Keller loves Harry Potter

Harry Potter’s Mother

Dr Timothy Keller, Pastor of Redeemer Keller tweet 4Presbyterian Church, New York, is a fan of the Harry Potter series of books. Asked on Twitter if he had read Harry Potter, Keller replied: “Yes loved them, great examples of sacrificial love conquering evil, reminds me of another story.”[1]

In King’s Cross (2011), Keller uses the sacrificial death of Lilly Potter, Harry’s mother, to make the point that all life-changing love is substitutionary love.[2]  To illustrate this truth, Keller writes: “Remember Lily Potter, the mother of Harry Potter? In the first book of King's Crossthe series, the evil Lord Voldemort tries to kill Harry, but he can’t touch him.” Dumbledore, the headmaster of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, tells Harry: “Your mother died to save you… love as powerful as your mother’s for you leaves its own mark… Not a scar, no visible sign… [but] to have been loved so deeply… will give us some protection forever.”  Keller asks: “Why is Dumbledore’s statement so moving?” The answer is because we know “that sacrifice is at the heart of real love.”[3]

Here a word of explanation.  Albus Dumbledore is the gay sorcerer who leads the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  The author behind the Harry Potter series, JK Rowlings, is a supporter to the LGBT movement and same-sex marriage.[4]  She spoke out in support of gay rights, after Ireland voted in favour of same-sex marriage.  Voldemort is the Dark Lord who murdered Harry’s parents, James and Lily. Commonly referred to as He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, Voldemort is the most powerful Dark Wizard of all time.  Lily Potter, Harry’s mother, Rowlingswas a witch who began her education at Hogwarts School in 1971.

On the night of 31 October, 1981, Lily did not have her magic wand on her when the evil Lord Voldemort came to murder her son, so she was unable to defend herself and was murdered trying to protect Harry.

Keller uses the death of Lily Potter as an illustration of God’s love; as Lily Potter sacrificed her life to save Harry, so Christ sacrificed his life for us.

Keller concludes: “Therefore it makes sense that a God who is more loving than you and I, a God who comes into the world to deal with the ultimate evil, the ultimate sin, would have to make a substitutionary sacrifice. Even we flawed human beings know that you can’t just overlook evil… it must be paid for, and dealing with it is costly… The debt had to be paid. But he was so incredibly loving that he was willing to die in order to do it himself… The only way that Jesus could redeem us was to give his life as a ransom. ” [5] Keller has used Lily Potter’s sacrificial death at the hands of Voldemort to illustrate Christ’s sacrificial death on the Cross of Calvary.

There is a movement within Christianity, which claims that the Harry Potter books are Christian novels.  But such a claim is absurd, for at the centre of the Harry Potter series is magic, sorcery and the dark arts.  And God is clear in his Word that any practice of magic is an abomination to him.

Pastor David J. Meyer, of Last Trumpet Ministries International, comments: “As a former witch, I can speak with authority when I say Pastor David Meyer2that I have examined the works of Rowlings and that the Harry Potter books are training manuals for the occult. Untold millions of young people are being taught to think, speak, dress and act like witches by filling their heads with the contents of these books… Once introduced to the world of wizards, spells, and dark arts, readers of Harry Potter can advance their knowledge and skills in witchcraft and paganism by visiting the hundreds of web sites available on the internet.”

The Bible strongly denounces witchcraft and other occult practices: “There shall not be found among you anyone… who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For whoever does these things is detestable to the Lord;” (Deuteronomy 18:10-12)

In the New Testament believers in the Church at Ephesus were convicted of the wickedness of the dark arts. As a result, ‘A large number of those who had practiced magic collected their books and burned them in public’ (Acts 19.19). The message of Scripture is clear. Christian believers do not meddle with magic, sorcery and the dark arts.

Keller’s sympathetic promotion of Harry Potter runs the real danger of luring children and young people into the occult. For Keller to use the death of Lily Potter at the hands of evil Voldemort as an illustration of substitutionary atonement is to make light of holy things.  In Timothy Keller we see a man who makes no difference between the holy and the profane (Ezekiel 44.23).


[1] Christian Post, ‘Tim Keller Reveals Love of Harry Potter, Support for Old Earth Creationism in Twitter Chat’, July 14, 2016, Read more at:

[2] Tim Keller, King’s Cross, Hodder & Stoughton, 2011, p141

[3] Ibid. p143

[4] Seventeen,  JK Rowling Defended Dumbledore and Same-Sex Marriage with the Ultimate Smackdown! Jo is the Queen of Twitter sass and Defender of LGBT rights for all!, By Diana Bruk, May 27, 2015

[5] King’s Cross, pp143-144