My Favorites

Favorite Books:

The Next Christians by Gabe Lyons

The Culturally Savvy Christian by Dick Staub

Primal by Mark Batterson

Kidlead by Dr. Alan Nelson

My Generation by Josh Reibock

Plan B by Pete Wilson

Pop Goes the Church by Tim Stevens

Generation iY: Our Last Chance to Save Their Future by Tim Elmore

Hurt: Inside the World of Today’s Teenagers by Chap Clark

Life Together by Deitrich Bonhoeffer

Hard Questions, Real Answers by William Lane Craig

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Assignment by Mark Andrew Olson

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Blink by Ted Dekker

Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Chasing Cezanne by Peter Mayle

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis

Church History in Plain Language by Bruce L. Shelley

Called by the Gospel: Introductions to Christian History and Thought by Steinmann, Middendorf, Mueller, et. al

Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and Other Realities of Adolescence by Rosalind Wiseman

Favorite Movies:

The Mission

The Patriot

Dumb and Dumber

Gone With the Wind

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?

Gladiator

Cars

Favorite Shows:

Criminal Minds

Castle

CSI

Favorite Music:

Jimmy Eat World

The Killers

Jack Johnson

Something Corporate

Favorite Bible Verses:

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7

“Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God.” 1 Peter 2:16

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17

“Whoever serves, let him do so as by the strength which God supplies.” 1 Peter 4:11

“Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

3 responses

19 07 2011
fornormalstepfathers

Hi there,
I was just wondering if as a Christian (I am assuming this based on the list of books) you have had any problems with magic in Harry Potter? Has anybody ever told you not to read these series?
I read first three books and somehow lost interest. I still might get back and continue :-)

19 07 2011
Cassie Moore

Thanks for the question–it’s a good one, and since a few others have asked about it, I thought I’d answer it.

Just how does a Christian reconcile not only reading “Harry Potter”, but endorsing it?

I am, unashamedly and boldly, a follower of Christ. In fact, as my blog states, I’m a middle school youth leader at a church. However, as a Christian, I don’t personally believe that I need to be listening solely to Christian music, wearing only Christian t-shirts, or reading Christian books all the time. God, our Creator, fashioned a beautiful world for us to enjoy. The Bible doesn’t admonish Christians to “go therefore, and only pay attention to things that have a Christian label on them”. I believe God instilled us with different talents to enrich our own lives, as well as the lives of those around us–as well as to bring glory to Himself. I guess you could compare it to watching your child master the piano or make a winning basket–they are proud of themselves and their own hard work while you, as the parent, are proud but realize that you had a great deal to do with their accomplishment.

I grew up in a family of logical, incredibly intelligent people who regularly and vigorously debated every topic under the sun–faith and religion, especially. Because of them, I was taught to not be afraid of the world, or confine myself to a bubble, but to enjoy the splendors of God’s creation while not blindly accepting, but thinking carefully and critically about everything. “Harry Potter” is a great example of something my parents let me explore, knowing that they had given me the skills to think critically about the book. My mom even talked about each book with me as I was growing up.

In my personal opinion, great Christian authors like C.S. Lewis and J.R. Tolkein (I’ve read almost all of their books) made good use of a “magical world”, too. Each wrote about witches, wizards, talking animals, and other fantastical creatures. Their intentions, in writing their books, were to capture the imagination of generations and share important truths with them–and they did so by utilizing the writing talents that God had given them. I think Rowling has done the same thing, and I find it embarrassing that uninformed people attack her for the very things that they overlook in other series. Often, I’ve found, most of the people who criticize are the ones who haven’t even bothered to read or research the very topic they’re dead-set against. They’ve stuck their heads in the sand, you could say—and yes, plenty of Christians have admonished me for reading the series.

To me, “Harry Potter” isn’t evil. Sure, it may not be appropriate for a young child to read the series if they don’t yet possess the mental faculties to understand that it’s not real–but just because a few children may not know how to draw the line between a fictional book and reality doesn’t mean that a series or author should be condemned. It’s the equivalent to blaming the stove for burning the careless child’s hand–the stove was just fulfilling its duty. Similarly, children who start to believe that a magical world is real and that muttering spells will actually do something to their friends on the playground can’t blame Rowling for being too convincing of a writer.

I don’t honestly know of any other book or film that has so powerfully portrayed the very darkness of evil and the incredible glory of good. As a youth leader, I’m constantly searching for illustrations to portray what the Bible says about darkness and Light–and those students I know who have read “Harry Potter” always seem to come back to the series as something that has moved them to a deeper understanding of their Savior and the sacrifice He made for them (just like Harry willingly gave up his life in this last movie!) and the battle with evil that exists on this earth. I don’t believe you need to be a Christian, or be writing under the label “Christian fiction”, in order to express these timeless and very real truths.

If you’re not a Christian, I’m sure what I’m writing seems outlandish and fanatical and maybe even a bit cultish to you. And believe me, I’m not attempting to start a controversial thread here. But even if you have aversions to my faith, ask yourself–just why has the battle between good and evil in Harry Potter, with its themes of sacrifice and friendship, loyalty and redemption, death and rebirth, been so captivating to such a wide audience?

I think it’s because, in the depths of our very souls, we know them to be true.

20 07 2011
fornormalstepfathers

Thank you for your response! I see I was not the first one who asked this question :-) Seriously though, the reason I asked you is because I never had a problem with this book, and in fact was encouraging my son to read it (he was not interested, although he reads a lot and different genres), but my family was very opposed to him reading it, although magic in C.S. Lewis did not disturb them at all. And what was really frustrating, they were basing their opinions on hearsay, never bothering to read the book. Sigh.

I really enjoyed your response, thanks again.

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