Touched By a Vampire – a book review

touchedbyvampire.gifAbout This Book

Touched By a Vampire – Examing Twilight Through a Biblical Lens

People around the world are asking the same question, enraptured with Edward and Bella’s forbidden romance in the Twilight Saga, a four-book serial phenomenon written by Stephenie Meyer. The bestsellers tell the story of a regular girl’s relationship with a vampire who has chosen to follow his “good” side. But the Saga isn’t just another fantasy–it’s teaching girls about love, sex, and purpose. With 48 million copies in print and a succession of upcoming blockbuster films, now is the time to ask the important question: Can vampires teach us about God’s plan for love?

Touched by a Vampire is the first book to investigate the themes of the Twilight Saga from a Biblical perspective. Some Christian readers have praised moral principles illustrated in the story, such as premarital sexual abstinence, which align with Meyer’s Mormon beliefs. But ultimately, Beth Felker Jones examines whether the story’s redemptive qualities outshine its darkness.

Cautionary, thoughtful, and challenging, Touched by a Vampire is written for Twilight fans, parents, teachers, and pop culture enthusiasts. It includes an overview of the series for those unfamiliar with the storyline and a discussion guide for small groups.

About the Authorjones_beth_felker.jpg

Beth Felker Jones is assistant professor of theology at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. She is the author of The Marks of His Wounds: Gender Politics and Bodily Resurrection, as well as numerous articles and reviews. Beth is a mother and a pastor’s wife.

My Review

I have a teenaged daughter, who just about a year ago, was causing me, as her father, quite a bit of consternation because her best friend was reading the Twilight books, talking about the Twilight books, dreaming about the Twilight books, influencing Elizabeth to read the Twilight books and Elizabeth just couldn’t understand why I forbade her to read them (I had already read a considerable number of reviews of the books, both in a positive light and a negative light – funny, now that I think back upon it, most of the honest & fair critiques that ended up saying “Don’t read this book” were written by the Christians I love & respect).

With Beth Felker Jones’ new book, I’ve told my daughter (who long ago “cooled her heels” about wanting to read the books), “If you want to read Twilight or even see the movies, you have to read this book first.” And she did… and she hasn’t. She did read Touched By a Vampire and, at the present time, she no longer has an interest in reading Twilight.

I think Ms. Jones has done many Christian parents a great service in providing this book. It will help provide a guide for developing and using biblical discernment in how we examine a phenomenon such as Twilight. Teenagers getting caught up in a frenzy over a fad that will pass all too quickly (not quickly enough in this blogger’s opinion, but that’s another post) is nothing new. Christian teens getting caught up in a worldly fad such as Twilight is sadly, nothing new either. Christian parents of those teens, wondering what to do, wringing their hands in anxiety- and fear-driven befuddlement is woefully nothing new, yet again. Touched will arm parents with Scripture, not to beat their kids over the head with, but in order to engage their hearts and minds, causing them to think of their own fantasies in the light of Christ & His cross.

There is a discussion guide provided with the book. The questions are thought-provoking. I think they will give teens and their parents something to think long and hard about. Without having read Twilight yet having read this book, my teen-aged daughter and I had an excellent, lengthy talk about relationships, fads and fashion trends, trying to think Christianly and father-daughter stuff. It was great. There is a leader’s guide .pdf available for download here. There is also a movie watching guide provided here as well.

I can highly commend this book to parents and teens alike. Open up your Bible and see wisdom work.

The book may be purchased from WaterBrook Multnomah or from RandomHouse. You may read an excerpt (chapter one) here.

This book was provided by WaterBrookMultnomah free of charge for my reading and reviewing.

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