Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Twilight Gospel by Dave Roberts

About book:
The blockbuster Twilight Saga is being read by teenager and adult alike. These powerful novels are getting even more popular as the movies hit the theaters. Crisply written and with a gracious spirit, The Twilight Gospel will help teens, their parents, and their pastors discern what is good from what is unhealthy in the novels and equip them to be biblically literate readers.

From the back cover:
With these powerful novels getting even more popular as the movies hit the cinemas, the call for a Christian response is strong. What values and ideas do Meyer's novels promote? What is good about them, and what deserves closer inspection?

The spirituality and worldview of the Twilight Saga are fascinating, but they do not sit easily with orthodox Christianity. This book carefully and graciously assesses what is praiseworthy and what is less so. It helps the reader to think more clearly about issues to do with occult spirits, life after death, myths and legends, sexuality, personal spiritual power, the culture of glamour and the lure of materialism. All these subjects are woven into the fabric of the Twilight Saga.

The central point of the book is to help teens (and their parents) discern what is excellent from what is unhealthy, helping to create robust, shrewd, and literate young adults.

My thoughts:
For a short book, this book inspired a lot of thoughts and wasn't what I was expecting. I have to admit to not being that good about reading blurbs about books. I hate to know too much ahead of time so I try to read as little as possible. If I read too much it is like seeing too many previews for a movie and then seeing it and realizing that you already saw all the funny parts.

When I started this book I was glad to see that the author stated that he planned to both praise and raise questions about Stephenie Meyer's Twilight saga. If it had been all criticisms I would have been put off from the beginning. It was also helpful that he included a synopsis of the four books in chapter one for either readers who hadn't read the whole series or ones whose reading of it had been a while ago (like me). One of the things he called into question a number of times was improper sexuality. But Edward and Bella wait until marriage to have sex. He felt they went too far in their desires. As for the other couples in the Cullen household, they all act as if they are married but I don't know if they actually are or not, I can't recall and he doesn't mention it. He suggests that we use vampire mythology to explore morality when not using the claims of conventional religion.

He suggests that Meyers is asking her readers to look more closely at their own lives, their religion an their spirituality. He has a while section on clumsiness syndrome which I don't totally buy into. But in chapter three he points out that the duckling becomes a swan and the pun of it hit me when I read it, don't know why i never saw it before. He also seems to think that Meyers is telling her reader that there is a need to aspire to physical beauty (like the vampires) to have a good life. Also he finds fault with Alice and her buying, her consumerism with buying clothes and cars and her conspicuous consumption is seen as a good thing. He feels that Twilight celebrates the pursuit of having the ability to possess items and links that to a sense of self-worth and well-being. he sees it as endorsing and worshiping money. I saw this in a different way. The type of spending the Cullen's, and especially Alice, are able to do is impossible for me and I'm not even sure I would want to be able to spend like that but to me that makes this a fairy tale for teenagers and Alice is the Fairy Godmother granting the wishes that she decrees for her family. The money may have been unfairly attained, as the author states, by her psychic gifts but she is putting it right back into the economy which may actually help with jobs and such.

Back to the authors take on sexuality in the book, one of the things he finds fault with is that the reason Edward and Bella wait to have sex isn't because they believe it is morally wrong but because he is afraid of hurting her. To me, whatever the reason that they showed restraint should be applauded. With so many examples in popular culture today of teenagers having sex it was nice to see a committed couple who care deeply for one another, who plan to spend the rest of their lives which will be much longer than a normal life span together, waiting to take their relationship to it's most physical until after it has been consecrated by a church.
This book was provided by LitFuse Blog tours for review purposes. To see other reviews on the blog tour you can go to: http://www.litfusegroup.com/Blog-Tours/the-twilight-gospel-by-dave-roberts.html

About the Author:
Dave Roberts is the author of the best-selling The Toronto Blessing and Red Moon Rising with joint sales in excess of 100,000. He is a former editor of Christianity and won awards for his work on Renewal magazine. He is a local church pastor and conference director for three major annual conferences on worship, children's ministry, and women's ministry.


  1. Cool, Jill! That sounds like a great read. I remember not wanting to get into Twilight because a.) I had a feeling I'd love it and become obsessed, LOL, and b.) I didn't want to read something that made me uncomfortable from a faith perspective. However, I felt hypocritical with that reason since obviously I love Harry Potter (which I had the same conundrum about) and love Disney's Magic Kingdom so not ALL "magical" things are apparantly off limits to me.

    Did you review this one or was it one that you wanted to read?

  2. Be sure to TWEET This to be entered for a chance to win a $50 gift card to Amazon.com!

    TWEET THIS: Understand cultural and Biblical insights surrounding The Twilight Saga by reading #TheTwilightGospel. Please RT! http://ow.ly/1vjc6

    (must use hashtag #thetwilightgospel to be entered)