Friday, June 6, 2008

The Last Battle

There are a few topics that are commonly addressed when talking about Lewis’ The Last Battle. First and foremost is usually the controversial issue of a pagan finding his way into heaven by practicing true spirituality through the vehicle of his false religion. Lewis was not trying to say that any religion would work if merely practiced sincerely. He was trying to make the point that people are responsible for the truth they are given and he failed to really do a good job of it. There. He was not perfect and the Chronicles are flawed.

Secondly, the whole issue of the end of the world and the entrance into the true Narnia/Earth and presumably all other worlds reflected in Heaven is a focus of a lot of people, but he really did a much better job of this with The Great Divorce.

The truly fascinating part of The Last Battle is the beginning. The whole idea of a society that is nominally faithful to a belief, being led astray by a “real” manifestation of that faith. It could really be played out that way very easily. The Bible says that the last secular ruler will ironically be a religious figure, and it is the religious of the world that will sweep him into power.

The scary part of that idea is that western evangelicalism is ripe for just such a leader. We have a dangerous combination of religious zeal married with religious ignorance. For most people in Christian circles today it does not matter what the Bible or God says, but what the latest religious writer or leader says that matters.

There are plenty of downright sinful and “asinine” ideas today cloaked in “Jesus.”

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