About the book: The blockbuster Twilight Saga is being read by teenager and adult alike. These powerful novels are gaining even more popularity as the movies hit theaters. But what should a Christian response be? And is there a helpful way to approach a teenager or young adult captivated with the books without alienating her?
Dave Roberts read The Twilight Saga and while he appreciated the literary qualities, there were also parts that troubled him. As he considered the books as a whole and spoke to teenagers who read them, he saw the need for a resource. In The Twilight Gospel Dave brings to bear a Biblical lens showing that while there are important moral and spiritual lessons to be learned, there is also a promotion of a non-Christian worldview. He addresses such topics as the cult of beauty, the appeal of the self-disciplined vampire Edward, life after death, the use of myths and legends, sexuality, personal spiritual power, and the lure of materialism.
Crisply written and with a gracious spirit, The Twilight Gospel will help teens, their parents, and their pastors discern what is good from what is unhealthy in the novels and equip them to be biblically literate readers. Read an excerpt here.
I really appreciated Dave Roberts' balanced approach to this book. He doesn't just focus on the negative aspects, he praises the positive as well, all through the lens of a Christian worldview.
I have not read the Twilight series, which perhaps made this a little less interesting (to me) than it would've otherwise been. However, I think that being able to discuss movies and books with your children that they have seen and read is an excellent way to help them learn discernment, to help them pick out the good and bad in what they see and read, to help them learn how to view entertainment with a critical eye, and to realize how we are affected by what we put into our brains. This book would be a fabulous discussion springboard between you and your teens.
Of course, you don't necessarily need to read a book critique like this one in order to have such a discussion, but if you haven't seen the movie yourself, or want to benefit from someone else's research, then this would be a great book to pick up.
A quote I liked from the book....
Fiction, obviously has power. But how much? Those who say that stories such as the Twilight Saga 'make' people undertake explorations of sexuality or the occult are overstating the case. Stories do not 'make' anybody do anything. They introduce the possibility and excite the imagination; that is all. By the same token, those who would say that these are merely stories and that people will not internalize the value systmes they find in the saga may also be suffering from a form of cultural myopia. Some people will take up the possibilities that they find in the story and act them out in their own lives. Stories bring ideas to life. (pg 19, 20)
Some of the positives in the story - women who unconditionally love, a man dedicated to peace, people willing to forgive and to sacrifice for others, those willing to work to control their destructive impulses, and a family who nurtures wisdom.
Some of the negatives in the story...
At the heart of the book we find the idols of beauty, occult power, consumerism and undisciplined eroticism paraded with a degree of naivety in some cases and with unthinking relish in others. (pg 155)
The author encourages the reader to read critically (as we always should, to do otherwise is dangerous), with caution and thought. The saying "don't believe everything you read" applies to fiction just as much as newspapers. So, enjoy the read - but don't mindlessly believe.
Thank you to Stephanie and Amy from Litfuse Publicity for organizing this tour and providing me with my complimentary review copy.