What Do We Do With Harry Potter?

Some Christians hate him, others love him.

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The final Harry Potter film opened to record crowds last weekend. Since the first book over 10 years ago, Potter has been a huge controversy for Christians. But Sarah Pulliam Bailey, writing for the Wall Street Journal online thinks many Christians have warmed up to the boy wizard and his friends and their adventures fighting evil Lord Voldemort. The early critique was that J.K. Rowling was promoting witchcraft; now some place her in the tradition of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkein.

My take? The magic of Potter is not really Wiccan. It’s far too mechanical and as many Wiccan groups have pointed out, its lines of morality are too clear. But that doesn’t mean its harmless. The morality isn’t that clear, and there are mixed worldview ideas throughout. A lack of discernment makes anything dangerous.

But above all - Hogwarts just isn’t Narnia or Middle Earth, and Rowling is no Lewis or Tolkein. Those books are far better. So if you have to choose, go with them.

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Further Reading

Harry Potter vs. Gandalf
Steven D. Greydanus | Decent Films Guide

How Christians Warmed to Harry Potter
Sarah Pulliam Bailey | Wall Street Journal | July 15, 2011

Old Magic and Greater Love: What's in Store for Audiences in the Final 'Harry Potter' Film
G. Shane Morris | BreakPoint | July 14, 2011

Harry Potter (For Muggles)
G. Shane Morris | BreakPoint Youth Reads | July 18, 2011