Why is it that the final ‘HARRY POTTER” film has attracted 1 billion dollars in its first two weeks since its release in worldwide theatres? What is particularly attractive about J.K. Rowling’s series of books and the films based on them?
In my opinion, it is the same reason that C.S. Lewis’ series, THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA remains popular around the world — it is the ageless struggle of GOOD versus EVIL in the form of characters with whom the average person is able to relate.
Harry Potter is the perfect hero — young, innocent, vulnerable, caring. Voldemort or ‘He who must not be named’ is the perfect villain — old, decrepit, spiteful, hating. Every person who is willing is able to see that Harry Potter represents a savior. That Harry Potter is a popular hero indicates — to me at least — that the world still recognizes its need for salvation.
Rather than take advantage of the world’s obvious desire for a great hero — an awesome beyond-belief Savior — many Christians have focused on — what? That Harry Potter is not a Christian, that J.K. Rowling promotes gay pride, that she upholds magic and witchcraft, and so on. C.S. Lewis — a learned man who wrote MERE CHRISTIANITY and THE WEIGHT OF GLORY and other fine Christian treatises — also wrote a fantasy series with satyrs and witches. He wrote about good magic and Santa Claus and about a lion named Aslan who represents Christ and about four children who are disobedient and wayward and loving, and so on.
Christians need to recognize the opportunity present in the Harry Potter series. The world is crying. We need to hear, to genuinely listen to the love expressed for the boy, Harry Potter. He is a counterfeit, for sure. But the fact that people flock to see him and his friends as they battle evil together is proof enough that the call to evangelize the world is not dead and bygone. The call is alive; the need is real.