Not to pick on Time too much, but God does not appear in the Narnia books, just as God doesn't appear in the Potter books.

I suppose you could say that Magicians Nephew, in which Aslan creates a new world, comes close, but there's no distinctive God talk. And suprisingly litte theology in any of the Narnia books--they are not, as Time put it "dripping with theology."

There is something that the Narnia and Potter books have in common--the absolute belief that love can conquer death. And that love can overcome power. The central turning point in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe comes when Alsan is killed by the White Witch -- giving his life in exchange for a boy named Edmund. This sacrifice, referred to as the "old magic" eventually destroys the Witch's power.

The central turning point of the Potter books is revealed at the end of the Sorcerer's Stone, and remains a common theme of all the books--love is the most powerful magic of all-- and the power of Lord Voldemort is shattered when Lilly Potter lays down her life for her son--again referred to as "old magic" -- and that sacrifice leads to Voldemort's downfall.

Of course, you've got to have ears to hear and eyes to see. Or at least read the source material.


"Grace is never ending. . . and redemption doesn’t often come as quickly as we wanted it to come."

That's a pretty summary of the Christian life from a recent interview with G.P. Taylor, the former "all around sinner" turned policeman, vicar, and bestselling author.

A couple of other choice bits:

  • "The clergy take themselves far too seriously. I think we’ve got to learn to start thinking how everybody’s taking a piss on us behind our backs, and that we are quite humorous characters."

  • "I’m not in a position of power. I’m in a position of weakness, and vulnerability. If God wants to take this all away from me, He can. And, having been very ill over the last year, I realize how fickle life is. So I would never deem to put myself into a position of power. Power is quite a negative thing, and especially for me as a Christian."
  • (on how his former life--as a teenaged runaway and police officer, shaped his ministry.)"It showed me that nothing is clear-cut. There were a lot of gray areas in people’s lives, and that God is a God of gray areas. I’m an evangelical Christian but it’s broadened my theology to show me that God often operates ninety percent of the time outside the church, and ninety percent of the time He uses non-Christians rather than Christians."

For more from GP Taylor, check out this Dick Staub interview from last year.

Or, wait till next fall, for the book on Taylor's life to come out.


492 pages down. 160 left to the end of the Half Blood Prince. It's good--funny even at the most tense moments, and drawing ever closer to a final showdown between Harry Potter and He-who-must-not-be-named. (For Red Sox fans, it's not Grady Little we're talking about here.)

The book's good so far. Wish the same were true about Time's interview with J.K. Rowling, which takes a couple of pissy pot shots at C.S. Lewis.

Like this: "And unlike Lewis, whose books are drenched in theology, Rowling refuses to view herself as a moral educator to the millions of children who read her books. 'I don't think that it's at all healthy for the work for me to think in those terms. So I don't,' she says. 'I never think in terms of What am I going to teach them? Or, What would it be good for them to find out here?'

And this: "If Lewis showed up there, let's face it, he'd probably wind up a Death Eater."

Lewis's Narnia books have got some problems--most notably, as Philip Pullman points out, the fact that Susan, one of the heroines of the Lion, the Witch, and The Wardrobe gets left behind (and presumably sent to hell)at the end of the last Narnia book for the sin of liking nylons and lipstick too much--a bit cruel and un-Aslan like, if you ask me.

But Lewis a Death Eater? Spare me.

One last tidbit, about God and Harry Potter, from Rowling in Time.

Interestingly, although Rowling is a member of the Church of Scotland, the books are free of references to God. On this point, Rowling is cagey. "Um. I don't think they're that secular," she says, choosing her words slowly. "But, obviously, Dumbledore is not Jesus."


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