I love C.S. Lewis' seven-volume Chronicles of Narnia. I'm excited that the first book he wrote for the series, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, will be coming in movie form this coming December.
I love the books because, first of all, they represent great literature, wonderful stories filled with intriguing characters in interesting situations. Another attraction is Lewis, the stylist: as an Ohio State professor of Literature once told me, Lewis "writes like an angel."
There is also much Christian truth in the Chronicles. Aslan is clearly a Christ figure. But, as Craig Williams shows us in the latest post on his wonderful blog, Lewis never intended The Chronicles of Narnia to be an allegory.
The person who sets herself the goal of identifying what every character or circumstance "represents" in Christian truth or the Biblical witness will soon understand the futility of the undertaking and rob themselves of the joy that goes with simply letting their tales come to them as is. (Although there are oodles of Biblical allusions.)
Lewis was a scholar of the first degree, steeped in a knowledge of the myths of many cultures: Greek, Nordic, Roman, and so on. He drew on that rich tradition to weave these magical tales.
Yes, Lewis has created what must be regarded as a great expression of Christian art comparable to anything created by Michelangelo. But part of the Chronicles' greatness and their capacity to both entertain and enlighten resides in their being, first of all, great works of art that avoid pedagogy.
Read Craig's post with quotes from two Lewis letters addressing this issue.