Monday, November 5, 2007

The Golden Compass

The marketing blitz for the upcoming film The Golden Compass has begun. I will not be providing an endorsement for the movie here. In fact I will recommend that if you choose to lay down your hard earned cash to see this movie that you do so with careful discernment and as much knowledge as possible.

The movie is based on a book by Philip Pullman. The book is the first among a trilogy by this author. While the movie may be well made and provide entertainment, the author is a committed atheist. He certainly is welcome to believe what he will. And, he is not in the closet about his beliefs. However, Christians ought to be concerned about two things. 1) Putting money in the pocket of someone who is clearly anti-God and anti-Christ. 2) Exposing your children (or yourselves) to a message that denies absolute truth and places man at the center of the universe. You can read for yourself some of his notions here.

Apparently the movie is a toned down version of the book in that some of the anti-Christian themes have been removed. The idea, no doubt, is that once folks see the movie many will naturally want to read the entire trilogy. Watch for these books to be readily available just in time for Christmas. No Ivy League marketing degree needed to figure that one out.

This sort of anti-religious ideology and philosophy is not shocking or surprising. Our culture is replete with it. As Christians we must be aware of the traps and schemes that are being tossed about. We ought to be able to talk about them and guard against them. I suppose it would be fine for a Christian to view this film or read the books if you wished to see the opposing view as a way to argue against it. The problem is, most average church members are not discerning enough to separate the good from the bad. This reminds me, Tim Challies has a new book coming out on the issue of spiritual discernment.

There will be a natural comparison with this movie and Narnia. The theme and the genre are apparently similar. I have only seen the trailer. But, Pullman is not a fan of C. S. Lewis at all. In fact, Pullman has said, "I hate the Narnia books, and I hate them with deep and bitter passion, with their view of childhood as a golden age from which sexuality and adulthood are a falling away..."

If you are looking for a good movie to see during the holidays I'm certain there will be several to choose from. Again, I commend to you Phil Boatwright who will provide you with movie reviews from a Christian perspective. Be aware however, The Golden Compass may lead you away from your intended course.

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