Thursday, January 15, 2015

The implications

It is particularly noteworthy, therefore, that the magicians did not give or throw their books away, or, for that matter, sell them for money to help widows and orphans (an obvious Lukan concern; see, e.g., Acts 6:1-2). The mere existence of magic, implies Luke—not simply the practice of magic by those who now know better—is antithetical to the Christian way of life. Hence not only does the public action prevent the books from being used by others who are not similarly persuaded, it also visibly and dramatically enacts the irreversibility of the practitioners’ divulgence and confession. Books once burned can never be retrieved. The termination of magical practice and the burning of the books that make such practice possible thus visibly mark and publicly proclaim the end of a way of life. The life that supports and is supported by magic has gone up in flames.—World Upside Down, page 43

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