Wednesday, March 5, 2008

A dangerous Harry Potter Hermeneutic

I remember the first time I heard the word 'hermeneutic:' I was a junior in a college bible study. I didn't like the sound of it. But I later learned it simply means the science/method of interpretation. That sounds more like me.

Fast forward to several weeks ago when I watched the 5th Harry Potter without watching the first four. I just didn't have the time or care to watch the others. And while I enjoyed the last Harry Potter movie, and understood some of it, I truly did miss a good bit. I missed the main story-line. I missed things and people which fit into that story-line: what happened to Harry's parents, friends, enemies. I missed some of the reoccurring themes and struggles since I was unaware of them and their genesis. I really can't tell you the story-line even now.

Watching the 5th Harry Potter movie without watching the first is kind of like reading the New Testament without knowledge of persons, story-lines, or themes present in the Old Testament. The Reformed view of scripture-in case you don't know-is one that sees the OT and NT as one unit. A unit that is united in a common story of Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Consummation. To get more specific, we see the role of God's covenants and Kingdom in how Redemption is accomplished and Consummation reached.

If we fail to see how this story unfolds throughout the bible, we will fail to interpret and apply it properly-or at the very least, responsibly. If the New Testament is interpreted with these themes in mind, we may find more evangelical agreement on issues like the role of Israel, baptism, covenant community (as opposed to individual spirituality), God's Sovereignty in salvation, the purpose of God's blessing, the advancement of the Kingdom in our physical world, etc...

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