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November 26, 2008

Chuck Colson on ’Twilight’

21twil600 The other day, commenter JerryH asked if Chuck Colson had done a BreakPoint commentary on the Twilight movie. He has now. A sample:

The movie Twilight made a staggering $70.6 million at the box office in its opening weekend. To give you some perspective on that, that’s the fourth highest opening weekend for a movie this year. The film website Box Office Mojo reports, “According to distributor Summit Entertainment’s exit polling, 75 percent of Twilight’s audience was female and 55 percent was under 25 years old.”

So chances are if you have a teen or preteen daughter, she’s already seen Twilight. And if she hasn’t, she will want to. That raises some questions for parents: What kind of values is this movie promoting? And how should I talk to my daughter about them?

Read more.

(Image © Summit Entertainment)

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Steve (SBK)

Enjoyed the commentary.
I think Chuck hit on the points lots of people miss : that abstinence isn't the only issue here, and that there are some warped ideas about romance being promoted.
But of course, "It's fiction!" so it can't possibly influence the way we think.


Mmm, I thought there were some interesting points here. Not least of which is the point about "bad" guys and "good" girls. My question is: how does it apply to Twilight? The "bad" Edward Cullen is the one who is constantly engaging in selfless acts and insisting on morality in their relationship. He shows nothing but courtesy and concern for Bella. The "good" Bella is the one who is completely happy with throwing morality to the wind. Sure, I'll agree that Bella isn't a good role model. But who actually reads this book to admire *Bella*?

Another thing: The deal about Edward having killed people. The book goes on to explain that those he killed were the lowest of criminals, and he saved other people by doing it. Of course, I do not support this kind of behavior at all, but is it really any different than what most super heroes do? Take out the bad guys? Just food for thought. If you're going to attack Edward, might as well attack any superhero who steps around the law and kills "for the greater good."

Killing of any kind is not something I personally support, but I've been amazed by the outpouring of rage against Twilight that wasn't there for any of the recent superhero movies.

Steve (SBK)

Is this true:
"It is not romantic, or safe, when a boy spies on you, follows you, and sneaks into your room without your knowledge (and especially without your parents’ knowledge).

It is not romantic, or safe, when someone tells you he’s dangerous and he’s killed people, to give answers like, “It doesn’t matter,” and, “I’m not afraid.” Again, I’ve worked with repentant murderers in prison. I know firsthand that redemption is possible for them. But that doesn’t mean that what they’ve done doesn’t matter."

Seems to me Edward is the perfect guy. Every girl should have an Edward, right? (I mean, aside from the vampire-part which is fiction).
And since, realistically, every girl can have 'a superhero who kills lowlife scum', let's spend a lot of time debating whether Superman or The Incredible Hulk or Edward would win in a fight.

The point of course, is that real girls should not be thinking this behavior is acceptable by their real boyfriends. Fantasy is fine and fun, there just needs to be filters in place. Incredibly, I have no rage-spittle at the moment.


I agree that neither are romantic or safe in real life. The fact is, the story is decidedly not real life. Unless of course you know a family of vampires, in which case I concede my point. :) The fact is, Edward is a fictional fantasy character and should be judged by fictional fantasy standards.

(And no, I'm not saying that Edward is the perfect guy. Reading the book, I was always amused at how much he was like me...worrisome, obsessive, perfectionist.... I certainly didn't finish the book as a die-hard Edward fan. I don't think it is an author's job to create perfect characters. The best characters are those who are imperfect, yet strive to do their best anyway.)

Stuart Graydon

While I wholeheartedly agree with what Chuck and Mark have said about this movie, I am struck that the theme that a bad boy can be tamed by a good girl was exactly what concerned me about the movie Walk The Line. The movie presented this as the sole reason for Johnny Cash's conversion.


(just a nitpic: don't go hatin' on superheroes! As a life-long comics reader, the majority make sure never to kill. I will now return you to your original thread!) :)


Thank-you Mr. Colson for the great review of this movie and books. In discussing the review with my 16 year old daughter, I was a little surprised to hear that a few of her friends had read the books and didn’t find them especially entertaining. In fact their views of Edward were along the same lines as the review. They saw that the romance presented in the books was not the type they desire for themselves. As a father, this gives me great hope, in that my daughter and her friends understand their relationship with Christ in the culture glorified by the world around them. Thanks for your great work.

Dan Knight

JerryH says: "In discussing the review with my 16 year old daughter..." It seems to me that JerryH is the "superhero" the creator of "Edward" is attempting to typify.

Admittedly, this opinion is based on the vast extent of this blog: I have niether a daughter, nor read the book, nor seen the movie. But from the context of this discussion thread alone, I can deduce that the essence of the sotry is that Bella is "not afraid" when she has a "hero". While from my limited knowledge, I think the I think the "hero" character is dubious, the longing for and expression of a "hero" is the story is at the essence of every girl's dream (to have one) & the core of every boy's fantasy (to be one).

What is painfully evident in our culture is the lack of "heros" in our children's lives. And our culture's twisted perspective of heros, as being tough, emotionless (except for rage) and distant. My step-son before he died(alright it was my wife because Justin was hanidcapped) gave me a personalized license plate that expressed the essence that I was his hero. I wept then, I weep now when I thnk of him...I miss him. But every time I go to my car, I'm reminded that I was a "hero".

JerryH, by being engaged in his daughter's life, is showing what a true "hero" is, and in today's "post-fatherhood" culture, that makes him a SUPER-HERO!

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