When the first book, Twilight was released at the end of 2005, I had absolutely no desire to read it. I didn't even know much about it until the movie came out three years ago. When the movie came out on DVD, Ken and I rented and watched it. I remember feeling like it was highly romantic, yet cheesy movie and was quite astonished that many of the young girls my kids knew, even girls as young as 10 years old, were reading the books and watching the movie.
At that time, I made my judgement based on the first movie and what I heard about the books and decided I didn't want my girls reading anything that encouraged rebellious, dangerous love. In the first movie, Bella pursues Edward even after warnings from trusted adults, her best friend, and even Edward himself. The fact that her rebellious love for him was romanticized was something I could handle as a 30-something woman, but that I undoubtedly did not want my girls to read. After seeing the movie in 2008 and noticing many young girls reading the book, I picked up the book from the library so I could see it for myself and make a wise assessment. After skimming through it a bit, I wasn't impressed, so decided not to waste my time reading.
Film and Theology, a sermon series from Mars Hill Church. I listened to a discussion of "Elf" and "Inception", then decided to hear what they had to say about Twilight.
The premise for the Film and Theology series is excellent. The truth is there is nothing new under the sun. The laws of God are written on our hearts. And by "our," I don't just mean Christians. Humans are created in the image of God. It makes sense then, that the ultimate story, The Gospel, would show up in the stories coming from the mind of man. At Mars Hill, they host "Film and Theology Nights" where they get together, discuss a movie, watch it together, (I want to go to one!) then discuss the theology and spirituality woven throughout the movie. Yes...from Elf to Inception, The Gospel message shows up.
I listened to Pastor James Harleman share his thoughts about the movie and decided I would read the Twilight book series. What struck me in his remarks were these thoughts: (I encourage you to listen to the podcast. I'm working on finding out if there is a transcript out there somewhere.)
- Edward and his vampire "family" were born into a sin nature. Their sin nature leads to death and destruction for humans, so they choose to will themselves into resisting their nature in order to be good. Harleman pointed out that The Gospel offers so much more than simply a life of resisting our sin-nature, but I digress. I'll get to that later.
- Bella (along with countless young and not-so-young women) become obsessed by the idea of being loved by Edward. He's immortal. He's supernaturally powerful. He's bedazzled. His pursuit of Bella is without limits. He's willing to give up everything, anything, to the point of his own life, to prove his love to her. It's obvious that people are crazy-nuts over this idea of selfless, perfect love. Yet many, I'd say most, are blind to the fact that this type of perfect love is not fiction. It's right in front of every single face, man or woman, on the planet. It's not a fictional vampire who has a "bad side" either. This Savior is perfect, blameless, and as real as the air you breathe.
In my next post, I will share my thoughts on each book and movie. Spoiler: I truly enjoyed reading the series (with a few caveats)! I'll also share my thoughts regarding my twelve year-old daughter reading (or not reading) the books.
The gospel is the historical narrative of the triune God
orchestrating the reconciliation and redemption of a broken
creation and fallen creatures from Satan, sin and its effects to
the Father and each other thru the life, death, resurrection and
future return of the substitutionary Son by the power of the Spirit
for God’s glory and the Church’s joy. --The Village Church