Why is Lord of the Rings better than Harry Potter for Christians?
There is less magic in Tolkien’s works and it is more subtle. It cannot be wielded without some kind of moral and spiritual context. For example:
- Where magic does exist in Tolkien, it is connected to some kind of divine power….OR to demonic power that leads to damnation. In this way, his world view is consistent with Christianity’s view of magic and supernatural power. It must be of either God or the Devil.
- The wizards turn out to be divine servants, angels in disguises, and the Elves are “magic” primarily in that they retain much more knowledge of Eru, the Creator, and his servants, the Valar.
- Where mortals acquire magic in Tolkien it is usually very dangerous and ultimately a trap. Most obviously, we see such power in the Ring-wraiths, who were once mortal men. We also see it in Denethor, who uses the Palantir, though it was made by ancient powers far beyond him (Elves I believe?). Sadly for Denethor, the use of the Palantir ultimately leads to his destruction, for it enables Sauron to manipulate his mind.
- Tolkien is clear about this: that all power tends to be perilous for mortals. The Beings who seek power most aggressively—Morgoth and Sauron—are Satanic.
- The only use of power that is without risk of damnation in Tolkien’s stories is power that is granted directly by the Creator or power that is aligned to Eru’s servants, who are angelic.
- The magic and milieu of Tolkein’s world takes place in an entirely fictional world that never has existed.
- Harry Potter’s world takes place in modern contemporary London as if it is real.