In his inspirational studies of the Chronicles of Narnia by C S Lewis Michael Ward has rescued the planets from the hands of the astrologers! For too long the heavens have been looked upon as the playground of imaginative mystics. Ward in his book, “Planet Narnia” enables us to see how Lewis has reclaimed them in his Narnia books – which we thought were simply children’s stories with Biblical allegory!
Michael Ward sets out to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that the seven planets of medieval cosmology – the Moon, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn – are the secret templates used by C.S. Lewis in the seven books of the Chronicles of Narnia. Each volume explores the Christ figure via the characteristics of one of the medieval planets.
The BBC1 TV broadcast last Thursday, called “The Narnia Code”, interviewed Ward regarding his discovery. He said, “I was lying in bed one night, in February 2003, reading ‘The Heavens’ when I thought it would be useful to compare Lewis’s academic treatment of the planets with his poetic treatment of the same thing. So I started reading his long poem, ‘The Planets’, cross-referencing between it and The Discarded Image. When I got to the lines about Jupiter I suddenly sat up in bed and said to myself Eureka”. Making the link with a planet and a chronicle made Ward search for similar links and the overwhelming evidence has been recorded in “Planet Narnia”.
What comment has the Bible to make on all this?
The Bible outlaws worship of the ‘host of heaven’ but allows that the stars have spiritual significance, which is to be respected, studied, and, indeed, acted upon. “The heavens declare the glory of God and the sky above proclaims his handiwork,” according to psalm 19, which was Lewis’s favourite.
This is the psalm which St Paul quotes (Romans Chapter10 verse 18) in order to demonstrate how the Gentiles have already heard the preaching of Christ. The Magi who followed the Star of Bethlehem to the birthplace of Christ are an example of this fact. (Matthew 2:2, 9-10).
In concealing the cosmic nature of Christ in the chronicles Lewis planted a literary time bomb which has now exploded to reveal the Christ-centeredness of space. As the Bibles mentions “He also made the stars!” There is nowhere or no one beyond his each.
How great is our God.