Bonhoeffer uses a similar phrase 'worldly Christianity'. It's J Gresham Machen that I want to line up most closely with. See his Christianity and culture here. Having done commentaries on Proverbs (Heavenly Wisdom) and Song of Songs (Heavenly Love), a matching title for Ecclesiastes would be Heavenly Worldliness. For my stance on worldliness, see 3 posts here.

Harry Potter Update

So by now Dylan's finished the book and Eleri is on Page 250 (the fastest selling one in history - 2M in 2 dasy was it?). The whole family excpt the two yoinger one have been to see the film -too disturbing for them. Rhodri's appetite for HP is no what it was and I never had any - the books or the films. As for their dangers (as AD raised in a comment) I don't think there are too many dangers for those raised in a Christian home though the possibility of someone being switched on to the occult is at least possible. Isn't Philip Pullman the real bogeyman? In generl my appraoch is to encourage a critical approach, Why do I like this? What's good about it? What's bad?


Jonathan Hunt said...

((You do realise the book and the film are not the same thing?

The film is of the fifth book. The final book just released is the seventh.

I'm sure you know this, it was just the way it sounded.))

My take on this situation, with a 10 year old son, is that yes, I could ban it. Then it would be given a mystique it does not deserve. Then he would find other ways to read it/watch it.

Of course it is a brilliant story, and I simply do not buy the line that it is 'immoral'. It is 'real' in that characters must face dilemmas and do what is right despite what 'officialdom' says.

Will the same christians who bleat about Harry breaking school rules be bowing the knee to secular Baal in the years ahead? Possibly not, I would venture. But... that would be rule breaking!

Further, Harry comes to see that his idol, his rule-breaking father, was in some ways unkind, and also that DUmbledore himself has made some mistakes.

Does the 'witchcraft' side of it bother me? Frankly no, unless we want to ban all fairy tales etc. Rowling makes the books so humorous and tongue-in-cheek that there is a clear 'disconnect' with real life. What do I really blame for the surge in occult interest? TV programmes full of mediums, etc, real life chat shows and so forth.

What about the 'killing curse' - the worst one of all? 'Avada Kedavara'. How tongue in cheek can you get?

We could waste our lives worrying about this and cosseting our children. Rather, I will engage the culture around me WITH my son. We watch Potter together, we read it together, and we both know it is a story, and a very fine one too, and nothing more.

To be consistent about disliking HP, one would have to discard the TV, the RAdio, and the majority of fictional literature, including Shakespeare.

Jonathan Hunt said...

PS, spare us some water Guv!

Gary Brady said...

Hope the worst of the recent crisis is over. Thanks for those comments, Jonathan, which roughly correspond with my own. (Thankx for clarifying on film & book too). Eleri's finished the book now. Our next 'issue' is the Simpsons film. Life is fun with teenagers.