The Golden Compass and the Good Book

Fantasy is not my favorite genre in books and movies. So I have little interest in the ongoing discussion about whether to avoid or enjoy the recently released movie, “The Golden Compass.”
Some suggest watching the movie will lead to reading the trilogy by Philip Pullman, and eventually lead young minds toward atheism. Some find it too critical of Christianity, and Roman Catholicism in particular.
Of course, a little critical analysis is often good for the church.
I recently heard witty Dennis Miller, a Catholic at least in upbringing, say when he enters a confessional booth now, he begins with: “You first.”
When any aspect of the church fails, as the church often does, there are consequences in the loss of authority to speak to moral issues.
For those interested in the movie/book discussion, however, I recommend a commentary by Jeannie Babb Taylor (in photo) who writes a weekly column for my hometown newspaper, The Catoosa County (Ga.) News, and blogs at on the other hand.
It is her take on the Bible, more so than the movie or books, that I find particularly insightful. She is one of those loyally-critical, second-level thinkers much needed in the church today where so many seem to embrace the first easy thought to come their way.
Humbly, I might add, she is also proof of what great minds come out of Ringgold High School in the lovely northwest corner of Georgia.


  1. JP: Con grats to you for taking up a tough subject and coming down with some light. Good to know the likes of Progressive thought as your friend has invaded the hinterlands of Catoosa County Georgia.
    The Compass has gotten a lot of words at I offer some of the disappointing comment below, sadly enough from a layman in one of the more progressive congregations in North Carolina.

    Short note on another topic; Huckabee is conflating Rick Scarborough and Randy Brinson in Iowa. has blogged about it.

    In the book, characters representing Adam and Eve eventually kill God, who at times is called YAHWEH. PULLMAN IS A SECULAR HUMANIST who despises C.S. Lewis, and wrote this trilogy to counteract Lewis’ symbolisms of Christ that are portrayed in his Narnia series. “The G. Compass” premieres on Dec 7,(starring Nicole Kidman) IMHO, I urge you, brothers and sisters to boycott (quietly and effectively) the book and the movie. UNCLE PRENTICE.
    by UNCLE PRENTICE on Fri Dec 07, 2007 12:56 pm

    My Christian Ethics Professor at SEBTS, back in the mid- ’50s(’53-’56) was Dr. Olin T. Binkley. He was the Greatest! They have named a Memorial Church after him in Chapel HIll NC; where Dr. Bill Friday, A recipient of the Long Leaf Pine Award, lives. The current Ethics Professor At Southeastern is a man named David Heimbach (translation from German = “Home stream, or creek). I don’t know David, but he has penned the strongest words yet in in the cacophany of harsh editorials that speak of the subliminal dangers of this film, The Golden Compass.” Heimbach indicts the film as “A dose of spiritual poison packed in sweetness.” I would see the film, and offer my own critique; but I don’t want to put any money in their (the producers) pocket. UNCLE PRENTICE.

  2. What I find humorous is that a lot of the same people who are up in arms over this movie are sitting in adjacent theaters watching gratuitous violence or are taking in some other film that is eroding moral value.

  3. Thanks for the feedback. What I like about Jeannie take on the subject is that she reminds us not to sanitize the Bible to the point that we miss its rough edges.
    When I was managing editor of The Christian Index, often we’d get letters from the editor from those complaining that we had something “negative” in the paper.
    My wise editor, Bill Neal, would respond: “Have your read the Bible lately?”
    Good point.
    BTW, I enjoy Jeannie Babb Taylor’s columns in the Catoosa County News. I read it online mainly to catch the obits of some wonderful folks who invested in me.
    I don’t know Jeannie except through some recent email exchanges. She would probably want you to know the reason we’re unacquainted is that I ‘m older, so we were not in school together.

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