Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Golden Compass

I picked up a copy of the Philip Pullman's trilogy yesterday. I know that I'm asking for it (whatever that may be) from some of my Christian brothers and sisters. There has been much said about Mr. Pullman and his books (now a movie) within the Christian community.

I have not seen the movie. As with most movies, I'll probably wait until the DVD hits the $5 discount bin at the local Wal-mart or borrow it from somebody that pays the full price for it in a month or so. I haven't spent much time on fiction books lately but have set aside my other reading to read The Golden Compass so that I can decide for myself if this is more than a fantasy and if it is an atheist' attack on God and religion. I have to admit that I'm pretty bad about taking somebody else's word on this type of thing and I realize that there are people in the Christian world that are somewhat over zealous when it comes to boycotting what they deem to be offensive for the rest of us.

I suspect that I'll end up believing that Mr. Pullman has woven his personal beliefs into a work of literature--and what's wrong with that? Isn't that the same thing that C. S. Lewis did in The Chronicles of Narnia? I fail to understand why some would choose to boycott the Harry Potter books and movies and at the same time embrace Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. Fantasy is fantasy. I think that I can choose to disagree with any theological beliefs that Mr. Pullman may or may not have and still enjoy the art of his literature...or not.

I know that is has been sometime since I've read the Narnia books, but so far the Compass reminds me of Lewis' work. I'm sure that I'll have more to write when I finish reading it.
In the mean time, the target is squarely on my chest...so fire away.



zero_zero_one said...

As a Christian I didn't have a great problem with it, because at the end of the day it is a work of fiction. I regularly roll my eyes at people who shout and scream that it is an attack from the atheists and the secular world...

I won't give you my opinion on whether I thought the trilogy was good or not until you've finished it, I don't want to influence your reading one way or the other.

Bilbo said...

Be careful, John - you will run afoul of the Common Sense Minimization Police if you keep writing thoughts like these...

Rich said...

He's a witch! Burn him for his heresy!

In all seriousness, we all would be better off making ourselves more knowledgeable about the subjects that we spend our time using as talking points. Otherwise, it might just come back and bite us in the posterior (see Sherri Shepherd, an avowed "Devout Christian" recently stating on "The View" that she "didn't know that the world was round."


Amanda said...

I just watched a 'Behind the scenes' of The Golden Comopass and it looks really good. I might go out and get the book myself.

Also, let me wish you and your family a Blessed and Joyful Christmas.

Kevin said...

My 16 year old daughter went to see it with her church group so they could more intelligently discuss the meaning of the movie.

For the most part my daughter had a difficult time following along and said that most of her group came away feeling the same. She was looking for the deeper meaning but wasn't sure she was getting it.

I'd like to think we give our children a solid enough foundation so as not to worry about a movie such as this shaking that foundation.

I too heard the cries from Christians and defaulted to that frame of mind but then I began thinking that we could easily be seen as crying wolf when all there really was was a lost stray puppy and not a wolf.

Merry Chistmas to you all!

Random Magus said...

I believe in the movie they have tried to 'neutralize' the anti-church elements. Like you said it is fiction and if faith is strong a book can't really do much harm to it can it?

Patrick H said...

I don't know. When the author himself goes on TV and says that he writes books with the sole purpose of destroying God in the minds of children, I don't need to give him any of my time or money to see if it's true. In the same way, I don't need to go rent the latest porno movie to "judge for myself" that it is not praise worthy. I'm not a zealot that is going to stand in front of the theater and protest, but I'm certainly not going to put my money in his pocket or give time to his movie or his book that I could be giving to God or my family.