Posted by: Billy Marsh | March 11, 2008

Desiring God Blog and Tolkien

Frodo Leaving Middle-EarthWhen I first watched and read J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, one of the main things that drew me into the story was Tolkien’s depiction of heaven. Not heaven in the sense of its geographical qualities and how it is traditionally portrayed such as through enticing “golden streets” or “mansions,” but rather heaven in terms of it as a Christian’s rightful home, and as a place of rest and eternal enjoyment for the weary and those who have journeyed long to be there. There is of course much more involved in how he interweaves his theology of heaven into The Lord of the Rings, which can often be discerned through the worldview of his characters, especially those who are expecting to go to their deaths like Frodo. There are many levels of meaning in Tolkien’s work, and I would say that his view of the nature of heaven is one of the major points not to be overlooked.

Over at Desiring God Blog, Tyler Kenney gives a short, but very touching quote from The Return of the King about the song that was sung in honor of Frodo’s success in destroying the One Ring. He then goes on to make a simple and glorious application about how this scene is reflective of what it will be like when we arrive in the presence of the One, Jesus Christ, who has swallowed up death and numbed its sting for those who have been redeemed by his blood. Click here to read the post.

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Responses

  1. I read the post. It makes me want to get the old books back out and read them again. There are many paragraphs and lines in the triology that pierce my heart make me want to savor them over and over again.

  2. I know, I’m ready to read them again too. I’m going to start back again with The Hobbit. I don’t think you’ve seen my collector’s editions of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings? But, it’s going to be pretty neat reading them that way.

    I think one of the early critiques of the publishers of Tolkien’s work was that there was too much dialogue and not enough action. But, for me, it was those long conversations, like the one with Frodo and Faramir that really blew me away. Even the riddle game between Bilbo and Gollum in The Hobbit just really shocked me as to how versatile and wise Tolkien was.

    I really like what you said in your comment about “piercing the heart” and “savoring them”. That’s how I remember them and it was paragraphs like the one in the post on heaven that gave me a deeper appreciation for many things in my faith that I had previously not given much thought to.


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