(CCSLQ-42) – Defeat the Darkness

The following is part of a series exploring quotations attributed to C.S. Lewis that are questionable for one reason or another. As I near the publication of a book on the subject, it is difficult to say how often I will post additional material (even though over 30 additional quotes are identified). The working title of the book is THE MISQUOTABLE C.S. LEWIS  and it is scheduled for release in May, 2018.

There is an “at a glance” page (CLICK HERE) to quickly see what has been posted so far in this series, which also includes a list of the other quotes I’ve identified as questionable. Also, if you haven’t already, consider reading the INTRODUCTION to this series to gain an understanding of the three main categories.   

“To defeat the darkness out there, you must defeat the darkness in yourself.”

I’ve posted previously on quotations that came from the movie adaptation of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (see CCSLQ-1 about HARDSHIPS and CCSLQ-25 about VALUE) and this is yet another one; it is only found in the movie and not the book version by Lewis. What’s interesting about this one is a common image of the quote (as above) shows a picture of Aslan and states the line is from him. This association is also false, as it was actually spoken by Coriakin, the magician, in the film. At one point you could find a picture of this quote shared by the official Narnia Facebook page! So, here’s a false attribution to a fake Lewis quote! How sad such a significant site made such errors.

Some may object and reply that Lewis would have agreed with the sentiment and believe it’s not so bad to falsely credit him. In all honesty, I can see him writing this statement, but only through the voice of his character Screwtape, not his own. That is, when you read the quote carefully you find that, while it does encourage a very virtuous thing (defeating darkness), it does so through a method that is entirely false: a three-letter word, Y-O-U. Last time I checked my Bible it noted that it was “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts.” A better line for the movie, one more in keeping with Lewis’s Christian worldview, would be something like, “To defeat the darkness out there, you must first let Aslan help you defeat the darkness in you.”

The next article to be posted on TBA:

“Life with God is not immunity from difficulties, but peace in difficulties.”

Related Articles:

Exploring C.S. Lewis Misquotes and Misconceptions (6-part podcast series)

What Lewis NEVER Wrote  (Podcast)

Not Quite Lewis – Podcast Version

Not Quite Lewis – Questionable Lewisian Quotations (Conf. Paper)

Updated 2/3/2018


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