The Silver Chair will reboot the Narnia movies

Plans to film the Chronicles of Narnia are back on, as plans have firmed up for a movie version of the Silver Chair.

This time, the studio producing the movies will be Sony–not Disney, which made the first three but then gave up on the project.  And Sony has taken the huge step of hiring a notable director:  Joe Johnston, who has given us Captain America, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids,  Jumanji, and Jurassic Park III.

There is reportedly a script, by writer David Magee (Life of Pi), but now that a director has been hired it will probably be re-written.  Then comes casting, pre-production, production, post-production. . . .

So exactly when the Silver Chair will come to the silver screen is not known.  But it’s coming!
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Conform to reality or subdue reality?

Justin Taylor quotes from C. S. Lewis’s The Abolition of Man.  Peter Kreeft calls these lines “the single most illuminating three sentences I have ever read about our civilization.”

Read those three sentences after the jump.

Then consider what Kreeft says about them and my point about how one of these ways of thinking can now be found virtually everywhere in contemporary life.
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C. S. Lewis, atheist

C. S. Lewis, one of the foremost Christian apologists, had been for 15 years a convinced and rather militant atheist.  My friend and former colleague Joel Heck has written a splendid study of Lewis’s atheism, published by Concordia Publishing House:   From Atheism to Christianity:  The Story of C. S. Lewis

There are many kinds of atheism, just like there are many kinds of Christianity, and Joel unpacks the influences, books, and ideas that defined Lewis’s particular variety of unbelief.  In tracing Lewis’s life and intellectual development from his school days through the early years of his academic career, the book is a compelling biography.

In his recreation of the intellectual atmosphere of pre-war Oxford, Joel shows the important influence of idealist philosophers, such as F. H. Bradley and Henri Bergson.  Most studies of early modernism focus on materialism and existentialism.  And yet, arguably, the idealists–who said things like “”the Universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine” (James Jeans)–may have been even more important.  After all, T. S. Eliot, a founder of literary modernism, wrote his dissertation on Bradley.  Certainly the artistic modernists–Yeats and Joyce with their mythmaking; Stravinsky with his neo-primitive music; Picasso’s Cubism, Dalí’s Surrealism, and Kandinsky’s Abstractionism–are hard to reconcile with the definition of Modernism as an “age of reason.”  [Suggestion for graduate students:  Lots of good material for dissertations here!]

Both idealists and materialists could be atheist, and Lewis seems to have vacillated between the two, but idealism best accounted for his personal and aesthetic yearnings.  This new book also describes in detail how and why Lewis gave up his atheism, turning first to belief in a personal though philosophically-abstract deity, and then to the God of Abraham who became incarnate in Jesus Christ.

C. S. Lewis fans, apologists, intellectual historians, and atheists will all want to read this book.

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The day JFK, Aldous Huxley, & C. S. Lewis died

Kreeft Between Heaven & HellOn November 22, 1963, three icons of the 20th century died:  John F. Kennedy, Aldous Huxley, and C. S. Lewis.

People of my generation remember where they were when the news came of Kennedy’s assassination.  (I was in 7th grade study hall.)  Other traumatic public catastrophes would follow.  Now we also remember where we were when we learned about the 9/11 attacks. (I was in the basement of Rincker classroom at Concordia Wisconsin, going to my English Lit. class where we were going to study Grendel’s attack on the Hall Heorot in Beowulf.)  But JFK, for all of his faults that we learned about later, inspired an idealism that I can still remember to this day, an idealism that was shattered at his assassination and that received further shocks as the century wore on.  Stephen King captures the feel of those times perfectly in his novel about time travel to stop Kennedy’s assassination, 11/22/63.

Huxley is associated now with New Age mysticism, what with his advocacy of Eastern religions and the use of LSD (which he wanted to take at the moment of his death).  But he deserves to be honored for his dystopia Brave New World, which predicted the future more profoundly than George Orwell’s 1984.   [Read more…]

C.S. Lewis, secret agent?

The discovery of a recording of a lecture by C. S. Lewis has connected him to the British Secret Service during World War II. [Read more…]

C. S. Lewis on the evils of statism

Statism is the belief that the government should control or dominate all, or much, of life.  C. S. Lewis was against it.  David Theroux, president of the C. S. Lewis Society of California, sent me the video of a talk he gave at the first annual conference of Christians for Liberty entitled “C. S. Lewis on Mere Liberty and the Evils of Statism.”  I’ve posted it after the jump. [Read more…]