C.S. Lewis: Art With a Message

art with a message

For all who love the Narnia books, we cannot help but see Lewis’ rich theology coming to life in the characters and conversations of these books. One might be tempted to think that Lewis produced art with a message, that he scripted the message he wanted to communicate in each book — or even in the series as a whole — before he was writing. But this was not the case: 

“Some people seem to think that I began by asking myself how I could say something about Christianity to children; then fixed on the fairy tale as an instrument; then collected the information about child psychology and decided what age group I’d write for; then drew up a list of basic Christian truths and hammered out ‘allegories’ to embody them. This is all pure moonshine.  I couldn’t write in that way at all.”

Art With a Message

As a songwriter deeply interested in seeing our art reflect a rich view of God — after all: worship shapes believing — I have fallen into the trap many times of beginning first with a concept and trying to shoehorn it into a melody. Sometimes it works; but most of the time, it’s clunky. Lewis, surprisingly, says it’s best not to begin by asking what “moral children need” (or in our case, what the Church needs?)