"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. [Read more…]

Book Review: The Twilight Gospel by Dave Roberts

Title: The Twilight Gospel: The Spiritual Roots of the Stephenie Meyer Vampire Saga
Author: Dave Roberts
Publisher: Monarch Books

There’s no question that Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight Saga has taken teen-girl-world by storm.

The tale of Bella and her vampire beau Edward has sold more than 100 million copies worldwide. The first two movies made a ridiculous amount of money at the box office, even more in DVD sales, and the next several are already in various stages of production.

But, what is it teaching us? What ideas and values are being promoted—and should they be embraced or rejected?

That’s the question Dave Roberts asks in The Twilight Gospel, an examination of the spiritual and sociological worldview of Meyer’s bestselling series.

An Even-Handed Critique

It’s a bit odd to review a piece of literary criticism, particularly based on a series of books I’ve not read (as a 30-something man who doesn’t really like a lot of fiction, they don’t hold much appeal). With critical review, there’s a great temptation to take the most scandalous bits out of context and present that as the sum total of a book.

Having said that, I believe Roberts takes a very even-handed approach to the subject matter. He doesn’t focus on the negative aspects of the book solely; instead he notes the admirable traits of characters alongside the less virtuous qualities, even as he compares them to the Christian worldview. [Read more…]