The article that Brad included in the comments section on the previous post raises some important questions that bear response. I’ll respond to some of them (in another post) but before that, let me ask a question: As Christians, how do we determine what music, film, television and literature is appropriate for us to consume?
I ask this in all seriousness as a father of three children, a lover of books and movies, and as someone who, while wanting to engage with my neighbors in our common culture, wants even more to live in God’s Kingdom. (I should have provided a “long run-on sentence alert”) One simple answer to the question is to live in such a way that my family and I read or view only that which is explicitly Christian. We can get Christian novels, movies, and self-help books from stores and suppliers that are careful not to pass on anything that does not fit their filter. This would be difficult but I think it is possible, at least in the midwest, and I know that there are those who subscribe to this point of view.
Another option is to uncritically consume books, movies, and other media with no concern for their content or with the assumption that the rating system somehow protects the underage, viewers, readers, or listeners from any harm. This is the approach which many families take. They may do this purposefully or because they haven’t seriously considered the issue at all.
Now, these two options are each extreme and I did not provide a position between them. Which takes us back to the question: How do we know, how can we gauge the content of materials that we read, view or listen to?
Let me leave it at that right now. More to come on the Golden Compass soon.