"If our words are ambiguous our meaning will escape [the reader]," wrote C.S. Lewis. "I sometimes think that writing is like driving sheep down a road. If there is any gate open to the left or the right, the readers will most certainly go into it." Pity that HarperSanFrancisco exec Steve Hanselman didn't take the advice when writing his ill-fated memo about Carol Hatcher's documentary, or that HarperCollins didn't consider it when writing its statement about its plans for Lewis-oriented material (which didn't mention a word about the new Narnia books or answer any questions about downplaying Lewis's Christianity). As a result of such unclear statements, and a gag order on HarperCollins employees, confusion about what's happening to Lewis's works is running rampant throughout the media. New news stories are hard to come by, but the commentators are out in force.

Still, as cloudy as the statements by Hanselman and HarperCollins are, one thing is clear: "The works of C.S. Lewis will continue to be published by HarperCollins and Zondervan as written by the author, with no alteration." That has been publicized elsewhere, but it didn't stop novelist, sociologist, and priest Andrew Greeley from beginning his commentary, "Plans are afoot to purge Christian content from the seven Narnia stories." The rest of his commentary isn't really worth noting, since it all proceeds from the same false premise. "Harper intends to censor out of C.S. Lewis's masterpiece that which is most essential to it—its Christian imagery—because that imagery would be offensive to mostly imaginary secularists," he writes. "Such a plan is not only ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

July/August
Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
Read These Next
Current IssueWait Upon the Drop
Wait Upon the Drop Subscriber Access Only
Why churches are turning to club music to elevate praise.
RecommendedChristianity Today’s 2017 Book Awards
Christianity Today’s 2017 Book Awards
Our picks for the books most likely to shape evangelical life, thought, and culture.
TrendingKay Warren: 'We Were in Marital Hell'
Kay Warren: 'We Were in Marital Hell'
Through God's work in our lives, we've beaten the odds that divorce would be the outcome of our ill-advised union.
Editor's PickThe Church's Biggest Challenge in 2017
The Church's Biggest Challenge in 2017
Let’s get unchurched evangelicals back into church, and prejudiced evangelicals back to the Bible.
Christianity Today
The War for Narnia Continues
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

June 2001

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.