Okay, okay, so I know Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass is supposed to be really anti-church and, well, frankly it is. But I still liked it.
Two reasons–first, he’s just a very gifted writer and if you like Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, etc., then you really ought to read Pullman. Second, and as is true with a number of the “celebrity atheists” writing today, the church he’s against isn’t my church and the “God” he seeks to dismantle isn’t my God. And so his critique gives us insight into both the way God and Christianity is perceived by many outside our churches and points to the need to articulate the vulnerable God we meet in the cross ever more clearly. The only antidote, finally, to the abuse of faith for the sake of power (the church as portrayed in Pullman and others) is the weak God of the cross. One last thing–despite Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, and Oscar-award-winning animation, the book is still way better than the movie.