Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Finding God in the Hobbit by Jim Ware

The Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkien certainly isn't new.  Yet, with the recent movies based on the boos, and the most recent movie based on The Hobbit, there has been a renewed interest in the Rings series as well as their author J.R.R. Tolkein.  While his works aren't specifically Christian, containing no references to God whatsoever, the Christian community often compares Tolkien and his works to that of C.S. Lewis.  The author, Jim Ware has authored/ co authored other books involving the spiritual connections with popular works such as the Narnia series and the Lord of the Rings. Finding God in the Hobbit by Jim Ware is his newest work, in which the author explores the spiritual connections in the middle- earth fantasy adventure, The Hobbit, and faith in God.  Specificall, Ware uses the adventures encountered in The Hobbit as a springboard to bring up other topics of faith.

Bilbo's quest is compared to a the spiritual quest of a Christian- where as we may have to overcome doubts, and dangers through faith, Bilbo must also overcome his doubts as well.  In fact the status quo which Hobbits are normally accustomed to, is compared to the resistance that we may feel when we must act on faith in God.  In fact, the adventurous Tookish voice in Bilbo's conscious- is portrayed as faith, which eventually wins over the resistent "Hobbit" patterns of comfort and normalcy.  It is the "Tookish" side of Bilbo's spirituality which enables him with the strength needed to persevere in the quest ahead.  The evil and decpetion of Smaug, the dragon, as well as the Trolls and other dangers are analogous to the opposing evils and deceptions and trials  of Satan, our adversary.   In fact just as the book of proverbs teach us, those who are evil are literally fools, and eventually sucumb to their weakness and folly- just as the Trolls, Gollum and other nasty, greedy creatures that Biblo comes across in his quest. It is ironic how the lessons learned by Bilbo, parallel those lessons we learn from the bible.  It is as if the middle earth world of Tolkein is a paralell reality or alternate world with a similar spiritual world behind it. 

Though not explicitly stated in his fiction works, the reader can assume Tolkein's writing talents indicate an appreciation of God's creation- the material and spiritual world alike.  The attention to each minute detail transports the reader to a new world. The middle earth world of the Hobbit is based on a Christian based worldview in which eveil must be overcome by good through faith and moral choices.

Jim Ware's book is a very good outreach method to share the gospel with the growing numbers of the Lord of the Rings fans who might not have a biblical or religious background.  The Tolkien books have become poular in secular culture especially with the production of the movies in the theater.  It is only natural to take advantage of the poularity of this series and use it as an outreach to introduce biblical principles.  I believe this is a good book for all fans of the Hobbit and the  Lord of the Rings Series.  As a blogger for Tyndale, I recieved this book published by Tyndale Momentum for the purpose of writing this review. 

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