Being a huge Twilight fan due in part to my hopeful romantic heart I was captivated not at first when the series because a huge hit, but after years I watched the movies, followed by reading all the books as fast as I could inhale them. I am a Christian and find that in everything, we can look at things in through what some call Gospel eyes. We can see redeeming qualities in all things while others see only the black and white or good and bad in all things.
I was particularly interested in the recent book The Gospel According to Twilight by Elaine A. Heath and what her take on this series of books and movies had to offer. Was there anything redeeming or have we been like lambs to the slaughter and simply mislead. I think she did a brilliant job and breaking down literally all aspects of what the books and movies have to show us, both good and bad and allow us to gain insight from seeing both signs of the proverbial coin.
With this book comes the understanding of the author, Stephanie Meyers motivation behind the words and actions she describes in the book being a Mormon but also shows how even she deviates from the traditional LDS or Latter Day Saints theology. Elaine goes through each circumstance outlined in the book through a variety of theological teachings from Catholic, to Eastern Orthodox and parallels how we, as Christians, can use the Twilight series to reach women and girls and create a bridge of communication.
There are many redeeming qualities in the book such as the family values that are highlighted in the Cullen (vampire) family. Carlisle, the father featured in the series, even though he is a vampire, chooses through self control to not seek his natural desire to feed on humans but instead feeds by drinking animal blood and now uses his skill as a doctor to help people. His wife, Esme is the proverbial good wife, utilizing her talents as a caregiver and mother to everyone. She even goes as far to make Bella an Italian meal when she first visits the Cullen family, even though they don't eat food. The entire Cullen family is the prime example of a loving family. The work together, they all get along great and protect one another when threats come calling.
Each of the Cullen's have come from a human life previously filled with violence and now all seek to do good and extend grace thorough their life of mortality always seeing the good in everyone, including their rival vampires, werewolves and humans. Even Bella's lifestyle is analyzed about the consequences of coming from a divorced home and having parents living on opposites sides of the country. It shows us how Bella's detachment from what works in a marriage and family is distorted and why she wants to be a part of the Cullen's so passionately. She is accepted despite all her defects, as she sees them.
Elaine Heath also provides insight in the downsides of the series and it allows readers to see why so many are adamant that this series does not belong in hands of believers. It does give you something to think about but I am a firm believer in what the enemy may chose to use for evil, God can turn it around for His glory and goodness. My personal beliefs are that this at least opens conversations up between believers and non believers and may create a great way to show people the love of Christ through this series of books where they may have been closed off before.
I received The Gospel According to Twilight by Elaine A. Heath compliments of Westminster John Knox Press and Net Galley for my honest review and think this is well written. You don't just have a confirmation that this is the perfect series of books but a great line of thinking to consider in all things we chose to take part of in life. For that I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars. I think this would make a great Bible Study for a youth group in the coming months as the final saga of the series hits theaters. It may open doors for people to come to know Christ through talking about what this series offers both to young men and impressionable young women!