Religion Dispatches on the Trouble with Harry Potter: Why Religious Conservatives Really Do Have Something to Fear.
The very notion that the world is not one of ordinary objects supervised by a supernatural deity, but rather a world of ordinary and extraordinary objects that doesn’t seem to be supervised by anything, has more in common with Enlightenment rationalism than with traditional religion. We may get distracted by the superstitions and doctrines, but really, such philosophies are resolutely secular—all the more so for being esoteric and magical.
For a more positive, Christian appropriation of the story, read this article from Relevant Magazine on The Redemption of Harry Potter.
In the end, Harry’s sacrifice is a pale reflection of a much deeper and more profound one that really did save the world, one that really does promise to set the world to rights. But his death does what any great Christian art ought to: Using a profound story, it provides a singular glimpse into the Christian story that can both deepen and widen our experience of faith.
**I guess the such divergent takes of these two articles suggests the fantastic job Rowling has done to make good art in her Harry Potter narrative.**
Elsewhere, Andrew Peterson also does some reflection on Harry Potter, Jesus, and Me.
I couldn’t get Harry’s story out of my head. I doubled over in the back of the auditorium and sobbed with gratitude to Jesus for allowing his body to be ruined, for facing the enemy alone, for laying down his life for his friends–Jesus, my friend, brother, hero, and king–Jesus, the Lord of Life, who triumphed o’er the grave–who lives that death may die! Even now, writing those words, my heart catches in my throat. In that moment I was able, because of these books, to worship Christ in a way I never had.
Over at CNN’s Belief Blog, Danielle Elizabeth Tumminio reflects on Why We’re Drawn to Harry Potter.
In other words, it is community and love that see us through even the greatest losses. That’s the same for Rowling and for Christians, for whom God is love. It is friendship and faith that help us walk—or drive, as I was doing at that moment—bravely to our destiny.
And Finally – Just Because He LOOKS Like Harry Potter….no, SERIOUSLY, Go see!!!!! – Tim Tennent offers us part 5 of his “Why I’m a Methodist and an Evangelical” series: Sanctification.
To be sanctified is to receive a gift from God which changes our hearts and reorients our relationship with the Triune God and with others, giving us the capacity to love God and neighbor in new and profound ways. The language of “entire sanctification” in Methodism uses the word entire in reference to Greek, not Latin. In Greek entire or complete can still be improved upon. It is a new orientation which no longer looks back on the old life of sin, but is always looking forward to the New Creation. It is a life which has been engulfed by new realities, eschatological realities, not the realities of that which are passing away.