Skip to comments.Bringing Harry Potter to Church (barf)
Posted on 08/01/2007 1:17:00 PM PDT by Terriergal
I think whats so enthralling is that what we see happen with Harry is what wed love for our own lives (though I could do without the Inferi or the Dementors). We all want to be told were somehow special, somehow destined for greatness. We all want someone to say, You, you alone can do this. Right?
And I hope at some time, we all find that. Frankly, Christians shouldnt go through life any other way. Without sounding trite, God made us each special, each destined for greatness.
(Excerpt) Read more at blog.christianitytoday.com ...
Scripture is wrong? Then why are you on this thread? This is about Harry potter in church, which shouldn’t concern you at all then, if Scripture itself is wrong.
The whole idea of mercy is the fact that I am NOT deserving of this. He gave his life to save me for his own glory, not mine. I am completely undeserving, and that is what makes his love so immeasurable and amazing. There is nothing in me that cooperated with him for my salvation, I was his enemy, and he reached down and by his sovereign election he made me love him.
Romans 5:8-10 "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
The only thing that you might consider 'special' about human beings is that they all bear the image of God, as he created them.
Thank you, that means a lot to me. :-)
You know, if people want to read the Harry Potter books I’m not going to freak out. Read with discernment. That goes for anything.
But this extreme Harry Potter mania makes me think there is something else underneath that drives it, and this idea of getting Bible lessons out of it is preposterous. I wouldn’t approve of bringing the Narnia series in for a ‘book study’ in church either. Not enough time is spent on Scripture in the first place.
I think I misunderstood your post.
I think Itsourtimenow was being sarcastic there — and you were saying that what she said was wrong - not that Scripture was wrong. I think I see now. (am I right now?)
Have you read the last book? That should dispel any notions that the series is "antichristian."
Actually I haven't read any of them. I read Tolkien and Lewis and found them to be excellent literature. I doubt that Rowling is in the same league with Lewis or Tolkien from a literary standpoint, but apparently her stories hold their audience interest, which is the principle goal of a professional author.
There is a lot of fundamentalist panic that goes into threads like this one. People somehow believe that if children are exposed to the idea of witches and warlocks and trolls and goblins that somehow their little minds will be so warped that God cannot restore them. Hogwash. Harry Potter may not be a Christian allegory, but in the end all allegories are what you, the reader, make of them.
Lewis admonished the Christian arts and literature community to stop settling for mediocre and to produce works of beauty and greatness and to instill within those works the values upon which Christianity is founded.
I suspect that Rowling has heeded that advice. People flock to read her books. The day the last book came out, I was at Target and a busload of teenage girls ran into the store (apparently still dripping from a swim meet), and gathered up every copy of that book that was still on the shelves. None of them flew in on brooms. None of them said a single expletive. Usually when you get a group of teenagers together they are all cursing and swearing and being mischeivous. These girls were all polite and not one of them had more than 1 tattoo.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8 KJV)
Of course I studied the Bible to gain a solid Scriptural understanding, but Lewis's books gave me the hunger to learn more.
So you think this you were meant for greatness stuff is actually Scriptural? Im glad I scare people with such a mindset away. Jesus scared a lot of them away too, when their reasons for following him were shallow.
You erroneously assume that anyone who believes that following Christ leads to greatness must have been motivated to follow him for that very reason. That is wrong of you.
You also, to you own detriment, ascribe a worldly definition to "greatness". I want to do great things in Christ, whether that be quietly raising my children to love the Lord, or becoming the next Billy Graham. The former would certainly not be considered "great" by the world, but if it is God's calling for me, then it is the greatest thing possible.
I wouldn't call them an "allegory," since that's a specific literary type (like Pilgrim's Progress.) But, even so, I don't fully agree. Allegories (or literary analogies) are always the fruit of the author's understanding.
Consider the Christ parallels of the Matrix trilogy, as opposed to the Christ parallels of Lord of the Rings. The Matrix was far more Gnostic Christian than orthodox Christian - and that was the result of the Wachowski brother's immersion in eastern mysticism, Christian gnosticism, and Greek philosophy. LOTR, on the other hand, was the result of Tolkien's immersion in the Catholic faith - so elements of the Christian myth(*) were borrowed for his LOTR story.
If you read The Deathly Hallows, you find the same sort of thing. It parallels The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe much more than the Matrix (which surprised me - I predicted a Matrix Revolutions-style ending, where Harry Potter would have to allow himself to embrace death to defeat Voldemort.) The ending Rowling puts in the Deathly Hallows is not the sort of result an unbeliever would choose. It even involves a conversation between Harry Potter and Dumbledore that could have been given by Aslan (and earlier, there are two unambiguous Biblical quotations.)
(I'm constrained by the desire not to give any spoilers - so I hope my point is being communicated through the vagueness.)
(*) When I use the term "Christian myth," I do not mean that Christianity is not true, but instead that it has the epic resonance of a mythical story. I use the term in the same sense that C.S. Lewis did.
Oh yeah? I would dearly love a citation on that... let’s just say it would mean I’m *not* reading even more into Harry Potter than is there...
OK. So, since you're contrasting this with Harry Potter, where in the HP books does it suggest that he really IS deserving of greatness? Heck, he had it thrust upon him at one year of age, through no action of his own.
“Scripture is wrong? Then why are you on this thread? “
No - I was just giving ItsOurTimeNow a little dig about Reformed eschatology.
I would agree that allegory is a literary type. And if an author has taken the time to write an allegory, the reader should try to understand the author's meaning. But if the author has not provided a key that allows the reader to translate unambiguously from symbol x to definition y , then there will always be a problem of interpretation.
As C.S. Lewis says, there is nothing written by the hand of man that cannot be allegorized. He was often amazed that people read meanings into his works of which he had no conscious idea when he wrote them.
In the afterword to his The Pigrim's Regress, Lewis states
When allegory is at its best, it approaches myth, which must be grasped with the imagination, not with the intellect...It is the sort of thing you cannot learn from definition: you must rather get to know it as you get to know a smell or a taste, the 'atmosphere' of a family or a country town, or the personality of an individual.In his essay "Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings", he states the following:
What shows that we are reading myth, not allegory, is that there are no pointers to a specifically theological, or political, or psychological application. A myth points, for each reader, to the realm he lives in most. It is a master key; use it on what door you like.For a simple allegory, there would be a one-to-one correspondense between symbol and meaning. For the best allegory, and here we enter myth, there can never be a single meaning.
The Harry Potter books may not be allegory, even though they may be allegorized by a clever reader. But I do think Rowling has created stories that approach myth. And as myth, every reader will have to enter upon his own path in that enchanted world she has created.
Let us see.....
It has to do with the
orphaned shepard boy who sleeps in a closet watches sheep and thinks hes nothing (because hes told that by his cruel guardians brothers) who is suddenly told hes specialand that hes destined for greatness.
It has to do with the
orphaned farm boy who sleeps in a closet thrashes wheat behind a winepress and thinks hes nothing (because hes told that by his cruel guardians Midianite Overlords) who is suddenly told hes specialand that hes destined for greatness.
I got it. :-) Sorry for the misunderstanding.
What about reformed eschatology are you speaking of specifically? Or are you saying preterist eschatology? (I know plenty of reformed ppl who aren’t preterists)
Yes, and I don’t think either of those examples would say they think they’re special or that they were destined for greatness. In fact, Joseph was really obnoxious the way he taunted his brothers with his dreams (the purpose of which he didn’t understand at the time). God culled the “i’m special” thing out of him by very harsh means.
What fun. Yeah, I’m pretty sure these boys were more convinced that it was God who was special, and not them.
Um... the lady in the article seems to think “we all want to be told we’re special/destined for greatness.” and that that’s a-ok!
It's a shame that Scripture wasn't enough for you to do this.
I've read and thoroughly enjoyed Lewis's books. I love his writing. He is thought provoking. But he is also inclusivist. Lewis is not Scripture and shouldn't be wasted time on in church. However it is certainly worth reading all kinds of stuff (within reason - e.g. not worth reading playboy 'for the articles.') as long as you realize that where it doesn't line up with Scripture, it is just plain false.
It is not the end of the world that people should read books like this. I'm not going to go that far. But something about the deep fanaticism for these books bothers me. Just more evidence of humanity's misplaced priorities at best, and an attraction for the supernatural (but not the supernatural one and only God) more likely.
I started to read the Prisoner of Azkaban and about four pages in I was so creeped out by the dark and foreboding fatalistic ... atmosphere... that I quit. My hubby Cyrano has read many of them however and I also agree they are cleverly written. Cyrano? care to add your wisdom?
That explains a lot. It really does.
The setup of Prisoner of Azkaban is very dark and foreboding, because it needs to be. Harry Potter needs to be kept in terror that Sirius Black, the man who went to prison for betraying his parents to Voldemort, has escaped to find Harry. It's supposed to be dark and foreboding, so that when you find out that Sirius Black is indeed HP's godfather and is looking to protect him FROM Voldemort (and that he was imprisoned unjustly), you are surprised. It starts out dark, but there's a flash of light at the end.
But something about the deep fanaticism for these books bothers me.
A lot if it has to do with the fact that there hasn't been a decent epic story written in a long time, so when there is an epic story with a great sense of humor, it resonates with people. The fascination I have for the books, at least, is that I haven't read a good story like them since LOTR.