In Sony Pictures’s latest film GOOSEBUMPS, the new kid on the block Zach and his neighbor and renown author R.L. Stine cannot “let go and let God” because they are afraid of being alone. We discuss these Christian themes and so much more on this episode of the Finding Christ In Cinema.
For your convenience you will find each podcast segment at the time referenced below:
- 00:00:00 – Introduction and Previous Episode Recap
- 00:02:18 – Movie Discussion
- 00:25:00 – Christian Themes in GOOSEBUMPS
- 01:10:33 – Listener Challenge and Feedback
- 01:19:44 – Well-mannered Frivolity
- 01:36:21 – Lightning Round
- 01:43:49 – Upcoming
How Goosebumps Says to Let Go and Let God
Zach and his mom have just moved to Madison, Delaware for a change of scenery. His mom is the new vice principal at the local high school, and he is the new kid at school. Zach, though, is holding something else: a wall that he is built around his heart. His dad died the year before, and Zach is having a hard time moving on and understandably so. His mom urges him to take this fresh start as a chance to make new friends. He gets that chance when he meets his next door neighbor Hannah.
Unfortunately, Hannah’s father is a controlling nutjob that won’t let her befriend anyone. He turns out to be renown author R.L. Stine, creator of the Goosebumps series. As pushy as he can be, Mr. Stine, too, has his own construct for protection: his books. As a child, he was bullied to the point of other children throwing rocks at him. He created his monsters to scare away those kids and to keep them out of his life. He didn’t really have anyone else until Hannah came along.
The first lesson we can glean from this is that the fear of being alone can be crippling. Both Zach and Stine have kept other people out of their lives because they don’t want to be hurt, but they’ve both found a refuge in Hannah. That refuge has its limits, though, and fear still creeps in. It’s like King David, the man after God’s own heart.
Fear crept in several times throughout his life, and he occasionally wrote a psalm about it. Psalm 55 is one of those psalms, and it is a mournful yet triumphant reminder that one can call on and be comforted by God even in the midst of fear.
As the story goes on, Zach and Stine learn something else, too. They learn that if they’re going to be effective in stopping Slappy and the rest of the monsters from taking over the world, they are going to have to let go of their personal barriers. They have to let go if they want to be of any earthly good and save Madison. Most importantly, they learn to let go of their fear of being alone.
The same goes for us: when we let go of everything we’ve built to keep others out and let God have His way, we, too, will be free to affect His kingdom on earth.
Ecclesiastes 4:12 NLT
A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.
1 Corinthians 2:3-5 NASB
I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.
Finding Christ In Cinema is the show where we discover Christian themes in movies past and present. Join us and together we’ll dig deeper into the silver-screen classics of yesteryear as well as the box-office hits of today. Brought to you by the Great Commission Transmission Network. View the complete show notes – including links to articles discussed – by clicking here.
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