Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Turkish Delight

In the course of explaining a proverb to both of my Bible classes today, I used an example taken from C.S. Lewis' The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. The dialogue I quoted - between Mr. and Mrs. Beaver and the four children - regarding Aslan is an excellent description and portrait of what the Bible calls "the fear of God."

I have a confession to make, though. I've never read the book. I've never read any of the books in the series - The Chronicles of Narnia, either. I did see the movie, which was fantastic.

While my students were taking their quizzes, I read the first several pages of Lewis' classic. After I got home I read the first several chapters. I'm now in the process of reading, for the first time, The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.

In chapter 4, Edmund meets the White Witch, who asks him, "What best do you like to eat?" "Turkish Delight, please, Your Majesty," said Edmund. As he ate the entire contents of the large box, "Edmund had never tasted anything more delicious." The more he ate the more he wanted to eat. "At last, the Turkish Delight was all finished and Edmund was looking very hard at the empty box and wishing that she would ask him whether he would like some more. Probably the Queen knew quite well what he was thinking; for she knew, though Edmund did not, that this was enchanted Turkish Delight and that anyone who had once tasted it would want more and more of it, and would even, if they were allowed to, going on eating it till they killed themselves." After Edmund meets up with Lucy, who was the first to discover Narnia, "he still wanted to taste that Turkish Delight again more than he wanted anything else."

Lewis has done a masterful job of describing the nature and power of sin. It's interesting that, like Adam and Eve, Edmund was tempted with food. The food, in this case Turkish Delight, was "pleasant to the eye" - it looked good. Sin is deceptive because it looks good, not because it looks bad. Sin is a disposition, meaning that it's part of our fallen nature. The only way Edmund, or any one of us, could be tempted is because we already have a bent to sin. All of us are Sons of Adam and Daughters of Eve this side of the Fall - we sinful by nature, habit, and choice. Sin is a desire to go our own way, to disobey God and, in fact, to be our own god. When we sin, it is because that is our strongest desire at the time. Finally, sin leads to death. That is the ultimate price to pay for our moral crimes against God. Sin's price tag doesn't say "$11.99," it says "your very life."

Wow! All of that from a one meeting of two fictional characters. Thank you, Professor Lewis! I look forward to more.

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Blogger KeepItSimple said...

Isn't that like Oreos, too???

We (Victoria and I) are really enjoying your blog. Hope all is well with you and Karen!

Blessings -

9:10 PM  

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