the weblog of Alan Knox

I am Edward the Vampire

Posted by on Dec 29, 2008 in discipleship | 7 comments

I started reading Twilight by Stephenie Meyer yesterday, and I’ll probably finish it today. I saw the movie a few weeks ago, and liked it. I heard that the books were very good, so I decided to try it for part of my vacation reading.

I’ve been very pleasantly surprised. Not only am I enjoying the story, I’m learning alot about the human condition that we call sin. What? I’m learning theology from a book about vampires? Yes. Was it written with this in mind? I don’t know.

Quick synopsis: Bella moves from Arizona to Washington when her mother gets remarried. She falls in love with a boy named Edward. She soon discovers that Edward and his family are vampires. But, his family – unlike other vampires – have chosen not to hunt humans, although they continue to have the strong desire for human blood.

Edward also falls in love with Bella. And, for a vampire, this is a dangerous attraction. He now wants her blood more than anything else. In fact, whenever he is with her, he has to constantly maintain control or he would kill her.

Here is an important passage:

[Edward:] “Ask me anything.”

I [Bella] sifted through my questions for the most vital. “Why do you do it?” I said. “I still don’t understand how you can work so hard to resist what you … are. Please don’t misunderstand, of course I’m glad that you do. I just don’t see why you would bother in the first place.”

He hesitated before answering. “That’s a good question, and you are not the first one to ask it. The other – the majority of our kind who are quite content with our lot – they, too, wonder at how we live. But you see, just because we’ve been … dealt a certain hand … it doesn’t mean that we can’t choose to rise above – to conquer that boundaries of a destiny that none of us wanted. To try to retain whatever essential humanity we can.”

Does this remind of you anything? We have been dealt a certain hand as well – as sinners. And, we have also been called to rise above the boundaries of a destiny that none of us wanted. We’ve been called to “put off the old man”… to “put on Christ”… to “not sin”… to “live holy”… in other words, to live as if we are different than we were made to be. [Obviously, the analogy is different because we are also indwelled by the Holy Spirit. We “rise above” by the grace of God. Yet, there is still a denial and some responsibility required on our part.]

In the book, Edward, the vampire, recognizes that if he gives in to his natural desires, he will hurt other people. Often, as followers of Jesus Christ, we often forget that when we give in to our natural desires to sin, we also hurt other people. We are forgive by God, but there are still consequences, both to ourselves and to others.

Some have decided to live apart from the world in an attempt to remove the desires. This doesn’t work, and its contrary to the will of God as he’s revealed in Scripture. Instead, like Edward, we are live in constant recognition of our natural tendencies. We are to live in control of our selves – a control that is the product of our yielding to the Spirit living in our lives.

In reality, I am Edward the vampire, with the constant threat of hurting myself and others when I give in to my natural desires. But, also in reality, I am indwelled by the Spirit in order to rise above my natural tendencies and to live life as a new creature in Christ.


7 Comments

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  1. 12-29-2008

    I haven’t read the book(s), yet… and I’m not sure that I will. But from what you’ve said, we’re better off than Edward, because we have a helper… he only has his will power.

    This philosophy of not succumbing to the “hand that we were dealt” really fits great with my theology of the human condition.

    Thanks for sharing!

    God’s Glory,
    Lew

  2. 12-29-2008

    Alan,

    Great analogy on the human condition. But, as you’ve pointed out we have the Holy Spirit to strengthen and guide us on our journey.

    Controlling ones self is still not easy. But, with God all things are possible.

  3. 12-29-2008

    Don’t you know christians are not supposed to read stuff like that, especially seminarians and clergy. Not very religious of you. I love this blog. Ah, the downward pull of humanity, the lust to conquer and have our way. Is it possible my 13 year old son may be a vampire? He thinks he’s going to live forever, and that we all exist to serve him.

  4. 12-29-2008

    I am not likely to read the book, but I appreciate that you shared your insights on it.

    We all do struggle with our inner vampire, thinking we do not leads to the pride and hubris that always presages a fall.

    As long as Edward continues to struggle and seek to overcome, and does not become Vlad the Impaler!

  5. 12-29-2008

    Hmm, my older duaghters have read and love all four of her books and they did NOT like the movie. Curious to see what your thoughts are after reading the book.

  6. 12-29-2008

    Lew,

    You should read the book. I think you would enjoy it.

    Gary,

    Yes, we have the Holy Spirit – Edward did not. I enjoyed what the book taught about self-control and how succumbing to our own pleasures could hurt ourselves but especially hurt others.

    Hal,

    The vampires in this book can last forever, but otherwise their not much like the vampires of modern culture. In fact, the main vampires are not egotistical or self-centered at all. In fact, they’re more “Christian” than many Christians I’ve met.

    Andy,

    Paul seemed to think his life was a continued struggle as well. I’ve found my life to be a continued struggle. I think this is why this book was helpful.

    Arthur,

    The book was definitely better than the movie – and I enjoyed the movie. But, of course, I always enjoy books more than movies.

    -Alan

  7. 12-29-2008

    Hmmm – I think you “get it”.