This may be the straight-up-nerdiest post I’ve ever written.
In 1644, John Milton wrote a speech called Areopagitica to give in Parliament about freedom of the press. Parliament wanted to censor big sections of literature, some for being rebellious and politically charged and some for being “unclean.” Kind of like the way that many people try to discourage fandoms.
After summarizing the history of censorship vs free press, Milton talks about a guy named Dionysius Alexandrinus. He was basically a pastor in the early church, and someone asked him, “You read the books of heretics so you can talk to them, but isn’t that just as bad as being a heretic?”
Dionysius didn’t know how to answer that, so he prayed about it. And God responded, “Read any book, whatever comes into your hands, because you are sufficient to judge right and to examine each matter.”
Dionysius was pretty sure this message came from God because it seemed to line up with Titus 1:15: “To the pure, all things are pure…” Obviously, no person is completely pure. But the idea is a Christian can have “sufficient” purity to read potentially risky things, judge the risks for themselves, and learn from the experience without becoming less pure.
This is what we’ve been saying on the Correlation since the beginning (mostly me). If you have wisdom and discernment, you should be able to enjoy a variety of fandoms and take Christian compatible morals from them without poisoning your mind or your heart. If anything, the reviewers and critics and bloggers like me, Isaac, and that guy from Plugged-In can judge and examine each matter and pass along the message to all of you.
For more, I highly recommend Areopagitica if you can find it. I’ve barely read a third of it because it’s so dense and old-fashioned, but so far it’s strikingly similar to what we talk about here on the blog.
Twitter: @noahspud and @CorrelationBlog