Sunday, September 09, 2007

A Christian Opinion of Harry Potter

Pottermania swept across the county again this summer, with the release of the final book in the series. I confess that I have not read The Deathly Hallows as of yet, but I have enjoyed J.K. Rowling's earlier six novels.

Does the Harry Potter series glorify witchcraft? Does it promote anti-Christian values? Does it ...

Balance is essential in assessing such material. Consider two extreme approaches from New Testament times. First at Athens in Acts 17, Paul is heard to quote from two Greek poets, Epimedides and Aratus. So the exemplary convert to Christianity recycles pagan poetry in his sermons, when he feels it might be appropriate. Second at Ephesus in Acts 19, Paul's message leads the former wizards and witches to burn their spell books. This is testimony to all that their new-found faith in Christ is a life-changing experience.

So, what of pagan books? Quote them, or burn them? I should say the distinction lies in whether such books can be classified as literature or genuine evil. What of Harry Potter then? I think J.K. Rowling's genre must be somewhere between Athenian Poetry and Ephesian Black Magic. Therefore every Christian has to make an individual and intelligent choice about the matter. Also, I do not consider it right for me to criticise anyone else's choice. Finally the teaching of 1 Corinthians 10 and Romans 14 means that I should not let my decision cause offence to a fellow Christian in any way.

1 comment:

jeremy said...

I found it most interesting that there are two explicit Bible references in the Deathly Hallows book - both inscribed on wizarding gravestones in the churchyard at Godric's Hollow. "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death,"
[1 Cor 15.26] and "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." [Matt 6.21]