• Welcome to Christian Forums
  1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to be able to join in fellowship with Christians all over the world.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

  2. The forums in the Christian Congregations category are now open only to Christian members. Please review our current Faith Groups list for information on which faith groups are considered to be Christian faiths. Christian members please remember to read the Statement of Purpose threads for each forum within Christian Congregations before posting in the forum.
  3. Please note there is a new rule regarding the posting of videos. It reads, "Post a summary of the videos you post . An exception can be made for music videos.". Unless you are simply sharing music, please post a summary, or the gist, of the video you wish to share.
  4. There have been some changes in the Life Stages section involving the following forums: Roaring 20s, Terrific Thirties, Fabulous Forties, and Golden Eagles. They are changed to Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, and Golden Eagles will have a slight change.
  5. CF Staff, Angels and Ambassadors; ask that you join us in praying for the world in this difficult time, asking our Holy Father to stop the spread of the virus, and for healing of all affected.

"The Sad Truth Of Tolkien Spirituality"

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Aspzan, Jun 30, 2020.

  1. Aspzan

    Aspzan Well-Known Member Supporter

    840
    +578
    United Kingdom
    Christian
    Single
    (BACKGROUND) I recently saw some illustrations by a man called Ted Nasmith. I liked some of his artwork. Some of his art is about a book called The Silmarillion. He's done a lot of work for Tolkien's books.

    I have a basic knoweldge of The Lord of the Rings from when I was young. I thought it might be nice to read the books and also The Silmarillion but I happened to find this essay. It doesn't outright say do not read Tolkien but it implies his works are not good for Christianity.

    I know a lot of people love Tolkien's books. What do you think of this essay? It's a long read btw but this is a shortened version.


    The Sad Truth Of Tolkien Spirituality | The Sacred Sandwich

    If you do not agree with and/or like the essay, please still try and give some positive thoughts. I don't know much about the author or the website it is posted on.

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. thecolorsblend

    thecolorsblend If God is your Father, who is your Mother?

    +7,034
    United States
    Catholic
    Married
    US-Others
    Tolkien created a fictional cosmology. Unlike CS Lewis, he wasn't interested in creating an allegorical Christianity-like concept in his works.

    The fact that pagans have adopted certain elements of his works as their prime morality play is of no greater and no less concern than radical leftists having adopted Harry Potter as their prime morality play. The only people worried about that are the ones who think Tolkien tried and failed to create a facsimile of Christianity with the Legendarium.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  3. Aspzan

    Aspzan Well-Known Member Supporter

    840
    +578
    United Kingdom
    Christian
    Single
    I can't really argue with your thoughts on it. I don't have a strong opinion yet. What I know about Tolkien's books is mostly from that essay. I liked the LotR films when I was younger but I didn't understand that there was depth to them.
     
  4. thecolorsblend

    thecolorsblend If God is your Father, who is your Mother?

    +7,034
    United States
    Catholic
    Married
    US-Others
    If it helps, the LOTR novel is an immersive literary experience intended to offer readers a window into something like a parallel universe. So there's lots of history, tangents, appendices, etc.

    The movies are fine. I adore them. But in the end, they simply adapt the story of LOTR. And LOTR is the rare book that has a lot more going for it besides just the narrative.

    The fictional cosmology plays a role in all that but it's a bigger element of The Silmarillion.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  5. Jamdoc

    Jamdoc Well-Known Member

    +377
    United States
    Baptist
    Single
    If it influences your beliefs on God, then it's probably a no go, but if you know it's all fiction and imaginary, and don't let it influence your beliefs.. no more harmful than anything else.
     
  6. Aspzan

    Aspzan Well-Known Member Supporter

    840
    +578
    United Kingdom
    Christian
    Single
    The books interest me but I'm also a bit concerned about some of the themes.
     
  7. thecolorsblend

    thecolorsblend If God is your Father, who is your Mother?

    +7,034
    United States
    Catholic
    Married
    US-Others
    For conversation's sake, how does that play out? Some books I read or some music I hear actively challenges religious faith, the possibility of God's existence, etc.

    In your opinion, is it beneficial to partake of media that challenge us (sort of like iron sharpening iron) or should we stick to media that either avoids the topic entirely or else agrees with our views?

    No wrong answer here, just curious what you think, that's all
     
  8. thecolorsblend

    thecolorsblend If God is your Father, who is your Mother?

    +7,034
    United States
    Catholic
    Married
    US-Others
    Bravery, loyalty, friendship, unity, resisting the darkness in big ways and small ways and all ways always, acceptance of others even if their ways are different from ours, etc? You're concerned about those themes?
     
  9. Jamdoc

    Jamdoc Well-Known Member

    +377
    United States
    Baptist
    Single
    I think it's fine to challenge your beliefs if you're properly rooted it only serves to root you deeper as you think about what you believe, and can discern truth from fiction or error.
    After all, even within the bible there are many many interpretations and people have different views about many things, even after reading the same text from the same translation. If you have a premillennial interpretation of prophecy does that mean you refuse to read anything by a person who holds different views on the Millennium?
     
  10. Aspzan

    Aspzan Well-Known Member Supporter

    840
    +578
    United Kingdom
    Christian
    Single
    I don't have a problem with those themes. In fact, they're good. But... Isn't there an absence of God? Magic themes and a departure from reality also. I think escapism can be a bad thing too.
     
  11. thecolorsblend

    thecolorsblend If God is your Father, who is your Mother?

    +7,034
    United States
    Catholic
    Married
    US-Others
    I should say here that while I don't encourage anybody to believe in pagan religion, Christians sometimes use "pagan" and "Satanic" as synonyms. In fact, paganism usually has nothing at all to do with the occult, the devil or any of that stuff. The fact that somebody believes in pagan religion doesn't necessarily mean they'd make for bad neighbors. But I wouldn't want to live next door to somebody who practices legit demonic religion and neither should you.
     
  12. thecolorsblend

    thecolorsblend If God is your Father, who is your Mother?

    +7,034
    United States
    Catholic
    Married
    US-Others
    Perhaps this will be useful to you: Tolkien's legendarium - Wikipedia
     
  13. zippy2006

    zippy2006 Dragonsworn

    +1,832
    United States
    Catholic
    Single
    First it is worth noting that the source you are pulling from is a fairly traditional Protestant/Calvinist Sola Scriptura position that is very wary of modern writers and fantasy in general.

    The only argument the author makes is that Tolkien has unwittingly provided an ecosystem for non-Christian religion to flourish. That's a very tangential attack on Tolkien's works themselves, but in order to assess its validity we would need to understand the larger demographics of Tolkien's fans. For example, what percentage of his fans are running in these problematic directions? How strong is this correlation? The author gives us no indication. As is, it looks like a thinly-veiled hit job.
     
  14. hedrick

    hedrick Senior Veteran Supporter

    +6,395
    Presbyterian
    Single
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  15. Aspzan

    Aspzan Well-Known Member Supporter

    840
    +578
    United Kingdom
    Christian
    Single
    He does say towards the end it's not the majority who are going overboard.

    "Tolkien religion normally develops in three steps. As a first step, individuals who are typically both fans of Tolkien’s works and practising Pagans or magicians craft experimental and playful Tolkien‐focused rituals and/or playfully identify as Elves, for example in the context of rituals or role‐playing games. Many individuals never go beyond this point, but some gradually drift towards belief."

    I see your points but I don't think the writer was as harsh as you've said. Especially in the beginning and ending parts of the writing.
     
  16. Amittai

    Amittai monitor evaluator

    909
    +298
    United Kingdom
    Non-Denom
    Single
    I always suspected - from my dabblings in it - that it said nothing about actual truths; and as entertainment I found it heavy going, tasteless and lugubrious.
     
  17. tulc

    tulc loves "SO'S YER MOM!! posts!

    +15,993
    Christian
    Married
    As an aside (and being an old Jesus freak) anyone remember this:

    tulc(is probably going to be singing this for the rest of this week) :sigh:
     
  18. tulc

    tulc loves "SO'S YER MOM!! posts!

    +15,993
    Christian
    Married
    To be honest, I think the author of the piece in the OP completely missed the point of why Tolkien was writing what he wrote and is unfairly criticizing him for not writing what the OP author thinks he should have wrote. :sorry:
    tulc(just a thought)
     
  19. Aspzan

    Aspzan Well-Known Member Supporter

    840
    +578
    United Kingdom
    Christian
    Single
    OR... Have you missed the point of why the author wrote what he was writing about and are unfairly criticising him for not writing what you think he should have wrote? ^_^
     
  20. tulc

    tulc loves "SO'S YER MOM!! posts!

    +15,993
    Christian
    Married
    wouldn't be the first time that happened but I'm pretty sure I didn't. :D
    tulc(isn't beyond being wrong about some things) :wave:
     
Loading...