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Prince Caspian
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Book Review

A Book Written By The Book

By Brooke Keith
Guest Writer

CBN.comIntricately woven with Christian morals and ironic Biblical similarities, C.S. Lewis’ fourth installment in the Chronicles of Narnia perplexes both heart and imagination.

A tale of a young prince, Prince Caspian, in search of his rightful throne gives way to far more than fantasy creatures and adventure. Lewis amazes the mind and renews the spirit with his subtle and not so subtle links to the greatest “book” of all time.

In Lewis’ literary work, Prince Caspian, Lucy, Peter, Edmund, and Susan are summoned back to Narnia to aid Caspian in taking his rightful seat on the throne. After Caspian’s uncle, King Miraz, murders Caspian’s father he feels that nothing now stands in the way of him and the throne. Miraz changes everything good and wondrous about Narnia. Once a magical sort of place, the talking trees slumber, the woodland creatures go into hiding and dwarfs and giants must lay low. While Miraz assures Caspian that all the old stories of this magical land are pure fairytale, Caspian still believes. After Miraz has a son of his own, word gets out that he seeks to murder Caspian, just as he did Caspian's father, if it means securing his throne. Scared but hopeful, Caspian knows in his heart that somewhere through the deepest of the woods and across the bluest of seas there is a lion waiting to come rushing to his aid.

Let’s explore some of the uncanny biblical similarities . . .

ASLAN AND JESUS

It is impossible to read this book without Lewis’ faith jumping off the page at you. Perhaps the most obvious Biblical similarity is that of Aslan the Lion and Jesus. The Lion is feared but loved, kind yet powerful in word and deed. He is good hearted yet protective, always rushing to the children’s aid at the perfect, opportune moment.

"'About Jesus of Nazareth,’ they replied. ‘He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people.’” ( Luke 24:20)

A CALLING TO LEAVE YOUR COMFORT ZONE

After a magical horn summons the children back to Narnia from a gloomy train station, the children seek to find Caspian but become lost in the thick wood. Edmund looks at Lucy thinking of how just before the horn called, they were just one train ride away from summer vacation. He says, “Golly! It’s a bit uncomfortable to know that we can be whistled for like that. It’s worse than what Father says about living at the mercy of the telephone.”

Lucy replies, “But we want to be here don’t we - if Aslan wants us?” So much like our lives today. We are often summoned at what seems to be the most horrible timing - least we forget that God’s timing is always perfect.
In the book of Matthew, we can be sure that the boat in which Peter stands looks a lot more appealing than the stormy waves he steps out onto. With feet in the water is Peter comfortable? No. Is Peter obedient - Yes - and what a wonderful story Peter had to tell from this one uncomfortable situation. Far too often we miss out on wonderful experiences just like these all because we are far too afraid to leave our comfort zone.

“But Jesus immediately said to them: ‘Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid.’ ‘Lord, if it's you,’ Peter replied, ‘tell me to come to you on the water.’ ‘Come,’ he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?’” (Matthew 14:27-31)

THE ROCKS CRY OUT

In Luke 19 Jesus tells onlookers that if we do not praise even the rocks will cry out to Him. Lewis didn’t miss a beat on this one either. The once sleeping trees awaken as Aslan glides through the forest, bowing at his feet.

“Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Him, ‘Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.’But Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!’ ” ( Luke 19:41-40)

FOLLOW HIM

Lucy’s faith is notoriously stronger than the other three children. While no one else can see Aslan, Lucy sees him (quite clearly from atop a rather dangerous looking mountain) and knows that she is to “follow him." Yet, outnumbered by the crowd (and rather lost in the wood), she follows the others. The path they choose leads to ambush. That evening, as she sees Aslan once more she realizes that she should have followed him - even if she was the only one following him as she says, “Oh Aslan - how could I - I couldn’t have left the others and come up to you alone, how could I? Don’t look at me like that . . . Oh well, I suppose I could. Yes, and it wouldn’t have been alone, I know, not if I was with you.”

“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” ( Matthew 16:24)

After the ambush, the other’s decide to trust Lucy. Aslan leads them to the place they were trying to find - safely. “He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still and restful waters.” (Psalm 23:2)

FROM DEATH TO LIFE

As the old Narnian tales go, Aslan was killed by the White Witch but came back to life again. Sound familiar?

“But the angel said, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body.” ( Mark 16:6)

THAT STILL SMALL VOICE

When Lucy sees Aslan and no other can, Susan doesn’t believe her. The children did, however, see a mysterious shadow during that time which Susan later reveals she “Believed was him” and would have known it was him if she had listened with her heart.

“And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.” ( 1 Kings 19:12)

MIRACLES AND WONDERS

In the final chapters, Aslan, turns a well’s water into savory, sweet wine and also heals a sick woman on her death bed.

“Jesus said to the servants, 'Fill the jars with water;' so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, 'Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.' They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, 'Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.'" (John 2: 7-10)

“Then suddenly a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his cloak, for she said to herself, ‘If I only touch his cloak, I will be made well.’ Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, ‘Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.’ And instantly the woman was made well.” ( Matthew 9:20-22)

BE HUMBLE

Aslan asks Caspian as the war draws to an end if he thinks he is sufficient to be King. Caspian answers, “No.” Aslan replies, “Good. If you had felt yourself sufficient, it would have been proof that you were not.”

“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” (Proverbs 11:2)

THE BEGINNING AND THE END

The first pages of Prince Caspian mention the Lion. The last pages also mention the Lion.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” ( Revelation 22:13)

C.S Lewis' faith shines through even with no straight forward mentioning of Christianity. If you'd like to find your own hidden messages in Prince Caspian visit  
http://www.harpercollins.com/book/buy.aspx?isbn13=9780064471053

Watch for more from CBN.com's Prince Caspian special feature

 


Brooke Keith is a Christian children’s author with The Herman Agency in Manhattan. Her most recent children’s work, What Dreams May Come, will be released by Gumboot Books in the Spring of 2008. Brooke’s article’s have appeared in Mature Living, War Cry Magazine, Proverbs 31 Woman and other Christian publications.

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