The Golden Compass Debate

Golden Compass movieHopefully, you have read my blog post titled Boycott Hell, but if not I will summarize it here, I am not boycotting it but will instead go and see it so I can engage in discussions with people regarding it. That is a VERY short summary, so I hope you will read it.

But I want to address a couple of things here that I had mentioned in that post. The first one being in regards to whether or not it will even be a good quality movie. Everything I have read so far from movie reviewers, I have yet to read one positive thing about it. Most people are saying it is not that good anyway. Adam Graham of the Detroit News reviewed it and gave it a D. In conclusion he said….

Quite simply, it’s not good enough to protest.

Which was something I pointed out with some other movies that Christians have boycotted. The boycotts only served to encourage people to go and give them free advertising. So let’s take Adam’s advice and not bother. If it isn’t that good, then it will bomb and no one will end up seeing another, because Hollywood is all about money and less about controversy.

The other thing I would like to point out was that I had mentioned that I felt that Philip Pullman’s beef was more with the image of God portrayed by the Church and less with God Himself. It seems that I may be right about that according to Telegraph. I will quote some of it here….

Last week, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, caused controversy by praising the National Theatre’s adaptation of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials – a work that has been interpreted by some as anti-Christian. The two men met at the theatre on Monday to discuss the meaning of religion in art and literature -and its enduring relevance to the education of our children.

Dr Rowan Williams: I suppose one of the questions I would like to hear more about from Philip is what has happened to Jesus in the church in this world [of His Dark Materials], because one of the interesting things for me in the model of the church in the plays and the books, is it’s a church, as it were, without redemption.

Philip Pullman: Well, to answer the question about Jesus first, no, he doesn’t figure in the teaching of the church, as I described the church in the story. I think he’s mentioned once, in the context of this notion of wisdom that works secretly and quietly, not in the great courts and palaces of the earth, but among ordinary people and so on. And there are some teachers who have embodied this quality, but whose teaching has perhaps been perverted or twisted or turned, and been used in a fashion that they themselves didn’t either desire or expect or could see happening.

So it appears that Philip Pullman believes that the Church has strayed from much of the teachings of Jesus and I would have to agree with him. I have blogged about that before, but I believe that the Church needs a wake up call like this to realize that we are lacking in many things. And some of them are acting justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with God. Jesus showed compassion and love to those that are considered lost and reserved His harshest criticisms for the religious leaders. But somehow now we have turned that around and we criticize the world harshly. That is a problem.

I am a follower of Jesus, a husband to Kim, father to Hannah & Caleb, and the connections pastor at The River Church. The thoughts expressed here are my own and not The River Church's.

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