Mere Atonement

C. S. Lewis & the Multiple Angles of Redemption

by Ariel James Vanderhorst

When The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe opened in theaters in December 2005, the feature-length film generated cries of wonder, huge box-office takes, skyrocketing Lewis book sales, and considerable gnashing of teeth. Posthumously, C. S. Lewis had gained thousands of new fans—but his critics were all the more vehement. Specifically, they faulted him for the “magical” Atonement represented so vividly in Lewis’s acclaimed children’s book—a gory death on a Narnian stone table—a depiction that some detractors found non-biblical. But while the anti-Lewis voices were insistent, they were generally drowned out by the movie magic.

Lewis-hecklers . . .

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Ariel James Vanderhorst , having recently earned his M.Div., lives with his family—wife Lindsay and their two young sons—in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, where they are in the process of planting a gospel-centered, culturally targeted urban church. He also blogs about theology and culture at arieljvan.com.

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