C.S. Lewis – What Shall We Think of Him?

Many people quote C.S. Lewis and I have learned much from reading his materials and books, such as Mere Christianity. However, I greatly disagree with much of his material. One specific instance is in his book The Last Battle, from the Chronicles of Narnia series. In the chapter “Farther Up, and Further In“, Emeth, a young Calormene who has worshipped and served Tash, the false god, all his life meets Aslan, the true god.

“Then I fell at his feet and thought, Surely this is the hour of death, for the Lion (who is worthy of all honor) will know that I have served Tash all my days and not him.”…

“But I said, Alas, Lord, I am no son of thine but the servant of Tash. He answered, Child, all the service thou hast done to Tash, I account as service done to me….”

“Therefore, if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath’s sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him. …”

In the book Prince Caspian, the travelers arrive at a girls school.

“… their hair done very tight and ugly tight collars round their necks and thick tickly stockings on their legs, …

But upon seeing the lion Aslan, Miss Prizzle (the teacher)

… screamed and fled, and with her fled her class, who were mostly dumpy, prim little girls with fat legs. Gwendolen hesitated.

“You’ll stay with us, sweetheart?” said Aslan.

“Oh, may I? Thank you, thank you,” said Gwendolen. Instantly she joined hands with two of the Maenads, who whirled her round in a merry dance and helped her take off some of the unnecessary and uncomfortable clothes that she was wearing.

Don’t think that is so bad? Who were the Maenads?

Maenad

In Greek mythology, maenads were the female followers of Dionysus [Bacchus], often portrayed as inspired by him into a state of ecstatic frenzy, through a combination of dancing and drunken intoxication. In this state, they would lose all self control, begin shouting excitedly, engage in uncontrolled sexual behavior, and ritualistically hunt down and tear animals (and sometimes men and children) to pieces, devouring the raw flesh.

Dionysus aka Bacchus, Bromios, etc

The crowd and the dance round Aslan (for it had become a dance once more) grew so thick and rapid that Lucy was confused. She never saw where certain other people came from who were soon capering among the trees. One was a youth, dressed only in a fawn-skin, with vine-leaves wreathed in his curly hair. His face would have been almost too pretty for a boy’s, if it had not looked so extremely wild. You felt, as Edmund said when he saw him a few days later, ‘There’s a chap who might do anything — absolutely anything.’ He seemed to have a great many names — Bromios, Bassareus, and the Ram, were three of them. There were a lot of girls with him, as wild as he. There was even, unexpectedly, someone on a donkey. And everybody was laughing: and everybody was shouting out, “Euan, euan, eu-oi-oi-oi.

… One saw sticky and stained fingers everywhere, and, though mouths were full the laughter never ceased nor the yodeling cries of Euan, euan, eu-oi-oi-oi-oi, till all of a sudden everyone felt at the same moment that the game (whatever it was), and the feast, ought to be over, and everyone flopped down breathless on the ground and turned his face to Aslan to hear what he would say next.

At that moment the sun was just rising and Lucy remembered something and whispered to Susan,

“I say, Su, I know who they are.”

“Who?”

“The boy with the wild face is Bacchus and the old one on the donkey is Silenus. Don’t you remember Mr. Tumnus telling us about them long ago?”

“Yes, of course. But I say Lu —-”

“What?”

“I wouldn’t have felt very safe with Bacchus and all his wild girls if we’d met them without Aslan.”

“I should think not,’ Said Lucy.

I’ll leave you to research Bacchus (Dionysus), maenads, and Silenus more. Because I could find no discrete way to explain them. I would never want my children to look them up in the Encyclopedia or Wikipedia. They are that bad!

AWAKENING NARNIA WITH BACCHANALIAN FEASTS by Berit Kjos.


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