A Christian's endorsement of the Lord of the Rings

Finding God in the Lord of the Rings - Jim Ware, Kurt Bruner

Isn't it funny the type of books that Christian writers will write. I have read one book called 'Harry Potter and the Bible' that spent 275 pages completely trashing the series and explaining why nobody should actually read it. However, when it comes to Tolkien, some of the Christians take a complete about face and make the statement 'oh, but Tolkien was a Christian, so his writings are actually okay', and then produce a 144 page book explaining why, despite the Lord of the Rings being a fantasy novel, it is okay for Christians to read it.

Okay, maybe I should be using this time to explain why, or why not, one should consider reading this book, but I am currently sitting on the XPT travelling between Sydney and Melbourne, and I felt that I might bring up this rather interesting aspect with regards to some Christian sects. Oh, I also felt that I should actually write a commentary on something, and since I do not have internet (due to me being in the middle of the Australian bush, and the coverage not being all that wonderful) writing a commentary on Practical Planetology is not feasible, so I decided to write down my thoughts on this book instead.

Anyway, I could talk about how this book shows us that the Lord of the Rings is about sticking by one's friends, helping one carry their burden, the idea that even the smallest of us can end up performing the greatest of tasks, but don't we know that all anyway because, well, we have all seen the movie (or I assume that we have all seen the movie). What I think this book does is that he tries to help those Christians who are wondering whether they should read Lord of the Rings because it is, well, set in a fantasy world and there are magic and monsters in it, and doesn't the church tell us to stay well away from that?

In response to that idea I would put through a couple of thoughts. First of all by reading this book as opposed to reading Lord of the Rings would be pointless because, well, even if you didn't know the story (and I assume you do because you've all seen the movies, haven't you?) there are so many spoilers in this book such as

Frodo succeeds in throwing the ring into the Cracks of Doom

(show spoiler)


Gollum dies at the end

(show spoiler)

that it would spoil your reading of the actual story, and if you didn't know the story you might end up being a little confused and not really understand the points that are being made.

Then there is the argument that similar books have been written for other shows, such as The Gospel According to the Simpsons. I used to love the Simpsons, but I would hardly say that that show espouses what one would call 'Christian values'. The faithful neighbour (Ned Flanders) is mocked and ridiculed and the local pastor makes a mockery of everything that a pastor should be doing. In fact the town seem to all go to church simply because that is the thing to do. Also I would hardly call Homer the model of a good husband (though I must admit that he does have his noble side at times). Further, in my exploration of book shops I have also discovered a number of books such as Star Wars and Philosophy and Lord and the Rings and Philosophy which seems to bring out a secular treatment of these particular stories, which simply goes to show that if you read into something deep enough you can get anything out of it (such as discovering ancestor worship in Jane Eyre).

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1032595690