the pencil reads

posts on articles, books and movies

LOTR vs Narnia; Catholics vs Protestants

Saturday, August 21, 2004
I finished reading LOTR a few months back and am now starting on C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia. I really enjoyed reading LOTR - was swept up in Tolkien's marvelous story telling. Narnia is taking a bit longer because of the intrusive narrator gets on my nerves, and the willful kids irritate me too, sad to say.

One of the differences between LOTR and Narnia is that Tolkien refused to allow any allusions to be made with the Bible (see his foreword), unlike C.S Lewis' work where you cannot miss the allusion of Aslan dying and then rising again even if you wanted to. I think the difference between LOTR and Narnia is similar to the difference between Catholics and Protestants. Catholics tell stories - they go through the stations of the cross, enjoy the sensation of the host on their tongue, and weep because Jesus died on a cross. Protestants are concerned with the meaning behind the stories - the atonement, the justification, the freedom from sin, the assurance of salvation - and tell the gospel in four bullet points.

Which is better? LOTR does not mention God a single time, yet speaks of the epic battle between good and evil, the leadership of men like Aragon who led by example and inspired their followers with courage to fight a battle they cannot even imagine, and the final triumph of good, hope against hope. C.S. Lewis pulls off a perfect allusion to the gospel in all its essential points in The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe.

Perhaps they are like two harmony lines to a single song?