You’ve probably already the latest Harry Potter book by now. If you haven’t, then you aren’t likely to read it any time soon. Don’t worry, I’ll not spoil it for you – I never read any of the Harry Potter books. And I’m OK with that.
I was reading a short post over at Wendy’s and it got me to thinking about how we view the world and the culture around us. You see, her post was about the backlash against Harry Potter by the very people who love C.S. Lewis and J.R. Tolkien. Why is that?
I think the criticisms (aka attacks) on Harry Potter are mis-directed at best and not gospel-oriented at worst.
The difference between Lewis or Tolkien and Rowling is that their fiction was a gospel message within the fantasy world they created. And Rowling’s (AFAIK) does not. But that does not mean it is not worth reading nor does it make it “evil”. In fact, if it’s written well, then we should probably read it. Of course, we could borrow it from a friend rather than buy our own copy, but that’s not the point. The point is, just because something is created by a non-Christian* doesn’t mean it’s forbidden.
Personally, I am more disturbed by Christians who watch “desperate housewives” or “sex and the city”. But at the same time, I enjoy watching “medium” and “heroes”. Does that mean I’m condemned to hell? Not likely since I view these shows through the lens of the gospel. I see our own depravity in the characters and situations and see how despite all our efforts, our “works” will not save us. The characteristics of the people in these stories that we admire most, often demonstrate the same qualities Christ calls us to have.
*apparently, Rowling claims to be Christian but that doesn’t seem to fly with some people.
Update: Travis over at Sword of Gryffindor wrote an excellent post on a similar issue (is Dumbledore is gay?). In the post, Travis highlights some of the problems with the Culture War and is worth the read.