Monday, November 5, 2007
I was sharing this new blog with my mother this weekend. I wanted her opinion on the blog in general. She is a bit skeptical about the whole blogging thing, but aside from that, her other big concern was my inclusion in one of my reading challenges of a book by author Philip Pullman.
As with Harry Potter, it seems that there is a bit of a religious scuffle surrounding both Philip Pullman and his literature. And, as with Harry Potter, I was completely oblivious to all of the conflict. I have read some of the material from and about Pullman, and he is indeed an athiest.
The question for me is, does an authors religious view matter? My answer to this is no. Reading is a hobby for me. It is something I do in my spare time, and at its best, it helps me find God in new ways. At its worst, it helps me realize more the fall of man. I never approach a book and assume the author knows anything. I never put authors on pedistals or pretend that their opinion of things is correct. I read to be entertained at least, and challenged at best.
I think the basis of my opinion is that I doubt very much that Philip Pullman scares God. And I belive that God is much bigger than Pullman, thus freeing me to read about him, and to read his material and form my own opinion. I don't need to run away and hide from Pullman or his ideas or books. If I am regularly doing what I need to grow and mature, I should be ready to engage this culture and the best it has to throw at me. It is like those silly celebraties that come out and encourage us to vote for one candidate or another. I love to watch some of them on the big screen, but in most cases, they are hardly qualified to give advice, let alone persuade me about a political candidate. Philip Pullman may be a literary giant, but that does not qualify him to be my spiritual mentor or guide.
This freedom extends to my children as well. It is indeed my job to shelter them and guide them to a point, but I also MUST equip them with the tools to read books and engage people and ask tough questions and wrestle with God and their faith. Shutting them in a closet and hiding anything that may disagree with my point of view will teach them nothing, and in no way prepare them for the world they will eventually have to enter.