27 July 2007

Ignorance is bliss

Warning! HP spoilers ahead!!
Today is the fifth day since I finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows that I have picked up the book to read again some of the story and hear Rowling's powerful narrative of hope, faith, love and redemption. It has gripped me these last few days.
Tonight I remembered a silly article by Lev Grossman in Time titled, "Who Dies in Harry Potter? God." and looked it up to re-read it. It ticked me off then, but I tried to consider if fairly. I just couldn't get there, even after having read only the first six books. Now, after book seven, I wonder if he has any second thoughts about the analysis he applied in that article...
From that spot in the blogosphere, I managed to find far too many bloggers who are convinced that Harry Potter is a threat to Christendom. I am fairly certain that most of these folks have not actually read any of the previous HP books. They were, for the most part, doing an excellent job of quoting other people such as Mr. Grossman, and not actually any of the books or Rowling. And my guess is that most of these folks certainly have not read this last book. Uninformed though they may be, they are quite sure that a crystal gazing ball and the casting of spells and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah are the direct work of Satan.
Poor JK. I think she is owed one heck of a spectactular apology by the Christians who have been skewering her over the last 10 years. She won't get one, of course. But, thankfully, there are many evangelicals out there of a differing opinion who are speaking their appreciation for Harry openly. There's this relatively unknown guy named Rick Warren, for one. And then there's this great article from Christianity Today. An excerpt...

"When C.S. Lewis started out to write The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, he didn't have Christianity in mind. "Some people seem to think that I began by asking myself how I could say something abut Christianity to children; then fixed on the fairy tales as an instrument, then collect information about child psychology and decided what age group I'd write for; then drew up a list of basic Christian truths and hammered out 'allegories' to embody them," Lewis once wrote. "This is all pure moonshine. I couldn't write in that way at all."
"Everything began with images," Lewis continued. "A faun carrying an umbrella, a queen on a sled, a magnificent lion. At first there wasn't anything Christian about them. That element pushed itself in of its own accord."

It seems to me that where Christ wants to be presented, there's not a whole lot that can stop it. And it certainly makes sense to me that a book that sells 8.3 million copies the first day might be an ideal vehicle. And, obviously, to me, at least, He's there in this book. Pretty much everywhere. Which makes it very worth reading, by pretty much everyone. Me. You. Lev and friends, too.


A. Lin said...

There are Christian themes in that last book that took my breath away.

I think the majority of people who speak out against these books are the ones who have never read them.

Jim and Amy Rennie said...

Rick Warren is the 40 Days guy ... sometimes people think he's God, at least around these parts. But I'm glad he sticks up for JK. I love her passionately. I'm tired of the reviews where people slam her as, for example, a "pedestrian writer."

Jim and Amy Rennie said...

And ps . . .I have ALWAYS said the same about CS Lewis. JK's writing is just as full of Christian elements as the Chronicles of Narnia, and when CS Lewis wrote them, they weren't as an agenda to push his faith on other people. I hate the way that some Christians exalt him, while at the same time tearing her down . . .when really, they both write about the redemptive powers of Love, making the right choices in life, etc.

April said...

Hypocrisy everywhere, eh?

And I was being sarcastic about Rick Warren being unknown... :)

musicmommy3 said...

Hello, I have not read the Potter series. However, this post you wrote got me to thinking...since I haven't read the books I want to ask you: what are the Christian themes in her books that would make them worth the read> I don't read anything that I don't glean something from; hence, I want to read things that build my faith. How would her books do that for me?
I'm not being argumentative, I'm really asking for some specific examples please.

April said...

Music Mommy... I fixed the link to the Christianity Today article and I'd refer you there first. I think the author lists some great specifics that do not spoil too much of the story.

I hesitate to share more because I really don't want to give away the good stuff. ut if you need more specifics, let me know.

Jim and Amy Rennie said...

Sorry I missed the sarcasm there . . .haha. I just started to hate the sound of the man's name after hearing it so often, not that there's any reason for me to feel that way . . .it's more the way people act like he's the Holy One Himself! :)

Hope you and the little ones are feeling better soon.