What happens when X-men and CS Lewis collide?


So (flourish of trumpets) Tambaya is back! 🙂 It’s been very long indeed, I know, and it feels good to be back again after so long. This is going back to being a regular blog, and I’ll be updating it at least twice a week, with all kinds of stuff I’m thinking about. And with that, here’s what up for today…

Image: 20th Century Fox. (Via Wikipedia)

The X-Men have always been one of my favourite superhero groups. And of course, among them, Wolverine is my definite favourite! (I know, I know, I’m not the only one on both counts.) I don’t know what everyone else’s reasons are, but I have a few reasons why I love them so much. (Besides the sheer awesomeness that is Professor X!) Today I’m going to share one of those reasons. One of the recurring themes in X-Men, as every fan knows, is the unending tension between mutants and humans (mutants are human, of course, but “non-mutants” is too long). This theme comes clearly through in the latest X-Men installment, Days of Future Past (fear not, no spoilers here). First, a bit of background. Mutants, in the X-Men universe, represent the next phase of human evolution. Or at least so most mutants believe. Within the population of regular people who are aware (not everyone is) that mutants exist, there into two camps: those who agree that mutants are the new human, and those who think they’re just freaks of nature. The interesting thing is, both camps actually agree that they are to be feared, and if possible, eliminated. (Preferably eliminated, some would say.) Those who consider them freaks argue, of course, that they must be eliminated because they can’t be controlled. Those who consider them humanity’s next evolutionary stage fear their continued existence will mean the extinction of humanity as we know it. As it turns out, the mutants are divided in two camps as well. Magneto believes that mutants, superior beings that they are, have no reason to pander to ordinary humans, especially given that those ordinary humans mostly want to destroy mutants. (One suspects Magneto would love to rule even if humans were totally non-threatening, but that’s a whole other issue.) For his part, Professor X believes mutants have the potential to be a force for good on the planet in general and humans in particular, and spends his life trying to inculcate this idea in the mutants who follow him. Sound familiar yet? If it doesn’t (and this is the part where CS Lewis comes in), here’s a clue. The quote that follows is from the only online version available of the original broadcast of a talk by Lewis that later became his bestselling book, Mere Christianity.

Now that’s just where Christianity, as I think, has the real answer to a question a lot of modern people are asking. Everyone’s heard of evolution, how man evolved from lower types of life. And people often ask, “What’s the next step?” “When is the thing beyond man going to appear?” Some imaginative writers even try to picture what the next step will be like, but they usually end in nonsense about men with six arms or wings or something of that type. But the Christians think those people are on the wrong tack. The next step has already appeared. The next step is from being mere creatures to being sons of God. The new kind of man appeared in Christ, and other new men, little “christs,” already to be found sorted here and there about the earth. We Christians don’t call it “evolution” because we believe it isn’t something coming up out of blind Nature but something coming down from the world of light and power and knowledge beyond all Nature. But if you like to call it “evolution,” do. The next step is here. You can become one of the new men in Christ if you like. Or, if you prefer, you can refuse the step and sink back.

Which will it be? And if you’re a “mutant,” would you go with Magneto or the Professor? (There are lots of Christians like Magneto’s crew, aren’t there?) “But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.” (Hebrews 10:39, ESV) P.S. Of course, this is only an analogy, and must not be pressed too far. But I think it makes a very good metaphor. (The X-Men universe provides great metaphors for tons of stuff!) Anyway, what do you think? And what other ideas come to mind when you think about it? Let me know in the comments! And once again, it’s good to be back. 🙂

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