Harry Potter

July 27, 2000

For quite some time Iíve avoided doing a commentary on Harry Potter. But so many people have asked my opinion, Iíve decided to share some of my thoughts. In doing so, Iím reminded of Harold Bloomsí recent column in which he said ďTaking arms against Harry Potter, at this moment, is to emulate Hamlet taking arms against a sea of trouble.Ē But Iíll give it a try.

Harry Potter for those of you who donít follow publishing news is the most loved British export since the Beatles. The fourth of a series of seven Harry Potter novels have washed up upon the American shore achieving instant success as a best seller that probably wonít be toppled from that position until the fifth installment arrives next year.

Harry has acquired a lightning-bolt-shaped scar on his forehead in the clash with the evil Voldemort, who killed his parents. At the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry must face a difficult set of exams: making a pineapple tap dance on a desk, turning a mouse into a snuffbox (points deducted if the snuffbox has whiskers). It all supposed to be great fun. But is it?

Harry Potter proponents remind us that kids are getting excited about books, well at least Harry Potter books. And thatís good. In this age of computer games, few of us would have predicted that American kids would be waiting for the next installment of a book series to be published. But what they are reading does dabble in the occult.

I would make a distinction between the works of C.S. Lewis that encouraged us to consider the supernatural and these books which delve more deeply in to witchcraft and sorcery. And maybe thatís the point. When there are so many great Christian classics by such authors as C.S. Lewis, why bother to read Harry Potter?

Iím Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and thatís my opinion.