Yesterday Matt Ventura came by the Pastor Greenbean office and recorded on video for my upcoming presentation about literary apologetics for the Christian Writing Conference. The webinar is free this year, but you have to sign up (click here to register). The conference is put on by my publisher Athanatos Christian Ministries. This is the third one I’ve participated in and it is always a learning experience for me. I’ve cut-n-pasted a small portion of my opening.
. . . Let me start by taking you back in time. Yes, let’s start our story with a little time travel. Let’s go way back in time—not days, weeks or months but years. Go back in time, let’s say, a decade ago. Can you remember?
It is a decade ago and I am at a camp, a children’s Bible camp and some of the children and I are helping the missions teacher clean up after a lesson. One of the children asks me, “Pastor Jamie, have you read Harry Potter?”
“No,” I said. “I’ve never heard of Harry Potter.”
Yeah, that is how far back in time we are, pre-Harry Potter saturation. It feels like forever ago, but, yes, once upon a time no one had ever heard of a muggle.
Another woman, who was also helping clean up shouts across the room, “Harry Potter is evil and is a book of Satan!”
I asked the woman, “Why is that? What is it about?”
She told me that it was about witches, and any book about witches is evil and against God. Her pastor had said so.
That was when it got really interesting. I said to her, “Well, we need to remember that perhaps one of the best children’s Christian books ever is titled, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
“I’ve never heard of that book,” she said. “Who wrote it?”
Befuddled, I replied, “C.S. Lewis—the great apologetists and scholar of the Christian faith. Screwtape. Mere Christianity. A Grief Observed? The Problem of Pain? The Weight of Glory?”
Nothing. She had never heard of any of these. I was making no progress.
Finally, she said, “Well, I’ve have to look into this Lewis guy, but I seriously doubt anyone who is a true Christian could ever write about witches and magic.”
She stayed away from me for the rest of the camp.
If we do literary apologetics correctly it is likely that people within our own faith community, people who would agree with our worldview and our love of Christ will misunderstand us and think we might be the enemy . . .
There will be many other presenters at the seminar, and remember, it is free.