7.10.2007

It Finally Happened

After a year and a half, I have at last written a full article on Harry Potter.

Over that year and a half (and before), I have heard plenty of argument for and against the Harry Potter series. There may be little point in my adding a few thoughts to an already overwrought debate. I may convince no one of the good of these books; some people will respect my opinion because they know me, even if they disagree, and those who do not know me will likely continue to hold their own opinions :-P But I had to at least offer mine.

I can respect a difference of opinion about the stories; good, wise people approve and disapprove of almost everything. In regard to the basic question of whether or not the books are good, though, my answer, after a year and a half’s intimate knowledge of the stories, is yes.

Because it is generally Christians who take issue here, I will admit that these are secular books with a basically secular worldview, and due to this there are things for Christian parents to consider. One may disagree here and there with J.K. Rowling on what is right and what is wrong--but her good and evil are truly good and evil in an intensely human form, fraught with very real complexity and underscored by important values. And as I firmly believe, a good story such as this innately reveals truth--yes, even Christian truth.

There was so much that I wanted to say that would not fit inside the 1,000 word limit (my final word count was something like 998.) I wanted to talk over the Jeremiah Films video and the issues I took with it, starting with the fact that the terms “white magic” and “black magic” never appear in the books. I wanted to point out the books’ beautiful emphasis on standing up for what is right, even--if necessary--in the face of authority, and to delineate the strengths and weaknesses of various characters that show off the intricate truths of good and evil in possession of humanity. I wanted to say that I would put these books in league with Alice in Wonderland, The Lord of the Rings and Narnia. I wanted to expound upon the notion of allowing kids to grow into the books gradually, and why I think it such a good idea.

I didn’t have time, so I’m saying it briefly here. I will not ask anyone to read these books, unless they plan to speak publicly against them. But I am a Christian, and I am in favor of the books, and when I have children at a certain level of discernment they will be allowed to read the books as well.

Check out the full article here at Silhouette.

Current place in The Great Chronological Harry Potter Re-Read:



"'Come on, the quicker we get on the bus the better,' said Tonks, and Harry thought there was nervousness in the glance she threw around the square. Lupin flung out his arm.

BANG.

A violently purple, triple-decker bus had appeared out of thin air in front of them, narrowly avoiding the nearest lamppost, which jumped backward out of its way."

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