Friday, February 25, 2011

Old Jack

Because it's Friday night and I'm fresh out of original ideas, I thought I'd post some of my favorite quotes from my first dead hero in my Christian walk.  The man who created Narnia, the Silent Planet and taught me more about evil and good than any living person when I was a baby believer looking for milk and meat all at once--sometimes quite impatiently, as I recall.  I'm talking about Clive Staples Lewis, of course, known as Jack to his friends, among which I definitely count myself, though I never met the man and would be speechless to have had the chance.  Heroes are apt to do that...even to a person like me.

First of all, to clear up a matter that people often misunderstand, argue about, here's the man himself about Aslan: "If Aslan represented the immaterial Deity in the same way in which Giant Despair represents Despair, he would be an allegorical figure. In reality however he is an invention giving an imaginary answer to the question,"What might Christ become like, if there really were a world like Narnia and He chose to be incarnate and die and rise again in that world as He actually has done in ours?" This is not allegory at all."  Letters of CS Lewis, (29 December 1958)

Then a few of my favorite general quotes:
It costs God nothing, so far as we know, to create nice things; but to convert rebellious wills cost Him crucifixion. Mere Christianity

The next best thing to being wise oneself is to live in a circle of those who are. Selected Literary Essays

If the imagination were obedient, the appetites would give us very little trouble. Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer.

We must lay before Him what is in us, not what ought to be in us.  Letters to Malcolm.

Do not be deceived, Wormwood. Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our Enemy's will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys.  The Screwtape Letters

And a few nuggets of gold from Narnia (and those of you who haven't read them...perhaps this will wet your appetite.  I hope so, I sincerely hope so!):

"Do you mark all this well, King Caspian?"
"I do indeed, Sir," said Caspian. "I was wishing that I came from a more honourable lineage."
"You come of the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve," said Aslan. "And that is both honour enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor in earth. Be content."  Prince Caspian

"Who is Aslan?" asked Susan.
"Aslan?" said Mr. Beaver, "Why don't you know? He's the King...It is he, not you, that will save Mr. Tumnus..."
"Is--is he a man?" asked Lucy.
"Aslan a man!" said Mr. Beaver sternly. "Certainly not. I tell you he is the King of the wood and the son of the great Emperor-Beyond-the Sea. Don't you know who is the King of Beasts?  Aslan is a lion--the  Lion, the great Lion."
"Ooh!" said Susan.  "I'd thought he was a man. Is he--quite safe?  I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion."
"That you will, dearie, and no mistake," said Mrs. Beaver, "if there's anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they're either braver than most or else just silly."
"Then he isn't safe?" said Lucy.
"Safe?" said Mr. Beaver. "Don't you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you?  Who said anything about safe?  'Course he isn't safe.  But he's good.  He's the King, I tell you."
The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe

"And as he spoke He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them.  And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after.  But for them it was only the beginning of the real story.  All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page; now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story, which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever; in which every chapter is better than the one before.  The Last Battle

 And finally this:
"We may ignore, but we can nowhere evade, the presence of God.  The world is crowded with Him.  He walks everywhere, incognito." Letters to Malcolm

Exactly.  Yes, to all this, I say: Exactly!

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