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Dawn Treader 3D

Yesterday my three sons and I went to see Voyage of the Dawn Treader in 3D. I definitely enjoyed the movie more the second time around. This time I wasn't so bothered by the changes from book to movie. In fact, I was more aware of the many elements from the book which were retained and enhanced in the movie.

The 3D experience definitely added greater depth and enjoyment to the whole movie-watching experience. This is certainly a movie that everyone should see on the big screen. This second time watching the film I was overwhelmed by the amazing attention to detail in every scene and every set design. One of my sons even noticed Eustace's hygiene award in his room at the beginning of the film! Some of the sets were so well done, especially at the beginning (Eustace's house, the Dawn Treader ship itself) that I wanted to linger awhile and explore.
Seeing the movie a second time I was struck, once again, by Will Poulter's excellent job playing the part of Eustace. The who…

The Miracle at the Center

"And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father's only son, full of grace and truth." John 1:14 (NRSV)

"The central miracle asserted by Christians is the Incarnation. They say that God became Man. Every other miracle prepares for this, or exhibits this, or results from this. Just as every natural event is the manifestation at a particular place and moment of Nature's total character, so every particular Christian miracle manifests at a particular place and moment the character and significance of the Incarnation. There is no question in Christianity of arbitrary interferences just scattered about. It relates not a series of disconnected raids on Nature but the various steps of a strategically coherent invasion--an invasion which intends complete conquest and 'occupation.'" C. S. Lewis, Miracles

Dawn Treader Movie Review

If I were to write a brief review of the new Voyage of the Dawn Treader movie it might go like this.... Return to Magic? Yes, but not C. S. Lewis' magic. Return to Hope? My hope for the faithful continuation of the Narnia movie franchise is dimmed. Return to Narnia? Was it even C. S. Lewis' Narnia? However, I find it impossible to stop with such a brief and too depressing review.... On the positive side, one of my favorite moments in the new movie is the arrival of three children from our world (Edmund, Lucy and Eustace) on the Narnian ship itself. That moment in the film gave me the same feeling I had reading the story as a child—the feeling of wonder and joy at being back in Narnia again. However, this story isn’t really set in Narnia. Rather it takes place upon the sea, east of Narnia. Furthermore, I kept getting the feeling throughout the movie that I wasn’t in C. S. Lewis’ creation at all. That’s because from the Dawn Treader’s first stop at the Lone Islands to the reach…

Dawn Treader Interview

I did an interview about The Voyage of the Dawn Treader yesterday on the program "Issues Etc" out of St. Louis. You can now listen to that interview by clicking on the link:

http://issuesetc.org/podcast/639120910H2S1.mp3

Narnia Code DVD, A Review

I recently received a review copy of The Narnia Code DVD from Tyndale House Publishers. It is always a delight to review C. S. Lewis related books and products, and especially so in this case as Michael Ward, author of The Narnia Code and Planet Narnia, is a friend of mine.

That said, allow me to get one thing I don't like about this DVD out of the way right from the start, and that is: the title. I really dislike the title: The Narnia Code. The reason I dislike it is because I sincerely doubt that C. S. Lewis would want us to approach the Narnia books as pieces of literature to decode. Lewis makes clear in a number of places that the Narnia books are not an allegory. (See letter of 26 May, 1954 in Letters to Children, pp. 44-45.) Nonetheless, I believe that something Lewis said about allegory in general, in The Allegory of Love, applies to reading the Narnia books. There Lewis wrote that "allegory is not a puzzle. The worst thing we can do is to read it with our eyes skinn…

Hidden Story of Narnia on Eastern Shore

This was our view on Tilghman Island, Maryland where we were hosted by our friends, Bill and Bette Webb, for a Narnia Weekend.

While there we learned how to shuck oysters.
And more importantly, we learned how to eat them! Yummy!!
On December 4 I spoke at the Tidewater Inn in Easton, Maryland.
The advertising was well done.
And the room where I spoke about The Professor of Narnia and The Hidden Story of Narnia was most elegant.
Easton was all done up for Christmas with even a touch of Narnia.
The next morning I spoke at Shore Harvest Presbyterian Church about my book, My Father Was a Gangster.
All in all it was a most delightful weekend of reunion with old friends, meeting new ones, and being able to take my family along on this leg of the Hidden Story of Narnia Book Tour made it all the better.
Next I hope to do a blog about the Narnia Code DVD. So stay tuned....

Hidden Story of Narnia Tour Continued

The next stop on my Hidden Story of Narnia Book Tour will be next weekend, December 4-5, in Easton, Maryland. There is a good article about that here:
http://www.stardem.com/article_b1b6dca3-a48d-51c9-b350-e0731fb653de.html.
Also, the third part of my interview with Mark Sommer of Hollywood Jesus.com has been posted here: http://live.hollywoodjesus.com/?p=6584.

C. S. Lewis and His Mice

The HarperCollins C. S. Lewis Blog recently posted a piece I wrote for children entitled: C. S. Lewis and His Mice. You may read the blog here: http://booksbycslewis.blogspot.com/2010/11/c-s-lewis-and-his-mice.html.

(Illustration above is by Pauline Baynes from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.)

Hollywood Jesus.Com Interview

Mark Sommer is in the process of publishing an interview he did with me about C. S. Lewis, Narnia, and my book--"The Hidden Story of Narnia". The telephone interview was conducted in the midst of my book tour while I was at the Marion E. Wade Center of Wheaton College. You can read the first part of the interview here: http://live.hollywoodjesus.com/?p=6580.

Last Day in Oxford

I began my last day in Oxford with a visit to The Victoria Arms Pub in Marston. You may ask: "Why?" The answer is: simply because it is mentioned in Sheldon Vanauken's "A Severe Mercy" and figures in some of the Inspector Morse stories by Colin Dexter.

The heavy frost that morning was especially enchanting. C. S. Lewis wrote to a young correspondent in 1955, "We had our first frost last night--this morning the lawns are all grey, with a pale, bright sunshine on them: wonderfully beautiful. And somehow exciting. The first beginning of winter always excites me: it makes me want adventures."
Oxford was replete that morning with that quality which Reginald Fanshawe once called "grey magic".

"Calm, cold, and sad, the soft mists brooding bathe In ghostlier glamour chapel, tower, and hall, Dome, pinnacle, spire; they clasp and subtly swathe Oxford's grey magic. Cold and calm the pall On blade and branch, as for life's funeral, Clings of …

Sheldon Vanauken Oxford Tour

The big event today was a tour of Sheldon Vanauken's Oxford with my new friend, Jim Belcher, author of Deep Church. We began the day with a visit to the minute village of Binsey which Vanauken mentions numerous times in his bestselling book, A Severe Mercy.

One of our first stops was St. Margaret's Church where Van and Davy's ashes were scattered.
Our walk in Binsey was a misty one and therefore all the more memorable.
We stopped at The Perch for lunch.
Where Jim consented to pose with my son Joshua's handmade "Aslan". For more about Aslan you may view the other blog I have been doing during this trip. http://aslantoengland.blogspot.com.
We crossed over the "humpbacked" bridge which Vanauken mentions in the book I am holding.
Then it was on to the center of Oxford where Jim introduced me to the most spectacular view of The Radcliffe Camera and The University Church of St. Mary the Virgin. This view can only be seen from The Fellows' Garden in the grou…

Sunday in Oxford

This was the view out my window as I woke up this morning in C. S. Lewis' bedroom at The Kilns. It was a beautiful autumn morning with a mixture of clouds and blue sky with rays of sunshine peeking through.

When I came downstairs the breakfast table was lovingly set for me in the dining room by Dr. Debbie Higgins, Warden of The Kilns. I greatly enjoyed a peaceful breakfast by myself as I gazed out the window at the rose trellis and the moss along the wall with birds flitting about and singing merrily.
Then it was off to worship at Holy Trinity Church, Headington Quarry, where the Lewis brothers worshiped together for more than thirty years. This was the view from where we sat. It was a very meaningful Remembrance Sunday Service as we remembered and gave thanks for the lives of all those who gave their all for their country in the First World War and all the wars since.
We sat near the Narnia window (above) and paid a visit to the Lewis brothers' grave (below) after the service.
Th…