(E)pistle: The Fairy Tale That’s Really True

According to C.S Lewis, the above words led to his conversion to Christianity.  He and J.R.R.Tolkien (author of Lord of the Rings) were taking a late night stroll along the streets of Oxford.  Lewis was arguing that, as a rational person, he just couldn’t believe the claims of Christianity. The claims of the Bible were for him a mere “fairy tale.”  “But Clive,”rejoined Tolkien, “It’s a fairy tale that is really true.”

This past week the new Amazon production inspired by Tolkien’s own fairy tale, The Rings of Power, debuted to a record number of viewers—some 25 million tuned in for the prequel to the trilogy which has sold millions of copies.  Over on HBO, the continuation of George Martin’s blockbuster tale, Game of Thrones: House of the Dragon, attracted nearly as many fans.  

No new Harry Potter movies right now, but that could change!

There seems to be unlimited enthusiasm for these works of fantasy which combine all the heroic elements of knights, castles, sorcerers and monsters, all supported by a spectacular array of computer generated special effects.

It makes me wonder how we do when it comes to telling our story, the Fairy Tale That Is Really True, to an audience hungry for for the great epic story of Good vs. Evil.  What can we do to bring some of the same imagination, energy, and enthusiasm into our proclamation of the Greatest Story Ever told?  

I can’t answer that in a few words, no one can. But we can approach the process of theological education in a way that the great story tellers would be proud of, applying to the task all the excitement and creativity we can muster.

In King’s Cross station in London there is wall with the numbers “9 ¾” painted on it.  There is a block long queue of young people lined up to take a selfie in front of it, for it was from here that their hero, Harry Potter, started his journey to Hogwarts and the wizarding world.  

Maybe CDSP could change their address to 9 ¾ La Conte Avenue?


Image credit: “Old Castle Ward” by Ardfern (CC BY-SA 3.0)