Tuesday, January 01, 2008

sifting the spin and reviewing golden compass

I have a bit of fun being paid to write monthly film reviews for a church magazine. Which is great, except when I’m on January holiday. So with so much talk about Golden Compass, I decided to offer the job of reviewer to my 10 year old daughter. I’ve done this before with Lion, Witch, Wardrobe and she loved it. It gives the two of us time together, it gets her thinking about the movie and it is a serious buzz for her as she gets paid to be a writer. So we went on Sunday night and worked on the review together Monday morning.

My daughter walked out of the movie and announced somewhat crossly that she could not understand why the movie was rumoured to be anti-God. We had a good talk about that and she decided that the movie was not some much anti-God, but anti-groups that seek to control people’s search for truth.

So I asked her what groups (including churches) could do to avoid controlling people and she decided that they should encourage free talk and allow people to think for themselves. (Which, I noted to her, was exactly why I had wanted to see the movie with her. So a good lesson learnt about needing to judge something for ourselves.)

So did she like the movie? Not at all. Too dark – the setting of dusty academia or chilly North. No characters to admire. Lyra is brave, but also too headstrong for my 10 year old.

I will put the full film review up once it’s appeared in print. Until then, here’s a side thought I was left pondering. Lyra grows up in an adult world and meets adults who harm children. What does a movie like Golden Compass mirror in terms of the formation of children? Isn’t the most disturbing part of Golden Compass the fact that children can live in worlds made profoundly unsafe by adults who are meant to protect them and create a childhood to be a childhood?

Posted by steve at 10:22 AM


  1. I didnt like the movie at all, have told friends who loved the books (which i enjoyed) not to bother due to a number of the film’s errors rather than the church/god stuff.

    a) they changed the story’s timeline, certain things happen out of order.
    b) they fiddled with the characters. they added a majesterium character to take on the lead “evil” and three others who make up a silent court, neither of which are in the book. they also added other characters and removed others, including the kid with “ratty” changing the character who had their daemon removed.
    c) they fiddled with the storyline. including not ending it properly, instead ending it a good sight earlier than the books.
    d) they didnt spend enough time dealing with daemons, thus the whole separation of person/demon was not understood, nor was the whole others touching people’s daemons issue…

    Under developed, tripe.

    I was really disappointed.

    Comment by darren — January 1, 2008 @ 12:33 pm

  2. I haven’t seen the movie so can’t really make a valid comment on that but would like to respond to a couple of other things you raise. Firstly it was wonderful to read the question of how a church can avoid controlling people. Much of my limited exposure to church appeared to involve leaders trying to work out how the church could get people to do various things – give money, pray more often, recruit new members, go on missions overseas…etc. And some of the methods employed were controlling. I was impressed with your daughter’s answer. It is hard though for churches to have a hierachy or leaders and for people to feel that their own thinking is as valid. I know I didnt like being referred to as ‘converted’ or ‘born again’ because of the implication that some of me is lost, as if my history wasn’t of value or relevance.
    And yes it is disturbing but very real when adults hurt the very children that need their protection. I wonder whether a lack of community compounds the problem too because children are so vulnerable if their family unit is dysfunctional and isolated, leaving them to know no other alternative or pathway to help.
    Finally, I hope your Dad’s operation goes smoothly. It is so hard to watch someone you love suffer but I know having your love will strengthen his inner well being. I am continually amazed at the physical suffering people can overcome with inner strength.

    Comment by Jack — January 1, 2008 @ 6:12 pm

  3. Just an awful movie.

    I recently posted my top ten movie list for 2007, and this movie was not on the list. LOL


    Comment by nathan — January 3, 2008 @ 4:53 am

  4. Darren, your comment seems more about comparing book to movie and your hope for a faithful reproduction.


    Comment by steve — January 7, 2008 @ 7:24 pm

  5. your daughter almost has more sense than you do.
    She didn’t like it-it was DARK. If you’re so concerned about adults who harm their children,
    consider NOT taking your daughter to DARK movies.

    You obviously have influenced your daughters’ thinking with talks of ‘anti-groups’ – come on!

    Aren’t YOU supposed to be the adult here? If so, why don’t you use some guidance or is that not emerging enough for you?

    If you keep this garbage up, you will soon be treated as the foolish man you are. (by your own daughter, no less).

    Here’s a thought – instead of filling her head with DARK and empty movies, why not just stick to the Word of God. Oh, but wait a minute, you probably have a problem with most of that too!

    Comment by jean — January 11, 2008 @ 1:13 pm

  6. Jean,

    Christian responses to movies are so often based on fear. That has nothing to do with the Spirit of God, who gives us not fear but love. Greater is the one that is in us than the one who is in the world.

    One day my daughter will be an adult. The best gift I can give her is the gift of thinking and discerning for herself as a Christian.

    Now, on what basis do you dare to make judgements about my attitudes to the word of God? Have you asked? Be careful you are not making pre-judgements, which might be false, which is the sin of false accusations and slandering fellow Christians, of which you will need to repent.

    steve taylor

    Comment by steve — January 11, 2008 @ 2:11 pm

  7. God gives fear:
    Prov 1:7 – “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”

    The best gift you can give to your daughter:
    3 John 1:4 “I have no greater joy than to know that my children walk in the truth.”

    There is judging to be done among saints:
    Isaiah 59:8: “The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.”

    Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph.” (Amos 5:14-15)

    “The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment.” (Psa. 37:30)

    “Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?” (I Cor. 6:1-5)

    I did not speak on your attitude towards the Word of God, I spoke on your words. I’m sorry if you are angered or grieved, but not sorry to admonish you to flee from the darkness and into the Light.

    I’m sure you love your daughter very much. If you do, tell her the truth, not fiction. Our minds get dull when we listen to vain philosophies not based on spiritual truth or the
    Word of God. “My sheep shall hear My Voice and none other will they follow”.

    Comment by jean — January 11, 2008 @ 6:37 pm

  8. Jean, Slander is defined as “SLANDER – A false defamation (expressed in spoken words, signs, or gestures) which injures the character or reputation of the person defamed; distinguished from libel.”

    When you say that “why not just stick to the Word of God. Oh, but wait a minute, you probably have a problem with most of that too!” you are heading dangerously close to slander. I am a minster of the gospel in good standing in my Baptist denomination, who reads the Bible daily and preaches from it weekly. And you come along and publicly assert that I might “have a problem with most of that [Word] too!”

    hence my question to you: “on what basis do you dare to make judgements about my attitudes to the Word of God?”


    Comment by steve — January 12, 2008 @ 8:59 am

  9. well, I’m almost speechless. the underbelly is showing and and the veneer is cracking.

    You say you are a “minister of the gospel, in good standing, read the Word daily and preach”….
    Well, EXCUSE me! do you think that is meant to impress me? The Pharisees would’ve said much the same, Steve! They had a whole lot of credentials too and liked to declare them when they felt threatened with truth.
    You won’t like this either, but folks such as you in the emergent movement prefer to think you have the keys to the kingdom while everyone is stuck ‘in a box’. Talk about arrogance!
    MODERN DAY PHARISEES….priding itself in non-traditionalism. believing they need to show the rest of the church how to ‘do church’.

    If you are such a minister, why don’t you use the Word of God to speak (like Jesus did…by the way). You bear witness of yourself….is your witness true? Why not say what the Lord would say if your words are so worthy and your position so lofty. Why not point to your Father, repeating THESE words, “My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me”. But you don’t and you won’t use scripture when you speak with me. Although if you did, you’ve shown by YOUR WORDS already that they are man-centered, not Christ centered. Again, I spoke on the WORDS YOU HAD WRITTEN.

    If you have something edifying to say in this conversation, speak to me in spirit and truth from the Words of God, not your own intellect
    or opinions.

    Comment by jean — January 12, 2008 @ 11:14 am

  10. So Jean, if I hear you right, your criteria for judging a person is based on “use the Word of God to speak.” which I presume means me using more Bible verses.

    Here is my criteria – I am personally challenged by the story of the Good Samaritan, where Jesus offers 3 criteria for judging a person in relation to using the Bible. First, when he is asked about eternal life, he quotes Scripture. Second, when then asked who is neighbour, Jesus does not quote Scripture but instead tells a story, being culturally relevant. (Which might actually have some relevance to our initial discussion about film, because interestingly the story is a dark story, with robbery and violent assault. Certainly not a story that is true and honourable and holy and pure in entirety). Thirdly, he ends by challenging the young man to go and do likewise, in other words to put the Word of God into practise. So there are 3 criteria – quoting the Bible, relating the Bible to contemporary life, and obeying the Bible.

    Which raises a second question – who should judge?

    God (which relates back to my telling you I read the Bible daily)?

    my church congregation who hear me preach and recieve my pastoral care?

    my church leaders who are charged with keeping me accountable?

    internet readers like yourself, who make decisions on what basis – simply the limited snippets of life I reveal?

    you seem comfortable with preforming that role, but for me, I take the first 3 far more seriously.

    And as we keep talking, can I make a request please? Can there be a bit more politeness, a bit less name calling (words like “Pharisee” and “foolish man”?)


    Comment by steve — January 13, 2008 @ 5:54 pm

  11. maybe this well help:


    Comment by jean — January 14, 2008 @ 1:01 pm

  12. Hi Jean

    I hope you don’t mind my jumping in to this discussion but I feel compelled to offer my perhaps less biased viewpoint as I do not really belong to any particular church or movement. I just listened to Dr Michael Horton’s talk as per your link and I agree there are some really good points made and I admire your zest in defending against a ‘Christless Christianity’ however, I think it is really unfair to imply that Steve’s work is representative of that. Horton refer’s to pastors who dumb down the gospels, deny atonement (not the case in Steve’s post re Sir Ed), and redefine the gospels to fit in with the personal needs of people in today’s narcisstic culture. Ironically Horton’s broadcast stopped midway for an advertising blurb about how I could send money – Steve’s never asked me for a cent via this site. In fact I havent experienced any of what Horton spoke of on this blog. You assume Steve thinks you are “stuck in a box” when on Nov 24 he writes of it not mattering what boxes we label each other with but that what matters is what God thinks. Sounds God centred to me. It seems to me that the emergent church is looking at new and creative ways of getting the message out there and for some strange reason people seem to confuse that with the idea that the message itself is being changed when I don’t see that it is. I agree with you Jean that deception is rife in the church as a whole, and everyone is at risk. I think Steve minimises his risk by putting his ideas out here for everyone to scrutinise and thats a humble and gutsy thing to do. I cried to watch on tv here in NZ a documentary about a bloke calling himself John of God and taking thousands from cancer sufferers to cut them and heal them. I tried to keep an open mind but struggle not to see that as an exploitation of those who are in such pain on many levels that their desperation for God affects their discernment. Perhaps you should focus your energies there Jean. And Steve, I agree that teaching your daughter to think and discern for herself is a very valuable gift. Thats all from me, Jack

    Comment by Jack — January 14, 2008 @ 2:53 pm

  13. Jack,

    I don’t mind at all. The prevalent thought among most emergent efforts is that the status quo has not worked and it’s time to rethink, reimagine, reinvent, redo christianity and (by proximity) the Lord Himself. While I completely agree with your observation about televangelists (I ALSO don’t adhere to THAT sort of chrisitanity) and while I do acknowledge that what postmoderns would label “modern” christianity has done it’s share of shame to the body of Christ, I also cannot agree with the emergent premise and unfolding of how they ‘do church’. I will say that MOST of the ones I know and certainly a lot of the movers and shakers in the movement, ARE taking us to a Christless christianity by means of subtle emphasis on men (ie. man-centered) in regards to style vs. content and
    understanding (men’s) vs. truth and much much more that this email allows. I really believe the reason many do not see this is because they have already presupposed and bought into the criticisms of the emergent thought (it appeals to a generation that is steeped in self-absorption and rebellion – no matter if they are ‘churched’ or not. I can only appeal to anyone in it or just becoming familiar with it to flee. The blasphemy of it is not always apparent, Jack. If you are a man of the Word and seek God to reveal these things to you, I have confidence He will. I’m beginning to realize that satan has so blinded men in this that no amount of reasonsing, exhorting, admonishing seems to
    be of effect. It’s very grevious and my heart is truly heavy over it when I realize how captivating the whole movement is and how people are thronging to it (which should be a big clue alone – the gospel is offensive and Jesus said it would be divisive, so what’s the attraction to multitudes???). So much of the Word is turned to mean what they want it to mean vs. what it actually does. I’m very sorry to say.
    If you truly are not in any movement, I would suggest you first of all, call of the Lord for wisdom and discernment. Check out a lot of the reformed sites for another perspective on doctrine (it’s a bad word within emergents, but not in the Word of God). They’ve cast a shadow on Christianity with the assumption they now have the better understanding. I wonder if they at all see they are creating a bigger stumbling block to unbelievers than the ones that many of them have scorned against themselves in those oh so subtle and not so subtle ways! By the way, I’m a YES middle aged woman who has a son preaching the gospel in even a location I can’t say. YOu see, it’s the gospel that is the power of God unto salvation not the ‘re’doings of Christianity that saves and delviers men. The rubber meets the road, (that’s an old saying!) where talk ends and putting your and your familie’s life on the line begins.

    Comment by jean — January 15, 2008 @ 2:16 am

  14. thanks for your kinds words Jack.

    Jean, my journey into emergent had little to do with the reasons you give. sorry if that upsets your theories.

    and thanks for being a bit more civil in the last 2 comments. I’d like to think that Colossians 4 “Let your conversation be always full of grace” is the Biblical standard for commenters on this blog.

    now here is a question for you: if your concern is “man-centred” theology; what makes a reformed theology, which emerged (word used deliberately) from a group of men in about the 15th century, more trustworthy than say a emergent position, which emerges in 20th century? Seems to me that both are “man-centred”, that both are prone to error and arrogance, that both need to be humble and submissive to God and so hence my question: how do you discern the rightness of one “man-centred” theology over another?


    Comment by steve — January 15, 2008 @ 7:41 am

  15. well, well, well, “jean” (if that’s who you really are), just a word about blog protocol:

    i have deleted your most recent comment. a comment function on a blog is for comments, not for the full reproduction of the article you placed as a comment. So for the sake of readability of other readers, and to ensure that copyright is not broken by people cutting and pasting without permission, it has been deleted. You are more than welcome to comment again and to provide a link to this article (as you did yesterday), which readers can then go to read if they want.

    However, what is interesting for me is that I emailed you about this, based on the email address you are leaving. It bounced. Fascinating.

    Which makes me wonder if you are worried about spam. Or is it that in fact you are actually a bit dishonest in how you present yourself online. As it says in the good book, let your yes be yes.


    Comment by steve — January 15, 2008 @ 9:17 pm

  16. Jean

    Thanks for the reply,although you may well feel under attack here, I am glad that you have come forward – I personally think more harm is done when assumptions are made and no-one actually puts them out there to the ‘accused’ to answer to/defend/explain. In saying that, there has to be a willingness to listen. To me, stating that Satan has blinded someone is a convenient way of totally disregarding anyone who doesnt share your own viewpoint, or see things the same way. It is also upsetting and confusing to be told this when you are trying to find your way. You advise me to flee from this movement, flee to what, are you saying there is a church with a monopoly on the truth? I would not describe myself as a “man of the Word” – or even a Christian, but I do feel the pull of God and I’m simply trying to explore that. I don’t think I came here out of self-absorption, my life would be somewhat easier if I could ignore that pull. Its really confusing when trying to find God and being pulled in a million other ways. My family who love me keep telling me that Christianity is lies and is followed by nutters who may hurt me,some Christians tell me this group and that group are deceptive or that I can’t see anyway because I’m blinded by Satan. It actually does my head in. The reason I feel OK about Steve’s approach is that I am allowed to journey and its not some sin to engage myself, ‘man’ with God – surely God wanted an authentic relationship and encouraging ways of doing church that engage people with God doesn’t mean ‘man centred’, Jack

    Comment by Jack — January 16, 2008 @ 10:35 am

  17. yes my name is jean and no, that is not my real email address bec. I prefer to not give it out with a blogger I do not know personally. If the reason you chose to delete my message is what you said, then I have no recourse but to go along. For any readers, though, I think it should be confirmed I used no vulgar language, etc. I did paste an article in it’s entirety which I think is okay to do. And I did tell you that you probably wouldn’t like the very direct things Jesus said to others if you did not like my words, either. Actually, the Lord was much stronger in content than I have been here!

    Jack, this is quite amazing. I’m not an avid blogger by any means, but can I say that in the two times i have blogged with people within emergent circles that I have encountered two folks (you being one who is seeking) and the other who is attracted to emergent and been a follower of their movement for some time but admitted that she feels ‘unfaithed’ in her own words. I felt the same sadness for her because I imagine she does feel still empty because there is no real true life except in Christ, the lifegiver. I count it all joy to feel under attack as you say, Jack. I do. It’s really a huge part of the Christians calling to lay down our lives and live sacrificially for the sake of the gospel. It’s what Christ called us to do Actually, it is in the most purest form what those very verses mean. Although a lot of folks would have you believe it’s to live a socially activist life or to embrace people of all faith, or to engage in relationships with each other vs. encourage you to seek God FIRST and all these things shall come unto you. that’s what Jesus said. I wish I could convince you that there is a true gospel of Christ that is all sufficient for the saving of your soul. That is what Christ came to earth for…to draw sinners to repentence and to be born again into the Kingdom of God. The new brand of christianity will defer you from this and send you down a long and winding road that dead ends, my friend. You are allowed to journey as you say, that’s seeking. that’s okay even in Jesus’s book! If you have bought into the lie that fundamental chrisitianity does not allow you to do that or if you have engaged in a church where you felt pressured to believe or not to journey, in your words, please know that neither one of those is right. You seem a literate man. Read the Word of God and ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes and ears. HE is the one who will lead you to truth. The bible says there is no need for ANY man to teach you anything because the Spirit will do this! Having said that, God has called men to preach and teach, but they should be doing this in one Spirit with Christ and if they are, they are true shepherds, not hirelings. Can I tell you something as you seek the Lord. (and you will note this as you read the new testament). Here it is: If the Lord Jesus is NOT the centrality of whoever speaks to you and whatever words you hear, then do flee. (jesus said to flee from false teachers, it’s okay to flee!) The Lord says over and over and over, in the new testament and the old, that HE WILL NOT SHARE HIS GLORY WITH ANOTHER. so, if Christ is not at the center and the focus, then someone’s trying to get the glory besides the Lord. THAT is what I meant by ‘man-centered’ gospel. maybe you thought I meant it wasnt’ right to talk to men? of course not! But talk and conversation and dialogue in which Christ is not the focus is a man-centered gospel. Many people who are earnestly seeking God have been led astry to a gospel whose focus is man. Jesus said when He was lifted up, He would draw all men TO HIMSELF. So, when you engage in conversation, make sure you are being drawn to Christ, not to a gospel that makes you feel better about yourself or one in which you are developing relationships with others over Christ. When you become one with Christ, you are one His Body and what a relationship that is! because He is the Head of us all in His churc. My heart aches for you because I know there are genuine seekers out there looking for God and there’s a lot of things that look genuine but are not. So, remember please what I’ve just shared with you. Do not trust just ANYONE’s interpretation of scripture, not even mine! You must know for yourself through the Spirit’s teaching and guiding, again, that is what God says in HIS Word. God is faithful and if you are truly seeking Him, He has promised to not turn you away. but remember these things are in His time because we cannot manipulate God. I do not know you, but I will pray for you.
    May I suggest to you that it would be best for you not to surf the net for help in this. You may just end up MORE confused! It’s only for the seasoned believer to contend as I have here. May the Lord be with you, Jack, He is Worthy of your seeking and knowing and loving Him.

    Comment by jean — January 16, 2008 @ 5:16 pm

  18. I can confirm that Jean did not use any bad language and the deletion of the post was entirely for the reasons stated.

    The separation of man centred and God centred theology is a heresy. It has no place for those who believe that Jesus Christ is, as the Scriptures affirm, fully divine and fully human. In the person of Jesus, God embraces human flesh. In the ascension of Jesus into heaven, the human body of the Christ is taken up to God. Surely this gives us a model for thinking Christianly, as of seeing God embrace and transform the human body, and the human theology.


    Comment by steve — January 16, 2008 @ 9:06 pm

  19. Steve, thanks for clarifying that – Jean could you please put the link in for the article concerned?
    Thanks for your concern Jean but I feel again that you are making assumptions that are not true. Steve or those of the ’emergent movement’ have not told me that the true gospel of Christ isnt sufficient to save my soul nor that I should prioritise my relationships with others over that of seeking a relationship with God. I am not drawn here to feel better about myself or primarlity to form relationships. Like I said, I find it hard emotionally and mentally to explore my faith (or lack of it) and it is often not a ‘feel good’ experience. I don’t live in the same town as the bloggers on here, I don’t blog as a means of making social connections, I haven’t even met anyone on here in person.
    I agree with Steve regarding separating man centred and God centred theology. Jean you tell me to be guided by the spirit that is within me, you say “May the Lord be with you”, you offer to pray for me – surely it is man centred to talk to God about me and my web surfing problems. You suggest avoiding dark movies (but its OK for you to visit websites you view as dark because you are ‘a seasoned believer’)and yet you tell me to focus on Christ who embraced human flesh and got amongst real life. I am also unsure what you see as ‘amazing’ about my being here, particularly as earlier you said this movement was attracting multitudes (not the case where I live). I have had some experience of church in the past, and it wasn’t good but fundamental or not, churches are made up of humans who are imperfect, yet some insist on claiming they have the perfect interpretations,then they present their interpretations as God given and exploit those who would do anything for God. By the way Jean could you also please respond to Steves’ question on man centered theology on Jan 15.

    Comment by Jack — January 17, 2008 @ 10:03 am

  20. steve, would you forward that link, I no longer have the location of it?

    Jack, have they told you the gospel of Christ IS sufficient? Sometimes it’s not only what IS said but also what ISN’T said. Is your conversation with them revealing that Jesus Christ became righteousness for sinners. Have they called you to repent of your sins or else you will die in your sins? Tell me Jack if they have. Have they magnified the Giver of our salvlation? Have they told you that it’s by God’s good pleasure and HIS will that He saves sinners? Have they led you to yield yourself towards a humble heart in seeing God’s grace being poured out to sinners such as you and I? Have they caused you to see that you haven’t earned or deserved once ounce of God’s goodness to you? Have they caused you to see that there is nothing, not one good thing in you? Have they caused you to see that God hates sin and it’s a stench in His nostrils and without holiness no man shall see God? The opposite of this is man-centered gospel. As I said before, the focus is on the Lord God Himself.

    We are called to dwell on those things that are pure and good and holy…. watching a dark movie is not that. if you can rationalize taking a child to see something dark and sinister to make a spiritual point , well then where’s the limit?
    where else would you take your child to do this?
    Is that what Jesus said to do? He told the little children to COME UNTO ME. (not the dark, but the LIGHT. You see the subtle perversions of how the gospel, just in this one scenario, is certainly not looking unto the Lord Himself, but rather first to a fictional, morbid, foolish movie?

    If you read the Words of the Lord in the Word of God, you will see that Jesus was always about bringing all attention (honor, glory, praise!) to God, whether it’s healing a blind man’s eyes or speaking truth to a woman at a well or hanging on the Cross and taking upon the sins of man.
    Every act was intended primarily to glorify the Father and show mercy to men. But first first first, to magnify the name of the Lord. This doesn’t appeal so much to men.

    There is a perfect interpretation of the good news of God’s salvation to us. You can’t get around that, although many emergents are putting their spins on it, for certain. Like I said, Steve, read the Word. Jesus said seek, knock
    and He will answer. If you’re not seeking Him, then you will find much else. Be prepared, though, Steve, because God doesn’t mince around like men do – Remember His Word pierces to the bone and marrow, that means you will either go to the Light or be offended by Christ.

    I hope it’s the first.

    Comment by jean — January 17, 2008 @ 11:18 am

  21. ah Jean, i laughed aloud.

    I believe that God, revealed in Jesus, made us different – you, me, Jack – and is calling and working in different ways.

    suddenly you have now arrived at my blog, to tell me I need to seek God-centred theology, which is of course, the theology you follow, ie your theology.

    This is based on your (human ie man-centred) judgement that my theology is not the same as yours. Because it is different, you have declared that mine is man-centred.

    every day before, and after you have arrived, i have continue to read Scripture, and to believe that only in and through Christ can I be transformed into the image of the God who made me, and to seek daily to love and serve the Creator. But apparently, based on your comments, this is not good enough for you (ie your man-centred judgement/interpretation of me).

    Which causes me to remain thankful that i am trusting my salvation comes from God and not from your judgement of my faith.

    steve taylor

    Comment by steve — January 17, 2008 @ 12:28 pm

  22. Oh, Jean. I am happy to forward you the blog comment you made which has that article, from which you could make the link. As said above, I have tried to do this, but your email bounced. So you will need to provide a correct email at some point if you wish me to action your request,


    Comment by steve — January 17, 2008 @ 1:41 pm

  23. My original reaction to your “peace” sign off Steve was to think of a certain Tui billboard πŸ™‚ but on second thought your post is that of a peacemaker and I appreciate it. You know Jean, each day since you joined the blog I have not read Scripture but God knows why and He is working with me albeit in a different place/way than you or Steve – if you believe in his love for his children and his grace then you have to trust that.
    Oh and regarding the movie again – where is the limit? Well I’m sorry Jean but I plan to take my children right into places where there is poverty and greed and disease and loads of darkness because I want them to know the plight of others and care for them.

    Comment by Jack — January 17, 2008 @ 3:11 pm

  24. steve, what did I say to Jack exactly that has caused you to come on the attack? That’s very interesting. What wasn’t true that I said to him?
    Why has it evoked such an attitude? That would be well to examine.

    I see you are taking my talk with Jack and applying it to yourself. That’s okay, it works for both (or are you Jack)?

    This ‘conversation’ has predictably turned south when we start getting to the real meat of the Word, eh? What is so offensive to you? What did I say to Jack that has caused you to curse (such a mocking laugh~ and (bless – PEACE to me, Steve.
    And out of the same mouth. well, that’s generous orthodoxy, huh? Generous until and unless you are questioned. Then the shift begins to stray from any theological issues to personal…. again, predictable with a capital P.

    After all, your attitude (which is apparent by now) is so much more nobler than my not giving you my email address, which you so generously continue to try to use as a big mark against me.
    I’m afraid to say I hear the grinding of your teeth. Well, the world can have something to look forward to with the onslaught of emergent theology…..

    Comment by jean — January 17, 2008 @ 3:29 pm

  25. Hi jean,
    the internet makes this type of communication really hard work because we don’t see each other’s faces.

    the laughter was an appreciation of what I see as irony. It was certainly not mocking and I am mystified as to why you think I cursed you. That was certainly not my intention in communication and I am sorry if that is what you heard,

    I do appreciate your pun on the word “south” given that I live in New Zealand, in the south-ern hemisphere πŸ™‚

    it is a really hot day here in Christchurch. if we lived in the same city it would be so much better to be having this conversation face to face.


    Comment by steve — January 17, 2008 @ 3:42 pm

  26. Hi all

    Jean I just wanted to clarify something from your post at 11.18 am that starts out “Steve would you forward..” In the last paragraph you use Steve’s name and encourage him to read the Word etc and prior to then you had been addressing me so just wanted to check that you meant to speak to Steve then. If you were telling Steve to read the Word then surely you can appreciate his being offended as a pastor. Steve and I are not the same person – he likes U2 far more than me :). But I do agree it is easy to get the wrong idea when communicating on here. I, for example, interpret capital letters as yelling and jean that sometimes makes me feel defensive when I read your posts. I also felt a bit under attack when I first arrived at this site, I think from memory someone implied that I was a Jack ass. I’m not sure whether that is because those that come here are usually either bloggers in the emergent movement or those that attack it, making people feel defensive of unknown visitors. Either way I know I didnt feel like the prodigal son returning. It makes me wonder how many others seekers feel like a kid coming home unnoticed cos their family are too busy arguing about how best to get him home. Steve, its mighty hot here too, hope they are getting the fires under control I heard on the news are down your way.

    Comment by Jack — January 17, 2008 @ 6:42 pm

  27. Hey Steve,
    Has your full review come out yet? I would very much like to read it. I was a bit disappointed by the film. The casting was perfect, but the film itself seemed to me to lack some of the moral complexity of the book. Re: your question: ‘isn’t the most disturbing part of Golden Compass the fact that children can live in worlds made profoundly unsafe by adults who are meant to protect them and create a childhood to be a childhood?’ I’m not sure it is. In the film (and this is even more true, perhaps, of the book), it is the world itself that is a dangerous place, and the desire to make it safe, or to protect adolescent children (and we need to remember that Lyra is on the verge of adolescence at the beginning of the story) from its dangers, is not only patronizing to adolescent children, but might add to the danger itself. Lyra’s childhood in Oxford has, for instance, been a wonderfully (and a quite properly) protected one, but we meet her just at the moment when she is beginning to recognize that that world is insular, and that there might be something morally perilous about her remaining in it. Or perhaps it would be better to say that there might be something morally perilous in her continuing to think of that world as idyllic and protected, because in actual fact the world of the scholars’ apartness isn’t quite as removed from the forces shaping the world that it seems to be. So in the first scenes of the book (and movie) we see Lord Asriel arrive at Jordan College, and the subsequent actions of the Master forces Lyra into a profoundly difficult moral dilemma, one that she can only successfully navigate by recognising that people might act for all sorts of complex (and not necessarily coherent) reasons. It is also worth pointing out that part of what makes Miss Coulter so dangerous is that she creates a safe world for Lyra, and again Lyra’s navigation of the moral dilemma that this thrusts upon her requires her to free herself from the illusions of her childhood (e.g., that you should trust everyone is who is nice to you), and to confront the realization that, whether she likes it or not, the world she inhabits is dangerous. Of course, all of this is part of Pullman’s reworking (in an Irenaean vein) of the story of the Fall, as well as being a protest against the sort of romantization of children that he discerns in Lewis’ Narnia.
    Anyway, perhaps what I would want to suggest we see in Pullman’s book (and to a lesser extent, the film) is not so much the idea that adults ought to ‘allow childhood to be childhood’, but a description of a girl’s attempt to negotiate between the protected world of her childhood and a far more complex, dangerous, and in the end, more richly rewarding world that is not simply the product of the design of adults but is, in some sense, the world as human beings actually encounter it (we should remember that it is not only adults who are dangerous and thrilling, but also polar bears and snow).

    Comment by Andre — October 9, 2009 @ 10:36 am

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