types of christ

i had a great time seeing everyone at michael’s graduation party. it was really nice to talk to folks my age again, guys i like and respect.

i don’t think this will spoil anything for anyone who hasn’t read the return of the king, but if you’d rather remain blissfully unaware of even the slightest details until wednesday, well, don’t read on.

where is christ in lotr? he’s all over the books; i thought i’d give you two examples from return of the king:

“then suddenly pippin looked up and saw that the sun was still shining and the banners still streaming in the breeze. he shook himself. ‘it is passed,’ he said. ‘no, my heart will not yet despair. *gandalf fell and has returned and is with us.* we may stand, if only on one leg, or at least be left still upon our knees.'” (tolkien, j. r. r. the return of the king. (1965). boston: houghton mifflin company. p. 39.)

“then suddenly, as before under the eaves of emyn muil, sam saw these two rivals with other vision. a crouching shape, scarcely more than the shadow of a living thing, a creature now wholly ruined and defeated, yet filled with a hideaous lust and rage; and before it stood stern, untouchable now by pity, *a figure robed in white, but at its breast it held a wheel of fire*. out of the fire there spoke a commanding voice.

‘begone, and trouble me no more! if you touch me ever again, you shall be cast yourself into the fire of doom.’

the crouching shape backed away, terror in its blinking eyes, and yet at the same time insatiable desire.” (ibid., p. 221)

powerful stuff. here’s a paragraph from Bradley Birzer, assistant professor of history at hillsdale college in michigan, and co-founder of the hillsdale college tolkien society:

“Though Tolkien disliked the 20th century, he did not resent living in it. It was, for him, his duty to do God’s will and attenuate the worst aspects of the agnostic and atheistic society swirling around him. God had put him ‘here and now’ for a reason. In a telling conversation in The Lord of the Rings, one character expresses regret for having to live in such a foul, evil world. ‘So do I’ said Gandalf, ‘and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.’ For Tolkien, that reason was to express God’s will through a new myth, reflecting the true myth, the story of Christ.” (birzer, bradley. ‘the christian gifts of j. r. r. tolkien.’ new oxford review, 68(10), 2001, pp. 25-28. accessed 12.14.2003 from http://www.newoxfordreview.org/2001/nov01/.)

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