Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Narnia Code: Planet Narnia by Michael Ward

Just watched The Narnia Code on BBC1. It's a fascinating look at the Narnia Chronicles, triggered by Michael Ward noticing that CS Lewis wrote a poem about Jupiter in which he summarised it as being "winter past, and guilt forgiven" which is a very fine five word summary of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.

Ward argues that Lewis believed in a meaning-drenched universe, that you have to have this if you're going to believe in Christianity. Even though the stories of the planets aren't true, the point is they they display the sense that this universe is radiating the glory of God.

I've ordered the book, all 364 pages of it. Having walked with CS Lewis over recent months, enjoying several of his imaginative novels (like Perelandra) and essays (like The Funeral of a Great Myth), enjoying his perspective on God's meaningful universe. Our apologetic can learn much from Lewis I'm sure, not just to argue rigorously, but to invite people to see the universe as so much richer than we care to admit in the halls of science. And not just our apologetic but our lives - immersed in this world that is at once as vapourous as Qoheleth teaches and yet as very good as Moses records.

Narnia Code Website and Planet Narnia Website.
** Oxford Inklings Blog - The Planets poems by CS Lewis and blogging through Planet Narnia


  1. that was some wonderful tv. thanks for the tip.

  2. Let me recommend the book very, very highly! All readers: buy!

  3. I couldn't believe I was watching it on BBC 1!

  4. A young CUer has also posted about this very show over on 2 recommendations = me watching this afternoon (not that your recommendation on it's own isn't enough Rev.Bish)

  5. Has anyone read the Allegory of Love?

    The difficulty, of course, is that the downfall of allegorical readings of the world seems to have been symptomatic of the downfall of allegorical readings of scripture. Lewis indeed saw himself as the last of the pre-moderns.

    I started to blog a little on this here, but got rather stuck. I'd love to hear any thoughts on Peter Harrison's conclusions about the more corrosive effects of the reformation.
    Fixing the Meaning of Scripture & the Origins of Modernity (2002) The Bible and the Emergence of Modern Science (2006)

  6. Geat programme. Made we want to re-read the Narnia books and Plant Narnia...which I may well do! Fancy seeing the likes of Rev. John Polkinghorne on the BBC...!!!

  7. Thanks for putting me on to this-watched it over the weekend and it blessed and encouraged me.

  8. AA Gill commenting on this in the Times, "how come all Lewis scholars are apparently characters invented by Tolkien?"