I’m sure that the title alone has sparked some questions, raised eyebrows or maybe even some scathing criticism. But before you judge a book by its cover, please read what I think is a fascinating way that Jared Moore has constructed a guide in which Christians can learn about God and His world through an intentional interaction with pop culture and specifically it’s media products. His goal is simple;
My goal is for readers to gain enough understanding of how to exercise a Christian view of the world in their daily lives…to teach Christians how to participate in media unto the Glory of God. In order to enjoy God through media, Christians must submit to God’s revealed Word in light of Christ’s finished work and take every thought captive to obey Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). In other words, I hope to show Christians how to be on their knees in their cultures worshipping God through recognizing His fingerprints in the media produced by God’s fallen image bearers. (pg 9)
With this goal in mind, I think the title can be a bit misleading since it suggests that we understand scripture by watching Harry Potter movies. Rather, the goal of Moore’s exercise is to engage Christians in a deeper understanding of how pop culture reflects general revelation and how cultural products speak to God’s invisible attributes and eternal power, which he has made evident (Romans 1:19-20). It makes sense that image bearers would reflect themes of redemption and hope, even though truth within them is suppressed, as I wrote about here as well. It is no different with the Harry Potter series or with any other cultural products that contain both elements of truth and lies. When we sift media through the lens of special revelation and God’s redemptive plan for his creation, we can take even something as unlikely as Harry Potter movies to experience how much God has interacted in the world He created.
Moore aims to participate in media as an act of worship. He proposes utilizing this study to not engage Christians in critical evaluation of media, but also to use it as a tool for outreach that will ultimately shine light on the gospel. And why not, given the popularity of the Harry Potter series? It is here that I think he makes a very compelling case for parents to teach kids how to navigate through the world. he states, “Parents may profess their children are sinners, but they seek to protect them from a sinful world as if the world is the problem. The problem is not outside influences but is instead their inside influences.” (pp 6-7). By utilizing media to teach kids 1) who they are as sinners; 2) their need for Christ and 3) how to navigate media, Moore illustrates that media can and should be used for this training in how to think Christianly, not just for kids but for all Christians. Continue Reading →