Question: "What are the Christian themes in The Last Battle?"
Answer: Titled accordingly, The Last Battle is the final chapter in the “Chronicles of Narnia” series by C. S. Lewis. As it happens, a clever ape and a not-so-clever donkey discover the hide of a lion. The poor donkey sees the hide as a mere curiosity, but his companion senses an opportunity for gain. With a stitch of a sewing needle here and there, reasons the ape, his donkey friend could be made to look like a lion—and no ordinary lion, mind you, but the great Aslan himself! The deception works, and the disheartened creatures of Narnia are fooled by this counterfeit Aslan who, by his decrees, begins delivering the good land and its citizens into the hands of her enemies.
Lewis was a master storyteller, but more importantly, he was a brilliant Christian apologist who truly believed the prophetic writings of Scripture. The distinguished Oxford professor began his academic career as a staunch atheist, but a thorough examination of the Bible led him to become, in his own words, “the most reluctant convert in London.” Apart from the inspired writers of Scripture, no Christian author is quoted more widely or esteemed more highly than C. S. Lewis.
The Last Battle symbolizes the climactic ending of Antichrist’s reign of terror when King Jesus triumphantly returns to establish His worldwide kingdom from Jerusalem (Revelation 18-22). Readers are kindly spared the usual eschatological arguments concerning the timing of the rapture; thankfully, Lewis omits all the pre-, mid-, and post-tribulation guesswork. What we have is a gripping allegory representing our Lord’s Second Coming minus some of the more speculative details. There are plenty of suspense and intrigue, twists and turns, and imaginative writing for captivating the restless hearts and minds of young readers—and older readers, too!