The Golden Compass
Things on the church staff email are heating up these days about the soon-to-be-released movie, The Golden Compass. Seems it's a children's fantasy flick whose aim is to undermine Christians, the Church, and ultimately God. According to snopes.com, this is no urban legend burning its way through cyberspace; this is apparently the real deal. I confess that when these types of movies come out (see below with The Da Vinci Code and The Last Temptation of Christ), my eyes glaze over and I groan a bit. "Here we go again," I mutter. Too often, I feel, Christians respond reactively, combatively, and frankly, obscurantly (I think that's an adverb). Once more, we get known for what we're against, rather than what we're for. And often, we don't get the hearing we deserve. I'll wait to render a verdict on this latest challenge (and opportunity).
For the time being, let me just make one observation: if The Golden (my fingers keep inadvertently typing "Godless"!) Compass is all it's cracked up to be, then we have one more very powerful example of the way popular culture, particularly the realm of movie-making, is now being used to attack Christian values and wage spiritual warfare. The main battlefield is no longer the university or print media; it's the movie theatre. This raises a question: how well are we Christians responding in this arena? I'd say fairly well, actually: The Passion of the Christ, the Nativity Story, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe of the Chronicles of Narnia, these are all significant and worthy efforts--ones which may've heated up this recent salvo in response.
Popular culture is the place to engage, don't you think? Certainly, we keep after things in other areas, but this key realm is a golden opportunity, isn't it?
Let's watch how we Christians respond to this latest challenge...will we be known for our reactionary, strident responses--or something more creative and thoughtful? For a solid assessment of The Golden Compass from a philosophical viewpoint, check out: http://www.movieministry.com/articles.php