Coral Ridge Ministries is looking out for me. They want me to know the truth about Harry Potter. It seems that Harry Potter is a wizard! (Sorry: I should have put “Spoiler alert!” at the top of this post.) For a modest contribution (D. James Kennedy's outfit always needs money), Coral Ridge will send me a tell-all book by the distinguished scholar Richard Abanes.
Help for Potter-Puzzled ParentsAbanes must be a pretty smart cookie. How else could he be an authority on things as different as cults and religions? (I do believe that the main distinction is membership size.) This is a scholar of real breadth.
“Let no one be found among you who, ... practices divination or sorcery , interprets omens, engages in witchcraft” (Deuteronomy 18:10 NIV)
In less than 48 hours, bookstores around the world will open to droves of wide-eyed children and parents desperate to feast their eyes on J.K. Rowling's final Harry Potter novel. While Rowling's book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, will undoubtedly fly off bookshelves, her Potter stories have stirred evangelical opposition because they glamorize the occult and introduce children to the world of sorcery.
But are Christian parents just overreactjng? What about popular fantasy novels such as The Chronicles of Narnia penned by C.S. Lewis, and The Lord of the Rings J.R.R. Tolkien? When does the world of imagination become dangerous to children?
Author Richard Abanes, an authority on cults and religions, answers these questions in his book Harry Potter, Narnia, and The Lord of the Rings: What You Need to Know About Fantasy Books and Movies. He uncovers what is inspiring and healthy, and what is potentially harmful and misleading in fantasy novels. He examines the occult's influence on children, and provides a clear-cut Christian perspective to help parents discern what lurks in the land of make-belief.
Request Harry Potter, Narnia, and The Lord of the Rings now and apply Abanes' insight to help you solve the Potter puzzle. When you do, you partner with Coral Ridge Ministries in helping to shed the light of God's Word in a darkening world.
His list of publications is pretty impressive, too. If we check his listing at Amazon, we discover that he has been working on the Harry Potter controversy for some time. This is a man who knows how to cash in on popular marketing phenomena. His earlier treatise on Pottermania, Harry Potter and the Bible: The Menace Behind the Magick, would seem to have come down on the side that regards Harry Potter as perhaps a bad thing. Readers of Harry Potter and the Bible, however, seem to have concluded that it is Abanes' book that is the bad thing: of the readers who posted reviews on Amazon, twice as many gave twice as many readers gave it the lowest possible rating (1 star) as gave it the highest possible rating (5 stars). Also, if you peruse the reader reviews in “most helpful” order, the negative reviews are heavily front-loaded. I guess the negative reviews were deemed unhelpful.
Abanes presumably rehashes his anti-Potter material from his earlier book, mixing it with some new Narnia and Lord of the Rings material to fill out his exercise in recycling. Since both C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien were known to be devout Christians, I'm guessing that their fantasy novels fare better in the Abanes book than anything by J. K. Rowling.
The new book has just been listed on Amazon and has only a handful of reviews. It fares just a bit better than its predecessor. I do, however, particularly like the pithy comment by the person who uses the handle “Purple Wizard”: “Since Abanes found Harry Potter he has used Potter-bashing to make a fortune. I wish this guy would stop writing about Harry Potter since he hates him so much.”
Abanes does not limit himself to trying to ride the Harry Potter gravy train. He also took a stab at feeding off Dan Brown's leavings by exposing “the truth” behind The Da Vinci Code. Abanes is also pretty ticked at the Mormon church, which I suspect he lumps in with the cults, despite its millions of members.
How does one become a widely recognized expert on cults and religions? Richard Abanes is a former singer, dancer, and actor. One can hardly imagine a better preparation for taking on the threatening darkness of Harry Potter.