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C.S. Lewis, one of the most influential Christians of the 20th century, died 50 years ago today.

During his life, Lewis wrote more than 50 books, the most famous of which are probably The Chronicles of Narnia. Earlier this year, I read The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe to my four year old and was struck by  how effectively Lewis communicates complex theological and philosophical ideas through children’s fantasy. It’s because of this that these books are so well loved.

Lewis isn’t without his critics, though, and there are several passages in The Chronicles of Narnia that have raised some eyebrows. Martyn Lloyd-Jones even questioned Lewis’ Christianity based on an expression of the atonement found in The Lion, the Witch, and The Wardrobe.

But its hard to dismiss an intellect like Lewis’ without further investigation. So in honor of his life and work, let’s defend some of the things you might not want your kids to read in The Chronicles of Narnia.

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD

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My wonderful wife, Paige, recently gave birth. Her water broke at a check-up and we went to the hospital, but first stopped for coffee and donuts. After Julian was born the first thing she said was, “I bet my coffee is still warm.” After hearing her talk about her experience and explore what it taught her, I asked if she would be willing to share those things here. 

My second son was born two weeks ago. It was short and intense. My water broke at my doctor’s appointment and then I had him an hour and a half later. No time for pain meds or epidurals. Au natural.

Before the little guy came, I dragged my (kind, patient, cooperative) husband to three weeks of birth refresher classes. We learned better how to breathe through contractions and practical ways to handle pain during labor (basically we listened to a lot of soft music and gave each other massages). But part of the course was all about medicated ways to handle pain (epidurals and the like). This part I was very interested in because with my first son, I had pretty much every intervention barring the c-section to bring him into the world. And because I had had such a rough first experience (which still ended in lots of pain and slow recovery), these 9 months have been a terrifying journey for me just waiting for what I could not avoid: a painful delivery.

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This is part 4 of a 4 part blog series. The first three posts can be read here, here, and here.

Jesus changed a lot of things. Everything really. One big thing he changed is the way we refer to God. With his instruction for us to pray to God as “Our Father” he drastically changed our view of who God is.

God had been called Father before. There are a few notable places in the Old Testament where he calls Israel his child or where he is called the Father of Israel. But these were metaphors, Jesus tells us to call him Father. Like, address him as Dad.

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This is part 3 of a 4 part blog series. The other three posts can be read herehere, and here.

About a month ago Paige and I let Soren watch his first superhero movie. We try to avoid anything in which violence is glorified and with most superheroes they win only by being the best fighter. But the old Superman cartoons are different. Superman isn’t violent at all. The bad guys are violent, but he never throws a punch. So we sat down and watched a Fleischer Superman.

And now he is obsessed with Superman. Obsessed.

Stories have a hold on us that we can’t quite shake. They are how we experience and explain the world around us. They get in us and change us. Yesterday I wrote about what to tell your kids about God, but I didn’t tell you how to tell them. Tell them in stories.

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This is part 2 of a 4 part blog series. Part 1 can be read here. Parts 3 and 4 can be read here and here.

As I said yesterday I’ve been thinking about how we are to talk to kids about God. The first, and clearly most important, part of all this is to talk to them about God. And do it a lot.

You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

-Deuteronomy 11:18-19

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This is the first of a 4 part blog series. The last three can be read here, here, and here.

I asked Jesus into my heart in the parking lot of Gerland’s grocery store when I was six years old. A few weeks later I put on a white robe, stepped down into the warm baptistry and was baptized in front of hundreds of people and was raised into “newness of life.”

And then I asked Jesus into my heart in my parents living room when I was 13 years old. A few weeks later I put on another robe, this time a little larger, stepped down into the same warm baptistry and got baptized in front hundreds of people (many of them the same) and was raised into “newness of life.”

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