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Johne Raised an Interesting Question...


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I'm reminded of the film Chariots of Fire, which secured funding  from a Christian organization by including a "gospel call" in the movie. Early in the first act, it plays second fiddle to a brief scene where the athlete/missionary admonishes two boys for playing soccer on Sunday.

 

For my brother, that was the takeaway of the movie: that Christianity was about rules. "And we're going to the movies on a Sunday night and eating in a restaurant on a Sunday night, which means you're paying people to break the rules for your own convenience. So the only guy that sacrificed anything was that rich guy. And he already won a gold medal so it wasn't a big sacrifice." 

 

I could easily see that it wasn't time to argue about personal convictions. He liked the movie. Because he was a talented athlete, he loved the contrast between one athlete who ran for the glory of God and another who was willing to break rules for ambition's sake.

 

So:

 

"Why didn't Gandalf have the eagles carry Frodo to Mount Doom?"

 

"Why didn't Glinda tell Dorothy about the ruby slippers? Not much of a story that way. What do you think? What did Frodo learn about himself, carrying the Ring all that way?"

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I agree with Johne's words, "It's the job of the Holy Spirit to save. I see my job as writing about normal people coming face-to-face with moral choices and watching what they do and the consequences which follow."

 

This is what I am trying to do with a pamphlet I am dedicating to God. I am presenting several instances from my life and other examples from various Christian publications. Every day, we all are faced with moral choices and from those choices we undergo the consequences. 

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I feel like I might be resurrecting something that I shouldn't bother to, but I just found this thread and I wanted to throw my hat into the ring regarding Tolkien. 

 

A lot of people disregard The Silmarillion, the nine-book History of Middle-Earth series, and Unfinished Tales when talking about Christianity influencing Tolkien's work. These are eleven books of Tolkien's writing and they are chock-full of both Christian morals and Christian worldview. They form the backdrop and "ancient history" of Middle-Earth before the time of Sauron and the Ring.

 

One of my favorite bits is a short piece of writing included in Morgoth's Ring, from the History of Middle-Earth series. It's a conversation between an elf lord, Finrod, and a human wise-woman, Andreth. In it they discuss the nature of the world, elven immortality, and human mortality. They discuss the failings of both elves and men, and Andreth reveals that among mankind it is said that they were not meant to be mortal. That they in their early history had fallen and chosen evil over Eru (the god-figure of Middle-Earth - one of the only cases where I think Tolkien was comfortable with and felt the necessity of allegory), and that death was the result. This is news to Finrod, and they discuss the implications for some time.

 

Finrod's final conclusion? That Eru must enter the world of his creation in the form of a man, to save humanity.

 

A pretty clear description of Jesus. 

 

Edit: I typed the above fast because I have to go work on a blog post, so I don't know if my tone above maybe came off in any sort of "way". I don't mean it to! I'm just so passionate about this little bit of Tolkien's writing that I don't feel gets the exposure I wish it did!

Edited by PenName
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11 hours ago, suspensewriter said:

I have never read the Silmarillion, but I just ordered it @PenName.

 

I hope you enjoy it, @suspensewriter! It wasn't ready for publication at the time of Tolkien's passing, and was published posthumously. As such, it can be a dense read and not always fleshed out in places. I recommend reading in small chunks the first time, and the family trees/indexes in the back are your friend! Nevertheless, the stories and the Christian symbolism are beautiful. Of Beren and Luthien and The Akallabeth are standouts.

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