Narnia and Deism

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

Moderators: coracle, Lady Arwen

Re: Narnia and Deism

Postby jesusiskingofkings » Nov 01, 2009 10:26 am

Okay, let me make this simple for everyone.

Jesus is God period.
Jesus is the Son of God.
Jesus is High King, High Priest and High Prophet.
Jesus is both man and God.
Jesus is the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world.
Jesus is the Star of David,
Jesus is the eternal morning
Jesus is the fairest of ten thousand
Jesus is the temple
Jesus is the chief corner stone
Jesus is the foundation
Jesus is the word
Jesus is the light of the world
Jesus is the Lion of the tribe of Juda
Jesus is the shepherd of our faith
Jesus is the Angle of the Lord
Jesus is the door to heaven
Jesus is the way the truth and the life
Jesus is the Prince of Peace
Jesus is the hope of the nations
Jesus is the bread of life
Jesus is the rock or our salvation
Jesus is the lily of the valley
Jesus is the Great I Am
Jesus is the living water
Jesus is the captain of the lord’s army
Jesus is the great builder
Jesus is the bridge builder
Jesus is the breath of life
Jesus is the creator of this world
Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith
Jesus is the Justifier
Jesus is the king of kings and the lord of lords

All of these things and more is Jesus.

We do not need buildings to worship God in. However in 2 Samuel God gives David instructions for his son Solomon to build the temple, in Exodus God gives Moses instructions to build the tabernacle, and in Acts 2:46 "And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,".

Jesus said that he taught in the temple. Paul taught in the temple everywhere he went, Peter and John in Acts 3 went and taught in the temple. So it is in the temple where we gather together to lift up songs of praise to our king and to hear His word spoken into our lives.

However in 1 Corinthians Paul says that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit and we are treat them with respect and honor for we are the Lords who bought us at a price, the price of death.

The reason why I dislike deism, its sounds like Gnosticism. Both John and Paul battled that heresy in their day. Today it has a new name, and I am calling it for what it is Heresy. To say that Jesus is not fully God and man is wrong and the Apostle John says that anyone who teaches this is to be considered and antichrist. Paul says that if anyone comes to us preaching a different gospel other than that which he himself, the Apostles, the Prophets and Jesus taught to consider them accursed. Jude calls these people brute beasts and dreamers that defile the flesh.

Be very careful Christians here in Narnia Web, not even Catholics believe in Deism I hope. That doctrine is from the pits of Hell and I who love and cherish the Word of God the same word the Lewis, Spurgeon, Luther, Calvin, Tolkien, Billy Graham and so many others fought, and died for loved and cherish. I will not alloy my fellow brothers and sisters here be polluted by some false doctrine a doctrine that James calls “a doctrine of Demons.”

Well that’s all, God bless and

To Narnia and the North!!!!!!!
Heaven and earh will Pass away but My words shall never pass away. Jesus, Matthew 24:35.

"When I was a child, I thought as a child, but when I became a man, I put away childish things including the thought of being gwon-up." C.S. Lewis
User avatar
jesusiskingofkings
NarniaWeb Regular
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Oct 20, 2009
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida USA.
Gender: Male

Re: Narnia and Deism

Postby Gandalfs Beard » Nov 01, 2009 11:32 am

Deism isn't Heresy because it isn't a form of Christianity. But that's not to say that some Deists weren't also Christians (I suppose you could call Christian Deists Heretics, but that seems counter-productive to me). Nor is Deism Gnosticism, which is very different doctrinally. And implying that Deism is Satanic is as insulting to Deists as it would be to say the same about Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, or Paganism (besides being incorrect ;) ).

JiKoK wrote:

Jude calls these people brute beasts and dreamers that defile the flesh.

Be very careful Christians here in Narnia Web, not even Catholics believe in Deism I hope. That doctrine is from the pits of Hell and I who love and cherish the Word of God the same word the Lewis, Spurgeon, Luther, Calvin, Tolkien, Billy Graham and so many others fought, and died for loved and cherish. I will not alloy my fellow brothers and sisters here be polluted by some false doctrine a doctrine that James calls “a doctrine of Demons.”


All religions have their own conception of God, and you are perfectly entitled to believe yours is correct, but your comments above are a bit much X( (even if you do use others words to make your point).

In any case, there is no reason that some Deist aspects might not be found in Narnia, just as there are many Pagan aspects of Narnia. But they don't supplant the obvious Christian aspects of Narnia.

In the brief period between being an Atheist and a Christian, Lewis's views could plausibly be described as Deist. He had come to accept the existence of God, but hadn't yet decided that Christianity was the answer. It was mostly Tolkien that finally convinced Lewis to become a Christian, and Tolkien was Catholic ;) .

GB (%)
"Absence of Evidence is not Evidence of Absence" -- Carl Sagan
User avatar
Gandalfs Beard
NarniaWeb Guru
 
Posts: 1842
Joined: Dec 02, 2008
Location: Gandalfs chin
Gender: Male

Re: Narnia and Deism

Postby 220chrisTian » Nov 01, 2009 2:29 pm

GB: I'm with jesusiskingofkings on deism. Her [?] comments may have been a bit much but they're the truth. And most of the time the truth hurts. If it didn't, we wouldn't change! But I feel sorry for deists sometimes. :( And I learned in an apologetics course this spring that a lifestyle based on belief in deism isn't even possible. ;)

jikok: great "Jesus" list! :ymapplause:
User avatar
220chrisTian
NarniaWeb Guru
 
Posts: 2181
Joined: Mar 23, 2009
Location: U.S.
Gender: Female

Re: Narnia and Deism

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Nov 02, 2009 3:14 am

Sorry, I am with GB all the way. C.S.Lewis wasn't a Christian all his life, and he came to that point of view after much struggle. And there are many around just like him, until he converted, who were convinced there was a Supreme Being, but can't reconcile that Being with what is taught about religion today, especially by those groups who insist on their own point of view being the only correct one. According to the definition of Deism at the beginning of this thread, it might also be a good way to describe Narnia and the characters in it.

Many of C.S.Lewis' critics, such as Philip Pullman, have argued that he wrote the Narnia series as a direct Christian allegory, and the heavy handed attitudes of those people who deny in ostrich fashion the facts of what is taught in most schools about the world, might actually suggest they go along with that idea, and even advocate and justify Philip Pullman's point of view. Sorry if that statement hurts. As someone earlier said, the truth does hurt, which is why the truth might be treated with some care and caution. But then lies also hurt. There is something called tact, you know. ;)

However, according to his own writings, C.S.Lewis wrote the Narnia Chronicles as a supposal. Suppose that there are other creations around, complete with flat earth, Sun orbiting their worlds, mythical creatures and much else? How would redemption play out in that world? Who would be affected? In a world in which it is animals who are the main protagonists, what part would humans play? And what are the ethics going to be?

I'd like to think Lewis succeeded brilliantly in his aim. Think of some of the memorable characters and their beliefs. Think of how cheery Trumpkin thinks of Aslan and religion in general. Just a lot of baloney and balloons, no doubt. But when push came to shove, Trumpkin was one of the most moral and trustworthy characters in the entire series.

Think of others, such as Puddleglum, who wants to believe in a Narnia, even if there is no real Narnia to pin his hopes on. What about Edmund, who has so much difficulty with his failure to recognise the White Witch's evil? Or dwarves like Griffle or Nikabrik who are convinced that the dwarves are for the dwarves, and that the rest of their world is agin them?

I agree with those people who see a similarity between today's society and LB. The Narnian difficulty was that there was no tuition about exactly what they believed. Where were the festivals, the church services, the books to consult or the meetings of groups who could have given Shift the lie? There weren't any, unless you count the Tashlan nonsense. And so, Narnia, infiltrated by Calomenes, at first decked out as seemingly harmless merchants, eventually died.

Unfortunately, I do think that there is a need for proper formal Christian groups, that they need to state exactly what they believe, and that they should distinguish what they believe in common, and the rest, like bishops or the status of the Virgin Mary, which is discardable flim-flam. If you don't believe me, check out the gruesome story of Janz Corneliusz, whose freethinking 'Christian' beliefs led to his just but horrible death on the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, off the coast of Western Australia in 1629. Yes, he helped lead a ship's mutiny, and yes, he ruled the roost on those islands in a despicable way. You might also consider how similar his freethinking beliefs were to the Taliban/Al Quaeda sorts of ideas around today.

Because if we are to discuss Deism, let alone Christian Deism, then we must also start considering other groups who believe in a single Supreme Being, such as Jews or Muslims, or even Zoroastrianism or Ba'haism even though the ideas those groups might have of a 'Supreme Being' are a lot different from ours. We must also consider that in the latter case, in particular, there are those who would like to think it is us Christians who are ill-informed about the nature of God.
User avatar
waggawerewolf27
NarniaWeb Zealot
 
Posts: 8137
Joined: Sep 25, 2009
Location: Oz
Gender: Female

Re: Narnia and Deism

Postby ArtskydJ » Nov 20, 2009 9:04 pm

Deism = The belief, based solely on reason, in a God who created the universe and then abandoned it, assuming no control over life, exerting no influence on natural phenomena, and giving no supernatural revelation. (definition from TheFreeDictionary. Also, if you aren't sure what a word means, please look it up.)

If God has and had no supernatural revelation, then Jesus, God's Son, while on earth, could not have performed miracles. If Jesus did not perform miracles, He did not turn the water into wine, for example. If Jesus did not turn the water into wine, then the Bible lied. God says in His word that (John 1:1c) "...the Word was God". God can not be separated from the Word. The Word can not be separated from Him. If the Bible lied, God lied. God can not lie. It is totally impossible. Therefore, God did not lie, Jesus did turn the water into wine, God does have control over people's lives, God does give supernatural revelation, hence, deism is heretical.
ArtskydJ
NarniaWeb Regular
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Jan 06, 2009
Location: In the Galaxy

Re: Narnia and Deism

Postby Gandalfs Beard » Nov 20, 2009 10:09 pm

Far be it from me to question a narrow one sentence definition from an online dictionary 8-| =)) . But that definition only applies to one of many schools of Deist thought that would actually take volumes to adequately describe. There are no hard and fast dogmas that all Deists obey (though Reason is always central to their philosophy).

As I posted previously on this thread (with some minor clarifications) :
Deism isn't cut and dry though. They were all over the map theologically. Many did believe (such as Ben Franklin) in the Divine [i.e. Transcendent] Watchmaker who set the Universe in motion then left it to it's own devices, while others were more or less Christian [even believing in the Divinity of Jesus, but reasoning that the Age of Miracles was past], and many others believed in something they called "Nature's God" who was non-transcendent.

My own view is that Transcendence and Nature are not separate, but Two aspects of One Reality--which is what some Deists believed also. Also, I think that if something...anything...exists or occurs, including Miracles, or the so-called "Para-normal" and "Super-natural"; then they are by definition Natural...


GB (%)
"Absence of Evidence is not Evidence of Absence" -- Carl Sagan
User avatar
Gandalfs Beard
NarniaWeb Guru
 
Posts: 1842
Joined: Dec 02, 2008
Location: Gandalfs chin
Gender: Male

Re: Narnia and Deism

Postby 220chrisTian » Nov 21, 2009 1:19 pm

ArtskydJ wrote:If Jesus did not turn the water into wine, then the Bible lied. God says in His word that (John 1:1c) "...the Word was God". God can not be separated from the Word. The Word can not be separated from Him. If the Bible lied, God lied. God can not lie. It is totally impossible.
Agreed. Nuff said. :)
User avatar
220chrisTian
NarniaWeb Guru
 
Posts: 2181
Joined: Mar 23, 2009
Location: U.S.
Gender: Female

Re: Narnia and Deism

Postby ArtskydJ » Nov 21, 2009 9:21 pm

Gandalf's Beard wrote:My own view is that Transcendence and Nature are not separate, but Two aspects of One Reality--which is what some Deists believed also. Also, I think that if something...anything...exists or occurs, including Miracles, or the so-called "Para-normal" and "Super-natural"; then they are by definition Natural.

Are you saying that there are no miracles/super-natural acts today? How can God answer prayer then? Look at Mathew 21:22; "And all things, whatsoever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive." God answers prayer. How can that be if Super-Natural events do not occur?
My YouTube
Also, it anyone likes Lego Mindstorms, you can go to this blog that I am a contributor to.
ArtskydJ
NarniaWeb Regular
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Jan 06, 2009
Location: In the Galaxy

Re: Narnia and Deism

Postby Gandalfs Beard » Nov 22, 2009 6:11 am

I'm not sure how you read that position into my words Artsky :-\ . I didn't say that "Miraculous" or "Supernatural" events cannot occur today. What I was pointing out was that such occurrences are actually not UN-natural, by virtue of their actual existence.

As to God answering Prayers, I remain Agnostic on that issue, neither denying nor wholly accepting that possibility.

GB (%)
"Absence of Evidence is not Evidence of Absence" -- Carl Sagan
User avatar
Gandalfs Beard
NarniaWeb Guru
 
Posts: 1842
Joined: Dec 02, 2008
Location: Gandalfs chin
Gender: Male

Re: Narnia and Deism

Postby Puddleglum » Nov 22, 2009 3:40 pm

This is my first time posting on the Forum, and apologize for errores in advance.
First thing I must say is in reference to Lewis, and deism. While I would say that in his later writings he was definitly non-deist, (Thank you Dr. Ransom for the trilemma reference), I believe that in his earliest writings, as a Christian he was still growing in his understanding of the faith. The "visions" seen by one of the main characters in That Hidiouse Streangth being attributed to her heredity being one instance of his lack of understanding in spiritual gifts.

On miracles. When we say that God breaks the laws of nature in miracles we often forget that it is He who created the natural world.
To use an old comparison, a watch due to natural wear breaks down. Even though He made it, and is seperat from it, He interacts with the watch by repairing it. He can also change the time, adjust the speed, etc.
Now if the watch were sentient, it would probably see this as a miracle, but it is no more than the maker's direct interaction.
Not that all interaction needs to be seen as a miracle. Our simply doing His will as He directs in His word is an example of that.
Puddleglum
NarniaWeb Junkie
 
Posts: 850
Joined: Nov 20, 2009
Location: Minnesota USA
Gender: Male

Re: Narnia and Deism

Postby ArtskydJ » Nov 22, 2009 5:38 pm

Gandalfs Beard wrote:I'm not sure how you read that position into my words Artsky :-\ . I didn't say that "Miraculous" or "Supernatural" events cannot occur today. What I was pointing out was that such occurrences are actually not UN-natural, by virtue of their actual existence.
GB

Things like the sun going back ten degrees on a sundial doesn't just happen under normal circumstances. It is a miracle.
I think we are getting off topic. We are arguing of weather or not miracles are natural. I think that "miracle" means it can't just be a "coincidence". If I needed money and someone walked up to the front door and gave me money, God would be working through that person so that they would give me money, but it would not be a miracle.
Deism is the belief that God left the world to work "on it's own devices". That would mean He has no providence, etc. That would mean He can't do any thing on earth right now. Is that what you are saying GB?
ArtskydJ
NarniaWeb Regular
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Jan 06, 2009
Location: In the Galaxy

Re: Narnia and Deism

Postby Gandalfs Beard » Nov 22, 2009 5:57 pm

Please read my posts!!! :) . You keep referring to only one form of Deism, when there are many that do not fit that description.

In any case while some of my views could be arguably considered Deist, I do not consider myself a Deist, But a Non-theistic Pagan Agnostic, or occasionally a Gnostic Agnostic =)) . If you want more details please PM me so this thread can stay on topic.

GB (%)
"Absence of Evidence is not Evidence of Absence" -- Carl Sagan
User avatar
Gandalfs Beard
NarniaWeb Guru
 
Posts: 1842
Joined: Dec 02, 2008
Location: Gandalfs chin
Gender: Male

Re: Narnia and Deism

Postby Dr Elwin Ransom » Nov 24, 2009 8:20 am

Yes ... a discussion about the nature of miracles might be more at home in the Christianity, Religion and Philosophy thread(s) -- currently at Episode V over in The Spare Oom.

I am afraid the following paragraphs could be very unpopular. However ...

It would seem the main concept tying together all forms of "deism" would not be the extent to which God works in the world, miracles or otherwise, but whether He has a moral law and the right to punish its offenders. Is He a small God, Who is so pathetic He just lets His people play wild, hurt each other, and worst of all reject Him? Or is He large and in charge, glorious, epic and mighty, and deserving of all praise?

Can His Word be trusted, or do we reinterpret its meanings (I am not talking about genuinely disagreed-upon texts, but the obvious meanings) to suit our sinful whims?

This isn't about purely academic discussion to be carried out over coffee and crumpets or over forums or in philosophical journals. These are real, profound, eternal-life-or-eternal-death issues. Is one's destiny Heaven (and later the New Heavens and New Earth) or Hell? Do we want to make much of God, or use ideas of Him to make much of ourselves? Questions for thought ...

Also, Lewis's understanding of Christ, echoed in the character of Aslan, was certainly not "Deist." This itself does not prove Deism(s) is/are wrong. But it is a reminder not to cast Lewis or the Chronicles as what they were not.
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: Narnia and Deism

Postby Cymru » Dec 16, 2009 1:24 pm

Without going off on deism, I would think to say that the answer to Narnia's reflection of a God with written laws is rather obvious.

The stone table served not only as a sacred place/temple - it was an altar upon which the sins of Narnia - like the sins of Israel -were purified through blood sacrifice. It was also the law - the laws of the deep magic were etched into it - very like the stone tablets of the Israelites.

Narnia is not Temple bare or Scripture bare - and while there were no "services" depicting worship, one must admit that the Bible itself is not particularly rife with such ceremonies. The one ceremony that is depicted in Narnia - that of Aslan being slain upon the stone-etched law, was incredibly accurate to temple happenings in the old testament.

I suppose it would be as odd to see Narnians singing praise songs to One who walked among them, as it would be to read passages in the New Testament where such an event occurred between Jesus and his disciples. Ceremony is for that time when He does not walk among us - hence, Jesus many comments on the subject to critics.

I do think Narnia betrays Lewis' personal ideas about relationship with God - he was not a man to follow something another man wrote without question - he found himself swimming in multiple (but ultimately singularly bound) theological pools of thought. He described walking briskly through nature and stopping to worship - he spoke of many types of worship throughout his writings that he was comfortable with. I don't think he could be solely claimed to belong to any theological background. If he had, I don't suppose he could have ever written Mere Christianity. In Narnia, his ideas became more free perhaps - when they weren't bound to satisfy any one set of ideas. I believe their purpose served, in fact, to free the mind from the many philosophical trappings that had stolen some of the Story's luminescence.

Narnia wasn't anything but Narnia - but there are those of us who it spoke to on a different level - and if we don't deny that, how then can we deny that God does in fact communicate via other means than the canon? If we are moved by a fictional lion who finds no place in Scripture - if we are moved by him to worship Him, then can't Lewis write about his own personal encounters with God without being picked apart, labeled, or claimed?
That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you're not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong. ~ F.Scott Fitzgerald
User avatar
Cymru
Moderator Emeritus
 
Posts: 9582
Joined: Jul 16, 2004
Location: In the stacks
Gender: Female

Re: Narnia and Deism

Postby Copperfox » Jan 30, 2010 1:40 pm

I have to get started someplace, and where better than on a topic thread to which my kindred spirit (and fellow old guy) Evening Star has contributed? Mr. Lewis believed in things like free will and individual responsibility, but Deism holds no patent on these things. And the amount of direct, visible, concrete appearing and intervening which God in the form of Aslan does in the Narnian world is utterly incompatible with Deism.
Copperfox
NarniaWeb Newbie
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Jan 30, 2010
Gender: Male

Re: Narnia and Deism

Postby Elluinas Mirion » Apr 03, 2010 10:16 pm

If one wants to accuse anyone of deism, it ought to be the writer of LOTR, not Narnia.

American deists have the problem that they dont have a lion who appears from time to time (even if, as in PC and TLB, it was only historically and not within living memory).

Should one accuse most amerindians because they too have no doctrines, temples, books, hymns etc? In this regard, some have said that Christians are all about "ortho-doxy" versus amerindians who focus on "ortho-praxy". The one is more interested in correct beliefs, whilst the other is focused on correct practice. Deism is not a religion, it is a philosophical construct. One belives in "deism" like one belives in the efficient market hypothesis at least insofar as there is no church to join, and no creed to recite. Strangely, the amerindian view is similar: nobody really cares WHAT you believe. So long as you behave yourself you will be well thought of.

Narnians do not have a religion, they have a cosmology. They share aspects of both christian and native. Recall, that the DO share a corpus of wisdom:

"...When Adams Flesh and Adam's bone
Sit at Caer Paravel enthroned..."

and the more evolved ones share a finely honed ethics. In any case, Lewis wasn't interested in doctrine, but as he says in mere christianity "I think god wants christians to be a certain kind of people." Thus the Narnia stories focus on that, and only tangentially on "What Narnians Belive." (to parody the focus of his non-fiction). To think in terms of allegory is I think a very limiting chain.

Middle Earth is a bit harder nut to crack without the silmarilion.

In any case, one cant "sneak true tales past the watchful uruloki at the sunday school door" unless one ACTUALLY SNEAKS. =))

aure entuluva! na kare indolmelya!


a rakuenno ar kiryar.

獅子のための kwa simba από το λιοντάρι fyrir ljónið Az oroszlán par lauva
사자의 na i Ravession voor de leeuw bagi singa
User avatar
Elluinas Mirion
NarniaWeb Regular
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Dec 24, 2009
Location: according to ML, on "Cloud 9"

PreviousNext

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest