Harry Potter is Jesus?

The articles:

j.k. rowling

Harry Potter Author Reveals Books’ Christian Allegory, Her Struggling Faith

Additional Info: J.K. Rowling outs Dumbledore!

The Analysis:

Well, I have to say that I am somewhat shocked at this news about the final book in the Harry Potter series. Even though I have enjoyed the movies, I consistently saw a strong affirmation of the pagan occult and witchcraft which made me nervous of recommending them to others. But, after reading the first article referenced above, I ask this question to all of us… Should we now recommend Harry Potter? My answer is as follows.

[NOTE: Do not read further if you are reading the books and don’t want the ending to be ruined. If you are waiting for the movies, you might not care if the ending is ruined, since knowing about it will be extremely relevant to our cultural context and discussions with non-Christians who love these books.]

If you read about the article above, an amazing reality about the Harry Potter books (particularly the last book) comes to light for us… Harry Potter is a Messiah figure in which the climax of his life results in the resurrection of all those dead that he dearly loved!

Now, as happy as I am to affirm the Christian allegory found in this ending, I must say that the author, Rowling, does not do full justice to the Biblical portrait that I believe a book author, writing from a Christian worldview, should. Now, I’m only commenting on this article and I have not read the books and I will not say anything past what she reveals in the interview found in the article of reference…

Rowling offers us two Biblical references on the tombstones of Harry Potter’s parents. One is 1 Cor. 15:26 and the other is Matt. 6:21. They read respectively as follows:

The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

This means that Harry Potter has defeated death by defeating his great enemy, Voldemort. And Harry Potter’s heart seems to have always been with his family since his greatest memories were about them and those memories were the source of all his strength in magical power.

But what’s the problem here? I know, Rowling never meant for them to be a grand Christian story. I just want to point out why we have to be critical of the Harry Potter story and help others to realize that just because the author reveals that the ending of the book is a Christian allegory doesn’t mean that we need to embrace it as a Christian novel series like C.S. Lewis or J.R.R. Tolkien…

The problem is that Rowling struggles with her own faith in the resurrection and doesn’t have a fully Christocentric worldview. And as far as I can tell, her Christian allegory was not nearly as powerful as the guarantee that God promises about resurrection, new creation, and the eternal life to come.

God has promised us, in Jesus the Messiah, that he will not only give us resurrected bodies, but will actually re-create the universe, in which all sin and evil of men will be cast out, and only God and His people will enjoy a new heavens and a new earth for ages upon ages to come. From Rowling’s interview, I can only gather that she doesn’t realize the implications of her own belief in resurrection. There is no mention of a new universe in which there is no more death, instead, it seems that Harry is simply able to bring his parents and friends back to life. (Now, since I haven’t read the last book, I might be missing something, but does this resurrection mean that Harry, his parents and friends will never die???)

What about everyone else in the world? Is everyone perfected in goodness and freedom? Or is the world to go on as it is with only Harry’s parents and friend alive once again and able to spend time together and enjoy the rest of their natural lives only to die once again?

Well, needless to say, I’m sure that some of those answers are not dealt with in the final book by Rowling. But the fact remains that Rowling never intended to write a fully Christian novel series with all the Biblical and Redemptive Historical consequences one would expect of the Narnia series and Lord of the Rings.

So, am I happy or sad? I guess both. I’m thankful that Rowling has admitted to some Christian theology being written into her books, but I’m also sad that her own conclusions in the book are weak and local and not strong and global. This should give all of us great opportunities to talk with non-Christian friends about the Christian story as it relates to Harry Potter and hopefully those conversations will glorify God and spread His Gospel of the death and resurrection of Jesus. Please think about these things and let me know what you think about this news of Harry Potter and Jesus of Nazareth. How are they different? How are they the same? Are you and your family and friends ready for the resurrection?

In Christ and In Defense of the Faith,

3 thoughts on “Harry Potter is Jesus?”

  1. Harry Potter is good versus evil. Good ultimately wins. We can be discerning when we read the books by holding them up against the scripture. Not every “good” music that we listen has Christian lyrics or is even written by Christian’s yet it glorifies the Lord. I personally recommend the books.

  2. Thanks for the comment Nathan. I think I agree with you for the most part. However, I cannot recommend them completely, because of their glorification of the occult which ends up confusing evil with good. That’s why I really wanted to emphasis that she never intended the books to be like Narnia or Lord of the Rings.

    My fear is that people will recommend the books more now because of what she said and that people will start trying to find more Christian allegory in them than there really is. This is not what should take place, in my humble opinion, because there is so much that is foundational in the books that the Bible condemns. Once again, I’ve watched all the movies, more than once, and I enjoy discerning the good from the bad, but I’m not so sure that Harry Potter glorifies Jesus.

    This is the critique I wanted to make clear about J. K. Rowling not putting Christ in the center of her work. Her Christian allegory is more like a side thought throughout her novels and not the central theme. Good verses evil (which I will concede as the central theme of her books) is certainly found in many movies and novels, but I would say that that is not good enough… The full glory of God is only found when we put Jesus in the center of our work and put Him forward as the perfect image of God who teaches us what it means to be a true human being.

    Yes… music, books, food, careers, family, etc., are all to be done for the glory of God. And there are music and books and other things that don’t mention Jesus explicitly and yet they glorify God. I just don’t see how the actual pagan worldview exemplified in the Harry Potter books can be recommended as helpful Christian allegory (which is what Rowling seems to be implying by throwing this out in the final book).

    I guess my other (subconscious) concern is whether or not she’s trying to help her book sales by pulling this card (not that she needs it, of course). I think she would know that many Christian recommend them already, and that this will give them even more ammo to push the novels further into something like the caliber of Narnia and Lord of the Rings. And don’t get me wrong, from the movies I can only imaging how good of a writer she must be, but this interview really tells me that she’s not very devoted to her faith… which seems to clearly come across in the material of her books/movies.

    Call me “too critical”, but I’m really trying to be careful with how much I, and others, begin to recommend these books after reading this type of information in an interview.

  3. I totally agree Glenn. I can’t believe all the Christians getting sucked into these books. Sure, it’s good versus evil, but it’s a good witch versus evil witches casting spells. The Bible tells us witchcraft and things of that nature are against God.

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