Monday, June 23, 2003
Still Wild About Harry-Just about everyone's posted about the latest Harry Potter book. I haven't got much new to day that I didn't say in this piece in October. Chris Regan has a good rundown on Potter syncretism in the modern church. Kevin Holtsberry points out this Dave Kopel piece on the large amount of low-level Christian imagery in the Potter books. Two quick counters to Kopel's view (1) Just because it has Christian imagery doesn't make it good theology. For instance, the Matrix movies have serious Christian overtones, but it used them in an unorthodox Gnostic framework. (2) The Potter books use English and European historical and mythological touchstones; such markers note that England has a Christian past, but merely provides flavoring for a post-Christian broth that has no Gospel meat left. Potter fans like to note that Ms. Rowling is a church-going Presbyterian. That doesn't necessarily make her a good theologian or a believer; lots of bad theology have come out of churchgoers. It doesn't make her the Devil's handmaiden, either, but I don't think she'd done Jesus any favors from this series. I don't think the damage that the book will do will come from people turning to the occult from reading the book. I think the damage will be done by people thinking that the supernatural, either of God or of the Devil, is merely fictional, and discount the day-to-day work of the Holy Spirit and unholy spirits. If Satan can't bring us to his side in supernatural warfare, his next best move is to make us non-combatants, and Harry does that job very well.
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