Saturday, November 12, 2011

Watching Harry Potter to the Glory of God

Recently, my wife and I decided to begin watching the Harry Potter films with our children. We had not forbidden Harry Potter in our home like some have done, but neither had we encouraged it, and our children had never asked about it. We decided that it would be good for us to watch them together as a family and discuss them according to our Christian worldview and biblical convictions. It was not long after we began watching the films that I was given an opportunity to read an advance copy of Jared Moore's Harry Potter Bible Study. I am so delighted that I did.

Jared’s book is well-written, thoroughly biblical, and interacts intelligently with the final four Potter films. He does not try to “spiritualize” the movies and pretend that their message is something different than the author intended. Neither does he attack the films and offer endless criticisms of their content. While there are plenty of books available that do one or the other, this one supersedes them. Jared Moore allows the films to speak for themselves, and then interacts with them by isolating themes and issues, asking probing questions, and bringing the light of Christian Scripture to bear on the matters.

This book is a great guide for families, as it contains information that all ages will find appealing. As we used the book during family devotions after watching each film, my youngest child was able to discuss the questions of morals; my older child was able to discuss several of the biblical and theological themes; and my wife and I were challenged by some of the weightier questions and issues. At one point, my youngest child said, “It’s almost like the movies were made so we could talk about this book!” My older one is anxious for the author to release a “prequel” dealing with the first films in the series.

So, in conclusion, I highly recommend the book to Christians, and to Christian parents in particular. For those who have some concerns about allowing their children to watch the Potter films, I believe that watching them together as a family with this trusty guide at hand will do much to help your children analyze the films’ themes through the lens of Scripture and the Christian worldview. Not only this, the book also helps to equip believers to engage and interact with media in an intelligent and responsible way. Following Moore’s lead, believers could learn to ask questions and analyze themes in any film, book, show, or music. 

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