by Natalia Kirychuk, Student Public Relations Writer
Have you ever wanted to step through the wardrobe into the land of Narnia? Are you fascinated by Lewis’ land of talking animals, fawns and centaurs? On November 29 at 7 p.m. in Stinger’s cafe at Cedarville University, Dr. Dan DeWitt, director for the Center for Biblical Apologetics and Public Christianity, will host “A Night in Narnia.” Stinger’s is located in the Stevens Student Center lower level. The event is free and open to the public.
DeWitt will give a 20-minute talk on Lewis’ emphases of story and apologetics and then lead a Q&A session with the audience. Next, Christian singer-songwriter Sarah Sparks will perform, based on her Narnia-inspired album, “Into the Lantern Waste.” The night will end with a showing of the 2005 film “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.”
A longtime fan of C.S. Lewis, DeWitt teaches a class on the author every other year. He also leads a group of more than 20 students in studying Lewis’ book “Mere Christianity” on Friday mornings. DeWitt hosted “A Night in Narnia” when he was the dean of Boyce College at Southern Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, and decided it would be a fun idea to bring Narnia to Cedarville. He connected with Sparks, the wife of a former student, and set up the event.
“My goal is to introduce students to Lewis' distinct approach in using fantasy to present the gospel,” said DeWitt. “I'll be giving a presentation from an article I published a few years back on why Lewis transitioned to less direct methods of apologetics in his later years. Through Narnia, he targeted the imagination with the goal of ‘stealing past’ the ‘sleeping dragons’ of reasoned opposition to Christianity.”
Sparks has an avid love of Lewis’ writings. She recorded “Into the Lantern Waste” several years ago with the desire to use Lewis’ themes of fantasy and redemption to reflect Christ and his story.
“I’m often motivated to write new songs based on what I’m reading,” said Sparks. “Several years ago I was reading through “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” again and was really struck by the story of Eustace Scrubb. He is turned into a dragon and does everything he can to tear off the skin and change back. In the end it is the lion Aslan that must tear off his skin and change him back into a boy. I’ve never been a dragon, but I am familiar with the idea of trying to change myself and being incapable of doing it without God. That moment inspired me to think about putting that idea into song form.”
Sparks is excited to return to Cedarville University, where her sister attended nearly a dozen years ago. Sparks had participated in a Little Sibs weekend while her sister was in school and looks forward to seeing the many changes around campus.
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,193 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu.