Harry Potter and Magic
Updated: Oct 28, 2020
The Harry Potter books have been an issue for some Christians almost from the first moment that J.K. Rowling published her books in the US.
There have been people who said they encouraged kids to get involved in witchcraft, and people who defended them, saying that they were make-believe and actually encouraged readers to be good.
I’ve been on both sides of this issue
When I first heard about them, I dismissed them as a kid’s book. I’d read lots of books with magic in them when I was growing up. The European fairy tales have lots of magic in them, from witches, to magical objects, to potions, to actual spells.
So when I read that first book, I just thought it was a fun book for kids that had magic in it.
No big deal, right?
Then I had my conversion
When I read the first book, I was involved in New Age spirituality, and during part of that time I dabbled in Wicca and practicing magic. When I began to hear and read what devout, practicing Christians were saying about the Harry Potter stories—that they contained real magic, and that kids who read them became involved in the occult—I was very concerned.
I had only read the first book, but most of the comments were about the other books in the series. Those things that people said were in the books that were part of witchcraft—that there were real spells in the books, that it was a gateway to getting involved in witchcraft, that Rowling herself was a witch—made me very concerned!
I knew what it was to be in deep spiritual darkness, and I most certainly didn’t want anyone else to have that experience!
So I was adamantly against the series, because it seemed to be
And then I found out what the problem is, and why people who took their faith in Christianity seriously, were defending the Harry Potter books.
Because the problem is…that’s not what’s actually in the books
To be fair, most of the people who defended them had answers that went something like this:
I like them
I don’t believe that
My kids wouldn’t...
In other words, not a great defense
That’s especially not a helpful response if those defending them were Christians and knew that the concerns of the “Harry haters” stemmed from understanding the consequences of embracing evil.
What I would say now, is that the magic in Harry Potter is fairy tale magic. This is why there are some similarities between the magic in Harry Potter, the Chronicles of Narnia, the Hobbit, and the Lord of the Rings.
I think that there is still a lot of confusion about this, and this series is a start on my trying to bring some clarity to the topic.
What Allowed me to See the Difference?
When I stumbled across the website run by John Granger, called The Hogwarts Professor, it was a game-changer for me.
Dr. Granger is a devout Greek Orthodox Christian, who received a classical education. I disagree with him about the Twilight series, but he has a lot of insight and good information on Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling, and lots of good stuff on reading literature in general.
The issues that keep coming up about Harry Potter and the apparent problems for Christians are too big for a single blog post, so I’m writing a series of 6 posts instead.
I really would like to hear what your specific concerns are with the Harry Potter books, if you have any.
Please share them with me here
List of Posts in the "Harry Potter and..." Series
Harry Potter and Magic (this post)