Category Archives: Evangelism

Mark Driscoll: The Dark Side of Vampire Fiction

There is no question about it: Twilight has taken our culture by storm.  Other stories from the vampire genre have been told in both movie and book form, but none of them have so utterly overtaken society like the Twilight books and movies.  Simply shout the name Edward Cullen in a room full of pre-teen and teen girls and watch their reaction.  They will do one of two things: either scream their heads off  about how much they love some romantic blood-sucking vampire or they will scream even louder about how much hotter a shirtless werewolf named Jacob is.

Oddly enough, their moms might be just as vocal about their preferences for “Team Edward” and “Team Jacob” as their daughters.

Thankfully, as the brother of a wonderful and sensible sister and the son of a mother who has done a good job steering me and my siblings away from trashy literature and movies, I’ve had no experience with the Twilight craze (nor with the Harry Potter craze either, which I think is just as annoying, but that’s for another time).  Nevertheless, I’ve never liked the idea of Twighlight.  When I was younger, I grew up reading novels by G.A. Henty, which always depicted courageous, noble, honest, and virtuous young men as heroes.  They weren’t sexy, hot, vain, or emotionally unstable.  Their lives didn’t revolve around their female love interests (though they always treated them with chivalry and honor).

Admittedly, the Henty novels were geared toward the interests of young men, playing up the historical, adventurous, and action themes that made the pages fly by when I was reading them.  I realize that Twilight is geared toward young females instead of males.  But the principle of using literary figures as truly exemplary models of human conduct really had a tremendous impact on me when I was younger.  Therefore, until today, my biggest qualm with Twilight, as a book and film series, was that it attracts young women to men for the wrong reasons.  From what I know of the stories, none of the characters are anything we should want to emulate in our real lives.   It just seemed so trivial to me.

That had been my thinking until today, when a friend of mine posted a video featuring Mark Discroll discussing Twilight and the vampire genre in general.  I find his talk quite convincing and in particular, his analysis of how Twilight has ruined so many young girls and turned so many older women into essentially pedophiles.   Much of what goes on surrounding the Twilight saga is simply wrong, not only because it teaches girls to idolize characters that are not worthy of emulation, but because it actually has a negative impact on their spiritual discernment.   It’s disgraceful what parents have encouraged their kids to do in the name of “getting them to read.”  It’s even more discouraging what behaviors parents have justified in themselves and their children due to things just like the Twilight saga.

With that, please take the next 13 minutes to listen to this video from Mark Driscoll.  Be prepared to laugh as well…his comments are quite hilarious at times.  And, if you really are as anti-Twilight as Driscoll and I, you can also read this short, but very well-written article by Katie Nace, a friend of mine at Regent University.


John Piper: Things That Destroy Christian Leaders

I am an undergraduate student at Regent University where our motto is: “Christian Leadership to Change the World.”  In the past few decades, the emphasis on raising up the next generation of Christian leaders has become a cornerstone of American Christianity.  Movements like Alex and Brett Harris’s “The Rebelution,” the National Christian Forensics and Communication Association (NCFCA), Patrick Henry College, Regent University,  the Truth Project, Summit Ministries, and a host of other developments are a testament to the many ways in which my generation is being equipped with the skills and ideas necessary to stand up as a Christian leader in the midst of a perverse culture.

While I do believe that this emphasis has resulted in a new generation of intellectually powerful Christian minds and motivated young people with the skills and abilities to shake up our culture in a radical way, John Piper reminds us in this short clip of a few simple things that can tear my generation to shreds–and completely nullify our potential for influence.   If there is a contradiction between our devotion for the majesty, supremacy, love, and glory of God and our devotion for the distractions of our worldly culture, then we have to realize that we are at a point for self-examination. Paul exhorts us in 2 Corinthians 13:5 to  “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!”

Further, Romans 8:5-6 says, “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.”   Therefore, resolving the disconnect between our personal, every-day lives and our intellectual knowledge of God is not simply a passing concern.  It is a matter of life and death.  For as James 4:4 says, “You adulterous people!  Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”

Do we want to be friends of  God’s glory or friends of Lady Gaga’s glitz?  Do we want to be lovers of God’s beauty or lovers of Tim Burton’s deviance?  Do we want to meditate on the pure and true words of God (Psalm 12:6) or satisfy our emotions with the heretical lies of William Young?  Are we fine with overlooking the vile language, disgusting images, and licentious behavior that dominates modern cinema?  Or do we desire to witness the glory of God, like the prophet Isaiah and the apostle John?   Are we more concerned over who is watching the Watchmen or what God sees when he is watching us?  My fellow brothers in Christ, do we want to fall prey to the lusts of our sexual temptations when we can flee to God for refuge?  My fellow sisters, do you want to adorn yourself with robes of white linen, washed clean by the blood of the lamb, or do you want to disgrace and objectify your bodies with bikinis, low necklines, high skirts, and revealing shorts?

Please take a few minutes to watch this clip.   It has thoroughly convicted me.  I can’t be a Christian leader if I am not dwelling on the things of the Spirit and seeking first God’s kingdom and righteousness, no matter how much apologetics, philosophy, economics, and political theory that I know.   No one can do so.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” – Philippians 4:8

John Piper: What about unbelieving friends?

John Piper, one of my favorite contemporary preachers, gives a blow to postmodernist apathy on matters of competing religious views.  It’s time to stop goofing off.  We need to cease being ashamed by the fact that not all views about God are created equal.  It’s not just a matter of opinion.  People need to be shocked out of their complacency (through caring and passionate love) in order to realize just how high the stakes are for this game.

Watch this clip from Piper to see what I mean.