Tuesday, July 24, 2007

What's all the fuss about Harry Potter?

In case you didn't know, the new Harry Potter book was launched last weekend. I'm sure none of you have noticed. But all I've seen since Saturday is people everywhere reading this new book. Anywhere you go, everywhere you look, there's another person engrossed in the book, all desperate to know the eventual fate of Mr Potter. It's like it was the most important book ever published - and to some of them no doubt it is.

In fact, shops opened at midnight to allow people to buy the book the second it came out, and shops were fighting over who had the book at a cheaper price.

I'll come straight out and say I've never read the books or seen the films. They may be very good and I'm sure a lot of people enjoy them. But the sheer number reading it and the urgency there seemed to be made me think. The more I saw it, the less I was making fun and the more sorry I felt for them.

Whatever you think of Harry Potter I can tell you one thing for sure. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows is not the most important book ever written. Not by a long way. There are far more important books out there, books which impact the lives of those that read them and change their life forever, books which can change the very direction or path that your life takes. None of them involve Harry Potter.

This isn't about criticising Harry Potter, but as Christians shouldn't we be feeling a bit of righteous anger when we see how high a place people put on a fictional book about a boy wizard?

This, when they can't get excited about the story of God, which is much more powerful, more real, more exciting, more alive and more world-changing than any other book. We need to be getting people wanting to read the Bible and read about God with the same urgency. Then we'll have real change.