Although some Christians are concerned about the "Harry Potter" books and their stories of witchcraft and wizardry, there are compelling reasons within the Potter books themselves that justify Christians "taking them seriously and enjoying them," says Dr. Scott Moore, a Baylor University philosophy professor and director of the Great Texts program in Baylor's Honors College.

"The books are rich with classical and medieval Christian allusion," he says. "J.K. Rowling understands the diverse world of Christian symbols, relying for instance on images of the phoenix and the unicorn in the early books. Both are commonly appropriated by the medieval Church as images of Christ."

In addition, Moore says Harry and his friends are being schooled in classical and Christian virtues and learn consistently about the value of truth from the school's headmaster.

Moore has read all of the Potter books and has enjoyed sharing them with his five children.

More of Moore's thoughts about Harry Potter's appropriateness for Christians:* "Harry is accused of being unethical, of subverting authority, of lying, etc. This is not quite right. Yes, Harry does lie on occasion (and it usually gets him into, not out of, trouble), but the books show something else."* "Harry and his friends are learning and being schooled in the classical and Christian virtues (courage, prudence, temperance, justice, faith, hope and love). Yes, they attend a school that ostensibly teaches spells and potions, but they get that all wrong. When any student can consistently make a spell work, they are as surprised as anyone. (In fact, they initially don't like Hermione because of this.)"* "Dumbledore himself consistently teaches Harry (both in word and by example) about truth. In fact, Dumbledore's insistence that one call Voldemort by name is a reflection of both his courage and his commitment to calling things by their proper names -- truth-telling."* "Voldemort (whose name means "willing [vol] death" [mort], which is how Lucifer is frequently described in medieval theology) cannot kill Harry because of the power of love. This love is not brotherly love (the Greek work "phileo"), and not passionate love ("eros"), but self-sacrificial love ("agape" -- his mother died loving him). Dumbledore explains to Harry that Voldemort cannot comprehend such love."