Thursday, May 10, 2012

In Defense of Magic

Most of you know that I'm a bit of a fantasy nerd. I have an entire bookshelf dedicated to Lewis and Tolkien. One of the reasons I'm so fond of fantasy is that I believe it to be the most inherently spiritual genre. It deals with the supernatural almost by definition. This is both it's biggest strength and weakness. When done correctly it can powerfully portray biblical truths in a way that no lecture could. The imagination helps to link the mind and the heart. As I've written about before, I believe that good Christian fantasy is essentially theology in 3D. It's no coincidence that the founders of the genre (Bunyan, MacDonald, Lewis, Tolkien, Williams, ect.) were all Christians. However, when it's done wrong, the genre can be very pagan and almost satanic.

For this reason, many Christians have rejected the genre and "magic" altogether. Now, there's certainly a concern that needs to be raised about the misuse of magic. J.R.R. Tolkien himself disapproved of his friend Charles William's use of occult imagery. However, I feel that it's an overreaction to dismiss all stories that deal with the supernatural. I'm not trying to molest anyone conscience. If your conscience doesn't all you to read about Gandalf the White than don't read about Gandalf the White. However, I would like to explain why my conscience not only allows me to read about "magic" but rejoices in it.

Or rather, I'm going to allow a couple of men a lot smarter than I explain it. The following is a couple of videos done by theologian Doug Wilson and his son, novelist Nate Wilson. The first one lays the ground work and talks about (among other things) the difference between "Gandalf wizards" and "Harry Potter wizards". The second one is a follow up video that answers some objections raised to the first interview.

I found them well worth my time and I hope you too enjoy them.

No comments:

Post a Comment