The Golden Compass.

December 8, 2007

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I had my little cousin Leslie read this article by Al Mohler about The Golden Compass today (my thanks to Pastor Patrick for the referral from his blog).

Here are a couple excerpts from the article:

“Pullman’s attack on biblical Christianity is direct and undeniable. He once questioned why his books attracted little controversy even as the Harry Potter books attracted so much. He told an Australian newspaper that what he is ‘saying things that are far more subversive than anything poor old Harry has said. My books are about killing God.'”

“Philip Pullman has an agenda, but so do we. Our agenda is the Gospel of Christ — a message infinitely more powerful than that of The Golden Compass. Pullman’s worldview of unrestricted human autonomy would be nightmarish if ever achieved. His story promises liberation but would enslave human beings to themselves and destroy all transcendent value.”

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4 Responses to “The Golden Compass.”

  1. Reynvaan Says:

    Pullman has stated that he does NOT have an anti-Christian agenda, and that his books are just stories.

    Why do Christians so often say (in one way or another) that the world is kept civil only by the perceived factuality of their worldview? “Pullman’s worldview of unrestricted human autonomy would be nightmarish if ever achieved.” Why? Why would it be nightmarish for people to question authorities that demand blind obedience, enforced by fear? Pullman himself has equated his story to that of people who opposed the Soviets: a vast, evil organization, who pushed their “inerrant” teachings on the people and threatened dissidents with death or worse.

    As for spreading the word to boycott or ban the films, isn’t that a bit hypocritical? When ‘Narnia’ came out, Christians were celebrating, because there had come a film that championed their cause. Now a film comes along that might allude to another system of belief, and Christians shoot it down (granted, Pullman’s backdrop of an oppressive theocracy may hit a bit close to home). Should Christian media be the only entertainment allowed in this country, which was founded not on Christianity, but on religious and philosophical pluralism? Hardly.

  2. tia Says:

    Hi Reynvaan,

    Thanks for your comment :]

    I’m definitely not the Pullman expert, so I’m not completely sure what he has or has not said . . . but let me see if I can at least clarify some of your questions (&, seemingly, frustrations) regarding “Christians” & “their worldview”.

    I can’t say that all Christians (myself included) always faithfully think, speak, or act in accordance with the truth of God’s Word or the purity of God’s character. I agree that there is hypocrisy & even unkind judgmentalism found among “Christians”; in this, Christians do not rightfully nor accurately reflect the Bible or the God of the Bible. Were it not for God’s sovereignty & ability to work in spite of weak vessels, I would say it is a fearful thing to entrust an infallible message of truth (the gospel of God’s grace, the truths of Scripture) to fallible messengers (sinners, saved only by God’s grace, who love Jesus).

    To give you some background as to why Christians oppose the message spread in the movie, these are two of the core beliefs presented in the Bible:

    1. The truths of the Bible are not the words of man but of God (the one, true God); the truth of the Bible is absolute.

    “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

    “And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:19-22).

    2. God’s Word says that salvation is found in Jesus Christ alone.

    “This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:11-12).

    “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil” (John 3:16-19).

    “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me'” (John 14:6).

    I understand how it can seem like the Christian worldview is merely “perceived” or arrogantly exclusive. The way of salvation & the “worldview” presented in Scripture by God are exclusive. & Scripture makes it clear: to present any other road to salvation or any worldview that is contradictory to the truth of God’s word is absolutely false.

    I agree with you . . . people should not blindly believe any authorities that “demand blind obedience, enforced by fear”. Throughout history, we’ve seen the horrific consequences of such blindness. But the authority here is the perfect, holy, sovereign God of the universe. Thankfully, Pullman’s worldview of unrestricted autonomy will never be achieved, because God is sovereign . . . but still, he advocates a world in which man is god – a world in which sin reigns even over “God” Himself & “God” is killed. This idea points to the heart of man’s sin: prideful rebellion to his Creator.

    Perhaps Pullman’s intent is to undermine the Soviet’s teachings rather than the teachings of the Bible after all . . . but the worldview presented is still blatantly against the God who is King of all, the God who says today is the day of salvation & mercy.

    I don’t think the issue is so much that “only” Christian media should be allowed & that any/all non-Christian media should immediately be boycotted, but rather, that any ideaology or belief system that points to a false idea or false belief has eternal consequences for those who believe in them . . . & in this case, the audience is mainly young children.

    This isn’t to say, “My worldview is superior to yours, because I’m superior to you in intelligence & insight.” This is not man’s worldview. This is the truth revealed by God to man. The Bible makes it clear: no man can claim he is higher or better than any other. All have sinned & fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). If man makes an absolute assertion apart from God, that is indeed an assertion borne of arrogance. But if man makes an absolute assertion becaue of the truth God Himself has revealed, that is not an assertion borne of arrogance but an assertion borne of truth (though I realize the truth can still be delivered in a conceited manner).

    This is a matter of eternal consequences. This is a matter of, “Don’t believe a lie. The reality of a Christless eternity in hell is real. God is there, & He is a God who extends mercy today but who will one day judge the world in truth & righteousness. Don’t believe this lie.”

    Really, I don’t know the motives of Pullman’s pen. I don’t know why he writes his stories. Perhaps it’s not to undermine biblical faith after all. But his story, however subtly, points to a false way that leads to eternal destruction.

    If I truly love my little cousin, or any other person for that matter . . . if those who are Christians (not nominally but truly) truly love those around them, they cannot watch in silence as God-opposing media quietly corrupts the minds of its viewers & pushes them farther away from Christ & the way of salvation.

    If we truly love our God, the One we love because He first loved us & sent His Son for us, we cannot watch media that denies or distorts who He is.

    This is why Christians are opposing the movie so much. Granted, I cannot speak on behalf of all Christians, but they are perhaps responding out of love for God & love for those who would be deceived & turn away from God after watching this movie. “Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will” (2 Timothy 2:23-26; inspired by God, written by Paul to Timothy).

    Reynvaan, this was a long response to your comment, but I just wanted to be as clear as possible. I hope you understood.

    Again, thanks for your comment (I really mean it). It is possible for Christians to be more full of themselves than God’s truth & love. Your comment was a good reminder. Thank you.

  3. lpkalal Says:

    My husband took our daughter and some friends to see it yesterday. He said there was nothing in it that directly attacked God at all and that they would see it only as a good vs. evil film. Only he knew the Magisterium represented the church (and the medieval church at that). We talked alot about them going and in the end, I said OK (free passes helped!), partly because if it was blatantly anti Christian, he would use it as a chance to discuss these issues with them.

  4. tia Says:

    (Your photos of your son & daughter are so cute!)

    I heard the movie is more subtle, too. I think the books are pretty subtle, too, until you get to the last book.


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