The Broken Way

Ann Voskamp's style is hard for some people to take. Her books are prose poetry, and those who are interested in a strictly academic systematic theology will be disappointed. I find that her writing style is the most common criticism by people who don't like her books. I, however, love the way she writes. It's like an amalgam of T.S. Eliot and Bonhoeffer.

Another criticism I've heard of Voskamp is that her theology is heretical mysticism that perverts the gospel. I read one "discernment" blogger saying that she could hear the whispering of the serpent through Ann Voskamp's writing. I honestly don't get this one at all. I didn't find any trace of bad doctrine in this book at all. Maybe she emphasizes things in a different way than I would, maybe she uses non-standard theological vocabulary, but what she is presenting here is a pretty solid theology of suffering such as Martin Luther would have undoubtedly approved. She's also probably more well…

Puddleglum's Speech

This passage has stuck in my mind ever since I read The Silver Chair this summer.

For context, Puddleglum the Marshwiggle, along with 2 children and a prince, is trapped in an underground world by an evil witch. The witch uses her powers to try to persuade her captives to forget the world above, telling them that their idea of a sun simply stems from seeing lamps and wishing for a bigger better lamp, and their idea of a lion stems from seeing cats and wishing for a bigger and better cat. After a few moments, Puddleglum answers:

"'One word, Ma'am,' he said... 'One word. All you've been saying is quite right, I shouldn't wonder. I'm a chap who always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it. So I won't deny any of what you said. But there's one thing more to be said, even so. Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things--trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Supose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that's a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We're just babies making up a game, if you're right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That's why I'm going to stand by the play-world. I'm on Aslan's side even if there isn't any Aslan to lead it. I'm going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn't any Narnia. So, thanking you kindly for our supper, if these two gentlemen and the young lady are ready, we're leaving your court at once and setting out in the dark to spend our lives looking for Overland. Not that our lives will be very long, I should think; but that's small loss if the world's as dull a place as you say."


Joe said…
What I love about this quote is every Christian relies by faith in God. There are many people telling them God doesn't exist, but a person like the creature Puddlegum says: "I'm on Aslan's side even if there isn't any Aslan to lead it. I'm going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn't any Narnia."

So switch Aslan to God and switch Narnian to Discple of Christ and Narnia to Christ. Thank you for posting this blog about Puddlegum.:)

C.S. Lewis relates in all his writings in Christianity and makes his stories a fascinating and exciting read. :)
Anonymous said…
You know the funny thing is I read Lewis and relate it to Buddhism, particularly this passage. It is all about emptiness.
dw817 said…
Having read this for the first time - can I say, it is something I have considered.

Mostly the opposite I think. I think I've wanted to believe the sun is a great lamp and that Aslan is in fact a great Cat.

And there is perfectly nothing wrong with believing the opposite.

I've only read The Lion, The Witch, And the Wardrobe, and not much further.

Perhaps I still have some reading to do. Thanks for sharing this.

Ian Maready said…
Joe got it right, absolutely. That is the very essence of Christianity.