Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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Christmas Dessert Theater
One Bethlehem Night
Fri-Sun, December 9-11, 7:00pm

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(You must be connected to the internet to see this picture.) "Good . . . But Not Safe"
by Tom Goodman
December 6, 2005

This Wednesday, December 7, 6:30 p.m....
See a nine-minute preview of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe!
Hear a Missions Challenge by Daniel and Tiffany Kilcoyne!
The Chronicles of Narnia comes to theaters this Friday, December 9, and the Christian world desperately needs the bracing, daring portrayal of Jesus in this marvelous children’s story.

Over 100 million copies of C.S. Lewis’s beloved Chronicles have been sold since they first appeared in the 1950s.  The series begins with four English school children sent to their uncle’s estate in the countryside to escape the Nazi bombing of London.  There they discover a passageway into another land where they meet talking animals, an evil witch, and the awe-inspiring Aslan.

Christian newsletters promote the film as a witnessing opportunity because of Aslan’s atoning sacrifice and resurrection.  While true, as I said, it’s really our Christian world that needs Lewis’s bold portrayal of our King.  Early in the story, the children hear about this Aslan whom they will soon meet:

“Is--is he a man?” asked Lucy.
“Aslan a man?” said Mr. Beaver sternly.  “Certainly not. I tell you he is the King of the wood and the son of the great Emperor-Beyond-the-Sea.  Don't you know who is the King of Beasts?  Aslan is a lion—the Lion, the great Lion.”
“Ooh!” said Susan, “I’d thought he was a man.  Is he… quite safe?  I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”
“That you will, dearie, and make no mistake,” said Mrs. Beaver.  “If there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they're either braver than most or else just silly.”
“Then he isn't safe?” asked Lucy.
“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver.  “Don't you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you?  Who said anything about safe?  ‘Course he isn't safe.  But he's good.  He's the King, I tell you.”
Good . . . but not safe.  We believers really need to remember that.  In the Christian marketplace, I’ve heard one too many cuddly love songs to Jesus and I’ve thumbed through one too many sentimental books about Jesus.  Our Christian world needs to be shaken by a Lion’s roar.  The Aslan of Narnia will remind you just what it means to call Jesus “King.”  Like Aslan, the Risen One expects from us a life-changing loyalty that accepts his commands no matter how impossible they seem.

If you’d like more information about Narnia, Lifeway has a helpful website.  Also, Park Cities Baptist Church has a helpful parents guide.  And Newsweek magazine gave a favorable review of the film.  In next week’s Winning Ways, I’ll tell you more about C.S. Lewis, the man behind the Narnia stories.


P.S.  The Chronicles of Narnia isn’t the only thing happening this Friday.  Our annual Dessert Theater also begins Friday night and runs through Sunday night.  This event has always been an effective introduction to our church, so bring your THEMs.  This year’s performance is called One Bethlehem Night and you can find out more about it at  Be sure to call the church office at 345-3771 immediately to see if there are any remaining seats for you and your friends!

Also, our wonderful Upward program still needs 4 coaches and 8 assistant coaches.  Contact David and Jennifer Tobey at for more information.  Practices start a week from Monday, so we need to fill these spots quick!

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