediator! Why create such a deception? /:)

Well, Shift created the deception so he could have power. He wanted to control the other Narnians. He wanted to be placed above them. Only in the end he didn't have power. Rishda and Ginger just used him and let him think he had power. He was(in a way) even more of a gullible fool than Puzzle.
Image
Narniaweb sister to Pattertwig's Pal
User avatar
daughter of the King
Moderator
Princess Dot
 
Posts: 2538
Joined: Sep 22, 2009
Gender: Female

Re: Christian Themes in The Last Battle

Postby 220chrisTian » Oct 17, 2009 8:57 pm

daughter of the King wrote:Only in the end he didn't have power. Rishda and Ginger just used him and let him think he had power. He was (in a way) even more of a gullible fool than Puzzle.
Interesting thought. Thanks!

I saw this the other day and couldn't resist... "Gaza zoo dyes donkeys like zebras" =))

After watching a World War II movie a day or two ago, in which an Irishman initially takes no side but learns he has to for ethical reasons, that in some ways the Dwarfs are like neutral people and countries in wars. They have no allegiances to anyone. Sometimes this is possible. But sometimes it isn't. And it's much harder for countries to be neutral. Consider the recent discovery of Switzerland's monetary connection to the Nazis. Countries aren't like the Red Cross, are they? It's fine if a person or organization decides to help both sides, i.e. for medical purposes, whether or not they approve of war. But what do the Dwarfs do? They hurt both sides. They have no allegiances and no ethics. They can't be neutral, even though they try to be. Are there any neutral people or animals in LWW or PC? No. LB perfectly illustrates the spiritual battles taking place around us. We can't be neutral either. We must choose sides. ;)
User avatar
220chrisTian
NarniaWeb Guru
 
Posts: 2181
Joined: Mar 23, 2009
Location: U.S.
Gender: Female

Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests