Thursday, April 2, 2009

Whence came the lamp?

Russell Moore is right:
Before their bedtime each night, I’m reading C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to my three oldest sons. I’m doing this because it’s a great story. But I’m also doing it because Lewis’s Narnia stories are, I believe, what shaped and molded my moral imagination as a child. I believe they are directly part of the means the Spirit used to point me to the truer Narnia in Christ. But by starting with the first book in the series, I realize I’m walking into a debate as well as into a wardrobe.

Some fellow Lewisphiles insist the series begins with The Magician’s Nephew. I disagree, emphatically.

The Magician’s Nephew is what would be called in today’s film lingo a “prequel,” rather than a beginning. ....

The first books of the Narnia series offer mysteries (Where did the White Witch come from? Who is the professor, really?), but they’re mysteries one doesn’t notice as mysteries. That waits until later.
Narnia’s Wardrobe or Magician’s Nephew: Which Comes First?


  1. I'm with you on this one. If we knew all the background before going through the wardrobe, it would have absorbed some of the surprise and wonder.

  2. We are currently reading "The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe to our 4 year old at bed time. He always asks what happens next we we reach the end of the chapter. During the day he pretends to be either a lion or knight and kills the White Witch. I'm also enjoying the books after not reading them as a child.


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