Friday, January 21, 2011

Our Rating System

We use a simple 3-star rating system:

*** = "A" Highly Recommended
** = "B" Recommended
* = "C" Recommended with Reservations
O stars= "D/F" Not Recommended

Just like Mrs. Dunbar's high school English class, there will be many "Cs", several "Bs" and very few "A's."

Now, what to do with books/movies that fall under "Not Recommended?"

Families can certainly read those selections and use their own judgment. One option is to read with your kids, and another is to wait til your child is older. I would expect parents to come to different conclusions based on their background and interpretation.

Some will find our grading system too strict, and others will find it too loose. I look hard to find redeeming qualities in materials because I don't believe in being afraid of culture. Also, I have seen God use unexpected means and materials to touch people on different levels. At the same time I have almost no tolerance for weak story lines, poor writing, lazy plot devices.

I am frankly more concerned about the effects on our young people from saccharine Christian story-telling than from a well-told, albeit "secular," story. After all, our children must navigate within a secular world. Some may be disappointed when I give high marks to a book series with minimal Christian overtones, but (apologies to Augustine): All excellence is God's excellence.

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