Reasons to Argue, Not to Censor

 

What? Philip Pullman? Again? The Christian Century joins the party with a cover story on Pullman, after most of the partygoers are gone. But I think there’s still some punch in the punchbowl… for those still up for throwing some punches…

These books are a gripping account of a story that is familiar in our culture: organized religion is bad and dangerous, self-reliance and heroic work are good and redemptive. For many readers, this story will ring true. Many other readers will realize that Pullman’s God is not the God of the Bible, who “abounds in steadfast love” and insists on justice for the poor. These are not reasons to censor or shun Pullman’s powerful, enjoyable and imaginatively rich series, but they are reasons to argue with it.

Hmm. I wonder if The Christian Century‘s mailbox will overflow with hate mail now, from readers declaring that they are in league with the devil for doing anything less than condemning Pullman to some fiery abyss. Or maybe those readers worked that all out of their system sending that mail to Christianity Today and to me.

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” called Through a Screen Darkly, and a four-volume series of fantasy novels called The Auralia Thread, which includes Auralia’s Colors, Cyndere’s Midnight, Raven’s Ladder, and The Ale Boy’s Feast. Jeffrey is a contributing editor for Seattle Pacific University’s Response magazine, and he writes about art, faith, and culture for Image, Filmwell, and his own website, LookingCloser.org. His work has also appeared in Paste, Relevant, Books and Culture, and Christianity Today (where he was a film columnist and critic for almost a decade). He lives in Shoreline, Washington. Visit him on Facebook at facebook.com/jeffreyoverstreethq.


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