I went to watch a superhero movie today! I love the genre. The action, the witty repartee, the deep advice. The backstory, the conversion, the development, the trial, the dejection/rejection, the turning point, and the win in the end!
I wonder if that is similar to another Story. And I’m certainly not the only one who’s done so.
When C. S. Lewis was on his journey to being converted, the process was through a discussion of myths. J. R. R. Tolkein drew Lewis’s attention to the fact that all myths have certain similar elements. Whether pagan or heroic, they had a semblance to Christianity. He then demonstrated to Lewis that in fact, these myths were a reflection of Christianity.
The Gospel, according to converted Lewis and Tolkein, contained a fairy-story – which was true and historical. And what can other myths do but point to this True and Beautiful story – the Primary Story.
“I think that all things, in their way, reflect heavenly truth, the imagination not least.” – C. S. Lewis
What does this mean for us? It means that we can see God’s glory – His majestic story – displayed all around us. Rather than cause us to disbelieve God’s word because it is ‘just another fable’, we can realise that all other fables point to him – that everyone is in search for a ‘Savior’ – Someone to have been chosen, to go through a point at which He has given everything for us, and then, of course, to WIN. And this has happened!!
Incidentally, about 85 years after Tolkein and Lewis strolled on the grounds of Magdalen College, Oxford and had this discussion, I myself while at Oxford had to come to this point. An acquaintance was in disbelief that I could believe in God ‘because that’s like me believing in a little green monster under my bed’. I at the time had no response. (I mean…how rude?) But it led to my own development and my ability to now say that it’s True, so how can I not believe it? It’s Real, so how can I not shout it aloud? There is no other explanation for the redemption of mankind, no other story that is as complete, as perfect as this one. It is not insane, but rather Glorious, and Beautiful, and True.
For a deeper explanation of the above, see:
The God of Men—and of Elves: Tolkien, Lewis, and Christian Mythology
The Conversion Story of C. S. Lewis
Three Objections to Fairy Tales and C. S. Lewis’s Response