So if you haven't already gotten 50 Fwd::Fwd::Re::Re::Fwd::Fwd:: e-mails about the Golden Compass movie coming out, I'll fill you in on what I've been hearing. I had been excited about this movie because I love science fiction and fantasy, it has an excellent cast, and it has excellent visuals. But apparently, Philip Pullman is an avowed atheist who wrote this trilogy called His Dark Materials in an effort to do the opposite of what C.S. Lewis did with his Chronicles of Narnia. The books apparently speak for themselves pretty well, but Pullman has come out and said that with these books, "I am trying to undermine the basis of Christian belief".
Apparently the first two books are there to draw you in to the story, then the third one is where all the extremely anti-God stuff comes out. Basically, the whole climax of the books is that the main characters are out to kill God so they can do as they please. (If my sources are accurate)
This puts me in a bit of a dilemma, just as I found myself with the DaVinci Code stuff. I want very much to read the books and see the movies so I can decide for myself what I think about them. On the other hand, I have enough credible information to make me think I don't want my money going to support anything of this type. Then again, if someone from my church sees it and then comes to me with tough questions, I'd hate to be ignorant about what they're asking me. And once again, as a movie lover, I would really like to see it in the theater because it looks like a fantastic production.
This brings me to my second part of the post. I've made plugs before on my blog for the Mars Hill Audio Journal. I don't want my blog to be overused for advertising, but I am so fond of this effort, I will probably bring it up from time to time. My good friend Jonathan introduced me to the journal.
Basically, it is a scholarly journal in audio interview form. Ken Myers is the host. He brings in people--most often who have recently published a new work on something relative to Christianity and culture--and interviews them about their work. It isn't a biographical kind of interview like Leno or something; it's very focussed on a topic of choice. Myers is extremely intelligent and gifted at what he does. The motto for the publication is "A bimonthly audio magazine of contemporary culture and Christian conviction." I've been subscribing for about 3 years now. It's a little pricey, but it's worth every penny. It's available in cassette, CD, and now MP3 format. (MP3 downloads are definitely the cheaper option, but I like getting the CD's)
Rather than just talking about current trends in astonishment, the journal looks very deeply into history, music, culture, and philosophy from the last few centuries to help shed light on where modern actions come from. Even if we aren't aware of our history, we're certainly influenced by it! It also gives excellent treatments on hot topics in contemporary culture.
If you want to take the journal on sort of a test drive, I highly recommend their free podcast called "Audition". The latest installment has an interview with Alan Jacobs about the Philip Pullman Trilogy.
If you would like to give your minister a good gift, or if you spend lots of time in the car and are tired of the radio stations, you should really consider the Mars Hill Audio Journal.
Some issues have caught my attention more than others, but this has been an invaluable resource for me to try and navigate through the philosophies of my culture and to decide where I stand on a lot of critical issues.
If you are interested:
Here is the link to the Mars Hill Audio Journal website.
Here is the link to the Audition Podcast website.
Here is the direct link to the interview about Philip Pullman's new trilogy as an MP3.
Here is the link to click on if you want to subscribe to the Podcast. (It will open your ITunes application)