Sunday, May 25, 2008

CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: PRINCE CASPIAN! WOW!

This Disney film may be too scary and violent and dark for small children. Focus on the Family said as much, concluding it wasn’t a “family film,” NOT a “G”-rated film. It starts out with a woman screaming in labor (of course we’ve seen that on TV) –she is giving birth to a rival for Prince Caspian’s throne.

It helps to have read the Narnia series, and I admit, it’s been a long time since I’ve done that, so I can’t say how faithful the film is to the book, but that is supposedly a goal of the assistant producer, Douglas Gresham, the step-son of C.S. Lewis and heir to the Lewis copyrights.

Our family really liked this movie and thought it even better than the first one. The little girl, Lucy, is such a charmer and will remind you of our own Marta Bersinger in appearance and age. (We thought that in the first film, too.)

Again, the story is about Aslan’s kingdom, Narnia, a metaphor for an earthly kingdom where evil opposes good as on earth. Aslan is the Lion who gave His life for Narnia as Jesus did for the world, but He died and rose again in the first movie –and left the children to rule as kings and queens of Narnia, with this special status because they are the Daughters of Eve and Sons of Adam. The Children know He is their king, but at some point in the stories, they were sent back to London from whence they started, during WW II, until Prince Caspian sounded the horn that would summon all the King’s subjects to Narnia. They find that they, kings and queens that they really are in Aslan’s Kingdom, have a war to win, to help Prince Caspian defeat the evil that would take over the kingdom of men and wage war on Narnia as well.

Like people’s skepticism about Christ’s Kingdom, the people of both Caspian’s kingdom and Narnia don’t believe in the old stories of Narnia and Aslan so much anymore -- –but they find out that it really exists –and the evil unbelievers try to overcome it –as do evil people today. Like Lucifer, the Angel of Light, the devilish white queen (formerly queen in Narnia when evil ruled it) tries to tempt and lure the young men into her spell; it is significant that the boy who was once under her spell in the first movie, is now the strongest against her wiles.

Evil rises and rises in this story, in the form of evil soldiers and corrupt leaders who want to usurp Caspian’s rightful throne of his kingdom of men and defeat Narnia for opposing their plan –and it takes 5 very young people to stand against it –and so this is a film where youth are heroes and heroines –even more so than in the previous film –and it is moving and inspiring to see their courage BECAUSE THIS TIME THEY KNOW WHO THEY ARE! And they are not afraid to make the ultimate sacrifice if need be –as they are already hundreds of years old –having stayed and ruled in Narnia a long time before their return to England as ordinary school boys and girls.

I love the scene near the start where they are in a train station in their school uniforms –when the magic occurs –the trump is sounded by a Prince Caspian in trouble, and the kids find themselves back in Narnia and are not surprised but delighted.

There is lots of war, lots of fighting with swords, and a most amazing array of creatures and adorable talking animals –all brave because, after all, they are Narnians! And they know that Aslan lives –and so shall they!

It is little Lucy who has the greatest faith of them all – “a little child shall lead them.” Because of her faith, she summons Aslan when all hope appears to be gone.

If the scary issues are dealt with as “make believe,” I think children of school age will find this film thrilling. It will make them want to be brave against evil as daughters of Eve and sons of Adam, as queens and kings in God’s Kingdom. I think I’d show them the first movie first, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Of course, it would be great to read the books also.




"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible

7 comments:

Jeanette said...

We took our ten year old granddaughter to see it on opening weekend last Saturday.

It's an excellent film, but I wouldn't take my six year old grandson to watch it.

We have just purchased "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" in Blue Ray high def, and plan to show it to the kids when they spend the night again in a couple of weeks.

They've both seen it as I had bought them the DVD when it first came out but want to watch it in Blue Ray.

We've also just started watching "Planet Earth" in Blue Ray and it looks as good as it does in a theater.

Lewis' writings and the movies are great and give us a chance to talk to the little ones about the symbolism of all of it.

Glad you liked it!

Barb said...

When we were in college, Christians were discovering Narnia and Middle-Earth --and thrilled at the creativity of Christian authors making their impact on the world in this way--through allegory.

We had enduried a sequence of lousy movies with lousy endings in the hippie era, following the purposeless antics of criminals like Bonnie and Clyde. Movie-goers complained that movies with lousy endings were not entertaining and attendance was down. Then came Star Wars and the battle between good and evil was on again!

Rob R said...

If I had kids, I wouldn't let them see this or the lord of the rings movies or the harry potter books until they had read the books first.

Jeanette said...

rob, I agree with you. However, my ten year old granddaughter is a voracious reader and has read the Chronicles of Narnia. All the books. That's why we knew she'd enjoy the movie.

Yankee Doodle said...

Mrs. Rohrs, I have a question, and it's not related to this article.

Recently my teacher asked us whether we believe in fate or free will. Honestly, I didn't know how to answer that question. Could you please tell me what does the Bible say about that?

Thank you.

Rob R said...

Though you've asked ma, This is an issue I've studied a great deal.

The church has taken several positions on this issue. One side has taken the view that God has determined everything that has and will ever happen and the other side has taken the position that God created creatures with significant free will. There are a variety of positions regarding these issues with different nuances and in combination with a variety of doctrines, but over all, there are still two basic sides. Either God has determined absolutely everything, or he hasn't and has granted his creatures a degree of self determinism. (The closest thing to a middle ground is a position called molinism which I may or may not go into in this post)

Both sides use scripture to back up their claims. The determinists (often called "Calvinists" after theologian John Calvin) like to use Romans 9 and Isaiah 45:7 (see the king james version on that second verse)

The indeterminist (often called Arminians after theologian Jacob Arminius, or just free will theists) will often cite 2nd Peter 3:9 or John 3:16.

So both sides use scripture and both sides deal with the "problem passages" for their own perspectives. That is, they attempt to explain away the other position's passages.

There is far more scripture to consider than just these and it's been a while since I've gone into all the different texts. But I'll give you my position and a few important reasons including biblical reasons as to why I hold that position.

I am a free will theist as I find free will is behind some of our most basic intuitions in human thought and behavior, and I find the notion that God completely determined everything including every wicked act from the mildest to the most unspeakable to be repugnant beyond belief. Furthermore, these issues relate to the question of predestination and free will, and the implication of determinism, that God has determined (even by something some Calvinists refer to as "second causes") that some specific people will be damned to an eternal hell (or even just oblivion as some hold to in a position called "annhiliationism" which is a theory about damnation and not necessarily about predestination) is even more grievious.

One of the first passages that I found that I felt could not be explained away by calvinists was 1st corinthians 10:13. This passage explains that if a Christian is tempted, God will provide a way for the Christian to escape that temptation and not sin. If theological determinism is correct, then it really isn't true that a christian who was tempted and sinned could have avoided that sin since in determinism, there is no way to do other than what God has determined.

A calvinist could get around this by insisting that Christians never sin, but this is observably false and a biblical case can be made to the effect that Christians do indeed sin.

So if Christians sin, then free will is necessary as far as 1st Corinthians 10:13 is concerned.

In my studies, I cam across what I believe to be what is absolutely the most important argument against theological determinism (given that the theological determinist believes that God damns people to hell... we'll call this belief "reprobation," that is the combined belief of damnation and theological determinism). If you believe in reprobation, then it is impossible for you to perfectly follow the two greatest commandments as Jesus described them. Jesus said those two greatest commandments were to love God with all of your being and to love your neighbor as yourself.

So if God reprobates people, then most likely, some of the neighbors of any given Christian are reprobated even though the Christian doesn't know specifically who. Now what is the Christian called to do with regard to his neighbor? He is to love his neighbor as he loves himelf. What does that mean. One thing that this entails is that the Christian identifies the needs of his neighbor as if they were his own. What does his neighbor need more than anything? It is the love and salvific grace of God. But according to the doctrine of reprobation, it is God himself who refuses to extend his this grace. Now if God is refusing your most important basic need, can you love him with all your heart? Not at all. According to the apostle John, we love because God first loved us. So without that need met for our neighbor, in consistence with a love for them as if their needs were our own, we cannot be at peace with the idea that they are reprobate. If you really are identifying your neihbor's need as if it were your own, the idea that God himself refuses to satisfy this need that you are now identifying as your own should shake you to the core. You should not be at peace with it. This is so fundamental that it will interfere with one's ability to love God with all of one's being.

Hence if God reprobates, then we cannot satisfy the two greatest commands.

You could still be a determinist and get around this argument by denying that God damns anyone. These people are universalists as they believe that either everyone goes to heaven, or that hell is more like the catholic idea of purgatory so that one day everyone will repent and leave hell.

I hope these ideas and reasonings are clear to you but understand that this is a huge issue and what I've written here is just an introduction which leaves a lot of important information out.

steve said...

The hidden metaphore in the Chronic (what) cles of Narnia is the need for a Tax Cut.