[DWJ] witches in fiction, Xtianity

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Tue Jun 20 07:56:02 EDT 2006

>On Mon, 19 Jun 2006 12:11:41 +0000, minnow at belfry.org.uk wrote:
>>Philip wrote:
>>>When in Christian groups (I am a Christian, FWIW) I say that although we
>>>are taught that Christ is the only way to Heaven, there is nothing to
>>>say that one cannot find Christ outside the institutional Church, or
>>>even in other religions, my comments generally do not go down well...
>>I find it a little surprising how many Christians are so strongly in favour
>>of the Narnia books, when the message in the last of them is so clearly
>>that bad Narnians are not saved but a good Calormene *is*.  The young
>>soldier has worshipped Tash all his life, and Aslan still accepts him.  How
>>does that fit in with the "anyone who isn't my sort of christian is damned"
>>outlook, I ask but get no answer as a rule.

Melissa quite properly rebuked me, gently:
>Well, for one thing, not all Christians teach that "anyone who isn't my sort
>of Christian is damned."  I don't even think they're representative of the
>majority anymore, unless you're in the Bible Belt of the US (possibly) and
>even then, that's not a given.  I went to high school in a little town in
>Texas (Cleburne) which boasted something like ninety different Christian
>congregations.  Most of them were flavors of Baptist, but it was surprising
>how much religious tolerance this fostered.

Sorry.  That was very careless; I meant Xtian (like Augustus Carp), or
something, when I used the Capital C Christian; when I mean what I regard
as the real thing, as eg my Ma or my Sainted Aunt Sally (incidentally,
neither of them ever claimed to *be* a christian, each said that she was
*trying* to be one, which seems to me to be a very reasonable stance since
one can't really be sure one is succeeding in following that very difficult
set of instructions such as "be ye perfect as my Father in Heaven is
perfect", which I don't think anyone manages in this life), I tend to spell
it with a small c, as I spell pagan with a small p, but I didn't make that
at all clear.  I was thinking of the sort of person who claims to follow
Christ but ignores the boring "love thy neighbour" stuff in favour of "thou
shalt not suffer a witch to live", and who would've been the chaps who
passed by the wounded man who fell among thieves on the other side of the
road and withdrew the hem of their garments from him because he wasn't one
of *their* sort of people, or who condemned Christ himself for "consorting
with sinners" and claiming a *tax gatherer* as one of his disciples and
generally not being what they expected of a Proper Prophet.  Those are the
people who have the "anyone who isn't my sort of christian is damned"
mindset, and many of them also approve of Narnia, and I simply don't see
how they manage both at once.

>In my religion, poor C.S. Lewis has been adopted as an honorary Mormon--he'd
>probably have hated that--because his interpretations of Christian doctrine
>are similar enough to ours that a Latter-day Saint can read his books very
>comfortably.  I like his theological writings as well as his fiction, and
>frankly I wish more people read _Till We Have Faces_--very complex issues of
>faith and one's relationship to God.

I wish more people read C.S. Lewis on almost any subject, because he often
seems to be simply sensible, talking clearly and plainly about complicated
ideas so that it is easier to get some sort of grasp on them.


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