Can Christian children read books about magic? Part Two

Yesterday I wrote about the use of magic as a symbol in children's book writing. My point was that some books which use magic in way that is both reminiscent of fairy tales and in which the magic merely stands for something else, such as power or courage, are not necessarily a problem for Christian children to read. It would be a shame, for instance, if parents forbade their children to read books of fairy tales simply because magic is used in them; the magic in fairy tales is not intended to reflect anything demonic, and the stories teach valuable lessons about faith, courage, and perseverance.

But today there are some writers, even writers of children's books, who take a different approach to magic. Whether they set their books in the real world or not, they use actual occult elements in their stories, and make the use of these elements either morally good or morally ambiguous. The characters may summon demons or practice forms of paganism that are recognizable and that real people have practiced in the real world.

Even if the writers don't go that far, they may use a kind of inversion in which the "dark, evil" magic the characters are supposed to avoid becomes acceptable for them. They may face misunderstandings or persecutions at the hands of other characters who insist that these kinds of dark magic, which may include killing people and other unsavory elements, is truly wrong--but the "heroes" of the story may categorize their opponents as being bigoted or biased against this dark and evil magic. It isn't too difficult to discern the agenda of the writers here, and parents should be cautious about letting their children read these kinds of books, not only for the use of magic, but because of the philosophy of situational ethics and the notion that power excuses the actions of the powerful by its very existence.

In the end, the only way to see if a book that contains magic is suitable for your child is to read it yourself. If that's not feasible, you can also read reviews of the book, ask others about it, and get to know the author to see if he or she is open about what he or she intends by using magic.

And if you have any questions for me, my contact information is on the main page of this blog! Feel free to email me.  

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