The Golden Compass: A World of Spiritual Darkness

Wizards, daemons, spiritual darkness, and conflict. All and more are present in the new movie The Golden Compass. Based on the first book of the trilogy entitled His Dark Materials, author Philip Pullman creates a fantasy world caught in an epic struggle between good and evil. Readers and movies goers alike are comparing this work to The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. The adventure in both books even begins with the young heroine hiding inside a wardrobe.

However, the fantasy world created by Pullman differs greatly from that of Lewis.

In fact, many have made the charge that both the movie and the books are a pernicious attack on Christianity. “The trilogy, His Dark Materials, was written to promote atheism and denigrate Christianity, especially Roman Catholicism,” said Bill Donohue, president of The Catholic League. “The target audience is children and adolescents.” (1)

The darkness of the movie cannot be denied. For example, a visitor to the official movie website can choose their own daemon. Simply complete the daemon personality profile. Furthermore, the tyrant in the adventure is called the Church in the books, changed to the Magisterium for the movie.

But does the movie really have an anti-Christian agenda?

“I realized that the overt stating of some of the themes in The Golden Compass would never—this is important to make clear—never EVER get across the goal line,” said the movie’s director and screenwriter, Chris Weitz, last month at MTV Movies Blog. “There isn’t a wide enough audience for that—yet.”


“The whole point, to me,” clarified Weitz, “of ensuring that The Golden Compass is a financial success is so that we have a solid foundation on which to deliver a faithful, more literal adaptation of the second and third books.” (2)

It is in the third book that one of the characters, an ex-nun turned particle physicist named Mary Malone, describes Christianity as “a very powerful and convincing mistake.” It is also in the third book that the young heroine, Lyra Belacqua, kills Pullman’s nefarious version of God—"The Authority, God, the Creator, the Lord, Yahweh, El, Adonai, the King, the Father, the Almighty."

While definitely not encouraging our readers to see this movie or read the books, LeaderU offers resources to help you discern between the kingdoms of darkness and Light. We trust these articles will challenge those seeking spiritual revelation, as well as encouraging Christians as they walk with Christ.




Featured Articles

The Golden Compass: A Briefing for Concerned Christians
Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr
Dr Mohler outlines the worldview and the agenda that lies behind the trilogy His Dark Materials.

The Golden Compass: A Primer on Atheism
Russ Wise
Russ Wise explains The Golden Compass as a primer of Atheism, and presents suggestions of how Christians, especially parents, can respond.

Atheism for Kids
Gene Edward Veith
Gene Edward Veith examines the attack on C.S. Lewis and The Chronicles of Narnia as the behind the scenes passion of author Philip Pullman

Other Resources

Links to other helpful articles (Off-site)

The Golden Compass: Pointing in the Wrong Direction
Steve Cable
Steve Cable, Research Associate of Probe Ministries, presents an analysis of The Golden Compass

The Golden Compass
Peter T. Chattaway
Christianity Today contributor Peter T. Chattaway's review of the movie The Golden Compass

Thinking Christian (Blog)
Tom Gilson
Tom Gilson offers his review of the trilogy His Dark Materials at his blog Thinking Christian. Search his blog for updates on this and other pertinent topics