Wednesday, January 18, 2006

#2 Narnia Class

The class was excellent again tonight. We covered the 2nd chapter of Tom's book which is about how God's nature (specifically Christ) is revealed through the character of Aslan.

My favorite quote about God was key to the lesson.

Lucy: Then is He safe?

Mr. Beaver: Safe! Who said anything about safe? Of course he isn't safe, but he's good.

In the book the analogy is used where theology (learning ABOUT God) is compared to a map of the ocean while the ocean itself represents God. You can study the map of the ocean and know it by heart, but until you actually encounter the ocean and set to sea upon it, you'll never really KNOW it. In the same way, while theology is not a bad thing, indeed it is a desired aspect of religion, it is our encounters with God himself that truly affect our relationship and our KNOWLEDGE of him.

This is why Aslan is so appealing as a representation of God/Christ. In this fictional character we are able to get a more "realistic" picture of what God might be like as he relates to us in our day-to-day existence. He is at once terrible and gentle, fierce and kind, stern and loving.

Aslan does not cater to the children's whims and desires for happiness and comfort. He expects them to complete difficult tasks and makes no apologies for doing so. He does not placate them by excusing their misdeeds. Rather, he accepts their apologies forthright, forgives them, and moves them on ahead still expecting nothing but their best efforts and total devotion. Their happiness is second to their long-term well-being. If going through struggles will ultimately serve them well, making them stronger, better, wiser, or more reliant on him, then so be it. This mirrors God's dealings with us.

It was a great class. I am now 2 chapters ahead in reading it and will probably have it finished before next week. I reccommended it before I'd actually read it...but now...I'm telling you firsthand....it's a GREAT book!

grace



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1 comment:

Inheritor of Heaven said...

Thanks for this post. I love Mr. Beaver's quote. I think we also in some ways are not to be "safe". We are to be safe place and safe people so others can come and know Jesus and share their hurts and pains and sins and not incur judgement and wrath. They can come and meet Jesus who forgives them and moves on with them beyond the pain and sin. We are however to be very dangerous to the kingdom of darkness because we expose it to the light.