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Flunking Sainthood

There’s a thought-provoking blog discussion going on today, where lots of Theobloggers have been asked the question:

Apart from the Bible, what book has most deeply affected your faith life in the past ten years?  And, is there any book that few Christians read, but every Christian should read?

Sara Miles does Dennis Covington’s Salvation on Sand Mountain, a book I also loved, and Beliefnet’s own Amy Julia Becker talks about a Kathleen Norris book I’ve never even heard of (about laundry, no less!). The amazingly cool Tripp Fuller talks about Elizabeth Johnson’s Quest for the Living God. Great suggestions.

Now, I am not a Hermione, and I don’t like reading heavy tomes in the summer. It’s beach weather, people! I am of the mind that great fiction can pretty much teach us all we need to know. So here is what I said:

harry-potter-and-the-deathly-hallows-20070328093850961.jpg

“Christians pay a lot of pious lip service to the idea that we are
supposed to become like Christ. We want to emulate his ministry, respond
to his teachings, and walk in his ways. Fair enough. But a huge part of
becoming like Christ is participating in the two acts that defined
everything else Jesus accomplished in his earthly lifetime: dying and
being resurrected. I’d be the first to read Resurrection for Dummies
if it were only available as a how-to guide, but I think the folks at
Wiley have had a tough time finding an author who’s been through the
experience. On the other hand, why would I need such a book? I already
have Harry Potter to show the way.

This summer, every Christian should read or re-read Harry Potter
and the Deathly Hallows.
Yes, I know that you thought I was going
to say that every Christian should delve into some obscure medieval
saint or pick through postmodern theological mumbo-jumbo. Nope, just
read Harry Potter. It’s all there: the agonizing decision in Gethsemane,
the preciousness of loving sacrifice, the triumph of resurrection.
There’s even an unforgettable scene in King’s Cross station–get the
double entendre?–in which Harry makes his crucial choice to save
humanity. His victorious return testifies to the Christian truth that
evil will one day be bound–notice how Voldemort’s voice loses its power
after Harry’s resurrection–and finally vanquished. It makes me weep with
joy every time, especially when I listen to Jim Dale reading the audio
book.

Christ has died. Christ has risen. Christ will come again.”

And now to you: what book has taught you the most about God recently? And what did you learn from reading Harry Potter?

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