Harry Potter is a household name these days, however some prefer to think of him as he who must not be named.  Whether it's the critically acclaimed seven part book series by author J.K. Rowling or the billion dollar blockbuster films - Harry Potter is everywhere.  I thought with Halloween upon us and the release of Part I of the final Harry Potter film this November we should kick this hornets nest and see what kind of discussion we can stir up.

For those unfamiliar with the series - Harry Potter chronicles the adventures of the adolescent wizard Harry Potter and his best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, all of whom are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The main story arc concerns Harry's quandary involving the evil wizard Lord Voldemort, who killed Harry's parents in his quest to conquer the wizarding world and subjugate non-magical people. - wikipedia

Once the books became best sellers, many Evangelical Christians were very outspoken in their disapproval of the magical stories - some going as far as holding old fashioned book burnings and others calling it a "gateway" book that will lead uninformed children into the worship of pagan practices.  Many other Christians, myself included, are not as eager to compare the series to demonic magic as they are stories of fairy tale magic - such as Cinderella, The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Lord of the Rings - the latter two of which are beloved by the Christian community.

So how do you know if Harry Potter is a good thing or not?  The catch is that there is really no way to figure this out other than to read it.  Whether you are trying to determine this out for your child or yourself there is only one way to know.  I think if you read the first book you will find that the book is really not about magic.  Yes, it has magic in it, but that's not what it is about.  The clear theme of Harry Potter is that love conquers all; that courage and bravery in the face of evil, particularly death, are noble and virtuous moral choices.  Emphasis on the choice part.  There is evil in this world, and if you haven't picked up on it yet, I am no longer talking about Harry Potter.  True evil is out there, and while we may not come across it on a daily basis (or ever) there is such a thing as evil magic, the bible tells us this much.

Finally, let us not forget that in every choice we make in life, even reading Harry Potter - we have a responsibility.  A responsibility to question things and search our the answers through the Lords written word and prayer.  Harry Potter is what it is.  Just as wine is simply a drink, Harry Potter is a fantasy story.  In the hands of a weak man, either can corrupt; yet when mixed with a little responsibility both can be enjoyed.

This topic could probably be discussed for years and I encourage it and hope that you leave some feedback if you have read the books.  Try to keep your comments spoiler free for anyone who is on the fence still.  You don't have to agree with me - I have spoken with some people who strongly disagree with me, yet we still respect each other.  So again, please leave some feedback with your thoughts.  Thanks!