Why Tolkien Still Matters

“But where our hearts truly lie is in peace and quiet and good tilled earth.”

― JRR Tolkien


The work of J.R.R. Tolkien seems to at times forget about his legacy. No, not his legacy of being the father of modern fantasy fiction but the legacy of his philosophy. It is easy to look at Tolkien and only see him as a literary giant rather then somebody who sought to not only create a new mythology but whole new society. It is far more easier to focus on the fantasy and not so much the real world idealism he placed in the pages.

For Tolkien, he did not look to create Middle-earth just as place to escape the woes of this world. He created the world to restore what he most certainly thought was lost. Theology, culture, economics and politics were very much part of the organic framework in the societies in Middle-earth. For Tolkien his desire to escape into Middle-earth was not because he wanted to leave behind the real world rather the dreary and unimaginative one of modern times that replaced it. He sought not just high fantasy but actually the simple and ordinary aspects of the Agrarian society. This totally seen in the Shire and the hobbits. To him he wanted both the fantastical and the humdrum aspects of Middle-earth. He wanted the once pristine natural world along with the beautiful hallmarks of medieval society. His work while a great piece of imaginative art is actually less fascinating without his philosophy embedded into it.

Image result for tolkien in nature

The truth is, Tolkien’s idealism of Middle-earth is still very much needed even more now then it ever was. As destructive the modern age was with industrialization, war and materialism. The post-modern age is even more destructive in a more dull way with globalism, digitization, agnosticism, neo-liberal secularism, proxy wars & corporate mass consumerism. Now more than ever, we need to escape to Middle-earth. A place where not only will we see the good green earth but small local communities thriving. Just as Bilbo longed to see mountains again we also long for a time where the core fundamental values of Western European and Christian culture is at the fore front. As more people becomes slaves to the digital age and social media we need to unplug and have a good pipe, an old book and a roaring fire to keep us warm. We need to flee our constructs of technological terrors and remember the warmth of the sun on our back as work in our gardens or roam the woods. There is need for all of us to go on adventure just like Bilbo being thrust out our hobbit holes and into the world. We need to see the faith of Gandalf in our leaders in our communities and families. We need to remember the goodness of Samwise Gamgee and the devotion of Aragorn to his friends. We need tell tales over large ales and sing and dance. We need to remember the good and simple things of life.

We need all of this now because people are more at each other’s throats more than ever before. Now more then ever the curse of Smaug has come to mark us with greed. We have lost sight of what matters the most and Middle-earth is our way back. The philosophy of Tolkien is what can bring us back to our roots and take us back to the fundamental truths we all knew as wee little hobbits.

5 Signs Your Church is Becoming Liberal

Do you know the 5 Signs Your Church is becoming Liberal? In this video I discuss it full detail.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnaaPvNiSbQ

You will find that these feed into each other and lead to introducing the the following things.

1. It begins using buzzwords.

Buzzwords like community, outreach, unity, love.

2. It starts injecting reductionism

Reductionism in theological terms means to lessen or simplify doctrinal or biblical concepts. It means finding the lesser accepted meaning in order not to divide or put off people. People accept this either because they want ‘church growth’ or do not want to be saddled with the truth.

3. It begins to appropriate secularism.

Appropriation literally means to take from one thing and put it in another. In popular terms cultural appropriation happens when people who not of a ethnic group take on things from a different group. Example: White dudes getting tribal tattoos.
In the church we appropriate things of pop culture into the church whether it be music, fads, philosophies. With the idea that if the church can be more like the world it will attract more people either wanting the world or people put off by church. The problem is the church is a terrible and cheap knock off of both worldly things and church things.

4. It focuses the people rather on God.

All of these things cause then us to refocus on people rather than God. If we are too busy using buzzwords or trying to reduce the Bible to the lowest thing to attract people we lessen our focus on God.

5. It changes the language of the church.

Simply put we put the focus on the world and when we do that we are force to redefine the terms and doctrines to suit that means. It altogether radically changes the church and that in the end is the goal of progressive liberalism.

Why People Don’t Get Religion

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

1 Corinthians 2:14

“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.”

― G.K. Chesterton, What’s Wrong with the World

Whether you know or not the people who fail to understand religion are the same people who fail at speaking on it. Religion is a topic that either intimidates people or even worse makes them feel qualified to speak on it. It either is a burden to people who struggle with getting the point or it inflates their ego which is only boosted by the amount they reduce from it. Religion is a fine wine that can only be discussed with people who have a mind for it. It is not a slam its an objective fact.



Part of the problem with openly discussing religion is that it either invites simple minded people to dismiss it or reduce it. I recently found this out the hard way once again. The truth about this topic is that makes one go crazy when confronted with this fact about people who constantly don’t get religion.

Unlike topics like your favorite movie or sports team, religion demands you know the facts of it. People often make the false assumption that religious discourse is just opinion but it is not true. Your reason for liking the Miami Dolphins or My Big Fat Greek Wedding is based on your subjective take on the material. Art can cause a subjective reading and it can be justified to a degree. However, your taste has little to do with objective and clerical facts. Whether you like Mass in Latin or English is immaterial to what official doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church is. Folks often assume that because you have a subjective opinion on why you dislike something that somehow how things in regards to religion is subjective. For example you may like how Mormons focus on family. That is an opinion but you cannot deny that Joseph Smith took the Book of Ra and renamed it the Book of Abraham. You may think it is wrong for churches to spend money on buildings than using for the poor. That does negate that Calvinists believe in double predestination. Often times people take their skewed opinions and make it equate things it should not. Whether you regard yourself religious or not there is a proper way to speak on matter because we can’t make up facts and claim things that simply are not true. I understand why we have this problem it is a by product of the Enlightenment and American individualism. People equate what they think and believe that it means all things must submit to it. It is a virus of the mind that causes people not to understand how express proper ideas. On top of that you add the technology and social media which creates more people thinking that opinions in particular their opinions matter more than objective truth. I may not agree with Buddhism but does not grant me to say things that are not true.

Religion is something that people often mischaracterize as well. For example they may say they are not religious or that they do not like to talk religion but then often speak about why they dislike organized religion. This stems from people thinking that religion only means talking about what your church believes. No wonder people often think wrong things about religion, like how it causes divides. Religion only divides because people disagree, that is not because religion to succumbent to opinion but often some speak false and others speak truth. Even if I am not a Muslim I know there is orthodoxy and heterodoxy in that religion. People disagree because one is either reducing or reinventing. Truly the problem with religion is that some fervently uphold it and others want to reinvent it. Even if you disagreed with that concept you still have to admit that even something like sports can divide people. We never hear people say “I can’t talk about sports because it divides people”. The truth is that people know even if instinctively that sports is a subjective thing. You like your team for relative terms. Also people subscribe or reject to authority in sports and that’s the heart of the matter.

Religion demands loyalty and faithfulness and often people want to break away from that. I would even admit that as my religion indicates that it is our sinful nature that causes this. People reject or want to redefine or objectify it. When people’s whims are culled by truth or authority which speaks for truth it drives us to be angry and insufferable.

In the end what matters most is to find those who can understand this and ignore those who can’t. It essentially comes down to world views and whether you deny objective authority in truth. Like I said I recently found this truth to be evident again. The people who often disregard or poorly give its rightly needed scholasticism it becomes utter cringe.

Poem: The Maddening Song

What can be said that has not already been sung.
I wish not for a new thought but an old one.
To sing what has been forgotten and lost.
But of all things to lament what is done.

Nothing more can bring great joy or sorrow
Then to sing the Maddening Song called Time.
For no matter how strong or feeble all bend a knee
to a breathless master who has given the beat and rhyme.

To sing the Maddening Song is to submit to the tune.
The final thought before I lie in that dusty tomb
To live with peace long before it is due.