Get ready for another wave of hoopla about literature and Christianity. Philip Pullman is a writer. He makes up stories. Like C. S. Lewis, he has written children’s stories of other parallel worlds. His trilogy, “His Dark Materials,” is viewed by many as a response to “The Chronicles of Narnia,” by Lewis. One of his works, “The Golden Compass,’ has just been made into a movie to soon be released. This is where he parts company with the Christian community.
As with other stories of children and moral dilemmas, the Christian idealists marshal their forces and whine and cry that someone does not agree with them. I get really tired of these folks. I believe it is true that Philip Pullman professes atheism. He is a swift critic of C. S. Lewis. Pullman has written essays directly criticizing Lewis and particularly The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.
I just finished reading a 1998 essay by Pullman on this very topic. Whoa, I asked myself, Pullman has an interpretation that is intriguing. Note here that I have been a fan of Lewis for many years. I am holding a six volume set titled, Six by Lewis, subtitled, Christian Wisdom from the beloved author of The Chronicles of Narnia and the Space Trilogy. Let me reiterate – I am a fan of Lewis – but ‘beloved author’ smacks of sacred cow.
There are some things that we are considered beyond criticism. These are sacred cows. The writings of Lewis have reached this stature. And that is unfortunate. Nothing is beyond critical examination. Nothing. Not even the Bible. Without honest critique we become blind fools stumbling in the darkness of ignorance.
Get ready for the deluge. The Christians who lack faith will be on another crusade. They will be hacking at arms and legs and necks. The fear of authors like Philip Pullman and J. K. Rowling over rides any semblance of faith.
Faith should be challenged. No, faith must be challenged. Without challenge faith becomes rigid and inflexible. People who fear a challenge to their faith do not have faith.