Greeley & the iMonk on the errors of Evangelical Narnians

kinnon —  December 11, 2005 — Leave a comment

AslanAll Narnia. All the time. Aslan will save Christianity. Run don’t walk to the box office. Uncle Walt wants you! (My apologies, my brain disengaged while my fingers danced.)

Novelist and Catholic Priest, Andrew Greeley, pontificates on the Catholicisation of Evangelicalism:

"…it seems to me that the evangelicals slip dangerously close to Catholic idolatry when they embrace a wondrous allegory as a summary of the biblical story. Jesus is not and never was a lion like Aslan in the film. To interpret him as a lion is to go light years beyond literal, word-for-word inerrancy. The evangelical enthusiasm about the sufferings of Jesus in Mel Gibson’s "The Passion of the Christ" put them one step away, it seemed to me, from importing crucifixes and Stations of the Cross into their churches. I’m afraid that their enthusiasm for both films shows just how seductive the Catholic temptation is."

Oh dear, perhaps we that call ourselves by the "E" word are indeed "drifting into an imaginative world where the Whore of Babylon lives and dominates." First Mel, and then that Anglo-Catholic, Jack, are drawing us away from the austere world where we put down the "vain imaginations" of this world. Why Jesus never asked us to use our imaginations – he didn’t tell us any stories. (Well, okay, maybe one or two – but they weren’t really stories, were they?)

Perhaps the iMonk, that wise oracle of all things Christian can spin understanding into this vortex of the imagination:

"Evangelicals have dabbled. They have denounced. They have demeaned. They have experimented. Are they ready to admit that we can preach through our engagement with story, image and aesthetic, and not only through propositions? Art and imagination, great writing and creative expresssion: they all preach the Gospel and engage human beings with the truth of God. If evangelicals are opening their minds to more than outlines and answers, will they seek out those God has gifted in the realm of the imaginative and release them to create, praise and evangelize?"

Alas, even he has gone over to the darkside – willing to help one of his students, "recover an entire set of Harry Potter books." The end is nigh! Beware the apocalypse!

I’m off to burn all the Lewis, Greeley, Wendel Berry and other books of vain imaginations on my shelves. But that’s just to stay warm. ‘Tis rather cold here in the Great White North. Perhaps I’ll watch a DVD while the fire burns.

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kinnon

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A television editor, writer & director since 1978. A Christian since 1982. More than a little frustrated with the Church in the West since late in the last millennium.

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