“Although there are many themes,” Bock notes, “six issues within the scholarly conversation are most important” (p. 448–50): [Read more…] about Six Key Theses about Luke’s Theology
John Granger. How Harry Cast His Spell: The Meaning Behind the Mania for J. K. Rowling’s Bestselling Books. 4th ed. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House, 2006. 304 pp. (34-page sample PDF)
I actually read a few others, too:
- Unlocking Harry Potter: Five Keys for the Serious Reader
- One Fine Potion: The Literary Magic of Harry Potter
- The Ultimate Harry Potter and Philosophy: Hogwarts for Muggles
But they weren’t as captivating as this one (at least as this one starts out—it fizzles a bit).
I didn’t plan to read to read it straight through. I checked it out via my public library’s inter-library loan, and I planned to give it about 30 to 60 minutes. But after reading the first few chapters, I bought it in Kindle format and marked it up as I read the whole thing straight through. Chapters 1–10 and 19–20 are more interesting than the others.
The book is popular, not academic, and sometimes it is a bit corny. But its insights are worth the read. I don’t follow all of the symbolic connections Granger makes in this book: some of them seem like too much of a stretch (especially when deriving hidden meanings via tenuous etymologies), but most of them make sense.
I didn’t know that there are “Potter Scholars,” but TIME calls John Granger the “Dean of Harry Potter Scholars.”
One point that Granger demonstrates very well is that all seven Harry Potter books are filled with implicit and explicit Christian themes. He begins to unpack his argument in this sample PDF, but the rest of the book relentlessly and overwhelmingly proves that argument.
This week Jenni and I finished re-listening to Jim Dale’s masterful reading of the Harry Potter series.
We enjoyed it so much the first time that we read the books again two years later, and the timing was just right. We loved it right out of the gate in book 1. We made so many more thematic connections the second time through that we missed the first time. (We initially focused on putting together the broad storyline.) What a pleasure.
Children often have this experience:
- the Harry Potter saga has wrapped up,
- the Anne of Green Gables tales are done. [Read more…] about Successful Rereading: Maintaining the Magic
“Give Them Jesus: Parenting with the Gospel; A Review of Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson, Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus.” Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood 17:1 (2012): 52–56.
It has six parts:
- Give Them Grace? We explain the book’s title.
- Tracing the Argument. We summarize each of the book’s ten chapters in one sentence.
- Weaknesses. We highlight just two relatively minor issues.
- Yes, Grace, but . . . . I check if the book passes what I call “the God-forbid test.”
- A Mom’s Perspective. Jenni humbly shares her perspective. (I love my wife!)
- Conclusion. We compare the book to three other popular Christian parenting books. [Read more…] about Give Them Jesus: Parenting with the Gospel
My oldest daughter just finished hearing The Chronicles of Narnia for the first time. After we finished The Last Battle, Kara asked wistfully, “Daddy, are there any more Narnia books?” I had to confirm what she already knew: there are only seven Narnia books.
But she’s already looking forward to reading them again and again and again.
We utilized ten resources to enjoy Narnia, and I recommend them all:
These are essential. All other resources merely supplement them.
It is pure pleasure to read these aloud to your children. [Read more…] about Ten Narnia Resources
Those cheerful words open this book:
This devotional book is sober and edifying, and Mike is a gifted writer. [Read more…] about Death
Sally Lloyd-Jones and Sam Shammas. The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name; Curriculum Kit: 44 Lessons for Early–Middle Elementary; with Notes for Teachers Based on Material by Timothy Keller. Grand Rapids: Zonderkidz, 2012.
Bad news: The stories don’t play continuously. You have to click on each individual one. (They are about five minutes each.)
Good news: The videos come on a DVD loaded with PDFs of a new children’s curriculum that supplements The Jesus Storybook Bible. (View two PDFs here: the table of contents and introduction and a sample lesson.)