The Rookie Speculates: on the Golden Compass

My friend Karl and I were talking last night and he asked me what I thought about the Golden Compass (which opened today in theaters) and the furor it's been creating among religious people who aren't going to see it and atheists who (apparently) celebrate the strongly anti-religious movie coming out at Christmas time. Here were our thoughts:

Overall, the movie's interesting, but nothing to be afraid of. (I'm personally going to see it just for the armored bear; how cool would that be?) As a priest here put it, "People are worried because in the end of the series, people kill God. That happened. God's children did kill Him. He came back." The small-g god in the movie is not one that Christians would be familiar with anyway.

The problem with making such a blatantly anti-Christian movie is that it's not going to provide much discussion between believers and non-believers. Instead, the story is going to make people who already agree with its ideas continue to agree, and people who disagree will be left umoved.

The most powerful bit of witness that will come out of it will be the chance to show real-world seekers that real-world Christians aren't like the overbearing Magisterium in the film. We have the chance here to humbly love and serve God's world and let curious people come up to us and ask why we do that.

Christianity Today's review The New York Times' review

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