‘One of the Best Fantasies Ever–But Handle with Care’ (2015)

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You need to be in touch with your inner adult…

How many of you have actually read Peter Pan? Trust me, it’s nothing like the Disney movie. In fact, it’s like nothing else you’ve ever read.

One of the Best Fantasies Ever (But Handle with Care)

It may seem strange, on a Christian blog, to see any recommendation for such a thoroughly pagan book. I don’t think reading it will wipe out your faith. But reading it and thinking about it, reading it with discernment, may be very instructive.

There’s death at the bottom of it. I don’t know if author James M. Barrie taught that lesson on purpose, or whether this is yet another of those many books that are smarter than their authors. But you won’t find a more honest treatment of what the promises of “magic” boil down to.

Today Peter Pan would be a Democratic Socialist.

9 comments on “‘One of the Best Fantasies Ever–But Handle with Care’ (2015)

  1. That’s fantastic. I’ve never read the book, but remember seeing some sort of movie or TV show of it, many years ago.

    It’s an oddity that you posted this today. Not five minutes ago, I wrote a letter to a close friend about how some people see religion as a way of exempting themselves from the real world. Because they see the truth in God’s word and are drawn to that truth, some people make the mistake of believing they’ve found a workaround that keeps reality at bay. The words “Mrs. Darling was now dead and forgotten” expose this self deception. The key word was “forgotten”.

    One can live in a self imposed fantasy indefinitely if they choose to forget any reality that intrudes. I can see application of this to many, many areas of life.

    Christian beliefs give us hope in God’s promises, but they still require of us to face the real world and make our way through life. I’ve seen real life Peter Pan characters whose entire life is spent avoiding responsibility, claiming that this life, in our fallen world, wasn’t real. But, as Lee is fond of pointing out, we are to occupy until Christ returns and that means facing life and not trying to live in a Peter Pan fantasy.

    1. Pietism, or quietism, or whatever you want to call it–behaving as if the world were totally irrelevant–is simply not Biblical. Offhand, I can’t think of a single person in the Bible who took himself off to la-la land and gave no more thought to his responsibilities in this life. Our Lord Jesus Christ warned us, right up front, that in this world we will have tribulation. He never said “Ignore it!” No, He told us to hang on.

      Peter Pan glitters and shimmers and is full of nice free stuff: and the end thereof are the ways of death.

    2. As I understand it, Barrie’s inspiration may have been an older brother that died at the age of 14 and “never grew up”. The problem is, in order to stop time, one must stop living. As best I understand the plot, Peter Pan remains in his juvenile world, but his friends all move on with their lives.

      When I was 16, I had a wonderful year, filled with friends, wholesome activities, spiritual awakening and recreation. I clung to that year desperately, but I wasn’t able to make it last. Life moves on, with or without our consent and participation.

      Peter Pan remains in his Neverland world, but at the cost of everything else in life. Even without a spiritual aspect to the story, Pan’s story is one of a life wasted.

    3. Bret Winterble on the morning NewsMax talk show says he sees two kinds of people in the world. Those who live in reality, and those who live in a weird, bizarre fantasy world.

  2. Yes, it is no “magic” world here. I know people who read Harry Potter junk, and it just grieves my heart. When there are so many good teaching books for believers, I can not imagine why anyone would choose such tripe. Although I was a constant reader from the time I was able to read, I never read any peter pan or anything like that.
    We have a holy commandment to “go into all the world and preach the gospel”, and we had best be about our Father’s business, not frittering away our precious time on magic nonsense.

    1. But I think we do have to know what we’re up against. “Peter Pan” is instructive–probably more so than the author intended. We have to be able to convince people that “magic” and “free stuff” aren’t going to work: they are empty promises.

  3. You are so right. If we look at these things in the light of truth, they can be very instructive.

  4. I haven’t read the Peter Pan book, but now I am challenged to do so. I have no fear about it having a negative effect on me. I have read Edgar Rice Burroughs stories and they didn’t have a negative effect on me (a positive one, actually. I will never think of the moon, Venus, and Mars in the same way again 🙂 ).

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