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God, the Devil, and Harry Potter: A Christian Minister's Defense of the Beloved Novels

3.33  ·  Rating Details  ·  84 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
“The Potter stories, far from being ‘wicked’ or ‘Satanic,’ ... are in fact narratives of robust faith and morality ...

“What Ms. Rowling has furnished us, besides what the Brits call ‘a good read,’ and a whopping good one, ... is a modern interpretation of the gospel, the wonderful news that ‘God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself’ and making sure that the good
Paperback, 208 pages
Published April 5th 2004 by St. Martin's Press (first published 2002)
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Nathan Albright
May 28, 2016 Nathan Albright rated it did not like it
Shelves: challenge
This is a book that could have been so much better, and ultimately fails to live up to the claims of its title, at least most of them. Written ostensibly as a defense of Harry Potter as a legitimate form of novel reading for Christians, the book is more a continual assault on conservative Christians, a term that the author seems to use pejoratively. Instead of being written in order to ameliorate the concerns of those who are less than enamored with Harry Potter, the book is more an appeal to th ...more
Oct 21, 2015 Tilia rated it it was ok
This book should have been good and wasn't.

Author John Killinger, himself a clergyman with degrees from Vanderbilt and the University of Chicago, sets out with a noble goal: to defend the Harry Potter series from those Christian ministers whose Medieval theology necessitates that they condemn it as a source of magic, devil worship, and, one must assume, eternal damnation. This should have been easy. After all, Harry and his friends embody love, courage, loyalty, and the eternal striving of good
Jun 28, 2011 Meherin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Potter fans
This book (which I picked up for 50 cents at a grocery store nine years ago), is written by a Christian minister who has doctoral degrees in both theology and literature. He defends the Harry Potter series (SS through GoF) from the allegations that certain Christian extremists have made about Harry Potter being evil and un-Christian. He does a good job, pointing out the themes of love, hope, friendship, family, choice, etc that JKR makes throughout her books. He also talks about the possibility ...more
Dec 03, 2011 Doug rated it liked it
Killinger is a Baptist Minister, professor and fiction writer. What comes through most clearly in this text is his love for the Harry Potter novels. It is good to see a church leader passionately defend Rowling’s work. Being a pastor myself I have been discouraged when a parishioner said to me, “You should not talk about Harry Potter so much because you know the Bible condemns those things.” This book was written to be a response to such criticism of the Rowling’ books.
So Killinger does a good
Lizzie Jones
Jul 12, 2015 Lizzie Jones rated it liked it
Killinger is an enormous Harry Potter fan and dislikes the popular argument amongst some Christians the Harry Potter is evil. He takes great pains to try to prove that Harry Potter books teach morals, values, and contain Christian imagery. He does a good job overall, though some of his points seem a little stretched. Overall it was interesting.
J. Alfred
Dec 11, 2012 J. Alfred rated it did not like it
Written shortly after the fourth book came out, this defense of the Harry Potter books somehow fails to deal with what I feel is the central problem of the paradox of the Chrisitan wizard (that is, that the bible explicitly condemns those that practice witchcraft to death--Ex 22:8 and indeed hell--Gal. 5:20-1). It also employs an irritating tone, poor arguments (many of which could apply equally as well to, for instance, Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy), and, in my opinion, downright bad th ...more
Gail Hernandez
Jan 16, 2016 Gail Hernandez rated it really liked it
Quite an interesting read.
Feb 26, 2008 Chrissy rated it liked it
I found this book at the dollor store, so it was good for what i paid for it. It was interesting but it did not keep my attention. I had to put it down and read something else for a while. The writer is just making lose comparisons between Christ and Harry Potter. Some of them are interesting, like Harry was in a coma for 3 days after an injury and of course Christ was reserected after 3 days. Anyway, worth the buck!!!
May 20, 2008 Mandy rated it it was ok
Gotta read this one for my Research & Humanities case I ever work in an environment where there's a challenge on Harry freakin' Potter. Basically, the book points out that Harry Potter is so heavily based in Christian mythology & lore that folks who challenge it on that basis are pretty much outargued point by point.

Jane Rutherford
Feb 14, 2010 Jane Rutherford rated it really liked it
Part of my Harry Potter obsession! Draws parallels between HP and Christ's life. A lovely book that is respectful of Jesus, the Bible, and Christianity, while letting us enjoy HP.
Adam Ross
This is a defense of the Potter novels from a mainline liberal, and thus has its problems. It also wasn't terrible, but should be read with a couple of grains of salt.
Sep 19, 2007 Andrea rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Troye
loved the analogies in this book...some of them I caught, but others I hadn't noticed until reading this book.
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The Rev. Dr. John Killinger lives with his wife, Anne, in Warrenton, Virginia. A former pastor in Baptist, Presbyterian and Congregational churches, he also taught for fifteen years at Vanderbilt Divinity School and was Distinguished Professor of Religion and Culture at Samford University in Birmingham. He is the author of over 50 books, among them God, The Devil, and Harry Potter. Because Dr. Kil ...more
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