Some thoughts about Harry Potter

Posted on July 14, 2011 · Posted in Culture, Worldview

Tonight is the premiere of the last installment of the Harry Potter movies.  The movies and the books have been tremendously successful from a sales point of view.  Harry Potter has had the same impact that Star Wars did a generation ago. Without getting into all that could be said about these iconic series, and much could and should be said, allow me to make one observation that is common to both.

Both film series represent an eastern view of the world.  Good and evil must be in balance.  At Hogwarts, Gryffindor (good) and Slytherin (not so good) represent both ends of the spectrum. But both are a part of the school and a balanced “Hogwarts” education.  Likewise the goal of the Jedi is not to eradicate the dark side but to keep things in balance. In both Star Wars and Harry Potter, the dark side of things serves a useful purpose. This is the influence of the eastern and new-age thought. Good ultimately triumphing over evil is out of synch with this kind of thought. In any case, a biblical worldview is again distorted as both Harry and Luke serve as the modern Christ-figures.  They are both saviors of the status-quo.

Thankfully, God has called his people to wage war for the purpose of redemption, not balance. These two film series are examples of how the biblical worldview can be pushed aside by the power of cinema. If you choose to see Harry Potter this weekend, keep these thoughts in mind. If you don’t, your world will be still be influenced, by the graduates of Hogwarts and the Jedi Academy.

Jay Younts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.