Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Although S.M. Hutchens agrees that there are objectionable things in the Harry Potter books, he argues that they are more likely to do good for pagan readers than harm for Christian ones:
Michael D. O’Brien believes the Harry Potter books will paganize Christian children; I believe they are more likely to Christianize pagan ones—and can be read profitably, meaningfully, and harmlessly through young Christian eyes. This judgment is based in part on the probability that far more non-Christians, or Christians who are practically ignorant of their professed religion, will read these books (translated now into about 70 languages, including simplified Chinese) than knowledgeable Christians, in places where Harry is likely to do more in service to the gospel than against it.

In Touchstone articles I have elaborated on Harry as a Christ-figure, given them to love where Christianity is dimmed, and in whom by grace it is possible to see and love the unknown Christ—one of those evangelical “pictures” of which Lewis spoke in Pilgrim’s Regress, smuggled by God into places where active evil has made a more explicit evangel unavailable or unintelligible. Harry is the elect prince, born in hostile obscurity, about whom gathers an awkward and unlikely group of friends and allies, and who, in the willing sacrifice of his native powers and finally his life, delivers his world from one who would rule it by evil power. ....

.... Discretion and good sense are always required of their guardians, but spiritually healthy children of normal sensibilities need take no harm from these books.

As it is with the body, so it is, or should be, be with the imagination. By the time a Christian child can read Harry Potter, its immunities, supplied and developed by his parents and church, should be sufficient to handle whatever challenges are posed by the books.... [more]
Touchstone Magazine - Mere Comments: Harry Potter Coda

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