The world outside—it’s a dangerous place. Stick with Christian community. Where it’s safe.

I have received that message—sometimes blatant, sometimes merely implied—within so many Christian communities from childhood through adulthood. I’ve been instructed to read only Christian texts, attend only Christian schools, support only Christian charities, seek out Christian doctors, root for Christian football players, heed only Christian music, and beware of “secular” influences. Last week, in response to my Christianity Today review of Arrival, some readers warned me that my soul was in jeopardy for seeking wisdom in a Hollywood movie. Once, on a Sunday morning, I carried my heavy heart down to the beach for some solitude and prayer, and a pastor later scolded me for choosing to spend time in nature (“an unreliable source of God’s wisdom”) instead of within God’s house. Stay inside. Where it’s safe.

Brendan, the young ninth-century hero in the 2007 animated feature The Secret of Kells, has learned similar lessons. Monstrous marauders are on the march, seeking to slay anyone in their path. And the woods are full of pagan forces. Stay inside, says Brendan’s guardian. Be safe.

So begins this extraordinary animated film. The Secret of Kells might be a rewarding choice for your family during the Christmas season. It’s bursting with imagination, music, inspiring characters, and a celebration of a holy book that brings light into the darkness.

Here’s the story… in this week’s edition of “Viewer Discussion Advised.”