Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I turned 24 today.

Yes, the rumors are true.  As of today, God in his grace has given me 24 complete years of life.
They have been good.
Looking back, I see his faithful hand guiding me.  I continue to look forward to what he will do tomorrow.
Thank you, Lord.  I owe everything to you.


Kyleigh said...

Hi James, I posted this on my facebook but very few people have replied and I was curious as to your thoughts on this topic:
What makes the magic alright in Lord of the Rings and even Narnia, but not okay in Harry Potter and Eragon.

Let me explain where I'm coming from, so we'll be all on the same page.

It's easy to derive from scripture (I don't know the verses off the top of my head but can get them for you if you doubt me!) that magic/sorcery/etc. - = evil, sinful, bad. This is why my parents had us steer clear of Harry Potter and Eragon. They explained it to us, of course, but I really only fully understood after reading an article by Mr. Douglas Phillips, which is found here - http://www.visionforum.com/news/newsletters/newsletter.aspx?id=07-22-05. I encourage you to read it before reading on further with my thoughts...

I read Mr. Phillips's article a few years ago, and nodded in agreement, saved it, then pushed it in the back of my mind. Then when Nate was watching LotR for the first time, I noticed the magic in it. Gandalf's has never bothered me; it isn't really magic, but a gift from Illuvatar, the way I understand it. What did bother me were the things like Galadriel's mirror, which shows the future.
I brought the Silmarillion with me to the states this summer, intending to read it all. I didn't get past the introduction. He talked about how 'magic' was 'power' that wasn't from Illuvatar, and that it was bad, but the elves' was more of an... art. I still have somewhat of a problem with that.

I then noticed in Narnia, when Aslan talks about the deeper magic.

I know there are different definitions of magic, but I have a hard time seeing it as something other than condemned by scripture.

How do you view all of this? What makes magic in LotR and Narnia different than in Harry Potter and Eragon? Or is it the same, we just view it differently because we've grown up with LotR and Narnia and not Harry Potter and Eragon?

James Dunn said...

This is an interesting topic. I remember a friend of mine (who's discernment I don't really trust) who stated his opinion that there's not really a difference between the magic in Harry Potter and in Middle Earth. Of course, I disagreed with him, but, not having read the Harry Potter books, I couldn't formulate a really good argument. Mr. Phillips article helped clarify my thinking on it. There's a lot I'd like to say about this; I'd like to look more in-depth at it, but for now I'll just say this:
1. I agree with Mr. Phillips.
2. I share and agree with your understanding of the distinction between the "wizardry" of Gandalf on the one hand and Harry Potter on the other.
3. In my opinion, the movie made Galadriel seem very sorceress like, which I think is not true to the feel of her in the book.
4. Although in Tolkein's world elves and men are both children of Illuvatar, they are different. Elves seem connected to aspects of reality to which humans are not -- as though Illuvatar delegated certain powers to them (on a smaller scale than to the Ainur or Maiar). It is interesting to note that there are no accounts of men having "magical" abilities.
5. We grew up with Tolkein and Lewis, and we also grew up with The Wizard of Oz. I would place Oz with Harry Potter because it makes light of magic and has "good witches" (although it certainly isn't as bad as Harry Potter).
Those are just some of my response-thoughts, in no particular order.

Kyleigh said...

That's basically what I was thinking, and now have concluded after talking to my dad more and reading some articles he had and studying more of what magic in the Bible is meant to mean.
... you say it all much more succinctly than I do.