Friday, September 11, 2015


J. R. R. Tolkien, the author of "The Hobbit" and the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, made clear in his private writings he intended to proclaim a Christian message through his fictional writings.

Tolkien lived through the two world wars, yet he never lost his faith that those catastrophes the devil intends for evil, God turns to good. He embedded that faith in the very creation of his famous imaginative world…

As a man who himself had faced the monstrous evil that lay behind war, Tolkien didn't sugarcoat his message. He knew the horrific events God uses for good are no less horrific for those who experience them…

It is hard to speak of the positive results of catastrophic events when people we have loved are dead and landmarks we have known are destroyed. For example, we can never see 9/11 as anything but evil. Yet, as our minds reawaken to the horror of war, the same horror that helped impart realism and strength to the writings of J. R. R. Tolkien, we may rediscover the bedrock source of that strength -- the knowledge of the God who, through and only through an awful death at the hands of sinful men, rose and redeemed humankind.

-- Chris Armstrong in "9/11, History, and the True Story," Christian History newsletter, 9/13/02


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