Monday, December 10, 2007

the golden compass, part 2

Well, here it is a week and a half later, and I've finished listening to "The Golden Compass." Actually, I finished it last Wednesday, but I've been having a rough time getting my thoughts organized concerning its merit. It definitely left me hanging, and I already requested the next book on CD from the library. Hopefully it comes soon!

As far as fictional stories go, it is great - truly intriguing and fun to read (or listen to). At best, I would say that my thoughts are inconclusive. While I thoroughly enjoyed the story, I am hesitant to regard it as worthy literature for children. I suppose the main reason for my confusion is that I've heard so very much from various Christian organizations basically condemning it. Focus on the Family's Plugged In representative gave the movie 1 out of 5 on the family friendly scale. Even Dr. Darrell Bock, a noted Dallas Theological Seminary professor whom Heath & I both admire, was shown on TV last week saying that Christians should at least be wary of the books. Do you see my dilemna? Do I dare disagree with such wise men and women?

I think I'm beginning to understand why prayer is needed so much as we learn to live righteously and teach our children to do the same!


The Bullhorn said...


A couple reasons to be cautious:

1) Every child in Pullman's world is connected to a "daemon," which is the Greek spelling for "demon." This "daemon," represented by an animal, is the physical representation of the child's soul. The parallels to classical witchcraft are striking, at least to me.

2) The books get more "anti-God" as they progress, finally devolving into basically straight-up screed in book three, the climax of which is the "mercy killing" of God.

3)Pullman deliberately set out to write an "atheist parallel" to C. S. Lewis' Narnia books. That motivation may not be immediately apparent, but it nevertheless remains the undergirding philosophy of all three.

My two cents, fwiw.

Kristen said...

Thanks! I appreciate that! I've been wanting some feedback from someone who's read the books/is knowledgeable about them!!! :)

Scout said...


I'll second what "the bullhorn" said. Books 1 and 2 are great reads--beautifully crafted characters and settings. Book 3 takes a very sharp turn into an assault on Christianity, led in part by a character from "our world", instead of the Lyra's fictional world in Book 1.

I don't think any Christian should be afraid to read the books. I do encourage you to check them out from the library instead of buying them. I'd say the same about the movies, too--borrow/rent the videos to avoid financially supporting the anti-Christian message of Book 3 (or the literary letdown as the writing quality drops off in Book 3).

As an aside, it's heartbreaking to read about why Pullman is so opposed to the Narnia books. He misunderstands (or chooses not to understand) the reasons a lot of things happen in the Narnia books, and you can see that reaction in "His Dark Materials", especially Book 3.

But I think your daughter is in great hands, in terms of having parents to raise her up to live righteously (and congratulations, by the way!).

Kristen said...

Thanks, Matt! I really appreciate your insight. I hope you and Amber are doing well!!