I’ll say this for Mr. Horvath: he may be reluctant to defend Jesus on his blog, but let me post something that reflects poorly on Horvath himself, and he’ll get a rebuttal posted almost in the time it takes to type it in.
Herr Professor gives an overview of the fantastic elements in the Pullman series and then quotes me when I say that in the Pullman series there is no line between reality and fantasy.
This is as clear an example of Herr Professor’s terrible reading abilities as one can get. My line about there not being a line between reality and fantasy was not in association with the witches and ‘magic’ of the Pullman series, but rather the working principles that undergird the Pullman series – which certainly are presented as reality.
It seems Mr. Horvath, despite his criticism of my “terrible reading abilities,” is unfamiliar with the common practice of lending plausibility to one’s fantasy stories through incorporation of realistic elements. He also seems to think that Pullman’s stories, rather than leaning on familiar topics in order to enhance verisimilitude, is instead a plot to advocate certain strange and dangerous ideas as being the way things really are. His original post even spells out for us precisely what this insidious plot allegedly is:
The real danger of the Pullman series is that it prepares the young, thinking person, to believe that even if Jesus rose from the dead, that still would not be evidence for the existence of God, or for the truth of Christianity.
And how did Pullman pull off this particular bit of subliminal brainwashing? By writing a story in which God was a real character, and in which the vaguely-referenced events of the ancient Bible stories might actually have occurred, or in other words by portraying God as real, and the Biblical events as largely accurate (though misinterpreted). Wow, that’s sneaky, eh?
What Pullman did was to imagine a world in which God was real, and did interact with the real world in ways that are consistent with the rest of reality. That’s an idea that’s fatal to Christianity, which has always protected God by hiding Him in a supernatural realm that, by definition, is inaccessible to scientific study and verification. Pullman’s “many worlds” setting rips away the veil that walls God off from man, and invites us to imagine what would happen if modern scientific techniques were able to observe actual interactions between a divine being and the natural world.
It’s no wonder Horvath finds this concept so alarming. Truth is consistent with itself, and once we allow ourselves to consider all the ways a real God would have a scientifically-detectable impact on the natural world, as Pullman portrays Him as having, then one can hardly help but notice how inconsistent the real world is with the Gospel. It’s not that a genuine resurrection would fail to be evidence for Christianity, it’s that God cannot survive in a world that requires truth to be self-consistent.