Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Hound of Heaven 

I was just reading "Why I am a Christian" by John Stott. It begins with some notes on Francis Thompson's poem, "The Hound of Heaven" ... the poem just caught me at the right time, especially these words, spoken by God:
How little worthy of any love thou art!
Whom wilt thou find to love ignoble thee,
Save Me, save only Me?
All which I took from thee I did but take,
Not for thy harms,
But just that thou might’st seek it in My arms.
All which thy child’s mistake
Fancies as lost, I have stored for thee at home:
Rise, clasp My hand, and come!
Well said.

I see New Line is going to try to make Pullman's "His Dark Materials" into a movie. I read these three books and loved them. I realize that many people, especially Catholics, find them offensive, anti-Catholic, anti-Christian, etc. The thing is, obviously, the church can be a horrible institution. In fact, it has been a horrible institution at different times in the past and recently. It wasn't for nothing that Jesus told his disciples to "beware the yeast of the pharisees" in Mark 8:15. I understand Pullman may have written these books with the worst of intentions, but I found the stories full of loyalty, love, excitement, danger and invention. That the Church is used as a villian in a story seems nothing new to me. Similarly, I enjoyed reading Dan Brown's "Da Vinci Code." Books, in fact, ideas, can be corrupting... but how weak must be one's faith to be corrupted by fiction. Whether it's adults or children being corrupted, it seems handy to have a story handy that can bring the weakness to light.

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