I was thinking about Puddleglum’s renouncement of the Lady of the Green Kirtle several days ago. That has always been one of my favorite scenes in Narnia...when the good side wakes up and stands against the evil. But recently, I realized that we are in the same place as Puddleglum, Jill, Eustace, and Rilian–we’re living in a culture that says that the "trees and grass and sun and moon and stars" are just a product of evolution and not God’s creative handiwork. Then, culture follows up the rest of the Lady’s denial of "the bigger and better cat." The world says that Christians aren’t strong enough to take care of themselves, so we created a bigger and better man–the God-Man, Jesus Christ. We’re just babies playing at a game...the "fools to the world" (1 Corinthians 1). Doesn’t Puddleglum have the most amazing answer to all that?! 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.
Here, Lewis uses Blaise Pascal’s famous apologetic argument in a child’s story. Pascal’s Wager goes something like this:
1) There is no God
- I will gain nothing by believing Him.
- I will lose nothing by not believing in Him.
- I will believe Him and gain everything.
- I will disbelieve Him and lose everything.
Puddleglum, Jill, Eustace, and Rilian all began their conversation with the Lady knowing exactly what they believed. However, she sweetly convinced them that they were wrong (brings back memories of Genesis 3). There came a point when all their minds became so muddled that they could not remember the truth, and they began to believe her lies. Puddleglum in particular struggled with this. Inside, he knew that Narnia was real, but her words all but convinced him that Narnia was just an imagination. "Suppose we have only dreamed..." What do they risk by believing in Narnia? "That’s a small loss if the world’s as dull a place as you say." They face her wrath and have to slay the serpent, but then they gain everything! Why are Christians so ready to believe that the trees and grass and sun aren’t God’s special creation? Why do they want to take away Jesus’ deity and turn Him into a great human teacher? They’re listening to the wrong arguments. We’re afraid to stand for the truth. But are we so afraid of good news that we let even wet-blanket Puddleglum believe while we sit in the Underland listening to the Lady? That’s when you must make the wager–do you believe the dream or not? I, for one, am on Jesus’ side even if the world doesn’t believe there’s a Jesus. I’m going to live like I am a citizen of Heaven even if everyone else says there is no Heaven.