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Photo taken somewhere in Oxford in 2005. Could find no photos of wizards or vampires in my collection. By John Pierce

Fantasy is a genre of books and movies that has never registered with me. Now before some of you cook up a killer potion or cut off my head with a sword, let me hasten to express my appreciation for the fact that others enjoy this stuff — including my daughters.

I’ve never read a word or watched more than a couple of minutes of Harry Potter — but peeked into the Hogwarts dining hall in Oxford a few years back and, as a faithful father, brought home the British version of The Half-Blood Prince and a promotional poster.

I endured one Chronicles of Narnia movie which did teach me something about eternity; it seemed to go on for 17 hours. I’ve never been so glad to see credits roll.

Sure, I picked up on some symbolism. But I was neither moved nor entertained. Glad that others were.

Friends and colleagues raved over each installment of Lord of the Rings while I confess to being hobbit-deficient.

Likewise, Twilight is not on my reading list. The last vampire I saw looked like George Hamilton.

Yet the one thing I understand less than books and movies of this genre is how some Christians are always seeking an alternative to everything that involves a witch, a wizard or a blood-sucker.

It’s like replacing the tradition of kids dressing up in costumes to collect candy from their neighbors with a gruesome Judgment House that seeks to instill the love of God through compounded fear. That’s odder to me than a talking half-man/half-goat.

However, if you are interested in a “Christian alternative to Twilight and Harry Potter,” there is Pathways according to a press release I received. Author S.C. Wieczorek said his adventures of a teenage girl and an angel counter “a lot of garbage out there.”

Thanks, but I’m not interested in Pathways either. However, Advent and Christmas are quickly approaching, and then some earlier adventures of a teenage girl and an angel will grab my attention once again.



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