Harry Potter smackdown!

Over at Christianity Today Movies, it’s time for this year’s HARRY POTTER SMACKDOWN!

It begins with the positive review of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire at CT Movies, alongside an article called “Redeeming Harry Potter.”.

Then, the letters start pouring into the CT Mailbag.

In this corner… Doug Kimbal!

“Thanks for your thoughtful article, “Redeeming Harry Potter.” As Christians, we should be quick to embrace/discern the good and to recognize/avoid the evil. Armed with such resources as your article, Christian teens and adults can help nonbelievers who have experienced Pottermania to (better) see the truth of Christ. – Doug Kimball”

And in this corner, “thankful” that CT is taking flack for finding the good in Harry Potter… Mary Ellen Mattern!

“I am thankful that you have had such negative response about Harry. Witchcraft is always an abomination to the Lord. There are no good witches. You are flipping good and evil. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe does not make witches the good guys. Harry does. Please consider the penalty in the Old Testament for this abomination. This is serious stuff. – Mary Ellen Mattern”

Meanwhile off to the side … our good friend Peter T. Chattaway considers Mary Ellen’s assertion that Harry Potter offends Old Testament standards. He responds in his email to me this morning:

“I wonder if Mary Ellen Mattern … realizes that the good guys in the Narnia books practise astrology and dance with maenads and Bacchus himself in a bacchanal. [Emphasis mine.] I believe the Old Testament had penalties for these abominations, too.”

And another friend replies:

“Boy, Mary Ellen, if we are going by the Old Testament penalities, we are all in trouble. Disobey mom and dad? Death!”

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet has two passions: writing fiction, and celebrating art — music, cinema, photography, literature — through writing and teaching. He is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” — Through a Screen Darkly. And his four-novel fantasy series, The Auralia Thread, which begins with Auralia's Colors, was published by Random House. He speaks at universities and conferences around the world about understanding art through eyes of faith. He is earning his MFA in Creative Writing at Seattle Pacific University, where he has worked for 11 years as an editor, writer, and communications project manager. His work has been recognized in The New Yorker, TIME, The Seattle Times, IMAGE, Ravi Zacharias International — and Christianity Today, where he served as a film journalist for more than a decade. He recently began a weekly column called "Listening Closer" for Christ and Pop Culture.

  • The Cubicle Reverend

    actually it’ll be Horace, but don’t tell anyone.

  • Nick Alexander

    Congrats CR! Personally, I thought it was from “Top Secret!” But I was disqualified.

    So, does that mean the next clue will either be “Cubicle” or “Reverend”?

  • The Cubicle Reverend

    I’d like to thank the academy.

  • Jeffrey Overstreet

    The Reverend has it.

    Nick Bottom, played by Kevin Kline, in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

  • The Cubicle Reverend

    Midsummer Nights Dream

  • Martin

    I wanna say Ragtime.

    Maybe “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” is the clue…

  • Chris Hough

    Life is Beautiful?

  • Gary Scott

    Nicholas Cage film?

  • Jeffrey Overstreet

    Nicholas Nickleby was a great guess, because of the double Nicks in it.

    But no… neither guess has any direct connection to the right answer.

  • Gary Scott

    Ahhh, which one is “not quite”?

  • Jeffrey Overstreet

    Oooooooh…. good guess, Gary. Very clever. But nope, not quite.

  • Gary Scott

    Fannie and Alexander

  • Gary Scott

    Nicholas Nickleby

  • Jared Wilson

    fiddler on the roof?

  • Anonymous

    About time Harry got a lightsaber.

  • Peter T Chattaway

    Actually, Caspian marries the daughter of a star, i.e. one of those lights in the sky. When Eustace says that stars, in our world, are only flaming balls of gas, Caspian’s father-in-law replies, “Even in your world, that is not what a star is but only what it is made of.”

    So make what you will of that!

  • Why

    Hogwash. The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings treat witchcraft as an evil or a force to be fought. In the Potter flicks, witchcraft is a force that can be used for good and needs to be learned! Heaven forbid! Have you lost your minds? You need discernment and I pray that you will reconsider your stance.

    Isn’t Gandalf a wizard? Isn’t the stone table cracked because of “Deep Magic”? In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader isn’t there a wizard’s daughter who marries Caspian himself?