Week 4 | Chapters 12–14
Welcome to week two of the Religion + Fiction Book Club! We’re exploring chapters 5–7 this week in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I won’t rehash here what I’ve explored in the video above, but here is a bit about what we’ll cover, and some questions to consider for the book club:
Week 4 Thoughts + Questions
It’s appropriate we’re exploring these chapters this week, because it’s Christmas in a few days! And the true meaning of Christmas—the reason for the season they say—is what these chapters represent.
God showing up in our story to rescue us from the consequences of our rebellion—saving and forgiving us traitors, as Edmund was, by offering himself as our atoning sacrifice, as Aslan did.
Remarkably Edmund is saved by a rescue party, and when he meets Aslan in a face-to-face conversation, Aslan forgives him! He presents him to his brother and sisters, saying, “Here is your brother and—there is no need to talk to him about what is past” (139)
The same is true if our own story. What’s past is past! As 2 Corinthians 5:17 reminds us, “if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
What does it mean to you that your own past is in the past?
“Can anything be done to save Edmund?”
Aslan is wondering where the 4th Son of Adam is and the Beaver explains “he betrayed them and joined the white witch” (128)
Which of course we ourselves have in sinning—betraying God and running off and going astray, each to our own way as the book of Isaiah said.
But all is not lost! For as Aslan says: “All shall be done. But it may be harder than you think.”And Aslan does all that can be done later on
“You have a traitor there, Aslan…”
Of course this traitor is Edmund. And according to the White Queen, every traitor belongs to her and is her lawful prey—she even has the right to kill them.
This gets at our own condition, doesn’t it? The Bible reminds us in Romans that “all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23)
We’re all rebels—all traitors against God. And the wages for our rebellion, our sin is death—in all its forms.
And here at the end of chapter it looks like all is lost. Looks like its hopeless. Lucy wonders “Can’t we do something about the Deep Magic? Isn’t there something you can work against it” (142)—which echoes our own longin for a fix.
Thankfully, one showed up for Edmund; one showed up for us 2,000 years ago too!
The Stone Table
Now we come to the climax of the book—and really the climax of God’s own Story of Rescue—the sacrificial death of Aslan on the Stone Table, symbolizing Jesus’ own sacrifice on the cross for our own traitorous rebellion.
In the session, I offer a powerful mashup of the clip of Aslan’s sacrifice from the movie version along with a re-telling of the narrative of Jesus’ death read by a survivor of World War II who faugh in the Dutch Resistance Movement.
What do you think about this sacrifice that Aslan offered on behalf of Edmund? What do you think about Jesus’ own sacrifice for the sins of the world—for your own sins, your rebellion against God and his way?
Susan and Lucy believe all is lost in the death of Aslan. That the Queen has triumphed and Narnia is doomed.
But of course, all is not lost—this story isn’t finished. And we’ll discover why and what happened in our final week of our virtual book club.
Would love to hear your perspective on these questions and anything else in the first virtual lesson.
Use the comment field down below to respond to the questions and my session, and feel free to add anything else I missed.
Next week, we will dive into 15–17. Hope to see you again next week, and feel free to pass this along to anyone else you know.
Grace and peace,