Many of you have probably already seen the second installment in the cinematic adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's magnificent Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers. The first movie--I threw in my extended DVD last night and caught a few minutes--was almost as good as it could have been. Of course, the story is not only a good tale, but is illustrating great spiritual truths. Christianity Today has a nice discussion with two authors, Brad Birzer and Mark Eddy Smith, on the spiritual--and cultural--implications of the trilogy. From Mark Eddy Smith's book, Tolkien's Ordinary Virtues:
"When God does call us, it may be to a journey of danger and terror, with the possibility of no return, or it may be to the simpler danger and terror of confronting a boss whose practices seem a little shaky" (p. 21).
They even bring in towering thinkers, Christopher Dawson, G.K. Chesterton and Josef Pieper. I was introduced to Dawson, et al when I first read The Lord of the Rings while working for Russell Kirk in the wilds of Michigan. I can't imagine a better place or time to read it. Dr. Kirk teaches us that myth and imagination are powerful tools for conveying what he called the Permanent Things.
Jeffrey Overstreet also has a review of the movie with a look at its spiritual side. I'll report back after I've seen the movie Monday (the logistics of seeing a movie when you have a 2 year-old and a 4 month-old is comparable to the D-Day Invasion!).