"Just So You Know, Hell Doesn't Have Heroes!" Be Discerning About Your Books

Mark Driscoll discusses Twilight and examines a few of the books that are being promoted for young girls today.

Driscoll’s critique should be well considered. Too often we assume that just because it’s a movie, a book or a song that it’s fine (as if these things don’t have an agenda to promote). It’s why the Bible commands us all to be discerning. A great resource in developing discernment? Tim Challies’ book, The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment (review here).

The transcript of the video follows:

…I do want you to be discerning when it comes to culture because I believe one of the ways that Satan works in our day, is he will take things out of the category of religion and spirituality, put them into the category of entertainment, and we completely fail to be discerning. We just think, “Oh, that’s not demonic. That’s a movie.” A movie is a sermon with pictures. “That’s not demonic, that’s a song.” Satan can write music. He can inspire story-telling and filmmaking, music. He sets ideology, and worldview, and he’s at work in the world.

I’ll back this up, give you an example. I have a thirteen-year-old daughter. My daughter, Ashley, recently turned thirteen. So now I am the proud daddy of a teenage girl. It’s awesome. I love her. Some people say, “Oh wait till she’s a teenager.” She’s there. It’s fantastic. It’s great. I adore her. She’s a voracious reader. She reads a lot, and she’s got a big library. She’s a discerning reader. She’s starting to write, and we’re getting ready to publish her blogs, which are recommended readings and critical book reviews for preteen and teenage girls so they don’t read garbage, which I think is awesome, and I really am excited about that. It was her idea.

So I was talking to her, and she was telling me about reading, and what her friends are reading, and some of the garbage that’s out there. ‘Cause I don’t know if you know this, I’m not really up on all the preteen girl literature. It’s not where I just go to in my free time. So she orders a lot of books for her Kindle, and you know, in print through Amazon. So Amazon recently sent a “Hey, it’s summertime, here are the best-selling big new books for preteen and teenage girls.” And I thought, well, I don’t know what that is, but I have one. I better click. So I clicked on it, and it was unbelievable what it brought up. It brought up all these vampire, werewolf, blood-sucking, weird relationships books that all come out of the Twilight series.

I’ll show it to you, some of these books. The first one that came up was The Necromancer: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel. Now, that means you’re consulting with dead people. It’s about sorcery, witchcraft, divination, Wicca, dead people. You know what? Dead people don’t talk to you. Demons pretend to be dead people. “I’m your Grandpa.” “Oh, hi, Gramps.” No! That’s a really bad idea. The book should be called, It’s a Really Bad Idea.

Next book, Eclipse, part of the Twilight series. We’ll come back to that, since you asked. The other one on the preteen/teen Amazon.com bestseller list was Spirit Bound: A Vampire Academy Novel. That is a girl on the cover giving her neck to a vampire. Some of you are like, “Don’t be a hater.” Okay, I don’t think it’s a good idea for any boy to suck blood out of your neck under any circumstances! I’m old school that way. That’s just how I roll. “Here’s my neck.” No!

Dark Flame: The Immortals. Most of these book covers take young girls, dress them up like divas around candlelight, practicing witchcraft, waiting for a vampire or a werewolf. I’m not even making this up.

Okay, now, Twilight, Eclipse. There on the cover are the beast, the false prophet, and the Antichrist. We’ll get back to that in a minute.

Another book on the list, The Sorceress. That’s not even subtle! “Honey, why don’t you read your Bible?” “I don’t have time, I’m reading The Sorceress.” That doesn’t sound good, The Sorceress. You don’t need to have the gift of discernment to go, “That does not sound good, The Sorceress.”

We’ll just keep going. Love Bites: A Vampire Kisses Novel. Look at that cover! That’s wrong. She’s like twelve waiting for a vampire to kiss her on her lipsticked lips. I’m a dad, no! Don’t do that. It should say, “If he loves you he’ll never bite you.” That’s what it should say.

Spells. Spells! Do you know what a spell is? “No.” You’re under a spell if you don’t know what a spell is. A spell is where a witch casts a spell on you. It’s called “Brilliant and Lovely.” “Oh well, it’s a lovely spell. Well, that doesn’t even count.” It’s like a lovely car wreck. It’s a good one.

All right, this was on the list. It’s called Hell’s Heroes. Just so you know, hell doesn’t have any heroes. That’s the whole point of hell. It’s called the “Demonata.” I can’t even believe some parents are like “Well, at least they’re reading.” Oh, oh, yeah. Just look at that cover. It’s a werewolf, a girl, and some guy who’s into rave or something. I can’t even figure out what’s going on.

Twilight. Now, does this cover imagery remind you of anything? A woman holding an apple. This is Genesis 1 and 2, where the whole deception started, and you open the book up and it quotes Genesis 2:17. It actually goes right back to Genesis when Eve was deceived. It’s like, “Oh, it’s a good thing.” All right, I think that’s the last one.

“So what’s he gonna say? Is he gonna lose his mind? I see the vein in his neck.” These books are a whole genre about the occult, witchcraft, sorcery, divination, consulting with the dead. They all come out of the Twilight series. These are all part of a new genre. So I’ll give you a little bit of history on the Twilight series. We’ll start with Mormonism, okay? Just hang in there. Just hang in there.

Mormonism was founded by a guy, started by a guy named Joseph Smith who says, “I got a visit from a spirit being, and this spirit being said that all the Christians are wrong, and they alone were right, and they had books in addition to the Bible, and we should start a new religion. The angel’s name was Moroni.” I would just say as a general rule, any angel named Moron, “What’s your name?” “Moron…i” You should probably not go with that. And Joseph Smith would say, “Oh, this was an angel, not a demon.” But Galatians says, even if an angel should come from heaven and preach a false gospel, don’t listen them, they’re cursed. They’re cursed.

So a demon comes to Joseph Smith, gives him a crazy new religion. He invents Mormonism. What does this have to do with Twilight? Years later, a woman named Stephenie Meyer, who’s a Mormon, has a dream. She says, quote, “In my dream, two people were having an intense conversation in a meadow in the woods. One of these people was just your average girl. The other person was fantastically beautiful, sparkly, and a vampire. They were discussing the difficulties inherent in the facts that A, they were falling in love with each other while B, the vampire was particularly attracted to the scent of her blood, and was having a difficult time restraining himself from killing her immediately,” end quote. [http://www.stepheniemeyer.com/twilight.html]

So a religion started by a demon is adhered to by a woman who has a dream—this is all very spiritual—where a young girl is visited by a vampire who loves her but wants to suck her blood. And she writes a series of stories that result in movies, and T-shirts, and promotional material, and kids’ meals at some burger joint, called the Twilight series. It is all very spiritual. And in that we see humans, vampires, and werewolves. We see as well this bridging between good and evil, darkness and light, the living and the dead. We see the co-mingling of that which is spiritual, human, and animal. We also have a concept of how to be born-again, and live forever, but it’s not through faith in Jesus and resurrection. It’s through becoming a vampire so that you’re forever young with an eternal life. So the whole concept of salvation and eternal life has nothing to do with Jesus.

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  • http://www.hillsbiblechurch.org/ Don

    Aaron, I’m amazed that so many Christians believe they do not have to be discerning about contemporary culture. Blindly, foolishly many claim they can view movies, read books and listen to music without it influencing their walk with God. As Driscoll alludes, the common cop out is, “It’s just entertainment.” Rubbish!

    Yet even the most unsophisticated observer can see how far from the truth this is. We need to hear the call to holy living more often in Christian circles. From an eternal perspective it matters little that ‘holy living’ is not cool.

    • http://hardwords.wordpress.com Aaron Armstrong

      Agreed – it’s absolute rubbish. Yet we (Emily and I) were no better and continue to see the need to refine our entertainment choices to conform to Christ. We used to watch the Buffy the Vampire Slayer spin-off Angel until they started practicing crazy spells in the show every episode and drawing pentagrams on the floors.

      Not a good scene.

      It’s incredibly hard to do, but we’re starting to see the fruit of it (especially since we tend to not just idly watch anything anymore but talk about what we’re watching biblically).

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  • http://www.nwchristianwriters.org nwchristianwriters

    Thank you for speaking out about this genre! This year I attended a writer’s conference.

    As I scanned pages in novels intended for your pre-teen and teenage daughters, I didn’t have to search hard for R -rated sections. It’s considered the norm. PLEASE! DO check out what your children are reading, watching and hearing.

  • http://conniemace.typepad.com/raise_up_your_eyes/ Connie Mace

    OOPs, forgot to log out as editor for NCWA blog….Anyway, become involved, watch movies with your kids, previes what they’re asking to read. There’s an agenda out there and your kiddos are on it.

  • http://cleverphrasehere.blogspot.com Amber

    You know, Plato had interesting things to say on this topic, given his time and context. He believed music was incredibly powerful and therefore should be controlled by the state, so that young people couldn’t be led astray. He was perhaps the first censor.

  • Stephanie

    And yet I think there is an apologetic that we can use in these genres. This is what is popular to the world today and what people are interested in. So if we can use these movies and books and shows and start conversations to bring back to the gospel, we can use them for the good. I think it shows people that we care about them and are interested in what they are but at the same time pointing them to the truth.
    Mark is right: we definitely need discernment in these areas to know the difference between right and wrong or else we can get caught up in the lies Satan tells. Christians need to know the truth and what they believe or else they will start to see values and truth as grey areas rather than black and white.

  • Lisa Miles

    I am an adult, a long-time Christian and I very much enjoyed the Twilight books and movies. I also enjoyed the Harry Potter series. In fact, I read literature of all types and genres. I think we veer into superstition when we begin to think that a book is somehow going to “get us.”

    • http://hardwords.wordpress.com Aaron Armstrong

      Thanks for your comment, Lisa – would you mind elaborating a bit? I’m curious as I want to make sure I understand what you’re saying re:veering into superstition rather than assuming what you mean by it.

  • Lisa Miles

    Do I want to elaborate?? Ha ha — have you ever read my posts on the Compassion board? :)

    1) People confuse creativity and imagination in literature with sin. Writing a creative story is not a sin. Nor is reading one.

    2) The themes in Twilight are ones that are ROUTINELY used in literature — and have been used throughout history. If you’re going to condemn Twilight, you should also have problems with the following authors who have ALL used these exact same themes in their work — C.S. Lewis, Lewis Carroll, Bram Stoker, Charles Dickens, William Shakespeare, Mary Shelley, A. A. Milne, J. M. Barrie, P. L. Travers, the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Anderson, Louisa Alcott, Emily Bronte, etc., etc. Too many to list.

    Yet I don’t hear anyone in Christianity today make an example of those authors. In fact C.S. Lewis whose books include demons, the devil, witchcraft and witches, magic worlds, use of magic, etc. is featured in Christian bookstores. It’s all about what’s trendy in churches and what people choose to jump all over — today it’s Twilight and Harry Potter. Tomorrow it will be something equally as arbitrary.

    3) What I meant by superstition — I think it’s incredibly superstitious to think that reading a certain book will somehow open a door for the Devil through which he can “get at you.” i.e. Reading Harry Potter is the doorway that will lead your child to practice hard-core Satanism. It’s so ridiculous. Yet how many Christians, (who’ve never read the book), believe that?

    Throughout history pastors have condemned every new cultural entertainment phenomena that has come down the pike. Pastors called the waltz “the Devil’s dance” and forbid it. Jazz music was deemed “sinful and heathenistic.” Women wearing pants to play sports was proclaimed to be a sign of the end times. So I’m not going to get too worried about this new “threat” to our young people. They’ll get through it and this new trend of vampire novels will become passe — just like heavy metal bands of the 80’s, grunge in the 90’s, Elvis in the 60’s — whatever entertainment trend it was that we partook of in our youth that our parents and pastors freaked out about.

    • http://www.compassioncan.blogspot.com JD

      Lisa said:
      “1) People confuse creativity and imagination in literature with sin. Writing a creative story is not a sin. Nor is reading one. ”

      I’m just trying to understand your point of view, and as such, I have a few questions…

      Would porn be considered “creative story”? How does writing or reading it honor God?

      How does writing or reading the material mentioned in this post honor God?

      How do you define sin?

      • Lisa Miles

        A sin is a transgression of a religious law.

        When you say “porn” what do you consider “porn?” Any book with the description of a sexual encounter? Only sexual encounters described in a certain manner? Please explain YOUR definition of porn because it is 100% subjective. Christians have tried to have the following books banned for their sexual content: “Sophie’s Choice,” “The Great Gatsby,” “The Grapes of Wrath,” “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “Of Mice and Men.” Do you consider those books porn? Because somebody out there does. Do those books honor God? Do they not honor God? Are you the authority to make that decision? Am I? Do we leave it up to some random pastor? Do we just burn the books to protect people from the sin that may or not be in them? Do we shame people in the church for reading them because we don’t like the content? What? At what point do we go from honoring God to pushing our own agenda on other people? Where do we cross the line?

        • http://hardwords.wordpress.com Aaron Armstrong

          Sorry to take so long to respond (just got back from vacation), but I’m curious about a couple of things:

          A sin is a transgression of a religious law

          Is that the entirety of your definition of sin?

          Is it not also an act of rebellion against God?

          I’m not trying to be nitpicky, but I bring it up because you can violate a religious law and it not be a sin (since not all religious laws are from God).

          Jesus did it frequently when he ignored the “laws of man” imposed by the religious leaders of His day. They were religious laws, to be sure, but the standard is God’s, rather than man’s, no?

          When you say “porn” what do you consider “porn?” Any book with the description of a sexual encounter? Only sexual encounters described in a certain manner? Please explain YOUR definition of porn because it is 100% subjective.

          While this question was not directed at me, I hope you don’t mind if I add a couple thoughts:

          1. Dictionary def. of pornography is as follows: “obscene writings, drawings, photographs, or the like, esp. those having little or no artistic merit.”

          Is a nude sculpture pornography? No. Is a nude painting by one of the great masters pornographic? No.

          The thing about pornography is that while there’s certainly a subjective element (i.e. what causes us to lust), there are objective standards that Christians are called to observe according to Scripture.

          “But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints,” writes Paul in Eph. 5:3. The word translated “sexual immorality” is a greek word from which we get our English word “pornography;” and it’s essentially a junk drawer term for any sexual activity or imagery that is outside of monogamous heterosexual marriage.

          Perhaps it’s an oversimplication, but a Scriptural definition might be anything that inflames lust is pornographic.

          Do we shame people in the church for reading them because we don’t like the content?

          If our purpose for calling people’s attention to content is solely to shame them, then no, it’s not appropriate. However, if our purpose is to remind people to be discerning–that not all that we see, hear and read is good for us and to examine everything through a biblical lens, that’s being pastoral.

          Thoughts?

          • Lisa Miles

            Aaron, I would have found this sermon much more helpful if the pastor had gotten up and said, “Christians need to be discerning about they what read and here’s what is taught in the Bible about that.”

            Instead he gets up and vilifies a list of books he’s come across on Amazon, that he’s never even read. How is that teaching anyone to discern anything??? Is HE even using discernment?

            If people are willing to be spoon-fed by another human being what they should or should not read, what are they learning? So this pastor disapproves of these books, (that he’s never read), and that’s a helpful sermon? Would it be even more helpful if he just passed out a list of approved reading, so we know exactly what to read?

            I will never give up these kind of freedoms for another human being. I want to think critically as a Christian, not follow blindly what someone is telling me — even from the pulpit. Have there been books in my life that I’ve put down because I felt they were “bad” for me. Absolutely. But those are choices I’ve made through prayer and are a part of my personal relationship with God.

            You just cannot make these choices for other people.

            I guess, in the end, what has Mark Driscoll accomplished with this sermon? Upsetting a bunch of parents whos kids are reading the book? Making those who have read it feel like a sinner? Has he really taught anyone anything here?

            I’ve heard this same pastor has also named “Avatar” as the most Satanic movie he’s ever seen. I haven’t seen the movie, so I can’t comment. But, really? Is he simply choosing the most popular books and movies so his Youtube videos will get more hits?

          • Lisa Miles

            Oops, I posted this below, but should keep it in the thread…

            On the topic of pornography.

            “Perhaps it’s an oversimplication, but a Scriptural definition might be anything that inflames lust is pornographic.”

            How about cheerleaders at a professional football or basketball game? There is most certainly an aim to inflame lust in the way they dress, the way they move. So do we get up in the pulpit and tell our congregants that they are no longer allowed to attend games because their money is supporting those who inflame lust?

            Some denominations forbid dancing because it inflames lust. Am I sinner because I do dance?

            I mean, can you see where I’m going with this?

            I think the best we can do is to teach others what is in the Bible, but you have to give people freedom to make their own choices. And I don’t think it’s fair to judge when their choices are not your choices.

            Perhaps that’s why Jesus tells us we shouldn’t offer to take the speck out of our brother’s eye, while we ignore the log in our own eye. It’s not just about judging — it’s that we can’t and shouldn’t make these choices for others.

  • http://cleverphrasehere.blogspot.com Amber

    This post prompted a post from me, but it became slightly tangential (as I address HP, not Twilight). http://cleverphrasehere.blogspot.com/2010/08/wonderful-wizarding-worlds.html

    • http://hardwords.wordpress.com Aaron Armstrong

      Good post, Amber – I only had a chance to quickly look at it, so I’ll have to do a more thorough read a little later before making further comment on it :)

  • http://philipchan1.wordpress.com Philip

    So true. “A movie is a sermon with pictures”.

    It’s so sad that so many teenage girls are so into Twilight – even Chrisitan girls.

    The Church needs to be more discerning.

  • http://thischristianblog.wordpress.com/ Philip

    So true. “A movie is a sermon with pictures”.

    It’s so sad that so many teenage girls are so into Twilight – even Chrisitan girls.

    The Church needs to be more discerning.

    C’mon Mark Driscoll.

  • Lisa Miles

    p.s. On the topic of pornography.

    “Perhaps it’s an oversimplication, but a Scriptural definition might be anything that inflames lust is pornographic.”

    How about cheerleaders at a professional football or basketball game? There is most certainly an aim to inflame lust in the way they dress, the way they move. So do we get up in the pulpit and tell our congregants that they are no longer allowed to attend games because our money is supporting those who inflame lust?

    Some denominations forbid dancing because it inflames lust. Am I sinner because I do dance?

    I mean, can you see where I’m going with this?

    I think the best we can do is to teach others what is in the Bible, but you have to give people freedom to make their own choices. And I don’t think it’s fair to judge when their choices are not your choices.

    Perhaps that’s why Jesus tells us we shouldn’t offer to take the speck out of our brother’s eye, while we ignore the log in our own eye. It’s not just about judging — it’s that we can’t and shouldn’t make these choices for others.

  • http://hardwords.wordpress.com Aaron Armstrong

    Thanks for continuing to engage in the dialogue, Lisa.

    I should note that one of the problems with the excerpts from sermons like this one is sometimes only the really juicy bits get taken. In the full message, Driscoll gives a bit more context as to why he’s talking about all these books; the message is about Jesus healing a demonized boy and our need to be 1. praying regularly for our children 2. shepherding them and 3. being discerning parents to protect and train our kids.

    Anyway…

    While I don’t think he picks on the most popular things to get more hits, I think he does address hot cultural items simply because they need to be talked about because they all present a worldview–either the truth or the lie.

    We do too often assume that because something is in the category of entertainment that it has no influence on us; but the problem is that what entertainment does is inoculate us to certain behaviors, attitudes and actions. Entertainment doesn’t just show us culture–it drives it.

    Does that make sense?

    Re: Pornography; the dancing point is well taken and you’re right that context is important.

    Is dancing a sin? Depends on context. Just dancing to have a good time with friends or a spouse? Gosh no. But is grinding with a stranger? Or pole-dancing at the club? Yeah.

    Same deal with cheerleaders. Are they meant to inflame lust? Yes. Is it okay for guys to watch football? Yes. Is it okay for guys to watch cheerleaders? It’s probably not a good idea. Why? Because it doesn’t help any of us love our spouses better and those girls are being treated as an object rather than people created in the image of God.

    That’s not imposing my judgment or my conscience on anyone; that’s just applying Scripture properly to a situation.

    I guess in my definition if I restated it as “anything intended to inflame lust and dehumanizes a participant” might be more appropriate. Context matters, but there are still objective standards.

  • Lisa Miles

    About the sermon — you’re right — this is only an excerpt and I might appreciate other pieces of it more than this one.

    But just looking at this piece it seems that his goal isn’t to encourage dialogue or even discernment amongst Christians — it seems to me like he’s trying to shut down any discussion on the matter. i.e. He’s made the definitive decision on these books, (that he’s never read, but he’s seen the covers!!), and that’s it. (Refer to his daughter’s blog for a list of books that aren’t “garbage.”) Who does this man think he is?

    After a sermon like this, would I have any freedom, as a Christian, to voice disagreement within his church — to say that I enjoyed Twilight? That I read it and it was not a rebellion against God for me. Just a book. I think the answer is probably no. He’s shut that discussion right down.

    This church has already gotten bad press for removing elders who’ve disagreed with Mark Driscoll and removing members who’ve disagreed with church leadership. I doubt there’s room for disagreement here, either. And I don’t like that. A church is not a fiefdom where one person controls the masses. There should be freedom of thought, freedom of discussion, and a mutual love for God’s word. Not one person making moral decisions for others.

    It also seems like he’s trying to ramp up the “fear factor” by being inflammatory in his speech. This whole spiel about the antichrist, the false prophet and the beast on the cover of Twilight. What in the world is he talking about? It’s a pic of the three main characters — nowhere in the text are they referred to or even alluded to as the antichrist, the beast and the false prophet. That came out of Mark Driscoll’s own head. But I’m sure he pretty effectively scared some unknowing parents out there who are simply going to take his word as gospel. Scare tactics may make the sermon more interesting to some — but where’s the truth?

    Anyway, Aaron, your blog is so great and smart and thoughtful!! I really enjoy reading it. This was just a post that, as a Christian/English major/avid reader, etc. really resonated with me. I appreciate your letting me disagree with you!! :) You are clearly a decent person who’s seeking after Christ and His best, (me, too!!) — that really comes out in your blog!

    • http://hardwords.wordpress.com Aaron Armstrong

      Thanks Lisa – I’m grateful that you feel the freedom to disagree :) That’s something I desire for everyone who reads here. Thanks for sticking around and debating!

  • http://noonecanhelpme.wordpress.com kendrick237

    Hi Aaron, just some 15 year old guy passing through here, but I’d like to leave my two cent worth here as well.

    On the topic of fiction, regardless of medium, may it be a movie or a book, I do believe that one usually reads it or watches it with a sense of having to absorb the information given to us. In the same way that we build connections from a baby’s perspective to shape our world, I guess it is the same as approaching a fictional piece of work. What the author gives, we take in, internalize and create a link of connections within it. It applies towards say, a system of magic within a world (two stark examples would be Diane Duane’s Young Wizards fantasy series, and another Allison Croggon’s Pellinor quartet), or in fact which kind of world the story takes place in, taking for example Driscoll’s mention of Twilight and my example of Vampirates by Justin Somper. Due to the major differences spanning the work of fiction, I can say with a degree of certainty that fiction, with regards to fantasy is actually a wide range spanning a host of universes and time periods. It is precisely because of this, we have to take all details of the books we read and form the impressions the author is trying to convey to us, we passively create the world in our mind, which is probably the point Driscoll is trying to get across. This in itself is not a bad thing.

    The problem with fiction nowadays is that it tends to err on the kind of message that the book tries to convey. In the same way that we examine an artists rendition of, say a nude sculpture of a woman, we judge the work based on why he chose to create this piece of art, and not solely on the finished work. In a sense, the number of books published nowadays have no common theme, except maybe the few where the author is choosing to create a work for the money. Thus in return, they fall back onto the common theme of love conquers all (or some other more random tangent) and thus leaves me with no sense of actually learning something from the book, since there are oh, another 100 000 books with roughly the same theme in mind.

    Thus if we examine the story’s content in mind, we actually can be slightly (and by that I mean a lot) more discerning in which books to choose. Books like Tolkien’s Fellowship of the Middle Ring commonly show demonized creatures such as Orcs, and have a completely different God-principle that runs counter to our Christian beliefs, but it in itself is not only showing Tolkien’s love for the world he created (its no secret that he actually created the Elven language based on sound principles), but also the themes of Love, Friendship, Good triumphs over Evil and more. All these themes are common portrayals found in the Bible. However, as Driscoll mentioned above, stories like Love Bites: A Vampire Kiss novel, have no good themes to show, and normally just show the entire side of humans falling in love with another species like star-crossed lovers, thus needing a parent’s good judgement to maybe take control over his girl’s library.

    So in conclusion, I guess that if Driscoll just looked deeper into the matter, he would not have come over as somewhat shallow to me. My suggestion is that not only do parents look through what their children read, but also read them too. Conduct reading circles with your children, ask them what they identify to be demonic, make their brains run a little.

    Cheers,
    Kendrick

    • http://noonecanhelpme.wordpress.com kendrick237

      oops, was Fellowship of the Ring, such a typo to make D:

  • http://hardwords.wordpress.com Aaron Armstrong

    Thanks for adding your two cents, Kendrick – and great suggestion on how parents can engage their kids on the stuff they read.

    Is this something that you’ve experienced growing up by chance? If so, how did it go over in your family?

    • http://noonecanhelpme.wordpress.com kendrick237

      No actually, my parents seem to as the other majority of parents outside, judge books literally by their cover or synopsis, and general hype in the community. They are quite lax with me with regards to reading material, since I don’t exactly go around borrowing clearly inappropriate material.

      The reason why I suggested the idea above is because because people normally once they understand how things work, or what message is being conveyed, we do ‘step out of the system’, which we never noticed before, thus allowing us to compare our views with the ones being shown in the book. ‘The greatest defence against a spell is knowing the spell is there’- Captain Kennit from ‘Ship of Magic’

      Of course, I do read purely sometimes for the beauty of the storyline, the world the author portrays, and examine it from a slightly more writers point of view (one of them recently got posted on my wordpress). It is amazing sometimes how authors do repeatedly portray certain stereotypes in their fantasy stories, and when asked why, just go ‘I don’t know, I guess it is just how fantasy is’. It drives me as mad as bad messages in books. :P

      • http://hardwords.wordpress.com Aaron Armstrong

        I hear you there, Kendrick. Outside of goofy messages, the only thing that makes my inner editor freak out more is a book being poorly written and even more poorly thought out.

        Thanks again for your comments :)

  • Lamarr

    Loved this! Agree wholeheartedly! I have a 15, 13 and 10 yr old daughters – would LOVE to see Ashley’s book blog!!!!!

  • Lamarr

    Kindof a late reply – but I will say that I’m a mom that does read what my kids read. I am also a voracious reader, and can read and enjoy almost anything; I have to be purposeful about ‘putting on spiritual discernment’ to test the message of books. I read Harry Potter books 1-4, then Twilight with my oldest daughter; and we agreed that the Harry Potter books, while engaging, just kept getting darker and more and more disturbing in light of the Holy Spirit and ‘setting our minds on things above – whatever is lovely, etc (Phil 4:8). What I personally was most disturbed about in the Twilight book was the glorification of the relationship above all other relationships – more important than school, than her father, than her friends. Kids live that enough without having it glorified in a book. Luckily, my daughter agreed, and was disgusted by the cultish fetish that so many of her friends had with this series – once, one of her friends forgot to bring her Bible to church, but had her Twilight book. I think we have to keep our minds purposefully set on Christ in order to stay sensitive to the Holy Spirit and the discernment that he desires for us to have. We do not have to be legalistic to say that all things are allowable, but not all things are profitable.

  • Lamarr

    Kindof a late reply – but I will say that I’m a mom that does read what my kids read. I am also a voracious reader, and can read and enjoy almost anything; I have to be purposeful about ‘putting on spiritual discernment’ to test the message of books. I read Harry Potter books 1-4, then Twilight with my oldest daughter; and we agreed that the Harry Potter books, while engaging, just kept getting darker and more and more disturbing in light of the Holy Spirit and ‘setting our minds on things above – whatever is lovely, etc (Phil 4:8). What I personally was most disturbed about in the Twilight book was the glorification of the relationship above all other relationships – more important than school, than her father, than her friends. Kids live that enough without having it glorified in a book. Luckily, my daughter agreed, and was disgusted by the cultish fetish that so many of her friends had with this series – once, one of her friends forgot to bring her Bible to church, but had her Twilight book. I think we have to keep our minds purposefully set on Christ in order to stay sensitive to the Holy Spirit and the discernment that he desires for us to have. We do not have to be legalistic to say that all things are allowable, but not all things are profitable.