The REAL Question

March 20, 2008 by  
Filed under Life in General, My Lord

The question is NOT – “What would Jesus do?”

The question IS – “What will YOU do with Jesus?”

Fall from Perfection: Tolkien & Christianity

April 24, 2007 by  
Filed under My Lord, Tolkien

The more I study and learn about J. R. R. Tolkien, his contemporaries (i.e., C. S. Lewis) and their fairy stories / myths the more fascinated I become. It’s not just my love of the story. It’s the depth of their work and the realities behind it that are so… “rich” (for lack of a better word)… I can spend the foreseeable future researching, reading, thinking, and writing/blogging… about the authors and their efforts… and not grow tired of it.

It’s “rich” because it has a true foundation: God the Creator, the Word (Logos), the Spirit and their perfection and reality. If these weren’t real, what then? …. Nothing, it wouldn’t matter… there would be no resounding thrill in our hearts when the good guy (Frodo) destroys the ring, because there could be no morality… no good… no bad… without God.

Tolkien believed that there is only a story to be told when you have a “fall” from creation perfection.

Think about this for a moment…

If Eve hadn’t been deceived…. if Adam hadn’t willfully disobeyed… before that…. if Lucifer hadn’t coveted the Supreme Position… what would we have? A very boring, flat, dry… story… history… life…. what would we talk about? What would we appreciate?

More importantly… what would we “be” without “the choice”… between good and evil?

We certainly couldn’t be “redeemed” if we weren’t “fallen”… while on the one hand, Christ would not have needed to lay down His life for us, He wouldn’t have had to be brutally beaten and that would have been a good thing…. then again, we wouldn’t really know just how bad we really are… how much He loves each one of us… the lengths to which He’d go… We wouldn’t know what grace is… nor know humility in the presence of God… we’d have knowledge of His Superiority, but not of His grace and love…

Scripture points out that there’s a very real battle going on between principalities… God and His followers versus Lucifer and the other fallen angels…. Do you see it? Do you want to?

Will we deny ourselves and follow God or will we try to agrandize ourselves and follow Lucifer? Is our choice humility or pride?

What makes us love myths so much?

April 14, 2007 by  
Filed under Life in General, Tolkien

As I mentioned Thursday, initially C.S. Lewis thought myths are lies while J.R.R. Tolkien completely disagreed.

Patrick Curles writes in Tolkien’s Impact in Literature and Life

There are truths, Tolkien said, that are beyond us, transcendent truths, about beauty, truth, honor, etc. There are truths that man knows exist, but they cannot be seen – they are immaterial, but no less real, to us. It is only through the language of myth that we can speak of these truths. We have come from God, Tolkien said, and only through myth, through story telling, can we aspire to the life we were made for with God. To write and/or read myth, Tolkien believed, was to meditate on the most important truths of life.

Scripture tells us that God wrote knowledge of Himself on our individual hearts. This is born out by the fact that, irrespective of geographical location, the one thing common to all societies that have ever existed is that they all show signs (archeologically) of religion. I’ve heard it said that “religion” is man reaching towards God (although Christianity is God reaching out to man). If there were no God, why would man strive for so long trying to find Him?

I think man not only tries to find God, but that man does also search for truth, unfettered by modern philosophy. It’s paradoxical that man doesn’t want to take responsibility for his own actions. It’s this perspective that keeps man from pushing too hard to find God and leads him to embrace relativism… leads him away from God.

Frequently you’ll hear that there is no absolute truth (but the sentence itself is making an absolute statement and is therefore self-defeated.) Good myths (as opposed to evil or bad myths) give us an opportunity to learn, to think, to gain knowledge. Those that are well written allow us to walk in the hero’s shoes, to feel with him or her the full gamut of emotions. It’s far more than escapism. They enrich us as individuals. True, well written, myths are a feast for our minds and spirits, our inner eyes and ears. Oh yes, and our hearts.

There’s truth in Tolkien’s work that we can recognise, contemplate, and appreciate. If you’ve not read Tolkien I do encourage you to read first The Hobbit and then The Lord of the Rings. If you’ve read him once, I urge you to read him again… that’s what I’m going to do…