|I am a parent, a homeschooler, a conservative, and a committed Christian. I say all this up front so that my criticism of this series will be understood.|
As the series continues, so does the level of my reservation. It appears to this parent that the authors are increasingly engaging in the trivialization of an extremely serious subject; namely leading souls to Christ. Whether one accepts pre-tribulation, pre-millenial dispensationalism or not (and I do not) the End of Time is not going to be a time of comic-book adventure. It will be deadly serious -- and the longer this series progresses, the more I wonder if this is properly realized.
To reiterate my position:
I believe in presenting the truth to my children to the best of my ability -- and I well know that I am a flawed and imperfect vessel.
This means the truth of the Bible -- not the opinion of an extreme minority, even if that minority has achieved a certain millenial popularity.
This means the truth of Church History -- warts and all. When Church History is honestly portrayed, one quickly sees that it is not 2000 years of "Bible-believers vs. Roman Catholics" but rather 2000 years of good and evil, truth and error, advances and retreats -- but always pressing onward toward the Kingdom.
This means the truth of Secular History -- and understanding that for most of the last 2000 years, there was no distinction between Church and Secular History!
This means the truth of what comprises good literature vs. poor literature -- and this series increasingly does not represent the quality of material I want my children to handle. I realize that all children learn differently, especially when it comes to reading. This being said, I want my children to stretch beyond their preconceived limitations. The quality of these books certainly does not stretch the limits of what the 9-12
age-group is capable of.
Truth is frequently painful and sometimes scary.
HOWEVER, I do NOT believe in deliberately frightening children into accepting or rejecting a particular opinion or viewpoint. It appears to this parent that such religious "scare tactics" are precisely what is being engaged in with these books.
My children know about heaven and hell. They know what it requires to end up in either of those destinations. They understand that hell is a pretty scary place. But I choose to teach them in a positive, rather than in a negative vein. Being "scared straight" is imperfect contrition. Granted, it beats no contrition at all -- but it results in fear rather than love.
This is what this series appears to accomplish: salvation through fear, rather than salvation through acceptance of the love of the God of Love. (Not to mention a disregard for the legitimacy of other Christian traditions.)
Parents, pay attention to what your children read. Teach them about the love of God, not only through your words but through the example of your life. But don't try to frighten them into the Kingdom.
"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it."