Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Carl Trueman weighs in on The Golden Compass controversy

I am puzzled by all this hoo-hah: if The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is a Christian story/movie, it teaches a woefully inadequate, if not unbiblical, doctrine of atonement (**my note: Lewis' book leans toward the "Ransom to Satan" theory of the atonement - if you don't know what that is, click here**)-- if Aslan is Christ, one might say, then he cannot save on the account given by Lewis; yet Christians were ecstatic about the movie. Pullman writes a piece that, if his critics are to believed, is very clear and direct in its anti-Christian message. So, if you're worried about leading your kids astray, which, I wonder, is more likely to confuse them??? The subtle theological deviancy or the explicit anti-Christian message? Or maybe, just maybe, Narnia and Compass are both fun movies which are subject to a range of interpretations, and our children have the sense to see them as make-believe adventures about make-believe worlds.

I don't think I had ever really heard of the "ransom to Satan" theory of atonement.

This is its definition:

Ransom to Satan: This view sees the atonement of Christ as a ransom that was paid to Satan to purchase man’s freedom from being enslaved to Satan. It is based on a belief that man’s spiritual condition is in bondage to Satan and that the meaning of Christ’s death was to secure God’s victory over Satan. This theory has little, if any, scriptural support and has had few supporters throughout church history. It is heretical in that it thinks of Satan, rather than God, as the one who required a payment be made for sin and thus completely ignores the demands of God’s justice as seen throughout Scripture. It also has a higher view of Satan than it should and views him as having more power than he really does. There is no scriptural support for the idea that sinners owe anything to Satan, but throughout Scripture we see that God is the One who requires a payment for sin.