Date

2011-08-21

Featuring

Ben, Matt

Length

1:32:35

Category

Main Topic

Listen

2018-03-06

It's not an in-depth discussion, but the hosts offer a balanced take and raise some great thinking points.

Opening

Interview with C. K. Kubasik is their most downloaded episode.

Matt calls out Ben for the first time for not keeping up with feedback.

News

Ben cites a study that says spoilers help you enjoy a story. Ben raises some good points, but I prefer to experience the story without spoilers first; I can always revisit the material to get the fuller appreciation for characters and themes that Ben mentions. Also, Ben is strongly in favor of not modifying a work to honor the creator's intent (eg not using VidAngel): does it go against creator's intent to spoil yourself?

Main Topic

Jeff argues that Harry uses mechanical magic, not contacting demons

Skip argues that Harry Potter is no different than fairy tales, The Lord of the Rings, or the Narnia books. It has positive messages of loyalty, good triumphing over evil, etc.

Doug argues that witchcraft should not be presented to children in a positive light. He uses the analogy of a book series where "Harriet Potter" lives in the Playboy Mansion, learning sinful behavior in class but also learning the positive lessons of loyalty, etc. He says Harry Potter is different than The Lord of the Rings because the magic is integral to the plot instead of in the background. Narnian magic is an allegory for spiritual truth (like Aslan's redemption of Edmund). He doesn't argue that no one should ever read Harry Potter, but he does think that the context makes it inappropriate for children.

How much of a difference does it make that Harry Potter has real witchcraft?

Is "at least they're reading instead of watching TV" a valid stance?

Ben's response to Doug's argument:

  1. Proper sexual values are more universal than witchcraft.
  2. Sexual content would be inappropriate for children even if portrayed is a non-sinful manner.
  3. Harry Potter has not caused more children to get into witchcraft.

Matt presents some questions to ask when you experience stories:

  1. What worldview is this story presenting?
  2. What is it stating as truth?
  3. What values is it encouraging?
  4. What do I agree and disagree with in the presented worldview?
  5. What questions could I ask a non-Christian about this story to get them thinking about spiritual matters?

Matt would hold off on letting his future children read Harry Potter until they're old enough and grounded enough in Christianity.

Ben would let his children read the books with the caveats that he would want to help them interpret the story, realize that witchcraft is not something they should get into, and read other books than just Harry Potter.

Feedback

The hosts listen to a voicemail from Colin in the UK How you managed before Ben intrigues me. God certainly brought you two together for a reason. How I managed before you? We don't actually live together. Yeah, we should make that point clear. Matt's able to function the majority of the week without me there.

Archivist Note

Ben answers Doug's specific objection but misses his overall point: Doug doesn't want his children to read about a school that teaches the main characters to sin. The "Harriet Potter" example is the extreme, but what about a School of Lying, a School of Theft, or a School of Blasphemy? Would those be OK because they wouldn't affect children or encourage poor behavior, or not OK because of the wrong activities presented as normal and good? Personally, I think I would be OK with it only if I read or watched with my children and could talk it through with them.