NarniaFaith.com Launches as Resource for Pastors

Posted October 12, 2010 11:12 pm by Tirian

NarniaFaith.com has just launched and is a tool designed to help pastors and faith leaders to use the launch of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader in their church’s ministry. The website has three main sections.

  • Learn: The first section contains a video welcome from Douglas Gresham and has an About C.S. Lewis article by Dr. Kevin Belmont of the C.S. Lewis Foundation and an essay “The Jack I Knew” by Douglas Gresham.
  • Teach: This section opens with a welcome video from Richard Mouw, president of Fuller Theological Seminary. There are sermon outlines, study guides, and youth resources. You can also download the Dawn Treader trailer and sign up for a Pastor’s-only screening.
  • Engage: This section opens with a welcome video from Franklin Graham (Samaritan’s Purse). There are links to Operation Narnia, Narnia Night (no details yet as to what this is), and Group’s Fun for the Whole Family Hour.

Grace Hill Media is responsible for putting this site together and they have done a very nice job. There’s a lot of content at this site and it seems to be well-laid out. The video introductions are a wonderful touch. Probably the most valuable content is in the Teach section where you can access full sermon outlines and essays written by Paul Sartarelli, Luis Palau, Devin Brown, and many other Christian leaders.

Visit NarniaFaith.com

50 Comments For This Story

  • Narnian_Dreamer says:

    Yay first comment! I think this is cool! I actually do!

  • Braden Woodburn says:

    This is very cool. Man, maybe it is just me but I don’t remember LWW or PC having so much events and publicity like this before they were set in theaters where as there is SO MUCH going on for VDT. Just gives it a boost on keeping the books, and future films alive. πŸ™‚

  • AslanIsOnTheMove says:

    I am not worried about whether the spiritual themes of the book will shine through in the movie now. VDT IS GONNA ROCK!!!!!!

  • Duffleglum says:

    very cool idea, I like it…

    I would so wanna hear our pastor applying Narnia to our lives!! πŸ˜€

  • Pepper Darcy says:

    any plot spoilers? =) Lawks! it seems like we’ve gotten Narnia news pouring out our ears! =D thank you Narniaweb!! πŸ™‚

  • Starlily says:

    If you go to the "Teach" part of the website, and the "study guides and youth resources" and click on the "Lessons from Narnia on Beauty and Bravery", there are a few spoilers. There’s quite a bit about Gael and Lucy (it reveals Lucy’s "vanity subplot"), and it also has Caspian’s speech to his crew just before fighting the Sea Serpent. I have nothing to complain about. πŸ™‚ Lucy and Gael’s interactions sound kind of cute, even though they’re not in the book. I just hope Lucy isn’t gazing into mirrors throughout the whole movie, worrying about her looks. :/

    • WarriorOfNarnia says:

      This might sound mean, but I never liked the idea of Gael… I might like her when the film comes out, but I don’t like her right now.

      • Twinimage says:

        No, it doesn’t sound mean. I agree. I never like the idea of adding Gael either. It’s a typical way of trying to reach a wider audiences, IMO. Plus it takes away screen time and character development from the rest of the cast.

      • WarriorOfNarnia says:

        Good! Someone agrees!

  • WarriorOfNarnia says:

    Huh, that’s cool. Although our pastor would never use it.

  • narnian resident says:

    wow, this is awesome! this is so wonderful that they did this! what a great idea!

  • narnian resident says:

    oh! i love it when on the video he said "…people around the world will come to know Aslan by another name." thats lovely πŸ˜€

  • boke_wyrm says:

    I never heard Douglas Gresham’s story of the trespasser with the bow and arrow. Awfully funny now that it’s over with, of course.

  • A_Narnian_Ship says:

    Warning! The study guides and sermon outlines are full of spoilers! If you are trying to avoid spoilers, I recommend not reading these teaching helps!

  • Queen Susan the Gentle says:

    This is so cool! I just might have to email it to my church! I wanna study God and VDT! AHHHHH!

  • Not Of This World says:

    This is awesome! Narnia’s doing more with the Christian comunity! Cool!

  • Carwashboy says:

    This is so awesome!! I’m so glad Narnia is once again going to be used to glorify Christ, as it should be! Fantastic!

  • Peter's Wendy says:

    I have to say, they are doing the VDT marketing pretty good!

  • QueenLucy12 says:

    Oh I need to tell my pastor that! very happy there doing alot for vdt! Can’t Wait!!!

  • Movie Aristotle says:

    I’ve been waiting for the website to relaunch for a while now. Church leaders were able to download the first trailer from there as soon as it came out.

  • Brandon says:

    I wish my pator at my church would about nothing but Narnia

  • 220chrisTian / AslansLily says:

    Wow. The TEACH part of this site has serious spoilers!!!

  • The Grand High Dark Overlord of the League of Extraordinarily Spoiled Rotten Masterminds says:

    SPOILERS!! Seek them, minions! Feast upon them! Down with the Monastery!

  • glumPuddle says:

    Wow, Gresham actually called VDT a "personal favorite." Previously, as far as I have seen at least, he has always dodged the question of his favorite book.

    • FassstProductions says:

      Hey glumPuddle,
      I might be mistaken but I think that he also says the line about VDT being a "personal favorite" in his intro to the Focus on the Family dramatization of it. Check it out.

  • Pepper Darcy says:

    Wow, that’s exactly what Awel and I were theorizing about the Susan-beauty-spell thing– a world without Lucy! At least she grows out of it! πŸ™‚ I think I’m going to love Gael! =D Sounds so, so cute!! =D

  • Chris says:

    I guess I’m in the minority who really really dislikes this. Narnia is for everyone and I hate seeing it hijacked for religious propaganda. Yes, C.S Lewis was christian, and yes the books contain elements of christian allegory, but that wasn’t the point and the books are beloved by people of all beliefs. Most people here in the UK are largely oblivious to the christian elements of the books and see them solely as classic children’s literature.

    I mean the very way that site is structured is biased. It says "ressources for people of faith"… which faith?? Why does "faith" automatically have to mean christianity? How presumptuous.

    I think pandering to religious organisations in such a way denotes a desperation from the part of the filmmakers. The film, like the book, should succeed on its own merits and appeal to all. If theres a religious influence to it, thats fine, but it should not pass itself off as a religious story aimed at religious people because it really isn’t.

    • Manuel says:

      I respect your opinion, but you have to accept that christianity is the essence of Narnia books, christianity gives sense and spiritual logic to the stories. If a filmmaker removes christianity to Narnia movies, what remains is just seven meaningless children adventures, not much more than a videogame background story.

      And IΒ΄m pretty sure that professor Lewis would love NarniaFaith.com, actually he had a radio program about theology. The Narnia books integrates a programatic project, with the clear intention of transmit the christian message.

      • Chris says:

        I’m not talking about actively "takin out" christian influences from the films, I’m talking of not actively making it seem like its only about christianity and pandering to more extreme elements of christianity. I totally agree with Narnianbadger’s comment below. Its not subtle, its ham-fisted, and its not at all in keeping with the way C.S Lewis approached Narnia.

        You have to understand that the form christianity is taking in america is a lot more radical and extreme and in your face than it has been historically in Britain. We don’t traditionally have evangelical movements and pastors. Religion is a private affair here, and a much more subtle.

        I find the Narnia books much more nuanced and interesting than the movies because of this subtle influence of christianity and a concentration on making it an exciting and moving adventure for all children. Most kids raised in the UK read Narnia and to most of them the christian elements go completely over their heads and is irrelevant to the story.

      • Manuel says:

        So, your critic is not to the films themselves, but to the marketing campaign. I donΒ΄t think the movies are less subtle than the books, actually the problem with PC was that look of a standard Holywood action movie.

        I think that if FOX needs to sell this movie (to make the next), if they sell it to the evangelical churchs is ok for me.

        And everybody is free to see the meaning they want in a movie. LWW and PC are not movies made specially for extreme elements of christianity. The Da Vinci Code movies had far more violent anti-catholic messages, and nobody made a complaint.

      • Chris says:

        Ah but the DaVinci Code makers didn’t actively go to anti-Catholic groups and tell them to support the movie, portraying it as a great tool to further their cause, did they? Whereas thats what Narnia’s marketing in America has been about. Plus the fact that they haven’t approached the marketing in that way at all in Europe (on the contrary, here they try to tone down the christianity in the movies), shows a distinct and disturbing lack of principles, which is encouraging sectarian division between different peoples, pandering to whatever the most likely demographic for the movie might be in different parts of the world.

        Don’t kid yourselves. Most people here seem to think the Narnia films are a great beakon of christianity in a film market supposedly saturated by "un-christian" values and concerns, but the truth is their only concern is how to sell the film and make the most money in different areas of the world. In America, evangelical christianity is a powerful force and thus they attempt to woo it with things like Narniafaith.com. In Europe, where secularism is paramount to the way of life and religion kept private, they will attempt to keep any mention of christian allegory quiet. Its shameful, I find, that they think christians so gullible and use you in that way. Whereas if they kept to the same marketing scheme for the whole world, i.e: just present it as an exciting adaptation of the novels and thats it, then we’d all be able to make our own minds up on the significance of the christian meaning of the story, without feeling like its being forced down our throats and hijacking the story (if you’re not christian) or feeling like the christian element is being used as a marketing ploy for a select group of gullible people (if you’re a christian), thus destroying the sentiment with which the books were written

        As an aside, what exactly was violently anti-catholic in the Davinci code? The bad guys are a secret sect that acts without the church’s knowledge, and the heroes basically do the church a favour by not revealing any secrets at the end and dismantling the secret sect. Nothing overtly anti-catholic as far as I can see. Its just a very silly story with nothing original in it and I am still baffled as to how that book sold so many copies.

      • Manuel says:

        Ok, you made your point. I think youΒ΄re overreacting, anyway. The marketing campaign will end in two months, and what will remain is just a wonderful movie πŸ™‚

    • Chris says:

      Unfortunately, I can’t share your enthusiasm, because, marketing aside, I really don’t think this is going to be a wonderful movie. In fact at this juncture, judging from what I’ve seen in the trailers, I’m confidently predicting that this is going to be the last narnia film.

      I make 3 predictions now, and I’ll eat my hat if I’m wrong:

      1- It’ll be the weakest film of the 3 and get terrible reviews
      2- It may make around the same amount of money as PC, doing well in the first week but subsequently utterly trounced by Tron Legacy.
      3- Narnia fans will hate it.

      Number 2 is the only point which is difficult to predict precisely, as unlike PC, VOTD is being released at Christmas, which is a much better time for this sort of film because theres a lot less competition than releasing in May. However, in the same way that PC came out the between Iron Man and Indy 4 and thus suffered massively because of this, VOTD has the misfortune of coming out the week before the most anticipated film of the year: Tron. Now one could say that because Tron is aimed at a generally older market than VOTD, parents might take younger kids to see Narnia, but that entirely depends on how good the marketing is for VOTD as its been so long since PC (which was marketed terribly and barely registered on people’s radars) that I think theres very little interest in VOTD. And thus far the marketing has been terrible, so it doesn’t bode well.

    • Aslan's Girl says:

      Chris,

      I’m afraid that you’re missing one of the key points of Christianity, and that is that Christians are to β€œ…go and make disciples of every nation, baptizing them in name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." That’s the Great Commisssion, found in Matthew 28:19-20. When someone becomes a Christian, their life is changed! So they’re supposed to go tell everyone! Now, granted, a huge part of evangelizing is presenting Christianity in a way that doesn’t turn people away, that’s appealing to them, and not shove-it-in-your-face. I wouldn’t want people telling me what to believe, so I can definitely understand how it could bother you when Christians are like that. But, at the same time, we aren’t to hide our faith; in Matthew 5 it talks about how people don’t put a light under a bowl, but instead put it on its stand, so it can give light to everyone.

      So, although you’re right in that shoving it down a nonbeliever’s throat is the wrong way to go, in my opinion you’re also partly wrong by saying religion is to be kept to oneself. And I believe that’s how CS Lewis feels, too. See, he obviously doesn’t say BECOME A CHRISTIAN in his Narnia books, in fact I don’t think that’s even the message of the books. But, instead, Jesus just rubs off of him in his writing because of the way God has changed his life. He’s certainly not silent about his faith, but he’s not screaming. And, as far as ‘allegory’, you’re a little mistaken; CS Lewis explicitly says that the Chronicles of Narnia are not allegories, but rather him imagining what the Jesus would be like in another would.

      I’m sorry that you feel like this pastoral guide thing is shoving religion down your throat; I think it’s great! I’d love to learn more about Narnian and Biblical ties! But I can see how you’d think that advertisers are ‘using’ the Church to make money; in fact, in a lot of ways, I agree with you-they are. And that’s sad to me. But, you can’t ignore (at least I can’t) the Christian threads that strongly run through the entire series. And I think that Narniafaith.com is doing a cool thing by making those ties available to learn about.

      I think that you’re right, some people are simply in it for money, trying to squeeze money out of Christians by doing things like this. But, some is the key word. There are also some good, well-meaning people who are working to make Narnia come alive and aquire even more meaning in the hearts of Christians. Like everywhere, there are going to be people with pure motivations and people with corrupt motivations. Even in the Church of Philippi, there were people preaching from false motives! Surprising? No, not really.

      I hope I’ve not offended anyone here, and I know that this isn’t a religious debate or anything, I’m not trying to make it one. I just felt that you were kind of saying (correct me if I’m wrong) the best way for Christians to go is to keep their religion quiet. According to the Bible, that’s a little skewed. Thanks for reading this long post, (sorry about the length-didn’t mean for it to be this long!) I hope you’ll consider what I’ve said.

      Further up and further in!
      -Aslan’s Girl

      • Chris says:

        I didn’t say religion is to be kept to oneself as my personal view, I was explaining that thats the way its approached in Europe in general, as opposed to the way religion is viewed in America. Europe is very secular (with varying degrees in different countries) and the general view is to keep religion private. Its discussed amongst friends, but in france for example, there’s a zero tolerance policy to discuss it in classrooms, so as to avoid favouring certain groups at the detriment of others and keeping religious tension out of school.

        C.S Lewis, being a product of British upbringing and an Anglican, would thus have prescribed to this kind of point of view. The fact that he wrote Narnia based on the idea of Jesus in another world is not due to a desire to spread the message of Christianity to small children. He wanted to write a good story for his goddaughter first and foremost and drew upon a myriad of influences, including the seed idea of Jesus as a lion in a land populated by talking beasts.
        You have to understand that preaching and evangelical movements are very specific to America and very much contrary to traditional British values. Furthermore, remember that C.S Lewis was an atheist for much of his life and after his conversion remained friends with many atheists and was not particularly interested in converting them, nor did he think less of his atheistic friends for not adopting christianity.

      • Chris says:

        As for my personal views, I’m opposed to organised religions, particularly monotheistic ones, for many good reasons. I’ll let another fine Englishman explain just one of them:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pJ-rWaEyw0
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5b1aIuoCq4w

      • Aslan's Girl says:

        Okay, I understand now that Europe’s view is not necessarily your own. Thanks for clearing that up! Although I still feel it shouldn’t be forbidden to talk about religion in school, as that is part of learning (and, of course, not just Christianity; it’s important to learn about all religions!), I know that’s not what the subject is…

        As to CS Lewis, though, I don’t think he necessarily prescribed to this point of view. I don’t have much information to back up my perspective, but I know that he was very active in advocating Christianity through writing (Mere Christianity, Screwtape Letters, etc.) Although he wasn’t an evangelist, it seems to me he was still bold in his faith, in a different sort of way.

        And, yes, he didn’t begin Narnia to convert small children-you’re right! He says himself that it began with an image he had when he was still in his youth of a fawn walking through a snowy forest with an umbrella. But, like I said before, his faith changed him, and so from this changed person came Christian-based ideas that were not systematically put in Narnia, but rather resulted from a heart that was now captured by and willingly surrendered to Jesus!

        And, of course he would not think less of his atheist friends! You’re definitely right! Christians are called to follow Jesus’ example. I mean, Jesus hung out with the tax collectors and sinners-and they were ‘untouchables’ to the Pharisees. He never thought less of them as people. Christians are supposed to hate the sin, not the sinner. Sadly, a lot of Christians hate both, and this can result in us coming off as hypocritical. πŸ™ So CS Lewis was definitely in the right about not thinking less of his atheist friends. But, from what I know about CS Lewis, I think he probably had debates and talks with them over spiritual stuff and just beliefs in general (again, no concrete evidence). Well, anyway, thanks so much for responding! πŸ™‚

  • narnianbadger says:

    As much as I love this idea, I must admit there’s a part of me that wonders whether this is really the best way to utilize the books in a Christian context–simply because it’s very… what’s the word… it’s not subtle. And one of my favorite Narnia-related CSL quotes is the one in which he stated that Narnia is like smelling a flower and finding the smell familiar, or something like that. I just wonder a bit whether he intended it to be exactly like this. But then again, what am I saying, "Hey Doug Gresham, I know CSL better than you and he wouldn’t have liked this." Lol! XD

  • Louloudi the Centaur says:

    I am feeling a lot more encouraged about the movie now, and how the spiritual theme will fit in. I think the movie will be a good Christian message.

  • pselpevensie says:

    SOOOOOO COOL!!!!!!! AM DEFINATLY GONNA TELL MY PASTOR ABOUT IT!!!!!!!!!

  • narnian at heart says:

    NICE MARKETNG IZ GOING PRETTY NICELY

  • Wiglaf says:

    *reads the bit about pastor pre-view invitation*
    Oh, The lovely perks of Spreading the Gospel πŸ˜€

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