Magic and things that might as well be magic, like the abilities of the X-MEN like genetic anomalies in the television series Heroes, are everywhere these days. It has been building for a while, but whether you consider the current Lost, Heroes, Charmed, The Dresden Files, Supernatural, and Superman (meteor rock magic) television shows, or movies galore such as Lord of the Rings, the Narnia stories, Harry Potter, the Illusionist, and others, or video games such as Final Fantasy (whatever version), World of Warcraft and others, magic and pseudoscience that is really magic is on the rise.
The foundational lure is power and while the storyline may appeal to noble efforts to fight evil, dark magic (our heroes would only use “white” magic–usually), and an ever-growing assortment of bad guys/beings/entities/demons/whatever, it does beg the question as to where all of this is leading?
I am not a knee-jerk Christian who cannot separate Narnia and Middle Earth or the contrivances of a video game or television characters from those who want to be real witches, warlocks, or wizards in this day and age. But the acceptance of magic or fantastical science that might as well be magic is seeping into every aspect of our cultural mindset. I would venture to say that there are more people 12-30 in the United States who understand the ins and outs of Harry Potter than understand the ins and outs of Jesus Christ, probably way more.
I am not proposing an answer to my question; I have no idea where this is going, but it is going somewhere for some purpose. It is becoming too mainstream, too much a part of our cultural psyche.
But as we contemplate Lent and the love and sacrifice that this period represents, we need to begin asking ourselves and our culture some hard questions about where it is headed, and in this instance I don’t mean sexually or concerning drugs; I mean with all of this magic and extra-biblical supernaturalism.
As the Reformed are wont to say, there are no accidents. So, what, where, and why, dear Lord; what, where, and why?