God Doesn’t Like Harry Potter…He LOVES Him!

Harry Potter fever has hit our home. Tonight begins the journey to the end as the midnight showing of “The Deathly Hallows” part 2 opens. The theater across the street from the Boston Commons will be the venue, lines outside the door forming early, ensuring premium seats for those closest to the entrance.

At one time in Christian circles there was a question of the wisdom of allowing children to read Harry Potter. We were never a part of the discussion so perhaps there still is controversy of which I am completely unaware. But because of this we had a saying in our family coined by my husband “God doesn’t like Harry Potter….He loves him!“. While offensive to some, it spelled out our sentiments of a good story, for if there is one thing the Gardners love, whether truth or fiction but preferably a mixture of both, it is a good story.

Stories are compelling to us as humans. We see ourselves in the characters of stories. We see the same conflicts with which we struggle worked through, sometimes in healthy ways and other times in ways we would hesitate to emulate. We cry with our characters when they die or get hurt, and we rejoice when they find love and redemption. At night as our heads rest on soft pillows we read books taking us to other worlds and often feel like we are going to bed with our friends. We become a part of the story.

The CNN Belief Blog published a piece called “My take: Why we’re drawn to Harry Potter’s theology”. The author,  Danielle Elizabeth Tumminio, has written a book called “God and Harry at Yale; Faith and Fiction in the Classroom” and has studied this intensively. She has come to the conclusion that it’s about seeking. Fans who read Harry Potter, she says, are introduced to questions of ultimate meaning. How to respond to evil, is it possible to keep a relationship beyond the grave, most important – is it worth believing in God without evidence of his power to transform? Beyond analyzing, the author speaks to what she found compelling as she read through the series and challenges readers to do the same.

As the film opens and fans lose themselves in the story, sobbing at the end because there will not be another, it is a gift to know that though Harry Potter is ending, as long as the earth is inhabited by humans there will be stories. Stories that detail the human condition and bring about greater understanding. Stories that voice longing, love, seeking and redemption, because God loves a good story.

7 thoughts on “God Doesn’t Like Harry Potter…He LOVES Him!

  1. Now I wouldn’t call myself a Harry Potter Fan but when the new books came out I could be found at Waterstones queuing at midnight in my dressing gown! I can’t believe it’s been 20 years. I’m going to read them all again this year ❤️

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  2. Thanks for posting your refreshing view which echos my own. All to often, I have been reprimanded by Christian friends for enjoying Harry Potter with Jacqueline. We also feel it is a good story that accompanied Jacqueline through 10 years of her childhood. It never led to a competition between the bible and the Harry Potter sequel. Both exist in harmony — at least in our household.

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  3. Marilyn, isn’t wonderful to be able to share in what will become a part of some of our children’s favorite memories from their growing-up years! We did the 7 days of Harry Potter leading up to the midnight show and then experienced the final one together.

    It’s wonderful how books/movies can communicate the deep reality that there are things, ideas, truths that are bigger than ourselves. Harry Potter (as well as the Narnia series) help to remind us of these bigger truths that we ultimately strive to live.
    Life is an adventure…these books bring that home!

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  4. Interesting thoughts. I’ve never read the books and only watched one of the movies and because we have such young kids and I didn’t want to encourage nightmares, we’ve never gone in for Potter Fever… I think the older I get, the less I enjoy watching movies that have an evil spiritual character in them. In fact its rare that we’ll watch a M rated movie now let alone MA15. I like Danielle Tumminio’s point though.

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  5. Hey Marilyn, I read all the time, but I never leave a comment, so I thought I’d leave one today! I’m excited about the movie release as well and when I was at Georgetown I always meant to read this book on Harry Potter:
    “Harry Potter and International Relations”

    Salaam!

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