A letter worth noting at the Feedback page for Christianity Today Movies:

Narnia Evangelism

posted 09/02/05

Your Reel News column states, “It’s not surprising that believers would see [The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe] as not just mere entertainment, but as an evangelistic opportunity. “In stark contrast, C. S. Lewis’ close friend Walter Hooper argues “I was worried that those who talked about ‘teaching’ the stories as Christian ‘theology’ might by such efforts frustrate the spell of Lewis’ clearly worked illusion.”

As a Lewis scholar, I completely agree with Hooper. First and foremost, all seven Narnia books are literary masterpieces that were written to be enjoyed by all, and just as one need not be polytheistic to enjoy the splendor of ancient Egyptian art, or benefit from scientific progress, much of which originated in polytheistic cultures, one need not be Christian to enjoy the Narnia series or any other great masterpiece that happens to have been written by a Christian, especially as great a writer and philosopher as Lewis. However, the good fellowship that naturally comes from great books and great movies can definitely be used as an evangelistic opportunity. After all, before he became a Christian, Lewis himself shared a love of medieval and ancient tales with his friend and colleague Tolkien, a committed Christian. I believe this solid friendship that began with a mutual love of literature caused Tolkien to be influential in leading Lewis to Jesus. If anything is to be used as an evangelistic opportunity, then let it be the friendship that comes naturally from shared interests such as that of Narnia.

Katrelya Angus

What do you think? Are the evangelism events being organized around the Narnia release misguided? Shouldn’t we just let the art speak… or better, show… for itself?

And, if I do say so myself, I was flattered to see this letter posted as well:

I thoroughly enjoyed Jeffrey Overstreet’s review of The Brothers Grimm. Too few movie reviewers give such attention to critical analysis, but Overstreet’s reviews are insightful, both because they tastefully express his opinions AND provide plenty of supporting evidence. As a fellow editor and writer, I’m impressed.

Kelly Tait

Thanks, Kelly! I must say, I had more fun writing that review than I did seeing the movie.

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