Thursday, August 9, 2007

Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Narnia: Part 2

Hmmm . . . no comments on my last post. I've thought a bit more about the topic of fantasy and Christian faith recently. When does fantasy cross the line for me and become something either unhealthy or unwise? Is it when I make it something it's not supposed to be? Here is where things get subjective again. I decided to try "brainstorming" a list of things that might get me to avoid a movie, turn off the TV, or close a book or comic. However, when I started to write a list, I found it extremely difficult. So I put the question out there (and see if anyone else has the courage to attempt an answer), what makes fantasy acceptable or unacceptable to you? I await your thoughts . . .

May Light increase!


Lee said...

3rd try here - I can't write a reply that's not as long as your original post!! I guess I'm feeling a bit conflicted about this topic as well. I adore the Narnia series, enjoyed Harry Potter and tolerated the Lord of the Rings (just the movies - I couldn't get past the first few chapters of the book - I loved the Hobbit tho).
I think we need to be very careful about how we approach fantasy novels - I think they often can open the door to accepting ideas of multiple gods, reincarnation, sorcery etc as true and good and can be a stumbling block in our faith - especially for new/young Christians.
I don't think that all fantasy is unhealthy, but some certainly is - I guess as Christians we have to be discerning about what we read. As a parent, I would and have, shared the Narnia series with my kids. We've chosen not to introduce Harry Potter at this point - it's too dark and has some scary themes that aren't appropriate for their age/maturity.
I think I do need to be more discerning about Fantasy tho - too often I will read or watch something just because I want to, and I can, and dismiss thoughts that it might not be healthy for me. I guess I could ask myself if I would let my kids watch it - and if not, why is it ok for me? Is it just ideas that they can't comprehend yet? Or does it present "truths" that conflict with my faith?
You're right - it would be so much easier if there were a black and white answer...

Michael said...

Well well well, here I am duped into reading mark's blog becuase the website is in his signature of his emails... and i thought that his one word email to me of "Doh" with his website on the following line had something to do with our email conversation. Alas I am back, and shamefully admit I have read these last two posts (theby breaking my vow not to participate in blogs!)

Oh well.

Here is my comment

Pray tell me friends why a book heralded as "satanic and evil" by many Christians has a closer resemblance to the death and resurrection of Christ than tolkein and lewis combined? Ooops, I guess one would actually have had to read book 7 to understand me!

Alas I shall not know what replies this comment shall bring as I retake my vow to swear off blogs!

Michael said...

I just had a thought. Could someone who comes into a blog and replies but in doing so states he will not be coming back to see the damage he has done be considered one who is "stirring up the pot?"
in this case could I be accused of "stirring up the potter?"

Sometimes i am so punny I amuse myself!

Lee said...

GAH - I haven't read the last HP book yet - Warn me when there's spoilers!!

Mark said...

Lee: Hmmm . . . interesting point:"

"I think they often can open the door to accepting ideas of multiple gods, reincarnation, sorcery etc as true and good and can be a stumbling block in our faith - especially for new/young Christians."

Does watching something occult or sinful "open the door" for us to either be desensitized, tempted, or provoked to engage in the same behavior we see? This might be possible, need to think about that.

Mark said...

Mike: Did you just spoil the ending to HP 7? Oh my . . . what have you done?

Lindsey Dueck said...

I love the Harry Potter books, and the Narnia books, not so much the LOTR, (too detailed and confusing.) Anyways, I think you should draw the line with fantasy book or movie when it starts consuming your life. I think the Harry Potter books are awesome, but I wouldn't go around pointing a stick at people shouting incantations and thinking things would happen. I also think that would go for more adults. I guess some younger kids might not realize the difference between reality and fantasy in books like HP. I guess what I am trying to say is if it is not going to drag you down or keep you from getting closer to God, it's alright. I guess it's what an individual would feel comfortable with. I don't this this comment gave you any real answers but I'll post it anyways!

Rayna said...

Way to go Michael, giving away things about HP 7! I didn't know you thought that about it - and I will have to talk to you about it as you will never read this comment.
Alright - I am with Lindsay, the whole line between fantasy/fiction and reality should be quite clear in your mind. And JK Rowling never, ever purports her books to be allegorical or based on any reality (and I do not believe that they are at all), she just says they are entertainment and fiction. Which a good fantasy should be. I got sucked into reading fantasy by my hubby and I am thankful for it because good fantasy writing and reading requires so much imagination to visualize everything. It really is incredible if you think about it. So many fiction books I have read have repetitive themes as there is only so much you can write about when you aren't writing fiction.
I don't think that all fantasy is appropriate for all ages of readers though. I know Michael and I won't let Rhys read the Harry Potter books until he is mature enough to. And at that point we will discuss them with him. One benefit he will have is that they will have all been out for years, so no waiting! I am so thankful that there are no more, as the waiting is the worst!
Yeah... I think that's it.