Narnia’s Nikabrik, a Parable of Contemporary Evangelicalism? | “We Want Power. And We Want a Power that Will Be on Our Side.”

“All said and done,” he [Nikabrik] muttered, “none of us knows the truth about the ancient days in Narnia. Trumpkin believed none of the stories. I was ready to put them to the trial. We tried first the Horn and it has failed. If there ever was a High King Peter and a Queen Susan and a King Edmund and a Queen Lucy, then either they have not heard us, or they cannot come, or they are our enemies–“

“Or they are on the way,” put in Trufflehunter.

“You can go on saying that till Miraz has fed us all to his dogs. As I was saying, we have tried one link in the chain of old legends, and it has done us no good. Well. But when your sword breaks, you draw your dagger. The stories tell of other powers beside the ancient Kings and Queens. How if we could call them up?” ….

“Who do you mean?” said Caspian at last.

“I mean a power so much greater than Aslan’s that it held Narnia spellbound for years and years, if the stories are true.”

“The White Witch!” cried three voices all at once….

“Yes, said Nikabrik very slowly and distinctly, “I mean the Witch. … We want power: and we want a power that will be on our side. … They say she ruled for a hundred years: a hundred years of winter. There’s power, if you like. There’s something practical.”

—C.S. Lewis, Prince Caspian in The Chronicles of Narnia (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2001), pp. 393-394.

As I read the above section from C.S. Lewis’ Prince Caspian this evening, I couldn’t help but think of how it unfortunately seemed to parabolize much of the current posture of contemporary, American evangelicalism. We’re pragmatic over principled. Over against the “foolish” call to cruciformly, we’re entangled in a love affair with the corrupting influence of power. We want power — who cares if that power happens to be the “White Witch”?

Luckily, Prince Caspian and crew have the wherewithal to see through Nikabrik’s proposal, and they dismantle his plot right then and there. May we have the foresight in this moment to revive our call and do the same.