A Couple Announcements and My December Read: Tolkien’s Ordinary Virtues

Hey everyone! I’m back with my last book review of the year! This year seemed to just fly by, and I want to thank all you loyal readers for sticking with me. I hope to continue to bring you interesting and engaging content! I’m almost to fifty followers so I’m so grateful for you all and your support! I’m hoping with all your help I can maybe reach seventy-five or a hundred by this time next year!

Please, let me know in the comments what your favorite type of posts I do are, whether they’re the book reviews, short stories, holiday facts, or whatnot, and I will work on focusing more on those this next year! I’m also hoping to bring some more interactive posts to you all, and maybe even some major changes to my site, so look forward to those!!

Now, to the book review! This book I read was actually a non-fiction book, so I won’t be doing a content review for it, just my own personal review. So, without further ado, let’s hop in!

The Synopsis (Taken from Goodreads)

For Christians who are fans of Tolkien, Smith compares the tales of the Hobbits to those of spirituality, wherein God calls those that listen to embark on a journey.

Personal Review

So, I actually picked up this book because I’ve heard very mixed things about Tolkien’s books, especially because of the movies they made off them. Some people say they’re allegorical, others have said they’re full of witchcraft, and so I decided to read this and see this guy’s perspective. Obviously he had a perspective of someone who liked Tolkien’s work, so I did take that into account.

This book, I discovered, is meant more for someone who’s read the books than someone, like me, who hasn’t, since he discusses a lot of different situations and characters in the book that I wasn’t familiar with. However, he wrote it in a very simple way, separated by topic, so it was an enjoyable non-fiction book to read, despite my confusion at some points in the book.

Some of the points were interesting. Tolkien’s books are not allegorical, as he disliked allegories, but, in the author’s opinion, there was a lot of Christian values throughout the book, and some of them did make me think.

For example, he talks about temptation, and how, if it’s overcome successfully, strengthens a person’s will, but through succumbing to it leads to evil. He focused on a certain character who was shown to have much pride, and thus when he was tempted, because of his pride, he succumbed to the temptation. He believed in his own strength, and thus fell into temptation. That reminded me as a Christian, I cannot rely on my own strength and cannot allow myself to get proud, but need to rely on the Lord and His Holy Spirit, because I cannot do it on my own.

Another one he wrote of was the virtue of atoning for wrong. The above mentioned character endangered two others by falling into temptation. To atone, he sacrifices his life to save them when he realizes what danger they’re in. But he doesn’t just do that. He admits exactly where he has failed, confessing his sin and revealing his true repentance, which is something everyone should do when they do wrong. Finally, he points out that the scene also is in line with Romans 8:28, that all things work together for the good of those who love God. Even though that character endangers the other two and ends up dying, the whole situation ends up turning around for good.

There were also a few things which I didn’t agree with the author 100% on. There were a few topics he didn’t really provide Scripture on, and some just plain confused me. For example, one of the topics was “Resurrection”, and while I understand Jesus had a resurrection, I didn’t quite understand how it could be a “virtue” which we as Christians today can engage in, unlike dealing with temptation and atonement. I think he may have been meaning a symbolic resurrection, as he used some examples in Tolkien’s books of that, but he didn’t explain very well where in the Bible that is illustrated, or how we can use it in our Christian walks today.

Another one I didn’t quite agree with 100% was his topic on Community. Again, he didn’t use any Scripture to back up his points, and while I get what he was saying and don’t totally disagree with his points (as it is good to have loyal friends, promote free choice and will, and not to treat others with prejudice, and there are Scriptures to back those points up) God didn’t create “communities”. God created three groups of people — families (Gen 1:27-28; Psa 127:3-5), the Church (Matt 16:18; Eph 2:20-22) and government (Rom 13:1; 1 Pet 2:13-17). God never created a community, however families coming together can form a community. A church can become a community of people. So I wish the author would have clarified that a little bit more. Though grant it, I don’t know if there were any families in Tolkien’s books, so I’m not going to be too picky on that one.

Anyways, because of the above-mentioned things, I’m going to give this book a four out of five stars for ease of reading and for mostly showing me some interesting Christian virtues which this author saw in Tolkien’s books.

Thanks for reading! Do you like Tolkien’s books? Why or why not? What virtues (or lack thereof) have you seen in his books? Let me know in the comments below. God bless! ~ Kay Leigh

2 thoughts on “A Couple Announcements and My December Read: Tolkien’s Ordinary Virtues

  1. *hears the name Tolkien* *cue dramatic music* *makes my grand entrance* TOLKIEN!! *is happy* *is very happy* I’ll try not to go long….but Lord of the Rings is literally one of my fav books ever…. (actually it was one of the ones that inspired me to write fantasy lol) Why I like it, let’s see *pulls out a scroll and begins to unroll it* Too long, I forgot I was going to be short *shoves scroll in a dark corner somewhere* I’m going to have to find this book and squeeze it onto my shelf 🤣
    Basically, I love that he invented this whole world of high fantasy with this amazing plot and characters that are *chef’s kiss* – but the reason he did it is because he wanted a “mythology for England” that was also Christian. It’s not super obvious, but basically almost all his characters (the MCs anyway) either represent aspects of Christ/Christianity. And the thing is it all feels so REAL. If I can’t find Narnia in my wardrobe, I want to find a way into Middle-Earth….
    Man I am going to go on and on and on here. I’ll happily sit and talk about it all day…😉 Okay fine. Summary time! *steals a quote from C.S. Lewis* “Here are beauties which pierce like swords or burn like cold iron. Here is a book which will break your heart.” Thanks, Clive. That’s how I feel! Okay bye!
    (Sorry this is such a long comment. *fpfp* I’m crazy about LotR. It’s my #1 fandom. I’m a die-hard Ringer with zero regrets)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey! Thanks for your comment 😁 Yes, the book I read did show how different characters showed different aspects of Christ which was neat! I didn’t realize he wanted it to be like a mythology for England though, that’s pretty cool!!
      Haha you’re good! I like your enthusiasm!

      Liked by 1 person

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