Monday, November 19, 2007
The Golden Compass
By now, many of you have probably heard about, or gotten the e-mail warning about new movie “The Golden Compass.” I first heard of Philip Pulman and his novels earlier this year when I read an article about his atheist beliefs and how he hoped to use his books as a tool to explore the role of religion in our world. There were a few red flags for me in reading the article, but mostly I was intrigued. I think that sometimes as Christians we can learn a lot from atheists if we only allow ourselves to engage with them in dialogue rather than argument. At worst, we are forced to own our beliefs and ideals and at best, we find insight from their search for truth that may sometimes shed light on our own belief system. Anyway, after reading the article, I planned to read these books just to see what they were all about, but they found their way moving further and further down my reading list. Just a few weeks ago, my sixteen-year-old niece pointed out “The Golden Compass” on a shelf in Target. I told her that I’d read something about the author, but by that point, I couldn’t recall what it had been. Then only a few days later, I saw the e-mail, verified by Snopes.com that our faith is under assault. I think the danger is overstated, but the fact is that a number of Christians are uncomfortable about this and will speak out in opposition to the film. My hope would be that people engage the film and books in a reasonable manner that opens dialogue and discussion rather than shutting doors. Too often, I fear that we don’t have enough faith in the power of truth. It all reminds me of a line from a U2 song- “I don’t believe the devil, I don’t believe his book, but the truth is not the same without the lies he made up.” “The Last Temptation of Christ”, “Dogma”, “The DaVinci Code”, all failed to damage the truth, but they revealed much about what the world needs and how it views the church’s ability to deliver. So, for now, I’ll wait and see, and in the meantime, I’ll probably try to get a copy of that book. If you interested in a deeper take on the controversy, Movieministry.com is in the midst of a three part series about the film. Here is the first article in the series.