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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

The Golden Compass is an upcoming movie, based on a book by Philip Pullman.

There is apparently an e-mail campaign, aimed at telling Christians not to see this movie. I have received such e-mails a couple of times, and will probably receive them again.

Here's my response:
Thanks for sending this on to me. I haven't seen the movie, but I know something about fantastic literature, and this author is, indeed, an outspoken atheist, and the movie (or movies -- it's a series of books) may be militantly atheistic. The book, although interesting and well-written, is anti-God, and anti-church.

There is a bigger problem. Most of the time, our modern media act as if God didn't exist (except for the so frequent "Oh, my God!" expressions). News programs and newspapers tell us about terrible disasters, seldom saying a word about praying for the victims. The accomplishments of athletes are praised, but the source of their God-given abilities is seldom mentioned. (No doubt people more knowledgeable than I could say something about popular music of many kinds right about here, but I won't.) Dramatic TV programs and movies tell us about what's important in fictional people's lives, and it's very seldom even close to a genuine belief in God. My wife and I saw a movie last week, which we found hilarious and enjoyable, and it was so inoffensive that it is rated PG-13. Christianity Today said that it was a family-oriented movie, and it is. But I don't remember a character who said a word about religious belief of any kind, Christian or otherwise, or about going to church.

It seems to me that this pervasive ignoring of the things of God is much more dangerous than occasional blatant atheism. We usually see blatant atheism, recognize it, and react to it, whereas, if we aren't careful, we absorb the attitude that God is non-existent or irrelevant from the world around us, including, of course, the media. We become practicing atheists.

Thanks for reading.

* * * * *

See here for another post on this topic.

See here for yet another such post, linking to material by Pullman, showing that he is, indeed, a militant atheist, and also showing that Pullman has actually undercut mainstream atheism, and that his sort of belief was predicted by C. S. Lewis, over sixty years ago.


Rob Rumfelt said...

Amen, Martin! You really knocked the ball out of the park on this one.

It seems the Christian community rises up in indignation over certain things from time to time, then goes back to living like "practicing atheists", as you put it. That is our current secular culture at work.

Why shouldn't a Christian see "The Golden Compass?" Will it threaten his or her faith? If it does, perhaps that faith was planted in rocky soil at the start. I plan on seeing it so I will be prepared to answer questions should they arise.

By the way, I highly recommend the films of Tyler Perry, like "Diary of a Mad Black Woman," or "Madea's Family Reunion." Perry is a committed Christian who has broken into Hollywood by making very funny films with great messages about family, forgiveness and faith. His movies aren't coy about being Christian - they're right out front with it. And they do quite well at the box office. If you haven't seen one yet, treat yourself soon!

Again, GREAT post. All Christians need to be reminded that God demands all of our lives, not just on Sundays.

Martin LaBar said...

Thanks for reading, and thanks for the recommendation of the Perry films. We may check one or more of them out.

Tom Gilson said...

It's worse than you may realize.

The Scholastic publishing company is promoting this material heavily as a curriculum resource for public schools. Keep your eyes open!

Martin LaBar said...

I didn't know that, tom gilson.


Rob Rumfelt said...

Tom makes an excellent point. Going into our schools, these materials could be quite influential to those who aren't Christians or are still searching. The young are especially vulnerable and this is aimed right at them. But what to do?

And have a safe trip, Martin!