Additional Info: J.K. Rowling outs Dumbledore!
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,