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What's a Christian to Do with Harry Potter? [Kindle Edition]

Connie Neal
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $17.99
Kindle Price: $11.84
You Save: $6.15 (34%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

Answers to the Burning Questions Christian Parents, Educators, and Others Are Asking about Harry Potter.

In the world of publishing, few successes have equaled that of J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series—magical stories centered on one boy’s adventures at Hogwarts, a school for witchcraft and wizardry. Yet this popular series presents a perplexing—even divisive—challenge to the Christian community. Although the books present a clear picture of the epic battle between good and evil, they appear to support the use of magic and have had a controversial impact on our culture. As a result, many of us are wondering, “How should I respond to this Harry Potter thing?”

Find out what the Harry Potter books really say about witchcraft and wizardry.

Hear what Christians on both sides of the debate are saying about Harry Potter—and decide what you believe.

Learn how you can use the series to protect your child from real occult influences.

In What’s a Christian to Do with Harry Potter?, you’ ll explore the valid concerns some Christians have about the series, sort out the fact and fiction at the center of the debate, discover biblical answers that may surprise you, and learn how you can tap into this powerful cultural phenomenon to help advance the kingdom of God.

This book has not been prepared, approved, or licensed by any person or entity that created, published, or produced the Harry Potter books or related properties.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In January, this column panned a Harry-bashing evangelical book called Harry Potter and the Bible, from Christian Publications. Now, PW is happy to point to a much more thoughtful Christian take on the young wizard phenom: Connie Neal's What's a Christian to Do with Harry Potter? In the storm of controversy, Neal navigates a via media by offering support to Christians who have decided to boycott the series, but also giving suggestions to parents who wish to read and discuss the books with their children. Spiritual discernment, Neal says, is the key for any Christian and an important quality to help children develop.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


"...get ahold of Connie Neal's book. ... Christian discourse would dramatically improve if we followed her example". -- Michael G. Maudlin, Christianity Today International, Executive Editor of Christian Parenting Today magazine

"Harry is now part of the culture. Learn from it; and allow Connie Neal to help you and your children." -- Stephen Arterburn, founder and chairman of Women of Faith and New Life Clinics

Product Details

  • File Size: 1207 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1578564719
  • Publisher: WaterBrook Press (January 11, 2012)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006NKNH8S
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #815,403 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
156 of 159 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book that encourages respect March 31, 2005
I'm probably coming from a rather different place than most of the other reviewers. I'm not a Christian, and I picked up this book after I'd agreed to read a passage from the first Harry Potter novel at a reading of banned books. I wanted to know more about the reasons the books had been banned in the first place and a book written from a Christian perspective caught my eye.

What really impressed me about Neal's book is how respectful it is. It's so easy for both sides of this cultural divide to just dismiss each other--you're either a secular Satanist or you're a fundamentalist yahoo. I think it's this lack of respect that Neal is really trying to get at. She thinks the debate over the Harry Potter books is worth having but she wants it to be a reasonable, thoughtful, respectful debate. The book is really a warning against some of the unthinking traps that Christians fall into when they criticize the Potter series. But it's also a plea to take the cultural debate seriously. She admonishes Christians for not being more serious about the debate--for simply accepting what they've heard about the books without reading them or thinking about the issues in context. (For example, she says that, yes, there are mythical and magical creatures in the Potter stories but also points out that such creatures exist in stories by Christian authors such as C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Charles Dickens. The point is to figure out what these creatures are doing in the context of the novels, not merely to see that there are such creatures in the books and simply stop there.) But she also speaks to non-believers like me.
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239 of 250 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Is the Book to Read March 14, 2002
If you think any Christian who would be concerned about the Harry Potter books is a right-wing fundamentalist from the dark ages, don't read this book. If you are a serious Christian who wants to know whether your kids should be reading Harry Potter, or whether you should, THIS IS THE BOOK TO READ. Do NOT waste your time with "Pokemon & Harry Potter: A Fatal Attraction" or "Harry Potter and the Bible: The Menace Behind the Magick." Those authors are only a couple steps from the Inquisition, and they simply don't understand literature and how it works. Connie Neal, who works for Focus on the Family, explains why the Harry Potter books ARE good for Christian children. She explains the difference between the "wizardry" in these books and the witchcraft books found in the New Age section of your local bookstore. She shows how you can help your children find God in the Harry Potter books. I have a Ph.D. in literature and I teach the Bible on the college level and edit a theological journal, so I'm better qualified than most to say that the Harry Potter books are significant from both the literary and the spiritual viewpoints. They are at heart about the battle between good and evil, the same battle that swirls around us, and about the forces that are trying to lead us to choose the good and the competing forces trying to lead us into darkness. If you help your children find these themes in the books, the books can have a powerful influence for good.
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93 of 106 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Challenge... August 15, 2001
Unfortunately, the apparent answer commonly given to Neal's question is "Panic". The most widely reported and distributed Christian responses have been littered with hysterical, inaccurate and inconsistent reports of what the Harry Potter books are going to do to young children near you. In a pleasing contrast, Neal presents an informed and balanced account and analysis of the Harry Potter phenomenon. She begins her book by presenting a wide sample of Christian writing on the Harry Potter books. Neal suggests a view of the Christian church big enough to accommodate both people who enjoy reading the Harry Potter stories and those who do not see the books as suitable for Christian families. While Neal goes on to argue in favour of the books and to see opportunities in their popularity, she maintains respect for those who may choose to disagree with her views. Neal ably categorises the Harry Potter stories as fantasy, bringing with them many of the elements of classic children's stories. As such, she questions the legitimacy of imposing on parts of the story meanings inconsistent with their use in the story itself. However, Neal does recognise risks associated with the various motifs of magic and witchcraft employed in the Harry Potter stories and devotes two chapters to a Bible-based response to these issues. The books are definitely not "How to" manuals on magic - as another writer put it, the magic in Harry Potter is on a similar level to the technology in 'Star Trek' (Hertenstein) - but Neal is alert to the curiosity about such things the books may arouse. She suggests this may in fact provide an opportunity for parents to discuss with their children the dangers associated with magic and witchcraft. Read more ›
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38 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally A Sane and Logical Approach To Harry Potter! January 2, 2005
I was confronted several years ago by our then extreme, right wing, homeschooling mommy neighbor with accusations that "Harry Potter is evil, he is the antichrist."
My response to her was twofold:
1. Have you bothered to read the books in the series?
2. Have you read Connie Neal's book "What's A Christian To Do With Harry Potter?"
Sadly to say she had done neither, but was basing her statement on an article which had appeared in the Madison based, parody newspaper "The Onion".
Connie Neal covers the issues which parents are raising questions about in regard to the Harry Potter series.
Her approach is sane, logical, and it makes sense.
I would encourage any parent who has questions about the series to read Connie's book first, then read the Harry Potter series for themselves.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent guide
Having not read the books, but with my son begging me to let him read them, and knowing that several of his friends, from good Christian families, had read them, I was very... Read more
Published on August 31, 2012 by Dawn
3.0 out of 5 stars im not sure what to think
I my self am wiccan and the books of harry potter had nothing to do with me becoming a witch. I love it for the fact i can respect the earth with a greater knowledge. Read more
Published on November 2, 2011 by artist/hippie
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Examination
As our children we not around for the initial release of the HP books, we are just now entering this territory. Read more
Published on May 22, 2009 by R. Miller
1.0 out of 5 stars This book is perverted poison which stinks of fundamentalist fodder.
Why do Christians insist on almost everything tangible, animate and inanimate, relate to their doctrine? Are people really this brainwashed based upon faith alone? Read more
Published on September 21, 2007 by EliteLamo
1.0 out of 5 stars Hello?
Harry Potter is a work of FICTION.

How difficult is that to understand?
Published on July 16, 2007 by P. Goch
5.0 out of 5 stars an overall favorite
I bought this book in 1991 when the controversy about Harry Potter was at its highest. I was so frustrated with the arguments over these books and the disrespect I saw among... Read more
Published on March 18, 2007 by Sweetbriar
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative and honest
I am guessing that those who wrote the negative reviews did NOT read this book. This is not a book condemning the Harry Potter Books. Read more
Published on August 3, 2006 by Cassandra Hale
1.0 out of 5 stars DON'T WASTE YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY...
First off, sit down and think for yourself if your kids are so close to converting to another religion that you have to censor what they read, and think. Read more
Published on May 16, 2006 by R. Chamberlain
5.0 out of 5 stars They are MERELY books, people
To the person who wrote that God is not real....keep that opinion to yourself - I think you may have Him confused with Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny.... Read more
Published on November 28, 2005 by ModernPhantom
5.0 out of 5 stars Never feel guilty about Harry again!
My husband and I had completely opposite views of the Harry Potter books, and just attempting to have a civilized discussion about them with him usually ended up with me getting a... Read more
Published on September 26, 2005 by D. Torres
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More About the Author

Connie Neal is a trusted best-selling author who writes on family, marriage, parenting, communication, and pop culture. She has authored dozens of books which have been featured in Time, Newsweek, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Christianity Today, Decision, Entertainment Weekly, Marriage Partnership, PBS, and media worldwide. She has a BA in Communication from Pepperdine University; MS in Education, Instructional Design for Online Learning from Capella University. She has edited & contributed to five major Bible projects and toured America as a speaker for Women of Faith. She is the premier Christian authority on Harry Potter. Her Instructional Design work helps others communicate more effectively using new media. Now she is transitioning content online (through Kindle Direct Publishing) and to online learning in keeping with research-based multimedia principles to enhance understanding.

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