Adam Gopnik’sÂ New Yorker pieceÂ on C.S. Lewis will be the first of many attempts this winterÂ to put the Christian apologist in his place now that his work, in the form of a Narnia movie,Â enjoys a new round of popularity. Gopnik’s condescensionÂ is only exceeded by his ignorance.Â Gopnik tells usÂ whatÂ is and what is not valuable in Lewis’s work: his Christian work, bad and inept; his imaginative work, as long as itÂ was freed up from his Christian prejudices, good. GopnikÂ in know-it-all mode even sketches out what he considersÂ a betterÂ animal than a lionÂ to use for aÂ Christian allegory — a donkey.Â Gopnik reveals his cluelessness early on when he attributes significance toÂ a criticism of Lewis as a Christian apologistÂ by a “formerÂ Archbishop of Canterbury, no less.” The “no less” added at the end suggests that Gopnik isn’t aware that Canterbury archbishops are about as interested in the actual meaning of Christianity as he is.
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