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.

  • Facebook
Bracing for Jurassic World: My Personal History with the Raptors
Mourn With Those Who Mourn
Torres and the Influence of David Bazan and Terrence Malick
A New Conversation with Pete Horner, Sound Designer for Jurassic World
About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet departed the Patheos network in order to escape click-bait advertisements that were offending him and his readers. He will re-launch Looking Closer at soon. He is the author of The Auralia Thread, a four-volume fantasy series that begins with Auralia's Colors, and a memoir of "dangerous moviegoing" called Through a Screen Darkly. He teaches creative writing and film studies; speaks internationally about art and faith; served as Writer-in-Residence at Covenant College; and is employed by Seattle Pacific University as a project manager, copyeditor, and writer.