In C.S. Lewis’s fantasy series The Chronicles of Narnia, it’s characters are consistently faced with real impacting decisions. Unlike in other fantasy series Lewis’ characters have serious implications and once in the world of Narnia the choices made and actions done are only more intensified. The perfect example of this is when Edmund lies about Lucy going to Narnia through the Wardrobe. In the “real world” he is believed and he uses that influence to paint a negative picture of his sister. When it is indeed revealed that he was lying. The only consequence he faces is being scolded and nothing more.
When Edmund gets to Narnia he is in the dark about the ancient laws. So his “minor actions from the real world have more punishment. He unknowingly breaks the worst law by conspiring to bring his siblings to Narnia. He is still committing the same sin of betrayal but now his actions in Narnia have earned him death penalty.For Lewis, Narnia was always the picture of Christianity. A world of fantastic possibilities hidden in plain ordinary things like a wardrobe or a painting. For many of us Christians we were raised with the knowledge that there is a God and that he has a plan for us. We knew about sin and what God’s Law says about it. Hopefully for those of us raised in the Lutheran Church we knew that because of our sin we deserved eternal death just like Edmund.
This is what the Law tells us. It tells us that because of our ancestors Adam and Eve, we too betrayed and sinned against God. We inherited that sin and became just as guilty. The Law, when we first encounter it shows us our sin and that we deserve to die because of it. For some Christians the message stops here and they are given some speech about being better people and living above sin in order to receive his love and goodwill. All Lutherans should know that we were dead in our sins and that without God’s Son Jesus Christ who died for our sins we would be helpless. We know that without God’s grace first, we have no rhyme or reason to hope for eternal salvation. We know and believe that while we were still helpless in sin Christ died for those sins.
However some Lutherans would have us stop there. The story would be cut short and there would be no point in going further. While I would agree that Jesus bruised, bloodied and crucified on the Cross is the climax of everything. Merely suggesting that we leave it there would be a dangerous thing to do.
I am as my site says an ordinary Lutheran. I am not a pastor or professor of Theology. I know of many good solid pastors who can give you the dogmatic X’s & O’s of why Antinomianism is not only a plague for the faithful in Christ but how it is an actual heresy. I however am here to merely tell a story of how antinomianism would have changed the outcome of Narnia. The truth about Narnia is that it serves as a symbolic sign for the Christian life.
There is no doubt that Aslan represents Christ in Narnia. He is the Messiah that delivers Edmund from his much deserved death penalty. Aslan does not rely on Edmund for anything to grant this grace but he does expect that once that grace is freely given that Edmund by nature of being thankful for that must now for the sake of his faith and desire to thank Aslan must turn away from the same sin that forced Aslan to die.
Edmund is not allowed to go back to his conniving nature. He now is transformed and he realizes that the free gift of love and grace is now on the line. If Edmund does not look to change his ways then he does help to participate in the battle with the forces of evil and of course this impacts how the battle outcome will end. Certain creatures and indeed even his family may not all survive is he does fight in the final battle. In our life we too fight a battle and the final battle we fight is also against the forces of evil, which includes our old Adam. The great thing about this is that like Edmund we too no longer desire to sin. That is what it means to be a new creation in Christ. This however does not dispute that our battle is over. We as long as we live will continue to battle sin. The continued good news is that Jesus also continues to give us grace to do it. The Gospel that saves also helps to sanctify us as well. The journey to sanctification is indeed a journey to holiness and that is not done alone by the Gospel. It is the continued teaching of Law and Gospel together that continues to compel the new creation in Christ towards that desired nature.
Make no doubt Edmund does not ever doubt Aslan as the source of all things. He does believe in the lion that is both good and yet not tame. Edmund as a newly made man is indeed right to know that without Aslan he has no hope for a new life. Of course, Edmund and his siblings knew that his crime was forgiven. Even if they did not know the how and why they took Aslan at his Word. Though they were comforted in this fact they still feared Aslan (in that I mean they respected him) after the fact. If anything the children show in their reactions that Aslan with a proper distinction. They know that Aslan wishes them to be more than just mere children he does have every expectations of making them kings and queens
The story of Narnia would have ended at the point of Edmund arriving at Aslan’s camp if that expectation is never held. One could say that Aslan saving Edmund was really the first step toward the overall desire to getting the children on the throne. It was the nature order of things which were already established. If Aslan said “okay children you can go home no more will you do or be expected of”. The story would have ended and the forces of the White Witch would have won. In fact it this moment when they duty which was they were destined to do, started a duty to Aslan and to Narnia. This does not mean they earned any of Aslan’s grace or kindness towards them. This did not mean Aslan would not still have laid down his life. His salvation of Edmund always was going to happen but it was part of the restoration of these children and the lands of Narnia The children knew that if they could take Aslan at his Word that Edmund’s sin was absolved that they could take him at his Word about how they were to live and rule Narnia. The kids know that Aslan was not pulling a fast one when he tells them they are to be rulers. If the kids deny this at any point then they themselves do not lead the armies of a free Narnia in the way they did. Not only did the children know that Aslan saved them but that they were also charged with saving Narnia. Aslan also provides them with those things that they need to not only to fight, i.e the weapons but also restores the castle Cair Paravel in which they are to rule.
Similarly, God also graces us with the things we need for the path towards sanctification. If we say that God does not do this. If we say that he saved us just one way then did nothing else or ever expected us to transform into the people he wished us to be. Then we limit the Gospel and make God a liar. If we say that we need only our own perception of our sins and never to be reminded of God’s Law then we do wrong to gifts given. If Narnia’s future rules decided that was something never intended by Aslan, then they themselves risk never trusting the Beavers and most likely die at the hands of the White Witch.