Do you ever get the idea that reality ain’t what it’s cracked up to be?
Like, for instance, this news story ( http://news.yahoo.com/massachusetts-man-horn-implants-convicted-2011-triple-murder-220826030.html ): Convicted of murdering three men in 2011, a jerk with “devil horns” implanted in his forehead vows revenge against the jury… No, it’s not a Kolchak episode.
Just as an afterthought, somewhere out there is a plastic surgeon who needs his ethics looked into.
Imagine if the news was all we had to read. True, we get the good news from the Bible–and boy, are we in need of it! All the same, mired down here in this fallen world, sometimes faith comes hard to us.
I first read J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings in high school, and it blew me away. I’m reading it again now, and I like it even more.
Now that I know the Bible better, I can more clearly see what Tolkien was doing in that book. I can recognize the sections of the Bible by which various aspects of the story must have been inspired. (Like me, Tolkien seems to have drawn much inspiration from I Corinthians, Chapter 1.)
Tolkien sets up a world whose inhabitants face destruction and doom. Their enemy is not only evil, but vastly more powerful than they are. But the resolution of the story becomes clear–and spiritually elevating!–in light of this:
But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are. (I Cor. 1:27-28)
I have read a lot of fantasy since I first read Tolkien. His work has something which most of the rest of fantasy doesn’t have. It has vision, deep vision. It has conviction, and solidity. It has an element of stateliness.
And although it is not Scripture, I believe it was–as, alas, so much of art is not–God-breathed.
By the unseen but irresistible hand of God, the world of The Lord of the Rings is redeemed in the end.
As shall be our own–perverts with horn implants notwithstanding.