Monday, July 27, 2009

Things went great tonight on KKLA's Frank Pastore Show! Thanks for having me, Frank.
For those of you interested in the Twilight series, here's my review:

Have you heard all the press for the new movie Twilight? Do you have a teenager fascinated by vampires? Stephenie Meyer's books about the secret world of teenage vampires have been very successful, and now have a following of at least 12 million worldwide--and that's before the movie's release (she gained this fan base in three short years). Meyer was recently chosen by Entertainment Weekly as one of their Entertainers of the Year.

I've read all of her books and this is my assessment:

1. They differ from the historical vampire genre in that Meyer's main characters have renounced humans as "prey". They are not vegetarians, though. They hunt large animals. This is good as far as the monster aspect of vampirism goes, but a vampire is still a vampire.

2. There is some violence, although it occurs only a few times in books of 500+ pages. The last book, however, is quite graphic.

3. There is no sexual content in the first three books, other than innuendo (which is mild by today's standards). The fourth book does include quite a bit of sexual content, although the protagonists are married (and the young girl is now 18). This content is far less graphic than the average historical romance novel.

4. There are no occult tools, ceremonies or spells other than Meyer's somewhat torturous explanations as to how the supernatural power of shape-shifting can be passed down through generations. When Meyer starts getting into the werewolf theme, she loses focus and wanders into some Native American mysticism (although this is limited in scope and detail).

Meyer also bestows various supernatural powers on her vampires that read more like something from Superman than anything occult-related (although they could be construed as Psi powers).

This series is unique in its lack of emphasis on the occult, which leads me to wonder about the author's beliefs--she graduated from Brigham Young University. However, it is still based upon what has historically been an evil, soulless creature, and Meyer does not explain what makes her vampires any different in this regard.

In fact, Edward, the main character, talks occasionally about not having a soul and uses this as an argument to persuade Bella (the other main character) not to become a vampire. What Meyer never addresses is how her vampires can be kind and compassionate--valuing human life--and yet have no souls. The teenage Bella also dismisses eternal damnation like she would dismiss a visit to the dentist (not a good precedent).

Interest in Vampirism is taking off once again, and unfortunately, this movie will probably add to its popularity. So far, it's been wildly successful. Look for the sequel New Moon in 2010.


Blogger Frank Pastore said...

Hi Jill, thanks for coming on again tonight! It's always a pleasure to have you on! BTW, great job covering the Twilight series – I know a lot of people were blessed, I know I was. Thanks again!

10:14 PM  
Blogger Jill Martin Rische said...

Why thank you, Frank. You are a true friend. :)

11:38 PM  
Blogger 00icecold said...

Dear Miss Rische and Mr. Pastore,
My name is Michael Tavizon; I am 18 year student who is attending Biola University in La Mirada, California. I am a devote follower of Jesus Christ, which is to say, I have taken it upon myself to study as many religions around the world in order to discover the true nature of God; but I was raised, am now, and forever will be at heart a Catholic Christian. I listened to the broadcast on Monday and felt the need to, at the least, attempt to bring to your (and Mr. Pastore's) attention the grievous error you may be making concerning your criticism and comparison of the Harry Potter series and Twilight series. I am not by any means an authority on anything, and I wish to express my respect for both of your continued work in each of your respective areas. I've often been criticized for being course and rude. I will try my best to be neither; thus I will be as Intelligible and short as i can. I have read both series of books, and after some research, re-reading, and time I have found that the two series are completely different, except in one aspect - literary and cultural critics have dismissed them as either gateways to the occult or a childish slop not worthy any respectable readers time.
I urge you then to take the words of Dr. Peter Kreeft to heart: "it seems that the only one's in are culture not able to recognize great books are critics! ...The critics are out of touch with humanity." I urge a second time more forcibly, and charge with your responsibility to safeguard and shepherd the hearts of the thousands who listen to you (one of which included is my mom) to seek out the man John Granger and his works. My college Biola is host to the Torrey Honors Institute, a great books program headed up by Dr. John Mark Reynolds; and these to men have led the way for redeeming the Potter series for years.
For my part, I hope that you will heed me seriously, for I send this message in the spirit of love for you, which transcends even the great indignation which I often carry. I also offer the little knowledge I have and say this: never once on any kkla broadcast have I heard any biblical or literary proof condemning the "magic" in Harry Potter. For the Bible explicitly condemns only "Evocation-al magic" (the calling of spirits and daemons), not the "incantation-al magic" (words of Power) in Harry Potter. In Monday's broadcast, we were close to coming to it when a lovely lady asked: what was the difference between Gandalf's magic and Harry Potter. For that matter, I ask, what is the difference between his magic and the magic of Merlin in C.S. Lewis' That hideous strength; or the magic of Susan's horn in Prince Caspian? the answer is none, for these authors new that magic was not real but was a shadow of the true power of God and the power God has given to all living things, and most importantly the power of "the word"; and a literary tool whose use could show their readers, not the truth about the world, but the TRUTH about the world.
Lastly, I offer a link which will show you the introduction of John Granger's Finding God in Harry Potter. I hope it peeks your interests and changes your hearts. Mr. Pastore, I hope above all else that you would invite Mr. Granger to be on your program, for he has written several books on Harry Potter and is now writing a book about Twilight (not defending it as Christian book! but explaining why it is popular).

Thank you for you time.
Sincerely Yours,
Michael Tavizon
p.p.s. I do not think the Twilight series is remotely a good message, and I dislike it. But I believe Harry Potter to be intensely Christian, and a well-written series.
p.p.p.s. If you have already read John Granger then all of this is for naught; though i am still glad i did it, and hope still that you will give it a second look.

11:50 PM  
Blogger Chloe said...

As a believer, I believe that anything in refference of evil still evil. And it's hard for me to justify reading book about vampire, and so does Harry Potter. There's no grey area between good and evil in the bible. There are many book out there that still beneficial for teenager to grow in the Lord, rather than in the world. There's no redeming value from the book of twilight. So, let's not be deceived by something that look 'good' and we have to go back on what the bible said about this. I am not saying that if you read this book that you are going to hell or loose your salvation, but we should be more discern and more sanctify in the Lord.

1:02 PM  
Blogger Gloria said...

greetings Jill... I was listening to one of Dr. Martin's tapes and (Cult of Liberalism, part I) and he mentions a debate he had with T. J. Altizer at Stoneybrook University some years back. I am wondering if you can direct me to where I might obtain that tape, I'd like to hear it very much. I tried sending you an email from your blog site, but it wouldn't go through. thanks much! glo

5:40 PM  

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