Tuesday, October 1, 2013

*The Spiritual World of The Hobbit*


The Spiritual World of the Hobbit

There are some books that are so good you never forget them.
There are some books that are so good that you never finish reading them.
{You consider a re-read sooner rather than later mandatory, not optional. And you understand that people who don't re-read are missing out on a great deal, at the very least. If not criminal.}
There are some books that so good that you want to know as much as you can about the author, the mind behind the world you just discovered, so you read collections of their letters and at least one biography. Then, if you are blessed to find such things, you read books and essays about the original books that were so good.

The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings have been those books for me, and James Stuart Bell's new book is one of those "books about the books" that I have been very pleased to own.

The Spiritual World of the Hobbit is exactly that. It's a treasure map of sorts that guides us into even more hidden richness as we enjoy Tolkien's narrative.

This book reminds us that great plans hinge on small specific circumstances, and prophecies are fulfilled through ordinary men and hobbits.

We are reminded that all creatures are ordained to live for a purpose, be they high elven or unborn babies, and that every detail of a world, wether our own or Middle Earth bears the finger-print of its Designer.

We realize that the groundwork for important events like the coming of a hero is laid over a long period of time and it sometimes seems like all hope is lost.

We learn that heroes grow slowly, with many seeming setbacks, but all along each trial is forging their character; shaping and strengthening them.

And the steps that brought you to where you are were no accident.

The Spiritual World of The Hobbit skillfully points out the many ways that Tolkien's epic Middle Earth story dealt with truth, and quietly and undeniably reflected the truth found in the grandest story of all: the one God is writing.

Thank you Bethany House for my review copy!

Like Tony Reinke said in Lit!, he would march across Middle Earth every year if he could.

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