Guest / Limited Access /

You may have read newspaper accounts and heard radio reports of how Christians are fighting school boards over having the books in libraries. As a concerned parent, what should you do?

We think you should read the Harry Potter books to your kids.

First, we should all be suspicious of the media's hype of Christian parents objecting to the books. Reporters love the dialectic of first presenting the Christian stick-in-the-mud who objects to or is outraged by something, followed by the "reasonable" person who demonstrates how to be both moral and fun-loving. What remains unreported is that many Christians—such as Charles Colson and Wheaton College literature professor Alan Jacobs—enjoy and defend the Potter series.

Second, Christians should never apologize for rigorously scrutinizing what influences our children. A major scandal of our day is how seldom this happens. Modern witchcraft is indeed an ensnaring, seductive false religion that we must protect our children from (see "The Bewitching Charms of Neopaganism"). But the literary witchcraft of the Harry Potter series has almost no resemblance to the I-am-God mumbo jumbo of Wiccan circles. Author J.K. Rowling has created a world with real good and evil, and Harry is definitely on the side of light fighting the "dark powers."

Third, and this is why we recommend the books, Rowling's series is a Book of Virtues with a preadolescent funny bone. Amid the laugh-out-loud scenes are wonderful examples of compassion, loyalty, courage, friendship, and even self-sacrifice. No wonder young readers want to be like these believable characters. That is a Christmas present we can be grateful for.

See today's related Harry Potter stories, " | Despite what you've heard, Christian leaders the children's books," and "."
Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Support Christian thought journalism. Donate to our nonprofit ministry today.
From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Also in this Issue
Subscriber Access Only Take, Eat—But How Often?
Many churches observe the Eucharist a few times a year, but the early churches seemed to observe it weekly—possibly daily. What is most appropriate?—Wendell J. Biermann, Fayetteville, New York
Recommended
Subscriber Access Only Redeeming Harry Potter
The initial Christian outcry against the boy wizard seems to be dying down. Maybe that's because more and more of us are discovering multiple redemptive themes in the series.
TrendingWhy Do We Have Christmas Trees?
Why Do We Have Christmas Trees?
The history behind evergreens, ornaments, and holiday gift giving.
Editor's PickThe Bible Never Says ‘All Men Are Created Equal’
The Bible Never Says ‘All Men Are Created Equal’
How the New Testament offers a better, higher calling than the Declaration of Independence.
Christianity Today
Editorial: Why We Like Harry Potter
hide thisJanuary 10 January 10

In the Magazine

January 10, 2000

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.