Thursday, December 19, 2002


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!).

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