Finding God in The Hobbit
With a simple hobbit named Bilbo, within a simple hobbit-hole home, J. R. R. Tolkien changed the world forever. Through his book, The Hobbit, Tolkien took captive the imaginations and hearts of millions of people of all ages throughout the world. For those whose hearts have been enchanted, The Hobbit is much more than ghoulish goblin attacks. It is more powerful than Smog, the dragon. It is much more mysterious than riddles with Gollum in the dark. ItÃ¢ÂÂs a journey that changed the life of an unadventurous hobbit, Bilbo, as he walked upon a path he didn't know he wanted to take.
Jim Ware, in his book, Finding God in The Hobbit, brings to light some of the biblical mysteries of Middle-earth. He shares, through his vast biblical knowledge, insightful reflections on scenes and characters from The Hobbit. As each reader travels, side by side, through Middle-earth and scripture, they will begin to discover some of the ways God can utilize them on the adventure called life.
For those who love The Hobbit and God, this book is a recommended read.
Dr. Jeff Krupinski
December 22, 2012
A Pleasant Surprise
Finding God in the Hobbit
Publicity Summary: With a simple hobbit in a simple hobbit-hole, Tolkien opened the window on a whole new world that has captured millions of imaginations and changed the face of literature forever. But this story of unexpected adventure is far more than goblin attacks, dragon-hoards, and riddles in the dark. It's a journey that changes a simple hobbit named Bilbo---and us---along the way. Ware, coauthor of Finding God in The Lord of the Rings, once again unlocks the mysteries of Middle-earth with insightful reflections on the scenes and characters of The Hobbit. You'll discover the deep connections that link this fantasy world to our own and unveil the mysterious workings of the Author of the Tale in your own life. Just as the very ordinary Bilbo Baggins was caught up in a web of momentous events beyond his understanding, so you also are part of a larger story. Travel to Middle-earth to discover some ways in which God is still very much at work in our world---and has a bigger purpose for you than you can ever imagine.
Book Review: I enjoyed learning more of J.R.R. TolkienÃ¢ÂÂs faith and history. That his world view was so engaged in the Word of God is what separates his writing from purely allegory. I found myself really thinking about this during the book. Mr. TolkienÃ¢ÂÂs mind set was so centered on Christ that he never gave a thought to imposing it on his books it just was him. I enjoyed the over view tour of the Hobbit. It brought back memories of my first encounter with this story. Going back and forth between the book and the man was engrossing. I am very glad that I had the opportunity to spend time with this book. It was well worth it.
I would like to thank Tyndale House Publishers for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.
December 21, 2012
I personally love The Hobbit so I was excited to read Finding God in The Hobbit by Jim Ware. IÃ¢ÂÂd skimmed through his other books and thought that he made good points but I was especially interested to see what he had to say about The Hobbit. ItÃ¢ÂÂs true that Tolkien did not write with allegory in mind, but his worldview did influence his writing and it is easy to see that in his books. Jim Ware does a spectacular job of picking apart pieces of The Hobbit to show important aspects about the Christian life (which makes sense since Tolkien was a devout Roman Catholic). I have always drawn my own conclusions from both The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings in regards to the Christian life and it was nice to see a different set of conclusions, all that make sense.
Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Tyndale in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own and no other compensation was received.
December 20, 2012
A delightful adventure
Dreams, fears, pleasures, laughter, GodÃ¢ÂÂs unexpected intervention, endurance, tried patience, kindness and dependence on God continually weave together to shape our lives; through them, we learn dependence on God - which should prevail despite any circumstances. BilboÃ¢ÂÂs adventure in Middle Earth is no exception, and his journey is Jim WareÃ¢ÂÂs illustration of the latter.
In the prologue, the author explains that this book is the result of his own reflections on Ã¢ÂÂThe Hobbit,Ã¢ÂÂ which eventually took him back to God, the one who has made his life meaningful by giving it a purpose, just as BilboÃ¢ÂÂs life, through the fulfillment of his purpose, found its true meaning.
The chapters have a simple and straightforward format. First, there is an extract from Ã¢ÂÂThe Hobbit,Ã¢ÂÂ which is followed by an analytical description of the approach and attitude towards God that can be found in several people in the Bible. As a valuable token, each chapter is closed with a simple and deep statement that summarizes the spiritual lesson we can learn from BilboÃ¢ÂÂs own path.
Despite the simplicity of the format, the deep and transcendental insights of each chapter are worthy to be savored slowly, even more than once. This is one of the few books that have stirred in me the wish to reread chapters and paragraphs, even sentencesÃ¢ÂÂ¦
Moreover, the richness of the words Mr. Ware uses is rarely found in todayÃ¢ÂÂs popular literature, making this a delightful read for anyone who appreciates the vast possibilities of a higher linguistic register. Precisely because of this, I would definitely recommend this book as a teaching tool in any literature or applied theology class; it is well worth the experience. Besides this, his numerous end notes and bibliography will prove to be good references. I can also picture this book being used as a devotional, particularly by those who like Tolkien or this kind of stories.
And just like the author himself states, this book describes a journey of spiritual discovery, but is not the decisive authority on the matter, very probably the reason why Bible quotes and principles are present throughout the book. It is his way of writing about how the great Author of life is always shaping our path.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers, in exchange for an honest review. This has not biased my opinion.
December 20, 2012