Sunday, August 08, 2010

This afternoon I (finally) watched the 5th Harry Potter movie.  It is an intense struggle against evil, a struggle of trying to find the good worth fighting for.  Reflecting on the film, I realized that his very struggle is likely one of the things that makes the film so popular.

Good and evil are very real parts of our world.  In a culture full of apathy, there is something very appealing about a group of people who will band together and do something to fight against the evil.  In some ways, the imagined evil in the fantasy world of these stories can teach us something about the evil that is already present in our world.

At the end of the movie, Harry quotes Dumbledore (often the voice of wisdom in these stories) , saying
[...] even though we've got a fight ahead of us, we've got one thing that Voldemort doesn't have -- something worth fighting for. 
What are they fighting for?  Friends and family, peace and laughter, truth?  The answer is slightly ambiguous, but the statement is striking nevertheless, if only because it makes the fight of Voldemort seem so futile.

What are we fighting for?  The joyful reign and light of Christ to permeate every part of our world, bringing glory to our triune God?  That all may know this God of all love, beauty, grace and truth? 

I challenge you to consider this question, and let the answer transform the way you live.


  1. Thank you for that challenge Bethany - it's more beautiful and awesome than we can fathom.

    Mind if I deconstruct for a moment? I think one could reasonably say that Voldemorte does have something he considers worth fighting for: the power to exert his own will. And in some ways this is where any story will ultimately fail, apart from a solid Christ-centered world-view which has a justified Self-centered cause (God's) at its heart. In many ways the ambiguous answer given by the 'good side' falls into the same reasoning: they fight for the power to exert what their own wills is convinced is good, or rather, for the power to exert their own authority about what is good. Does it come down to a battle of self-determination of authority, power, goodness, etc? I suggest that Voldemorte doesn't fight because he believes that some nebulous 'evil' should triumph - he does battle to exert himself and his own will...much like the characters on the other side. The reason why a story like Harry Potter can be successful is, of course, because the 'good' does in fact reflect a splintered light of God's goodness (friendship, truth, healing, etc). But at the end of the day, without a convincing Christ-saturated world-view, the battle between good and evil can be a bit unsettling and subject to...deconstruction.

    ...the thoughts of a much tired grad student who needs to finish her final paper for this semester! (which is on a totally unrelated topic)

  2. Thanks for this comment. You do raise a good point.

    I hope the paper-writing is going okay, and is not too taxing! Will you get a break at all this summer?

  3. I may have read one too many book concerning wars, but it is my belief that who fight for their home, their family and their freedom has the advantage over those who fight to conquer or who obey orders from others. From my point of view that's what this quote is about. Fighting, when you've got everything to lose, you could say.