I hope you can all stomach one more post about Phillip Pullman and his His Dark Materials books. This'll be the last one... probably.
Unlike many (most?) of Pullman's critics, I've actually read his books, a course of action I strongly encourage to anyone who seeks to say anything at all (good or bad) about them. And after giving it some deep, serious thought, I've come to the following conclusion: Phillip Pullman was right.
Well... he's right about some things, and these things he's right about are pretty doggone important. To wit, let me go way out on a limb and say I agree with Pullman that despotic, dogmatic tyranny is wrong. In fact, it's evil. And when it's done in the name of God, it's doubly evil.
See, the bad guys in the His Dark Materials trilogy are truly bad (controlling, destructive, hurtful, etc), even if their garb is ecclesiastical. Their downfall can only be applauded by people who believe in love, grace and freedom (particularly the "truth shall set you free" type of freedom).
So, Christians should have no fear of these books or this upcoming movie. Despite Pullman's efforts or intentions, his books aren't about killing God. Don't let him or anyone else tell you otherwise. They are about opposing an unloving, ungracious, merciless organization which seeks only to control and destroy. According to his critics, Mr. Pullman thinks that's what the Gospel is about. He supposedly thinks that's what Christians are really like (but I'm not going to take his critics' word for it). Nonetheless, Christians should probably go out of our way to prove him wrong... and should probably also acknowledge we may have contributed to making him think that way (if indeed he does).
But here's the ironic twist. Despite his distaste for C.S. Lewis, Pullman actually ends up illustrating one of the principles in CSL's The Last Battle. In that book, a character (Emeth) ends up in Aslan's heaven, despite having served the evil vulture-god Tash. Aslan explains to him that the good he did was actually in Aslan's service, (I don't recall the exact line). Lewis is drawing a parallel to Jesus's parable about the sheep and the goats, I believe (where the sheep did not even realize they were serving Christ). So, while Pullman may have set out to write a story about killing God, he ended up writing a book which affirms the importance of grace, love and self-sacrifice, in opposition to control and destruction.
Perhaps there's hope for Mr. Pullman after all...