Not a Tame Lion



NOT A TAME God. One of C. S. Lewis’s favorite comments on Aslan, that great beast, the figure of Christ in the Narnia Chronicles, is, “He is not a tame lion.” The deep growl, the severe mercy; the uncompromising, firm-but-smiling gaze. When Aslan speaks no one in the story can question who is in charge. When the lion speaks, one not only gets the sense, but one knows that nothing more need be said. This is really the way things are and not only will they not be changed, indeed they cannot — we have bumped up against a greater reality than ourselves and our particular perspective. He is Lord and he does what he wills. He calls children from another world when and to where he desires. He vanquishes foes in his own good time. No one can ever think of sitting in judgment on him. To think of controlling him would be preposterous. The lightning is too powerful to be bottled, the mountain too furious to be captured in a video tape. There is a wildness in his nature and he will not be muzzled.

The “god” to which our culture invites us, with whom our culture is comfortable, is more like the simple and simplistic donkey in the stable of The Last Battle. Hidden away in a dark barn, he appears only for a few seconds in the night by the light of a dim fire. Many are fooled, but the donkey is a poor substitute for a real lion. He waddles when he walks; he does not roar; he has an old, dead covering that gives him a hint of lion-likeness. But when the real thing shows, all that is ripped away. When Aslan comes, no one can stand against him.

Nongods and dead gods and donkey gods are no threat, but a Living God is another matter altogether. The Living God has cosmic-sized, power-laden hands and is dreadful indeed. He will not be tamed by our postmodern repulsion for Truth, nor by our aversion to the concept of judgment. We must adjust ourselves to him or face the consequences.----

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