I was recently interviewed on live radio about current movies, and when asked which I was looking forward to the most, I rattled off a few of my obvious choices—including Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, which opens this week.

"Uh oh," said the host half-jokingly, "you've just lost half our audience." I was then asked to justify how a Christian could possibly accept and endorse a series of books and films that promotes the occult. Looking back on my fumbled response, I can't help but think of that verse in 1 Peter about being prepared to give an answer to anyone who asks.

Harry Potter remains a hot potato, polarizing Christians left and right because of three words: wizards, witches, and magic. Deuteronomy 18:10-11 warns us to avoid engaging in pagan rituals and sorcery, and for sure, Christianity and witchcraft don't mix.

But in the last five years, I've noticed a gradual attitude shift toward Harry Potter among Christians. Though many still condemn the series—and anyone who approves of it—they seem to be diminishing in number even as others write in praise of it. In my interactions with other Christians from all over the U.S, I'm finding more indifference—and even enthusiasm—in recent years than condemnation, regardless of region or denomination.

I count myself among those whose minds have apparently changed. Interestingly enough, I was first exposed to Potter-mania when Goblet of Fire was published in 2000. Like many Christians, I was skeptical to the idea of enjoying a children's book about witches and wizards; it seemed too immature—and pagan—to appreciate. Then some Christians whom I trust insisted I give the books a try. I did, and now regard Harry Potter as the best fantasy ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

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

Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
Read These Next
Current IssueWait Upon the Drop
Wait Upon the Drop Subscriber Access Only
Why churches are turning to club music to elevate praise.
Current IssueWant to Help Christians Stay in the Middle East? Start with Your Vacation.
Want to Help Christians Stay in the Middle East? Start with Your Vacation. Subscriber Access Only
Both pilgrims and pleasure seekers allow Arab believers to resist exodus amid ISIS.
Harry Potter 7 Is Matthew 6Subscriber Access Only
The young wizard may not have read the Bible, but someone else certainly did.
TrendingKay Warren: 'We Were in Marital Hell'
Kay Warren: 'We Were in Marital Hell'
Through God's work in our lives, we've beaten the odds that divorce would be the outcome of our ill-advised union.
Editor's PickMelvin Banks Had a Dream
Melvin Banks Had a Dream
An interview with the founder of the largest African American Christian publishing house.
Christianity Today
Redeeming Harry Potter
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

November 2005

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