Even though I really enjoyed the Wrinkle in Time series by Madeleine L’Engle (and still have a copy of it), I won’t be buying tickets for the new movie about to open. Two words: Disney and Oprah.
That’s a combination enough to ruin anything, even a children’s classic.
What’s funny is that until very recently I wasn’t aware of just how controversial the book had been among Christians when it was first released. That said, when I first read it as a teenager I did pick up on some strange vibes, such as listing Jesus, Ghandi, Einstein and great artists like Leonardo da Vinci and Beethoven as examples of historical figures standing against evil. Nowhere in that passage does it hint at any greater role for Jesus — he is simply one of the great figures.
L’Engle was an Episcopalian, a denomination that has skewed ever more liberal and heretical since the mid-1900s. If, as the linked article above infers, the author was trying sincerely to reconcile the Christian faith with science, it may have been at the expense of watering down the Christian elements into a general spirituality that hesitates to draw clear theological lines:
“To be truly Christian means to see Christ everywhere, to know him as all in all,” L’Engle wrote in her book Walking on Water. “I don’t mean to water down my Christianity into a vague kind of universalism, with Buddha and Mohammed all being more or less equal to Jesus-not at all! But neither do I want to tell God (or my friends) where he can and cannot be seen!”
And that’s where Oprah comes in. The longtime TV host may have recently claimed she wouldn’t run for president unless “God tells me to,” but it’s fair to wonder what sort of god she’s expecting instructions from. She is anything but an orthodox Christian — for a short glimpse of the evidence of this statement, click this link. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Disney, of course, regularly provides content full of themes incompatible with the historic Christian faith — all under the cute guise of “kids entertainment.”
So with a recipe involving a book of nominally Christian fiction, a New Age television guru, and the House of Mouse, what could go wrong?
Madeleine L’Engle’s classic young adult novel “A Wrinkle in Time” is the latest victim of diversity-deranged stunt casting in which no respect is paid to the race or sex of existing literary characters. But that’s only one reason why this frustrating fiasco is such an embarrassing failure. Director Ava DuVernay (“Selma”), who has no feel at all for the material, seems more interested in promoting colorblind multi-culturalism than producing an entertaining adaptation that is worthy of its much-beloved source…
Also, it’s unfortunate that the film eliminates the novel’s references to Christianity that resulted in it being banned from some libraries. Inclusion apparently has its limits.
I didn’t need the confirmation of yesterday’s movie review. As soon as the very first trailer debuted last year, I knew this was a “must-pass” event. The original book is still a fun read, but has more of a dualist worldview than a properly Christian one in which salvation through Christ alone is the central tenet. Adding Hollywood to the mix just exacerbates the issue. Christians are understandably hungry for good entertainment these days. But that doesn’t mean we should spend our dollars in a way that encourages Hollywood’s tendency to take anything reasonably good, gut it, stuff it with their agenda, and pass it off as something worth seeing.
Find something better to do this weekend.