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Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

Ephesians 5:10

Woe unto them that call evil good and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for
darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter. Isaiah 5:20

In regard to the occultic imagery in the book and movie The Lord of the Rings
(TLOTR), here is what Berit Kjos (a Christian writer) says in her article entitled, Tolkiens Lord
of the Rings: Truth, Myth or Both? (

Both stories [Harry Potter and TLOTR] involve wizards, spells, mythical
creatures and magic charms. Both demonstrate the battle between a
mythical good and evil. Both pit heroic white magic against dark
menacing occultism.
But Potter wields his good magic in an obviously occult setting with no
claim to Christian symbolism. In contrast, Frodo, the hobbit hero of The
Lord of the Rings lives in a world that supposedly reflects Biblical truth and
Christs redemptive love. But does it?
Does Frodos suffering really represent the suffering of Christ? Does wizard
Gandalfs self-sacrifice typify the crucifixion? Many Christian fans argue
yes. If they are right, what do these comparisons actually teach us about
truth and redemption?
Or might this popular gospel be distorting Gods truth? Perhaps Tolkien
himself can provide some answers.
The man and his message. John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1892-1973) was a
man of many contradictions. For example:
*Back in 1969, he wrote a letter affirming that the chief purpose of life, for any
one of us, is to increase according to our capacity our knowledge of God by all
the means we have, and to be moved by it to praise and thanks. 1
*In his personal letters (many are included in a book titled The Letter of J.R.R.
Tolkien), he expressed caution toward occult practices. But he equipped his team
of mythical heroes the fellowship of the Ring with the pagan powers that God
forbids. For example, Gandalf [a helpful wizard] is able to wield potent magic
To do battle with the forces of darkness, Gandalf the Grey can call upon not
only his spellcraft, but also his staff of power and the Elven sword Glamdring.2

The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Humphrey Carpenter, editor (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1981), page 400.

*A staunch Roman Catholic, he affirmed his faith in the One God who created
the universe. But his mythical God stopped creating before the work was
finished, then turned the rest over to a group of lesser gods or sub-creators. In
other word, Tolkien invented a hierarchy of deities that defied the Biblical Gods
wise warnings concerning both real and imagined idolatry.3

Dr. Ralph C. Wood, Professor of English at Baylor University and an

expert on Tolkiens work, described those lesser gods or ruling spirits.
Notice that the reigning God sounds more like the aloof deity of deism than
the caring God of the Bible. Other gods would fit right into Norse and
Celtic mythology (two areas of research that fascinated Tolkien):
At the top stands Iluvatar, the All-Father, corresponding roughly to the One
whom Christians call God the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth.
From him all things proceed, and to him all things return. He is the beginning
and the end, the One who shapes all events to his own purposes. Heonly
rarely intervenes in his Creation, preferring instead to work throughfifteen
Manwe, the Good and Pureis most concerned with air, wind, clouds, and
the birds that fly. Manwes spouse is Varda, the Exalted. She made the stars,
established the courses of the Sun and Moon, and set the morning and evening
star Earendil in the sky. Thus is she known to the elves as Elbereth (Star-Queen)
and Gilthoniel (Star-Kindler). She listens to the cries of both men and elves in
order to come to their aid and succor.
Next comes Melkor (He who arises in Might). Iluvatar gave to him greater
power and knowledge than to any of the other ValarHe desired to have his own
power to create things out of nothingto give them true Beingas the All-Father
did. So he searched in the Void for the Flame Imperishable, disturbing the
original Music which Illuvatar had created to keep the Timeless Halls in
Ulmo (pourer, rainer) islord of watershe dwells in the Outer Ocean or in
the waters underneath Middle Earth, governing the movement of all oceans and
rivers. Ulmo cares greatly for the Children of Iluvatar, advising them by direct
appearances, by dreams, or through the music of waters
Irmo (master of desire) is the author of visions and dreams4

Together, Iluvatar and the lesser gods suggest an unbiblical blend of

impersonal monotheism and personal polytheism, for only the lesser gods
become involved in the lives of the people. In contrast, Christian faith rests
on a clear understanding of God as He has revealed Himself in His Word.
He alone is Creator and Lord of all, and He continues to be intimately

Jude Fisher, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Visual Companion (Boston: New York, 2001),
page 57.
The Letters, page 284.
Dr. Ralph C. Wood, Tolkiens Cosomogony at

involved in the lives of His people. He does not delegate that Lordship to
any other deity. [Unlike the Catholics who delegate authority to Mary.]
Yet, many Christians argue that Tolkiens spiritual hierarchy does indeed
parallel the Biblical account. Even Tolkien, in spite of his denials, has
compared parts of his myth with corresponding aspects of truth. But the
obvious similarities tend to confuse rather than clarify Biblical truth. For
Tolkiens myth twists Scriptures enough to change their meanings and
muddle the true nature of God. Like the serpents temptation in the garden,
Tolkiens illusions of truth appeal to human feelings and may lead to
Instead of the Christians hope of eternal life, Tolkiens world offers reincarnationbut only for a select group. This popular notion defies the
Scriptures that tell us that it is appointed for men to die once, but after this
the judgment [Heb. 9:27] Concerned about this contradiction, the
manager of a Catholic bookstore asked Tolkien if he might have overstepped the mark in metaphysical matters. Tolkien wrote this response,
Reincarnation may be bad theology (that surely, rather than metaphysics) as
applied to HumanityBut I do not see how even in the Primary world any
theologian or philosopher, unless very much better informed about the relation
of spirit and body than I believe anyone to be, could deny the possibility of
reincarnation as a mode of existence, prescribed for certain kinds of rational
incarnate creatures.5

Since Tolkien denies any supposed allegorical link between his myth and
Biblical truth, its not fair to hold his stories accountable to that truth. Nor is
it wise to continue claiming that they teach us Gods truth. Those who do
could easily be tempted to lower their guard, set aside discernment,
internalize the fascinating suggestions and be drawn to occult imagesthe
opposite of Gods warning in Romans 12:9: Abhor what is evil. Cling to
what is good.
The movie version of The Lord of the Rings idealizes occultism and cheers
the pagan practices used by good characters. Like Star Wars, Harry Potter,
and the worlds pagan cultures, it seduces its fans into an imaginary world
that pits white or benevolent magic against dark, evil magic. Both sides of
this imagined battle between good and evil use occult practices that God
forbids. [Deut. 18:9-12]. Those who walk with Him, cannot delight in what
He calls evil.
In talking about Gandalf, Ms. Kjos continues:

The Letters, page 189.

This incarnate angel wouldnt fit into the host of Biblical angels. But he
could well fit in the hierarchy of devas or angels and ascended masters in
the elaborate spiritual system called Theosophy or Ancient Wisdom.
Popularized by Madame Helena Blavatsky, this esoteric blend of Hinduism
and Western occultism received its doctrines from ascended masters or
spirit guides such as Djhwal Khul who channeled his messages to the
medium Alice Bailey.
The allure of Atlantis. The legendary Atlantis played an important part in
the Theosophical world view just as it did in Tolkiens grand mythology.
In the Secret Doctrine, written for the Theosophical Society, Madame
Helena Blavatsky told about revelatory spirits from the Orient who brought
insights from Atlantis and described its people as one of humanitys seven
root races.
Tolkien paints a similar picture of Atlantis. He put the legend into the
First Age of his mythical history. The destruction of Atlantis came in the
Second Age. The Lord of the Rings takes place in the Third Age. But they
all fit together:
The particular myth which lies behind this taleis the Downfall of Numenor:
a special variety of the Atlantis tradition. That seems to me so fundamental to
mythical history whether it has any kind of basis in real historythat some
version of it would have to come in6
Numenor is my personal alteration of the Atlantis myth and/or tradition, and
accommodation of it to my general mythology. Of all the mythical or
archetypal images this is the one most deeply seated in my imagination, and
for many years I had a recurrent Atlantis dream: the stupendous and ineluctable
wave advancing from the Sea or over the land, sometimes dark, sometimes green
and sunlit.7

Myth and inspiration. In Lord of the Rings: True Mythology, an

introduction to a series of articles on Tolkien, Leadership U (sponsored by
Christian Leadership Ministries) notes that Many critics have scorned the
trilogy as mere escapism, but Tolkien saw it as discovered reality, that his
mythmaking was an attempt to uncover what is real in the clearest way
possible: true myth.8
Tolkiens mythical reality sounds a bit like an oxymoron. Myth, by standard
definition, implies something other than reality. Tolkien himself denies the
link between his myth and Gods truth. Still, that link lingers in many

The Letters, pages 197-198.

The Letters, page 361.
Lord of the Rings: True Mythology at

contemporary minds especially among those who love the story. But can it
represent Biblical reality?
Leadership U continues, Biblical imagery, many claim, abounds within the
taleswhich actually contain no explicit mention of God, Christ or worship.
This seeming ambiguity has left much room for neopagans and others to
point out the abundance of gods, spirits, sprites and other mythical and
pagan characters in the text.9
Todays culture is well accustomed to ambiguity. We see it in ads, in
political propaganda, in the new laws being passed.Lofty promises are in;
defining terms are out. The latter clarifies and allows rational choices rather
than feel-good conformity.
To see through some of Tolkiens ambiguity, one might look at his sources of
inspiration. Once again, Tolkien expert, Professor Wood, can help us out. In
his review of Verlyn Fliegers A Question of Time: J. R. R. Tolkiens Road to
Faerie, he acknowledges that Tolkien was influenced by 19th century
Romantics such as George Macdonald, since his friend and literary
companion C. S. Lewis was also decisively shaped by them. He continues,
What comes as a genuine shock is the news that Tolkiens mind and work were
marked by the fictional dream-journeys of George DuMaurier, by the psychic
experiences of Charlotte Moberly and Eleanor Jourdain, by the time-travel
fantasies of H. G. Wells
Flieger has shown us a darker, less cheering Tolkien than many of his Christian
apologists have acknowledged. Here again she is right: Tolkien was a man whose
faith was shadowed and doubt-filled. Yet if the worth of a critical study lies in
its illumination of an authors main work, then Fliegers book must be faulted
even as it is to be praised. She fails to illuminate The Lord of the Rings nearly as
much she explains two minor works that interest few folk other than Tolkienian
archivists.And because she finds Tolkien entertaining notions of reincarnation
and psychic time-travel and occult experience at these particular points in his
fiction, she assumes that they are at work everywhere in his work.
Flieger is right to contend that Tolkien shared their neo-gnostic critique of our
centurys decadent and violent materialism. Yet she fails to see that Tolkien also
resists what is spurious in the attempt to have God without incarnation or cross or
resurrectionin short, to have God without God10

Yes and no. On this point, ambiguity reigns. Tolkiens mythical world does
include a God without God. A God is there, but not the cross or
resurrection. Christians, like pagans, may interpret him in whichever way

Dr. Ralph Wood, A Question of Time: J. R. R. Tolkiens Road to Faerie at

best fits their worldview or satisfies their lust for imaginary flights into the
occult realms of magic and mysticism.
Terry Donaldson, the Founder and Director of the London Tarot Training
Centre makes this imaginary flight seem easy..Already steeped in occult
practices, he packaged his interpretation of Tolkiens myth in an attractive
gift box. Its title reveals its nature: The Lord of the Rings Oracle: A
Mystical Pack with Middle-earth Cards, Map, and Ring for Divination and
Revelation. The back explains:
The realm of the Middle Earth lies within each of us, so cast the gold ring over
the map, and foretell the future through the cards. The Lord of the Rings Oracle
is a new and extraordinary divinatory system based on the bestselling Lord of the
Ringsa story laden with mysterious magic.11

Surrounding the gift box were Harry Potter books and a multitude of more
recent publications on witchcraft, palmistry, tarot cards and spell casting.
Together they show the growing acceptance of a forbidden world once
regarded with a sobering caution.
This spiritual shift has taken many Christians by surprise. For others, it took
little more than an initial glimpse into occult mysteries to stir curiosity and
cravings that drove them ever deeper into the unseen world their minds have
The Lord of the Rings is no exception. Decades ago, when witchcraft and
wizardry were hidden from public view, young Middle-earth visionaries
had no real-life place to test the new suggestions. That has changed.
Through books, local covens, the Internet and other available sources,
seekers can easily find tutors and practices that turn wizardly fantasy into
practical occult reality. This sobering fact makes our world today radically
different from the times when Tolkien and his friends shared their stories
with each other.
Finding God through myth-making can easily lead to compromise. And
when myth comes together with God it produces an illusion of Biblical
faith a faith based on a misleading blend of truth, myth and human
philosophies. We see this deceptive process today in the post-modern
church movement. But long ago, God told us to

Terry Donaldson, The Lord of the Rings Oracle (New York: Sterling Publishing Company, Inc., 1998). The Lord
of the Rings Deck & Book Set includes the tarot and card game deck plus a spread sheet for card readings and The
Lord of the Rings Tarot Book, by Terry Donaldson. Donaldsons discussion of the cards wends through Tolkiens
works, traditional tarot inspirations, astrological associations and original spreads and meditations. The Lord of the
Rings Tarot is the ultimate guide for all visitors exploring Middle-earth via the tarot.

Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all
longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure
sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching
ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears
away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables [myths]. But you be watchful
in all things 2 Timothy 4:2-5

To be ready and watchful, we need to fill our minds with Gods truth, not
enticing myths. We need to put on the whole Armor of God a set of vital
truths about God and of our source of righteousness, peace, faith and
salvation then take our stand on His Word and refuse to compromise, no
matter how unpopular our position.
Those who trust their imagination more than God will neither see Gods
greatness nor tolerate those who follow Him. Thats why Jesus continues to
warn His disciples,
If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not
of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.If
they persecuted Me they will persecute youfor they do not know the One who
sent Me. John 15:19-21
Here is what the Childcare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture
had to say about the movie The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring in their alert and
addendum dated January 12, 2002

This movie is likely another maneuver to capitalize on the new found

infatuation of visually oriented youth with bright and dazzling display of the
occult, witchcraft and evil. It is another presentation of the good using evil
to fight evil. And it presents sorcery as both good and evil.the imagery
of evil you have seen before now does not match the evil in The Lord of the
Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. And there are two more Lord of the
Rings coming.
There are inevitable comparisons being drawn between Harry Potter and
the Sorcerers Stone and The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
by the secular worldview and the Christian faith.
Such a comparison follows since both movies present wizards, sorcery and
evil magic and both titillate the skyrocketing popularity of mystical occult in
movies in the shadow of the attack on Christianity, feeding on it and
nurturing it at the same time. Both movies use evil as good: white magic
to fight dark and evil occult forces. Both present fine personal qualities in
characters with heroic missions to defeat evil. And both present the use of
evil, namely witchcraft and sorcery, as a tool for good.

I am not going to try to debate the claims that Tolkiens Rings trilogy
parallels shards of the Truth shattered from the Bible. Satan is very good at
making the truth into a lie through the most innocent vehicles and by the
least obvious methods. Nor am I going to try to debate the involvement of
C. S. Lewis in Tolkiens life who placed the Gospel on the level of a myth in
1931 after a dinner with Tolkien:
Now the story of Christ is simply a true myth: a myth working on us the same
way as the others, but with this tremendous difference that it Really happened:
and one must be content to accept it in the same way, remembering that it is
Gods myth where the others are mens myths

The bottom line is that God clearly commands that witchcraft, sorcery and
wizardry are evil. He gives no situations under which these evils are not
evil: no conditions under which these evils may be tolerated. There is no
such thing as a good witch. Not even Wendy.
Deut. 18:9-12 When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy
God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those
nations. There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son
or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an
observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter
with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these
things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these
abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.
Rev. 21:8 But the [unforgiven] cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the
murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts [sorcery,
witchcraft, wizardry, divination, etc.], the idolaters and all liarstheir
place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.
Gal. 5:19-21 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual
immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred,
discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and
envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that
those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
**********Food for Thought*********
1 Cor. 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good
Jude 4 For certain men* whose condemnation was written about long
ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who
change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus

Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. [*men: anthropos {anth-ro-pos},

generic, a human being, whether male or female]
Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say
unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto [or for] one of the least of
these my brethren, ye have done it unto [or for] me.
The addendum to this report was added to those who have expressed animosity
toward the subject and/or the CAP ministry and its services.

After nearly 300,000 visits and hundreds of emails attributed directly to our
analysis of The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (and, to a lesser
degree, Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone), it has become clear that
many readers are not understanding the purpose of the CAP ministry and/or
are not bothering to read all that is necessary to understand.
This addendum speaks directly to our adversarial readers and the issues
raised by them.
Our service is not reviews. The CAP Ministry provides analyses to moms
and dads to reveal the truth about the content of popular entertainment using
Gods Word to discern what to tell them so they can make an informed
decision on their own whether a vehicle of entertainment is fit for their kids
or themselves without having to sit through it to know.
Jesus indeed TELLS us to be judging of the behavior of others [e.g., 1
Cor. 6:2-3], just not their Salvation.If we do not judge the behavior of
others, how could we discern the swine and the dogs [Matt. 7:6] from the
righteous?Matt. 7:1 does NOT tell us not to judge at all. It tells us not to
judge unfairly or selfishly AND, later in Matthew, tells us to do so in
accordance with His Word.
Sin is no respecter of age. That which is sinful for a child is also sinful
for an adult.
God defines what is sinful. We just repeat Him. Anger at being shown in
His Word through our service that a chosen behavior is a sin is a matter that
needs to be taken to the Cross.
God says sorcery and wizardry are evil. There is no debate. He does not
give any conditions or situations in which these evils are not evil. In
applying His Truth to The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, for the
good to use evil to fight evil is serving the evil: to use sorcery/wizardry to
fight sorcery/wizardry for whatever reason is serving sorcery/wizardry.

The source of the power determines the holiness of it, not the use of it nor
the user. And this very issue is yet another corruptive influence of The Lord
of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring and Harry Potter and the Sorcerers
Stone: to get people to think about P*O*W*E*R over others through
sorcery/witchcraft; emboldening the viewer to be desirous of such power;
emboldening the viewer to experiment or dabblejust to see or find out for
themselves. If you think movies and other forms of entertainment do not or
cannot influence even our basic thought patterns, behavior management and
coping skills, the American Medical Association disagrees with you. The
American Psychological Association disagrees with you. The American
Academy of Pediatrics disagrees with you. The American Academy of
Child & Adolescent Psychiatry disagrees with you. God disagrees with you
[1 Cor. 15:33]. And I disagree with you.
Comparisons are being drawn of Frodo to Jesus because of the portrayal of
self-sacrifice. Both Jesus and Frodo gave up everything for their quests;
Frodo his home and Jesus His Life. And both Frodo and Jesus focused on
saving mankind, on defeating sinful influence (which is what the CAP
Ministry is doing); Frodo by trying to defeat Melkor (which may be viewed
as Satan, the father of sin) and Sauron (as the antichrist) by destroying The
One Ring (the symbol of sin and lust) and Jesus by defeating Satan and
death because of our sin. Frodo taking the ring but not submitting to it and
being skewered by the evil sword making him turn into evil can very loosely
be compared to Jesus taking on all our sins without ever submitting to sin
and being wounded by the whip, club, nails and spear. Yes, both Frodo and
Jesus were wounded for their efforts to save mankind, but Jesus was not
healed. He was killed by His wounds because of our sins. No sorcery or
incantation healed Jesus as they healed Frodo. And Jesus never sinned.
Not once did Jesus e-v-e-r sin. No sorcery raised Jesus from the dead, no
man or woman, no incantation, no magic wand, no amulet, broach or
medallion and no Tolkien story. God raised Jesus from the Dead. Period. It
is fine that there are symbolisms of the Gospel and behaviors expected of
Christians in The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, however
adapted or adjusted they may be. More power to it. But my original
point still stands firm: the good used evil (sorcery/witchcraft) to fight evil.
Gandalf dying in sacrifice of himself for the lives of others and later being
resurrected does not fit the picture of the Crucifixion and Resurrection but is
a counterfeiting of them.
The source of the power determines the holiness of it, not the use of it.
I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes Psalms 101:3

Even the Christian magazine, Christianity Today, in an article by Michael G.

Maudlin entitled Books & Culture Corner: Saint Frodo and the Potter Demon, February
18, 2002, states in comparing Harry Potter with TLOTR

This primitive shunning of Harry Potter is made all the more strange
when contrasted with the Christian response to The Lord of the Rings, the
fantasy trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien and the blockbuster movie by director Peter
Jackson. Superficially, there are many similarities between the projects.
Both are fantasies by British authors who not only populate their stories with
magical creatures but with magic as well. In fact, in both series magic is
seen as a neutral instrument that can be used for either good or evil. And
both authors allow their heroes to make full use of magic in their cause. So
why are not both condemned equally?
If one indulged in this paranoid game of spotting evil, then I think a case
could be made that Tolkien stinks more of hell than Rowlingas my pen pal
would say. First, Middle Earth is surprisingly secular. We do not see any
churches or temples, only monuments to past kings and historical figures. In
fact, no wizard, elf, dwarf, human, or hobbit prays or mentions a deity.At
least Harry Potter celebrates Christmas. Suffice it to say that religious piety
is not modeled in Tolkien.
Second, if you want to condemn a work for what it has inspired, then turn up
the heat for Tolkien. While neither Tolkien or Rowling has ever encouraged
people to mistake their magical worlds for the real one (in fact, both have
made quite the opposite point), many fans have voluntarily entered Middle
Earth. It would be hard not to link the occult-friendly role-playing game
Dungeons and Dragons to the influence and popularity of Lord of the
RingsOne Web site even sells Lord of the Rings Tarot Cards. Have some
people used Tolkien as an entry point to the occult? The answer must be
And yet, where is the brouhaha over Lord of the Rings? I have not heard it.
All I have heard are desperate, wrong-headed attempts at explaining why
Tolkiens (and Lewiss Narnia series) use of magic is fine while Rowlings
is bad. Even Harrys critics feel compelled to defend Tolkien.
Bruner and Ware [Finding God in The Lord of the Rings] are right about
Tolkien, but their observations apply equally to Rowlings Harry Potter
books. Neither series makes much sense apart from a Christian ethicBoth
works convey a palpable sense of Providence; both lift up agape love as the

highest virtue; both flesh out what it means to have noble character; both see
evil as coming from the heart and not out there.
But here is where Bruner and Ware make their stand: The Lord of the
Rings is a tale of redemption in which the main characters overcome
cowardly self-preservation to model heroic self-sacrifice [which is true of
each of the Potter books]
I smell the same spiritual scent in both works, and it is not sulfur.
One more article found in the Last Trumpet Newsletter, Volume XXI, Issue II,
February 2002 ( states in
an article entitled, The Sure Sign of a Dying Nation!:

When thou art come into the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee,
thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. There
shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to
pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an
enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a
wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination
unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth
drive them out from before thee.
Deuteronomy 18:9-12
And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar
spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek
unto their God? For the living to the dead? . And they shall look unto the
earth; and behold trouble and darkness, dimness of anguish; and they shall
be driven to darkness.
Isaiah 8:19, 22
And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds.
Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and
burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it
fifty thousand pieces of silver. So mightily grew the word of God and
Acts 19:18-20
When we see a nation preoccupied with occult fantasy and the magic of the
dark and shadowy realm, we know that a great curse will come upon it.
What is wrong with people who have such an appetite for the macabre, the
eerie stories, and fantasies of hobbits, elves, gnomes, and other creatures
from the nether world or middle earth? Why would a nation, whose

economy is sick unto death, spend countless millions of dollars to feed its
occult cravings?
Strangely enough, the people that give me even more trouble than the
witches are so-called Christian ministers who defend Harry Potter
materials, as well as the works of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. It is a sad
day when hell rises and Christian leaders applaud it.
What does truly amaze me is the acceptance of occultism by fundamental
Christian organizations.there is no difference between what is called
fantasy witchcraft and any other form of witchcraft. It is all of the devil, and
no good can come of it. Initiated witches make heavy use of fantasy,
legends, sagas, and myths. That is what invokes the power of evil spirits, as
all of it is wrapped up in ritual.
J.R.R. Tolkiens Lord of the Rings has taken the country by storm.
Tolkiens stories are about middle earth, hobbits, trolls, elves, and wizards.
Here let it be noted that Wiccan witches truly believe that they are
descendants of the ascended masters and little people from middle earth.
J.R.R. Tolkien was a devout Roman Catholic, and he described his
witchcraft trilogy as Fundamentally religious and Catholic.12 I have in
front of me an advertisement from Focus on the Family featuring a book by
one of that ministrys vice presidents, Kurt Bruner. It is called, Finding
God In The Lord of The Rings.13 The book is offered for a suggested
donation of 13 dollars along with the words, The epic themes of hope,
redemption and faith against all odds in Tolkiens famous trilogy, The Lord
of the Rings, that grew out of his strong Christian faith.14 Can anything be
more blasphemous than that? We know that salvation is only in the precious
blood of Jesus Christ and to compare what He did for us on the cross of
Calvary to a world of hobbits, wizards, gnomes, and elves is reprehensible!
Clearly, these are days of great spiritual treachery, for the powers of
darkness have risen to the full!
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Thessalonians 5:21

While many Christian men and women believe they see Biblical truths in TLOTR, J.R.R.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Dec. 16, 2001, by Tom Heinen, Milwaukee, WI.
Focus on the Family Magazine, Dec. 2001, advertisement.


Tolkien seems to have been confused. Here are two different views from Mr. Tolkien himself:

From Letter #142:

The Lord of the Rings is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic
work; unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision. That is why
I have not put in, or have cut out, practically all references to anything like
religion, to cults or practices, in the imaginary world. For the religious
element is absorbed into the story and the symbolism.
From Letter #165:
It is not about anything but itself. Certainly it has no allegorical
intentions, general, particular, or topical, moral, religious, or political. The
only criticism that annoyed me was on that it contained no religion (and
no Women, but that does not matter, and is not true anyway). It is a
monotheistic world of natural theology. The odd fact that there are no
churches, temples, or religious rites and ceremonies, is simply part of the
historical climate depicted. It will be sufficiently explained, if (as now
seems likely) the Silmarillion and other legends of the First and Second
Ages are published. I am in any case myself a Christian; but the Third Age
was not a Christian world.
Above sources taken from:

Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Matthew 7:20

Well, these parents had come to faith as adults, and wanted their children
to be kept free from the dangers of the world; especially the ones they
remembered as destructive in their own coming-of-age years. The Hobbit?
their only familiarity was that they used to sit around with their hippie
friends smoking dope and reading Tolkiens tales of Bilbo and his
adventures. 15
Children, Hippies, and Environmentalists have always read J.R.R. Tolkiens
The Lord of the Rings, but have they correctly understood the myth?16
Severe critics blamed The Lord of the Rings success on the sinister

Steve Garber, Learning from Tolkien About Life: The Lord of the Rings Revisited
Book Review #2, J.R.R. Tolkiens Sanctifying Myth: Understanding Middle-Earth


influence of hallucinatory drugs that were fashionable in some student

circles.17 Fred Cody, manager of Berkleys campus bookstore, said
that The Lord of the Rings was more than a campus craze; its like a
drug dream.1819
Mr. Tolkien was also an environmentalist. Here are some quotes to back up that fact:

But why were students attracted to The Lord of the Rings?

Several theories suggest why American students became so enchanted
with The Lord of the Rings. One indicates the emphasis on the protection
of natural scenery against the ravages of an industrial society harmonized
with the growing ecological movement.20 When a university decided to
remove some trees to build a Culture Center, students were upset. They
wrote another bit of Mordor on the concrete blocks that replaced their
park trees.21 Simon Morgan-Russell, assistant chair of the English
department at Bowling Green State University, explains that Tolkien
was a proto-environmentalist before it was in fashion. His passion
for landscapes is apparent in his books and is attractive to students,
during the counter-culture period.22 A 1972 letter from Tolkien confirms
his love for nature: In all my works I take the part of trees as against all
their enemies. The savage sound of the electric saw is never silent
wherever trees are still found growing.2324
In the 1960s he [Tolkien] was taken up by many members of the nascent
counter-culture largely because of his concern with environmental
In a letter to his [Tolkien] publisher, Houghton Mifflin, in 1955, he wrote,
There are of course certain things and themes that move me specially. The
inter-relations between the noble and the simple for instance. The
ennoblement of the ignoble I find specially moving. I am (obviously) much
in love with plants and above all trees, and always have been; and I find

Humphrey Carpenter, Tolkien: A Biography, 230.

Phillip Norman, The Prevalence of Hobbits (New York Times, 15 January 1967).
Tracie S. Speake, The Power of the Ring: J.R.R. Tolkien and American Popular Culture, The Sextant, Vol. 1, No.
1, Summer 2003, p. 73-74.
Carpenter, Tolkien: A Biography, 230.
Norman, Ibid.
Jordan Fouts, An Icon Re-Emerges: A Look at Why The Lord of the Rings Trilogy Continues to Surface in
American Culture, Miscellany (Fall 2001). Online edition at
( [Accessed 21 February 2003].
Humphrey Carpenter,ed., The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1981), 419.
Tracie S. Speake, The Power of the Ring: J.R.R. Tolkien and American Popular Culture, The Sextant, Vol. 1, No.
1, Summer 2003, p. 73.
David Doughan, Who was Tolkien? (


human maltreatment of them as hard to bear as some find ill-treatment of

animals. Those few words not only tell us of his understanding of people,
and of what is to be prized, but also give us a window into his own deepest
Regarding occultic imagery:
Abstain from all appearance of evil. 1 Thessalonians 5:22
No Christian ought to read anything that smacks of the occult, including these books.
The verse quoted previously from Acts 19:18-20, states what we should do with these books.
Again, Isaiah 8:19-20 states, And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that
have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek
unto their God? For the living to the dead? To the law and to the testimony: if they speak
not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. For Mr. Tolkien to
speak through his books by using wizards and spells to relate Scriptural Truths is a sin
against God.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest,
whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are of good
report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those
things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the
God of peace shall be with you. Philippians 4:8-9
And what did Paul do? In Acts 13:6-11 it says, And when they had gone through the
isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was
Barjesus: Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who
called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God. But Elymas the
sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the
deputy from the faith. Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set
his eyes on him, And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou
enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? And
now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun
for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about
seeking some to lead him by the hand. Naves Topical Bible lists this section of verses under
Sorcery to which one is pointed when looking up the topic, Wizard.
Some Christians argue that TLOTR is a fable which is defined in the Old English
Dictionary as a short story devised to convey some special lesson, especially one in which

Garber, Ibid.


animals or inanimate things are the speakers or actors. They continue their justification of
TLOTR by saying that the Old Testament uses fables; however, the Old Testament fables use
animals or inanimate things to convey a special lesson, but they dont use wizards and spells!
The New Testament also warns against fables: Neither give heed to fables and endless
genealogies, which minister questions [isnt that what Tolkiens books have caused], rather
than godly edifying which is in faith [found in the Word of God alone]: so do. 1 Timothy 1:4
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their
own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers [Mr. Tolkien?], having itching ears; And
they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables [TLOTR]. 2
Timothy 4:4

Another justification put forward by some Christians is that while J. R. R. Tolkien was
a Roman Catholic at one point in his life, there is absolutely no proof that he was up to his death.


Whether or not Mr. Tolkien was Roman Catholic up to his death really has no bearing in
this argument. The fact remains that he wrote TLOTR when he was a Catholic (a devout,
staunch Catholic as many sources cite).
Here are some quotes about his work. This will be quite lengthy; please take the time to

From Letter #142:

The Lord of the Rings is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic
From Letter #195:
Actually I am a Christian, and indeed a Roman Catholic, so that I do not
expect history to be anything but a long defeat though it contains (and
in a legend may contain more clearly and movingly) some samples or
glimpses of final victory.
From Letter #213:
I was born in 1892 and lived for my early years in the Shire in a premechanical age. Or more important, I am a Christian (which can be deduced
from my stories), and in fact a Roman Catholic. The latter fact perhaps
cannot be deduced; though one critic (by letter) asserted that the invocations
of Elbereth, and the character of Galadriel as directly described (or through
the words of Gimli and Sam) were clearly related to Catholic devotion to
Mary. Another saw in waybread (lembas)=viaticum and the reference to its
feeding the will (vol. III, p. 213) and being more potent when fasting, a
derivation from the Eucharist. (That is: far greater things may colour the
mind in dealing with the lesser things of a fair-story.)
From Letter #320:
I think it is true that I owe much of (the character of Galadriel) to
Christian and Catholic teaching and imagination about Mary27
J.R.R. Tolkien was a staunch Catholic
One way in which Christianity obviously influenced Tolkiens writing is
in his treatment of the centuries-old debate over the nature of evil. The
official Church position was formulated in 410 AD by St. Augustine in his
De Civitate Dei (The City of God). In Book XII, Augustine asks why the
angels who rebelled against God are miserable. He concludes that the
condition of blessedness comes from cleaving to Him who supremely is,
which amplifies ones own being. In turning away from God, the angels
therefore diminished their own existence28


Was Tolkien a Christian?, taken from (

Christianity, taken from (


[In regard to a colleague of Tolkiens, G.K. Chesterton] Chesterton adds

that faith: is not a process but a story.The life of man is a story; an
adventure story; and in our vision the same is true even of the story of God.
The Catholic faith isa story and in that sense one of a hundred stories;
only it is a true story. It is a philosophy and in that sense one of a hundred
philosophies; only it is a philosophy that is like life. Tolkien echoes this in
his remark (ibid.):
So the only perfectly consistent allegory is a real life; and the only
intelligible story is an allegory.the better and more consistent an allegory
is the more easily it can be read just as a story.
Of the New Testament he says that The Gospels contain a fairy-story, or a
story of a larger kind which embraces all the essences of fairy stories.
(Lecture at St. Andrews University, 1937).
In the lady Galadriel the reader can be allowed to hear an echo of the
Virgin Mary Our Lady, upon which all my own small perceptions of beauty,
both in majesty and simplicity is founded (letter to Fr. Robert Murray SJ [by
Tolkien]); Galadriels grand-daughter, Arwen, also has a Marian role, saving
both Frodos life and soul as she utters the words What grace is given me,
let it pass to him. Let him be spared.
Galadriel bestows upon the Fellowship seven mystical gifts, which are
surely analogous to the seven sacraments, and as such are real signs of grace,
and not mere symbols (and hence this is a specifically Catholic feature of the
Or, in the provision of lembas, can we not see the Eucharist.Given
Tolkiens remark that I fell in love with the Blessed Sacrament from the
beginning and by the mercy of God never have fallen out again some
comparison with the Last Supper is inevitable.
Compare also the man-eating trolls and orcs with the elvesthe
disfigured (fallen) creatures and the beautiful and immortal elves, who eat
the lembas, the mystical breadthe bread of angels which nourishes and
heals. Lembas had a potency that increased as travelers relied on it alone,
and did not mingle it with other goods. It fed the will, and it gave strength
to endure. This allusion reminds us of the manna that fed the people of
Israel and of saints such as Theresa Neumann who survived by eating
nothing other than the holy Eucharist.
Another compelling image is that of the Suffering ServantFrodo is clearly
representative of thisThere are echoes here of The Magnificat, but it also
resonates with the teachings of St. Francisthe humble, little man of
Assisi--, with the life of the little flower, St. Therese of Lisieux, who taught
that to become greater we must become smallerand with the works of
Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
In the Shire and other lands where the good live, there is a social
hierarchy, and, some might argue, even a sort of papacy in the wizard

Gandalfafter all, he acts as leader to the free and faithful people, and he
even crowns kings, as did popes of old. Tolkien himself said of the papacy:
I myself am conviced by the Petrine claimsfor me the Church of which
the Pope is the acknowledged head on earth has as chief claim that it is the
one that has (and still does) ever defended the Blessed Sacrament, and given
it most honour, and put it (as Christ plainly intended) in the prime place.
Feed my sheep was his last charge to St. Peter.
Politically Tolkien was of a piece with Chesterton. The latter had been an
old fashioned Gladstonian Liberal who had become disenchanted with its
Edwardian heirs, particularly as they slipped into a creed of social eugenics.
Attacks on Catholic schools, the corruption of government, brought to a
head by the Marconi scandal, and the lack of radicalism in combating state
socialism by encouraging a fair and just spread in the ownership of property,
all contributed to Chestertons refashioning of his political outlook.
Influenced also by ground-breaking Catholic encyclicals, such as Rerun
Novarum and Quadragesimo annowith their calls for Catholic political
action, social justice, and for workers to be given a share in the rewards of
their endeavoursChestertons Distributism was a creed that was
immensely attractive to Tolkien.
In many respects Tolkien was also the first Green and would doubtless
have been a member of todays Countryside Alliance. He had an especial
hatred of the deformation of our natural environment and the assault on our
ecology. His love of the trees, and the wondrous creation of the endangered
Ent, is a clarion call against the decimation of our countryside. The
bulldozers and chainsaws hack down the forests and woodlands, the aircraft
spray their defoliants, the factory ships ruthlessly deplete fish stocks, and the
prospectors extract minerals while destroying flora, fauna and anything else
that stands in the way of the bottom line.
Tolkiens writing is both religious and political. Beneath the fantasy is a
manifesto for radical change and an attack on the modern world.29
In Pearces biography, we learn that Tolkiens Faith is significant in
discovering the themes put before us in The Lord of the Rings. Inferred in
both Birzer and Pearces books, the reader must have a clear vision--a vision
that is one with the True Church, then and only then will your perception
of Tolkien and his legendarium be clear and complete.
But I suggest as the world continues in its understanding of Tolkien, he
will be placed in the elite group of 20th Century Catholic Writers: G.K.
Chesterton, Hilaire Belloc, Christopher Dawson, Romano Guardini, Josef
Pieper, Fulton J. Sheen and todays, Ralph McInerny. These writers present

David Lord Alton, The Fellowship of the Ring: J.R.R. Tolkien, Catholicism and the Use of Allegory, text of a
lecture to be given by David (Lord) Alton at the Catholic Society of Bath University and Bath Spa University
College on Thursday 20th of February 2003. (


the Catholic World View, not in the sense of a religious denomination, but
as its primary definition, that which is Universal.30
Then there is the Lembos the Elf bread which sustains the members
of the Fellowship through their journeys. What more specific example of
the Catholic view of the Eucharist does one need? One final example is the
date chosen for the destruction of the Ring March 25th. In the Catholic
liturgical calendar, this is the date of the feast of the Incarnation the date
when Christ became incarnate in the womb of Mary and the saga of the
Redemption of Man began31
There is, on the other hand, a feminine character in the trilogy who is
described as: Snow white! Snow white! O Lady clear! O Queen beyond the
Western seas! O light to us who wander here amidst the world of woven
trees! Here is a genuine reference to the Immaculate Conception
connected to a person, not a place. This queen of all, not just Lothlorien,
is associated with stars, like the woman in chapter 12 of Revelation. The
elves sing of her; the Company of the Ring invoke her; the light of her stars,
captured in Galadriels phial, illuminates the worst parts of Frodos quest.
Her name is Elbereth Gilthoniel, .When Frodo and his three hobbit
companions are being pursued by the Black Riders, servants of Sauron,
Gildor the elf is prompted to cry out, May Elbereth protect you! When
these riders attack Frodo and company on Weathertop, Frodo is saved from
personal destruction by calling out Elbereths name at the critical moment.
And in the lair of Shelob the spider, when the fate of the quest rests in Sams
hands, he cries out to Elbereth in an elvish tongue he doesnt even know
and is given the ability to overcome.
Elbereth, then, is the actual Mary character in The Lord of the
The answer to both phenomena comes down to one thing: He and his work
are inescapably Catholic. Tolkien: Man and Myth looks at the ways in
which Catholicism is woven into The Lord of the Rings by focusing on the
Catholicism of the author himself, apart from which his work cannot be
appreciated or understood.
If you ask where Tolkien got the inspiration for the heroism, adventure,
and epic grandeur of The Lord of the Rings, literary critics will direct you to
the Norse myth, old English, and classical antiquity from which he borrowed
certain terms and concepts. This misses the true source, however, which

J.R.R. Tolkiens Sanctifying Myth: Understanding Middle-Earth Book Reviews, Review #2

Ibid, Review #1.
Helen Valois, Tolkiens The Lord of the Rings: A Trilogy of Total Consecration, reprint from Immaculata
Magazine, Mar/Apr 2000 Issue. (


Tolkien made clear in a letter to one of his sons: Out of the darkness of my
life, so much frustrated, I put before you the one great thing to love on earth:
the Blessed Sacrament.There you will find romance, glory, honor, fidelity,
and the true way of all your loves on earth, and more than that.33
Apart from the scriptural influence, the other over-riding influence is
Augustinian theology. Evil, as symbolized by darkness, has no value of its
own but is only a negation of that which is good, as symbolized by light.
Catholic theology, explicitly present in The Silmarillion and implicitly
present in The Lord of the Rings, is omnipresent in both, breathing life into
the tales as invisibly but as surely as oxygen.34
The Lord of the Rings is not a book about religion, but it is the
expression of a religious soul working under God. It is an act of subcreation
Tolkien has no intention of writing in contradiction to Christian
orthodoxy. He is a devout and well-instructed Catholic, a daily
communicant.Tolkien has no doubt that evil is the result of free decisions
by a created nature that was good at the outset.In Tolkiens perspective,
history is a long defeat, but it ends in a great healing, when the themes of
Iluvatar shall be played aright.
Tolkien was also a Roman Catholic Christian, and in this final part of my
essay I want to explore another theme that is characteristic of that Roman
Catholicism which was so dear to him. It is an aspect of Roman Catholicism
that manyfind alienating, namely, its veneration of the Virgin Mary.
I think I know exactly what you mean by the order of Grace, J.R.R. Tolkien
wrote to his Jesuit friend Robert Murray in 1953, just before the first volume
of The Lord of the Rings appeared, and of course by your references to Our
Lady, upon which all my own small perception of beauty both in majesty
and simplicity is founded.35In what sense could Our Lady be the
foundation of Tolkiens perceptions and understanding of these things?
Would this in any case not detract from his relationship to Our Lord, who is
surely the true foundation of beauty, as he is of truth and goodness?
One way is by first recalling some words the Virgin Mary sings in the
Gospel of Luke (1:52): He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and
exalted them of low degree. Tolkiens novel is about many things.But


Inescapably Catholic, a review of the new Tolkien biography, Tolkien: Man and Myth, by Joseph Pearce, reprint
from Immaculata Magazine, Mar/Apr 2000 Issue (
Joseph Pearce, True Myth: The Catholicism of The Lord of the Rings
Letters, page 172 (142). The page number refers to the British edition published by Allen & Unwin (1981) later
reprinted by HarperCollins. Since the US edition by Houghton Mifflin may have different page numbers, I have
placed in parentheses the number of the letter in question, throughout these notes. (Stratford Caldecott)


as he himself states, it is particularly about the ennoblement (or

sanctification) of the humble.36
This quality of innocence and childlikeness, which was reintroduced into the
world by Christ and taught in the Sermon on the Mount, is one of the most
marked characteristics of the good Hobbits in Tolkiens tale.
The first way in which Our Lady of Tolkiens Catholicism is present in The
Lord of the Rings is, therefore, in the form of humility, which occupies the
central place in the hierarchy of virtues within Tolkiens cosmos. In the
Catholic tradition, the spirit of childlikeness and innocence is associated
particularly with the Blessed Virgin Mary.It is associated with her in
Catholic teaching because she is its primary vessel: the human container, the
sacred chalice as it were, into which the waters of grace were poured, once
they had been released by the sacrificial Passion of Our Lord. She is thus
viewed as more than a symbol or biblical type of the Church; she is its first
member, and indeed its most perfect member, having been preserved from
all stain and damage of sin, in order to become a suitable Mother to the
divine Child and all the subsequent sons and daughters of the Church.
There is a second way in which the Virgin Mary is present, and that is
through her reflections in certain feminine characters, specifically Galadriel
and Elbereth. GaladrielTolkien himself calls her unstained (a word that
Catholics normally only use of the Virgin Mary), adding that she had
committed no evil deeds.37 In another letter he wrote: I think it is true that
I owe much of this character to Christian and Catholic teaching and
imagination about Mary.38
Galadriel, however, remains an earthly figure. In Roman Catholic
devotion and dogma, Mary, having been assumed into heaven at the end of
her earthly life, has long been venerated as Queen of Heaven and Star of the
Sea. We find this cosmic aspect of the Marian archetype expressed in the
person of Galadriels own heavenly patroness, Elbereth, Queen of the Stars,
who plays the role in Tolkiens lengendarium of transmitting light from the
heavenly places. It is to Elbereth that the Elves sing the following
Snow-white! Snow-white! O Lady clear!
O Queen beyond the Western seas!
O light to us that wander here
Amid the world of woven trees!
O Elbereth! Gilthoniel!
We still remember, we who dwell
In this far land beneath the trees,
Thy Starlight on the Western seas.

Ibid., page 237 (181).

Letters, page 431(353).
Letters, page 407(320).


Tolkien would have been familiar with one of the most popular Catholic
hymns from his childhood, the tone and mood of which are markedly close
to those of Tolkiens song to Elbereth:39
Hail, Queen of Heaven, the ocean star,
Guide of the wandrer here below:
Thrown on lifes surge, we claim thy care
Save us from peril and from woe.
Mother of Christ, star of the sea,
Pray for the wanderer, pray for me.
There is a third way in which the Virgin Marys presence would be clearly
noticed by Catholics in The Lord of the Rings, and it is under the symbol of
light. Galadriels parting gift to Frodo is a phial containing light from the
Morning Star.Not only does it create a further link between Galadriel and
Elbereth the Star-Kindler, but it also establishes an important connection to
the great saga of the Silmarils, which I mentioned earlier.
Light shining in darkness, representing the life, grace, and creative action of
God, is a theme we find in the Prologue of St. Johns Gospel, and it is at the
very heart of Tolkiens writing. To a Catholic such as Tolkien, who believes
Mary to be the universal mediatrix of that grace, she is present implicitly
wherever her Son is present; that is, wherever grace is present in the world.
For Tolkien, then, the light of the Silmaril, which beautifies whoever wears
it, and which is carried by Frodo into the darkness of Mordor, is a reminder
of the beauty of the first creation before the Fall, and a symbolic
anticipation of the new creation that would begin with the Incarnation. For
Catholics, the Virgin Mary has all the beauty lost by Eve, the Mother of the
living, and is therefore the Mother of the world to come.
The final example of Marys presence in The Lord of the Rings comes
close to the end of the book, when the Ring has been destroyed and Saurons
work undone.[Gandalf] says, the New Year will always now begin upon
the twenty-fifth of March when Sauron fell, and when you were brought out
of the fire to the King. He has tended you, and now he awaits you. You
shall eat and drink with him. When you are ready I will lead you to him.
In our world, Tolkiens Primary World, March 25 is the Christian
feast day of the Annuciation. It used to be called Lady Day, and was indeed
the first day of the year.In our world, March 25 is the day when Christ
was conceived, celebrated with readings that describe the Virgin Marys
yes to God (Luke 1:38).40

This has also been noted by Charles Coulombe, in his helpful essay, The Lord of the RingsA Catholic View, in
Joseph Pearce (ed.), Tolkien: A Celebration (HarperCollins, 1999). Of course, people had already pointed it out to
Tolkien in his lifetime: see Letters, p. 288(213).
The significance of these dates is also noted by Tom Shippey in his recent book, J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the
Century (HarperCollins, 2000), p. 208. John Sawards Mysteries of March: Hans Urs von Balthasar on the
Incarnation and Easter (Collins, 1990) examines the relationship of all the Christian mysteries associated with this
date. For ancient authors such as Tertullian, it was also the date of the Crucifixion, and of the creation and fall of


You could say the Ring is sin itself.Its destruction, therefore, is a type
or figure of the great reversal of sin begun at the Annunciation when Mary
welcomed the Word of God into our world. Her fiat, Let it be to me
according to your word, overturns the human refusal of Gods will that we
call Original Sin.
This is the Mary who is ever-present to Tolkien, at the center of his
imagination, who in Catholic teaching is mantled by all natural beauty, the
most perfect of Gods creatures, the treasury of all earthly and spiritual gifts.
What Elbereth, Galadriel, and other characters, such as Luthien and Arwen,
surely express is precisely what Tolkien said he had found in the Blessed
Virgin: beauty both in majesty and simplicity.
in addition to the obvious types and symbols of Christ, the Virgin Mary is
present in a hidden, implicit way throughout The Lord of the Rings. The
way the fragrance of the Our Lords Beatitudes and the Magnificat of the
Blessed Virgin Mary permeates Tolkiens great work of fiction is typical of
the authentic products of a Christian civilization.41
The works author, J.R.R. Tolkien, was a lifelong devout Catholic who
poured his Catholic heart into the writing of the myth that is now captivating
a new generation half a century after its first publication.
At its most profound level, The Lord of the Rings is a sublimely mystical
passion play.
A Catholic and an Oxford don, Tolkien was well aware of the significance
of the twenty-fifth of March. It signified the way in which God had
unmade the Fall, which, like the Ring, had brought humanity under the
sway of the Shadow.
there are of course many other examples of the Catholic truth shining
forth from the pages of Tolkiens masterpiece42
The saga of The Ring most certainly draws upon Norse and Icelandic
saga for its ethos and not, apparently, on Catholic categories.
All of this seems distant from Catholicism, unless we wish to suppose
Tolkiens religion was a mere fancy that found a lodging in the immense
mystery of the Church of Rome.
But first, Tolkien never converted to Catholicism: he was born into it. And
second, no convert to Catholicism finds anything like the Pre-Raphaelite
magic that he might, in his non-Catholic days, have fancied lay in the region
across the Tiber River.


Entire preceding excerpt with footnotes is taken from: The Lord & Lady of the Rings: The Hidden Presence of
Tolkiens Catholicism in The Lord of the Rings by Stratford Caldecott, Touchstone Magazine
Joseph Pearce, Why Tolkien Says The Lord of the Rings Is Catholic


Tolkiens Catholicism wasutterly and unsentimentally matter-of-fact. We

would never have found Tolkien rhapsodizing about The Faith. He got
himself to Mass regularly, and he said his prayers, and he counted on the
Sacraments and banked on the Magisterium of the Church as the
authoritative teacher of Sacred Scriptureand that was that.
Tolkiens Catholicism was as intractable and given as the stones of the old
buildings at Merton College. Odd as it may seem, there isnt much to say
about Tolkiens faith unless one wants to embark on a log of Catholic
dogma. He simply bought the whole package.His faith was of one,
seamless fabric with his body, his teaching, his daily routine, his writing, and
his family.
First, Catholics are profoundly narrative.Catholics characteristically
come to rest on events: Creation; Annunciation; Gestation; Parturition; the
Agony in the Garden; the Passion, Resurrection, and Ascension. The Mass
is an enactmentwith its center of gravity in the sermon.
Second, Catholicism is sacramentalist. The point where the Divine touches
our humanity is a physical one.The entire Gospel is enactedphysically,
in the Catholic liturgy. Hence the ease with which the Catholic mind
reaches for narrative. Tolkien believed he could not have written the saga if
he had not been a Catholic.
Tolkiens saga is also sprinkled with sacramentals: the lembas, the athelas
(a healing plant), mithril (finely woven magical armor), Bilbos sword
Sting: these arent magic, much less omnipotent. But they do have virtu
spiritual character, excellence. Tolkien was used to holy water stoups,
crucifixes, relics, the Rosary, and so forth, which stand on the cusp between
the seen and the Unseen.
Third, good and evil in Middle-earth are indistinguishable from Christian
notions of good and evil in our own story. To be sure, we do not find
Gollum about today, but what does a soul en route to damnation look like?
Ultimately, the hobbits and the rest must struggle on in faith--But Tolkien,
being a Catholic, would never smuggle in a paragraph to that effect. We
must find it in the narrative, as Catholics do in the whole treasury of
As earlier observed, the Catholic view of the world is a sacramental one;
the center of Catholic life, according to C. G. Jung, is a living mystery,
and that is the thing that works Opponents of the Church have often
claimed that the sacraments are mere magic. The phrase hocus pocus is a
parody of the words of consecration, Hoc est enim corpus meum. As
Galadriel observes, this is what your folk would call magic, I believe;
though I do not understand clearly what they mean; and they seem also to
use the same words of the deceits of the enemy. Indeed, one may go so far

Thomas Howard, Sacramental Imagination: Catholicism anchored Tolkiens life and suffused his writings,
Christianity (


as to say that the effect of magic, wielded for good, is in Lord of the Rings
the same as that of the Sacraments upon the life of the devout Catholic.
Protection, nourishment, knowledge, all are held to flow in supernatural
abundance from them. In his prayer after communion, St. Thomas Aquinas
asks that the Blessed Sacrament be a strong defence against the snares of
all enemies, visible and invisible. St. Bonaventure declares it to be the
fountain of life, the fountain of wisdom and knowledge, the fountain of
eternal light In a word, as the Sacraments are the means of Grace in the
Catholic world, magicwielded by the wiseis the means of Grace in
Middle Earth.
It has been said that the dominant note of the traditional Catholic liturgy
was intense longing. This is also true of her art, her literature, her whole
life. It is a longing for things that cannot be in this world: unearthly truth,
unearthly purity, unearthly justice, unearthly beauty. By all these earmarks,
Lord of the Rings is indeed a Catholic work, as its author believed; but it is
more. It is the ages great Catholic epic, fit to stand beside the Grail legends,
Le Morte dArthur, and The Canterbury Tales. It is at once a great comfort
to the individual Catholic, and a tribute to the enduring power and greatness
of the Catholic tradition, that JRRT created this work. In an age which has
seen an almost total rejection of the Faith on the part of the Civilisation she
created, the loss of the Faith on the part of many lay Catholics, and apparent
uncertainty among her hierarchy, Lord of the Rings assures us, both by its
existence and its message, that the darkness cannot triumph forever.44

In regard to Mr. Tolkiens love of ancient pagan mythology:

Tolkiens Lord of the Rings is probably the best-known and most widely
read of the Inklings works..there are periodic discussions on whether it is
a Christian book or not. Christians often claim that it is, whereas nonChristians often claim that it is a pagan book. The elements of pagan
mythology are plain to see, whereas there are none of the externallyrecognisable elements of Christian religion.45


Charles A. Coulombe, The Lord of the RingsA Catholic View

Steve Hayes, Christianity, Paganism and Literature (


Even though Tolkien claims his work is of course a fundamentally

religious and Catholic work; unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the
revision,46 there is a distinct lack of organised religion in Middle-Earth.
That is one of the points which makes Middle-Earth so different from our
world. Here we have almost too much religion, yet in Tolkiens world, the
characters follow a pagan belief system. They have no gods who created the
world, for the children of the gods are among them: the Elves. How their
world came to be is therefore clear to them. So they look to inexplicable
phenomena for their gods. The natural powers play a great role in their
religious rites, as we see when Boromirs body is given to the waters.
Aragorn and Legolas speak of the North, South and West winds bringing
tidings of Boromirs death to his home city of Minas Tirith. Gimli
deliberately leaves out the East wind, as Mordor and the Enemy lie to the
The belief system in Lord of the Rings is similar in form to the belief system
of the ancient Germanic races in central Europe during the Bronze and Iron
Ages. The burial customs of the peoples of Middle-Earth as well as the
reverence of their ancestors is very similar to the cult rituals of the ancient
Germanic cultures. Tolkien probably used this form of belief system in order
to show the distinct difference between good and evil. While the Christian
view is somewhat muddied, the pagan view is very simple: Those who have
no cult rituals cannot be good, for they have no respect for their dead.47
At least Lewis does say that the incarnation, crucifixion and resurrection
really happened which is more than can be said for many church leaders
today. But he is quite wrong to say that the story of Christ is simply a true
myth. Here we see the real danger of the whole attempt to Christianise
mythology and to claim that pagan myths prefigure the Gospel account of
the death and resurrection of Jesus. This goes right back to the problems
encountered by the early church. Christianity began to lose its way when it
absorbed Greek and Roman mythology and philosophy and placed them
alongside the New Testament. In doing this they were moving away from the
vital teaching of Romans 9-11 that the church must draw from its roots in the
history and teaching of the Jewish people found in the Old Testament
The roots of our faith are to be found in the events of Israels history in
which God called out a nation through whom he would reveal his Torah
(Law) and to whom he would prophesy the coming Messiah. Especially in
the event of the Passover and Exodus, we see vivid types of our exodus from
the slavery of sin through the blood of the Lamb of God shed at the time of

The Letters of J.R.R.. Tolkien, quote taken from Contemporary Authors, Vol. 36; P. 419.
Brief Analysis of Lord of the Rings (


the Passover so that we can pass over from death to life. These were events
which really happened in space and time, as did the events of the Gospels,
through which God was demonstrating that he is not a remote powerless
deity, but is actively involved in his creation and able to move in history and
establish a living relationship with people on the earth.
By contrast pagan myths never really happened. They are the product of
human imagination influenced by demonic powers which far from leading
people to understand the true God, oppress them by evil spirits and create a
barrier of confusion and unbelief. In this confusing world good or white
magic is pitted against bad or black magic, but in Gods word all magic is
Today we see that many people are denying that the events of the Bible
really happened and as a result not just liberal churches but many
supposedly Bible believing churches are wobbling in their commitment to
the historic truths of the Bible. We see also that many charismatic churches
are placing emphasis on experience rather than doctrine and on what appears
to work rather than on what is true. As a result they become incapable of
separating truth from error.
The danger of this comes out in a comment on The Lord of the Rings film
by a reader of Elims Direction magazine already referred to. He writes: In
a strange way the film made me think more highly of my Christian faith.
When I saw Gandalf wrestling the Balrog deep into the earths core, I
couldnt help but think of Jesus, a lone figure of purity diving into the depths
of hell to wrestle away the keys of death.
According to Tolkien Gandalf is a wizard who is able to wield potent
magic and use spellcraft to do battle with the forces of darkness. The Lord
Jesus is the sinless Son of God who laid down his life as a sacrifice for sin.
Tolkiens world includes the possibility of re-incarnation for characters who
have done good and so Gandalfs re-appearance as Gandalf the White with
transformed body and clothes has much more in common with the nonChristian idea of re-incarnation than the resurrection of Jesus.
It is also entirely wrong to describe Jesus as a lone figure of purity diving
nto the depths of hell to wrestle away the keys of death. Jesus never dived
into the depths of hell to take away the keys of death from Satan. Jesus
defeated Satan once and for all by shedding his blood on the cross in
fulfillment of clear prophecies like Isaiah 53. He did this at the time of the
Passover which is the true event prefiguring Jesus death and resurrection.
His word from the cross, It is finished, meant that no further suffering or
sacrifice was needed in order to redeem us.

The idea of Jesus diving into hell is a mythological idea which has come
into the charismatic movement through the erroneous teaching of Kenneth
Copeland and the so-called faith movement. This teaches that Jesus death
on the cross was not enough to atone for sin, but that he had to spend three
horrible days and nights in hell being tormented by the Devil before he
could be born again and resurrected, bringing the keys of death with him.
There is not a word about this in the Bible, but it ties in very much with the
mythological world of Lord of the Rings and the influence of paganism on
contemporary Christianity, which is having disastrous results on the spiritual
life of many Christians and churches.
From the point of view of New Testament Satan is not at present in hell
anyway. He is the prince of this world (John 12.31) now ruling the fallen
world system through the powers of darkness in the heavenly realms
(Ephesians 6.12). This is not of course the same as heaven where God is, but
is the invisible realm, from where Satan now exercises power on the earth.
He will only be cast into the lake of fire after the Great White Throne
judgment at the end of the world (Revelation 20.10-15). Since that is the
place of eternal punishment for the wicked, it is blasphemous to suggest that
the Lord Jesus could ever have entered that place.
In conclusion a comment from an article posted on the Internet by Joseph
Chambers is apt and to the point. No writer has ever portrayed the blending
of pagan myths with distorted Christianity more cleverly than Tolkien. These
books can be and are being heralded by the liberal Christian world and the
pagan world at the same time. The Christian bookstores and many ministries
speak of Tolkiens great message of espousing values and even some hidden
form of the Messianic hope. The pagan world promotes it right in the middle
of witchcraft and occultic ideas. It is a perfect pattern for the global
spirituality of the coming One World Government and One World
Mr. Tolkiens companions and the places he frequented also reflect his lost condition:

It was nurtured by weekly meetings with his friends and colleagues

including the philosopher and novelist C.S. Lewis and his brother, W.H.
Lewis, and the mystical novelist Charles Williams. The Inklings, as they
called themselves, gathered at Magdalen College or a pub to drink beer and
share one anothers manuscripts.49


JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis and the power of the myth, Light for the Last Days website
Obituary: J.R.R. Tolkien, The Sunday Times, Sunday, September 2, 1973


In addition, he and Gordon founded a Viking Club for undergraduates

devoted mainly to reading Old Norse sagas and drinking beer.50
Tolkiens friend, drinking partner, and fellow Inkling C.S. Lewis is well

Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. 1 Corinthians 15:33

He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be
destroyed. Proverbs 13:20
J. R. R. Tolkien influenced the writings of the so-called Christian writer, C. S. Lewis:

According to Colin Gunton, Professor of Christian Doctrine in the

Department of Theology and Religious Studies at King's College,
London, the three friends were discussing the truthfulness of myths.
Lewis questioned the compatibility of Christianity and paganism, and
Tolkien explained why myths are not lies:
Man is not ultimately a liar. He may pervert his thoughts
into lies, but he comes from God, and it is from God that
he draws his ultimate ideals ... Not merely the abstract
thoughts of man but also his imaginative inventions must
originate with God, and in consequence reflect something
of eternal truth.
In making a myth, in practicing mythopoeia, and
peopling the world with elves and dragons and goblins, a
story-teller .. is actually fulfilling God's purpose, and
reflecting a splintered fragment of the true light.52
The God of the Bible has a far lower view of the human imagination
than does Tolkien, and He certainly does not take credit for its
mythical speculations. Instead, He warns us repeatedly that the
imagination of mans heart is evil from his youth. [Genesis 8:21,
NKJ] While Tolkien seems to view Christianity and oneness with
Christ from a universal perspective, God tells us that only those who
are born of the Spirit can understand His truths and receive His

Who Was Tolkien? by David Doughan (

The Lord & Lady of the Rings: The Hidden Presence of Tolkiens Catholicism in The Lord of the Rings by
Stratford Caldecott, Touchstone Magazine (


Quoted by Colin Gunton, Professor of Christian Doctrine in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at King's College, London.
His article first appeared in the King's Theological Review (Vol. 12, No 1), in 1989. Included as a chapter in Tolkien: A Celebration, edited by
Joseph Pearce (London: Fount, 1999), page 130.


thoughts. And even this select group is easily tempted to imagine or

invent unholy myths and images.
Commenting on the same momentous event, historian Glenn J.
Giokaris wrote,
Lewis had insisted myths were lies but Tolkien
responded, they are not . . . We have come from
God, . . . and reflect a splintered fragment of the true
light, the eternal-truth that is with God. Indeed, only by
myth-making . . . can man aspire to the perfection he
knew before the fall.
This conversation led Lewis to see that the relationship
between the images of literature and the myth of truth
was such that myths inevitably led to a point where myth
comes together with God to form reality. Eleven days
later, C.S. Lewis wrote to Arthur Greeves , I have
passed from believing in God to definitely believing in
Christ-in Christianity. My long night walk with Dyson
and Tolkien had a great deal to do with it."53emphasis
added 54
As Tolkien himself said, in his famous talk with C. S. Lewis and Hugo
Dyson, which Lewis credited as being integral to his acceptance of the
Christian faith:
We have come from God, and inevitably the myths woven by
us, though they contain error, will also reflect a splintered
fragment of the true light, the eternal truth that is with God.
Indeed, only by myth-making, only by becoming a 'sub-creator'
and inventing stories, can Man aspire to the state of perfection
that he knew before the Fall. Our myths may be misguided, but
they steer however shakily towards the true harbor, while
materialistic "progress" leads only to a yawning abyss and the
Iron Crown of the power of evil.55
Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe,
and tremble. (James 2:19)


The Philosophical Journey of C.S. Lewis at by Glenn J. Giokaris. This

paper was used in a history class at Stanford University.

Tolkiens Lord of the Rings: Truth, Myth or Both? by Berit Kjos (
Mark Eddy Smith, Why The Lord of the Rings Is Dangerous, Christianity Today, Week of December 16, 2002


In an article in World Magazine (December 8, 2001, Vol. 16, No. 47), the author,
Gene Edward Veith, stated in defense of TLOTR and regarding J. R. R. Tolkiens
influence on C. S. Lewis, As Lewis tells the story of his conversion in Surprise by Joy, it
was Tolkiens witnessingand his argumentsthat led him away from atheism into the
Christian faith. Those stories they both lovedabout a Dying God, about resurrection
and redemption: These are not just myths, Tolkien argued. They became true in
the Jesus Christ of History. Jesus is really who He said He was, God in the flesh, who
died and rose again to bring human beings new life.
Catholics also believe Christ died and rose again. Here are some definitions from
an online Catholic dictionary:
JESUS. The name of Our Lord. It is the Latin form of the Greek Iesous,

whose Hebrew is Jeshua or Joshua, meaning Yahweh is salvation. It is the

name through which God the Father is to be invoked and by which the
Apostles worked miracles (Acts 3, 6). In standard usage the name Jesus is
applied to the Son of Mary, who is also the Son of God; as distinct from
Christ, which refers to his Messianic role as the fulfillment of the ancient
HOLY SPIRIT. The third person of the Holy Trinity, who is distinct from
the Father and the Son but one in being, coequal, and coeternal with them,
because, like them, he is in the fullest sense God. The Holy Spirit proceeds
not only from the Father but also from the Son as from a single principle,
through what is called a single spiration. He is the personal infinite term of
the eternal act of mutual love of the Father and the Son; hence his name of
Spirit, as the issue or term of God's eternal love or act of will. He is also
called the Spirit of Truth, the Creator Spirit, the Sanctifier, as the gifts of
revelation, of creation (and re-creation), and of sanctification are the
outpourings of God's love, and therefore appropriated to the Spirit of Love,
though whatever God does outside the Trinity (in the world of creatures)
belongs to the common or united action of the three divine persons. He is
called Dove, because it was in this form that he descended visibly upon
Christ in the Jordan (Mark 1:10).
GOD. The one absolutely and infinitely perfect spirit who is the Creator of
all. In the definition of the First Vatican Council, fifteen internal attributes of
God are affirmed, besides his role as Creator of the universe: The holy,
Catholic, apostolic Roman Church believes and professes that there is one
true, living God, the Creator and Lord of heaven and earth. He is almighty,
eternal, beyond measure, incomprehensible, and infinite in intellect, will and

in every perfection. Since He is one unique spiritual substance, entirely

simple and unchangeable, He must be declared really and essentially distinct
from the world, perfectly happy in Himself and by his very nature, and
inexpressibly exalted over all things that exist or can be conceived other than
Himself (Denzinger 3001).
Reflecting on the nature of God, theology has variously identified what may
be called his metaphysical essence, i.e., what is God. It is commonly said to
be his self-subsistence. God is Being Itself. In God essence and existence
coincide. He is the Being who cannot not exist. God alone must be. All other
beings exist only because of the will of God.
RESURRECTION OF CHRIST. The rising from the dead of Christ on the
third day after his death and burial. Christ's Resurrection is a basic truth of
Christianity, which is expressed in all the Creeds and in all rules of faith of
the ancient Church. He rose through his own power. The source of his
Resurrection was the hypostatic union. The principal cause was the Word of
God, together with the Father and the Holy Spirit; the instrumental cause
was the parts of Christ's humanity, soul, and body, which were hypostatically
united with the Godhead. When Scripture asserts (Acts 2:24; Galatians 1:1)
that Christ was raised by God or by the Father, these statements are to be
understood as referring to his humanity. All forms of rationalism in ancient
and modern times deceit hypothesis, apparent death hypothesis, vision
hypothesis, symbolism hypothesis deny Christ's Resurrection. Yet nothing
is more central in the faith as attested by Peter's sermon on Pentecost and as
defended ever since by the Church's most solemn teaching authority.
The body of the risen Christ was in a state of glory, as is evident from
circumstances of the appearances recorded in the Gospels and Acts, and
from Christ's supremacy over the limitations of space and time. The risen
Christ retained the wounds in his transfigured body as tokens of his triumph
over death (John 20:27).
Theologically the Resurrection, unlike the death of Christ, is not the
meritorious cause of human redemption. It is the victorious completion of
redemption. It belongs to the perfection of redemption and is therefore
associated in the Scriptures with Christ's death on the Cross as one complete
whole. It is the model and, in the person of the risen Christ, the channel of
grace for our spiritual redemption from sin and for our bodily resurrection
on the Last Day.
REDEMPTION. The salvation of humanity by Jesus Christ. Literally, to
redeem means to free or buy back. Humanity was held captive in that it was
enslaved by sin. Since the devil overcame human beings by inducing them

to sin, they were said to be in bondage to the devil. Moreover, the human
race was held captive as to a debt of punishment, to the payment of which it
was bound by divine justice.
On all these counts, the Passion of Christ was sufficient and superabundant
satisfaction for human guilt and the consequent debt of punishment. His
Passion was a kind of price or ransom that paid the cost of freeing humanity
from both obligations. Christ rendered satisfaction, not by giving money, but
by spending what was of the highest value. He gave himself, and therefore
his Passion is called humanity's Redemption. (Etym. Latin redemptio, a
buying back, ransoming, redemption.)56

Here is an interview with J. R. R. Tolkien in which Mr. Tolkien inferred that Christ is not
depicted in his fantasy novels. I have put the interview, in its entirety, below and put in bold
print the pertinent comments.

Tolkien's Last Interview

First broadcast in January 1971 on the BBC's Radio 4 programme 'Now Read
The interviewer was Dennis Gerrolt.
T: ...long before I wrote The Hobbit and long before I wrote this I had constructed this world

Pocket Catholic Dictionary (


G: So you had some sort of scheme on which it was possible to work?

T: Immense sagas, yes ... it got sucked in as The Hobbit did itself, the Hobbit was originally not
part of it at all but as soon as it got moving out into the world it got moved into it's activities.
G: So your characters and your story really took charge.
T: [lights pipe]
G: I say took charge, I don't mean that you were completely under their spell or anything of this
T: Oh no no, I don't wander about dreaming at all, it isn't an obsession in any way. You have this
sensation that at this point A, B, C, D only A or one of them is right and you've got to wait until
you see. I had maps of course. If you're going to have a complicated story you must work to a
map otherwise you can never make a map of it afterwards. The moons I think finally were the
moons and sunset worked out according to what they were in this part of the world in 1942
actually. [pipe goes out]
G: You began in '42 did you, to write it?
T: Oh no, I began as soon as The Hobbit was out - in the '30s.
G: It was finally finished just before it was published...
T: I wrote the last ... in about 1949 - I remember I actually wept at the denouement. But then of
course there was a tremendous lot of revision. I typed the whole of that work out twice and lots
of it many times, on a bed in an attic. I couldn't afford of course the typing. There's some
mistakes too and also [re-lights pipe] it amuses me to say, as I suppose I'm in a position where it
doesn't matter what people think of me now - there were some frightful mistakes in grammar,
which from a Professor of English Language and Lit are rather shocking.
G: I hadn't noticed any.
T: There was one where I used bestrode as the past participle of bestrides! [laughs]
G: Do you feel any sense of guilt at all that as a philologist, as a Professor of English Language
with which you were concerned with the factual sources of language, you devoted a large part of
your life to a fictional thing?
T: No. I'm sure it's done the language a lot of good! There's quite a lot of linguistic wisdom in it.
I don't feel any guilt complex about The Lord of the Rings.
G: Have you a particular fondness for these comfortable homely things of life that the Shire
embodies: the home and pipe and fire and bed - the homely virtues?
T: Haven't you?
G: Haven't you Professor Tolkien?

T: Of course, yes.
G: You have a particular fondness then for Hobbits?
T: That's why I feel at home... The Shire is very like the kind of world in which I first became
aware of things, which was perhaps more poignant to me as I wasn't born here, I was born in
Bloomsdale in South Africa. I was very young when I got back but at the same time it bites into
your memory and imagination even if you don't think it has. If your first Christmas tree is a
wilting eucalyptus and if you're normally troubled by heat and sand - then, to have just at the age
when imagination is opening out, suddenly find yourself in a quiet Warwickshire village, I think
it engenders a particular love of what you might call central Midlands English countryside, based
on good water, stones and elm trees and small quiet rivers and so on, and of course rustic people
G: At what age did you come to England?
T: I suppose I was about three and a half. Pretty poignant of course because one of the things
why people say they don't remember is - it's like constantly photographing the same thing on the
same plate. Slight changes simply make a blur. But if a child had a sudden break like that, it's
conscious. What it tries to do is fit the new memories onto the old. I've got a perfectly clear vivid
picture of a house that I now know is in fact a beautifully worked out pastiche of my own home
in Bloemfontein and my grandmother's house in Birmingham. I can still remember going down
the road in Birmingham and wondering what had happened to the big gallery, what happened to
the balcony. Consequently I do remember things extremely well, I can remember bathing in the
Indian Ocean when I was not quite two and I remember it very clearly.
G: Frodo accepts the burden of the Ring and he embodies as a character the virtues of long
suffering and perseverance and by his actions one might almost say in the Buddhist sense
he 'acquires merit'. He becomes in fact almost a Christ figure. Why did you choose a
halfling, a hobbit for this role?
T: I didn't. I didn't do much choosing, I wrote The Hobbit you see ... all I was trying to do
was carry on from the point where The Hobbit left off. I'd got hobbits on my hands hadn't
G: Indeed, but there's nothing particularly Christ-like about Bilbo.
T: No...
G: But in the face of the most appalling danger he struggles on and continues, and wins
T: But that seems I suppose more like an allegory of the human race. I've always been
impressed that we're here surviving because of the indomitable courage of quite small
people against impossible odds: jungles, volcanoes, wild beasts... they struggle on, almost
blindly in a way.
G: I thought that conceivably Midgard might be Middle-earth or have some connection?


T: Oh yes, they're the same word. Most people have made this mistake of thinking Middle-earth
is a particular kind of Earth or is another planet of the science fiction sort but it's just an old
fashioned word for this world we live in, as imagined surrounded by the Ocean.
G: It seemed to me that Middle-earth was in a sense as you say this world we live in but at a
different era.
T: No ... at a different stage of imagination, yes.
G: Did you intend in Lord of the Rings that certain races should embody certain principles: the
elves wisdom, the dwarves craftsmanship, men husbandry and battle and so forth?
T: I didn't intend it but when you've got these people on your hands you've got to make them
different haven't you. Well of course as we all know that ultimately we've only got humanity to
work with, it's only clay we've got. We should all - or at least a large part of the human race would like to have greater power of mind, greater power of art by which I mean that the gap
between the conception and the power of execution should be shortened, and we should like a
longer if not indefinite time in which to go on knowing more and making more.
Therefore the Elves are immortal in a sense. I had to use immortal, I didn't mean that they were
eternally immortal, merely that they are very longevical and their longevity probably lasts as
long as the inhabitability of the Earth.
The dwarves of course are quite obvious - wouldn't you say that in many ways they remind you
of the Jews? Their words are Semitic obviously, constructed to be Semitic. Hobbits are just rustic
English people, made small in size because it reflects (in general) the small reach of their
imagination - not the small reach of their courage or latent power.
G: This seems to be one of the great strengths of the book, this enormous conglomeration of
names - one doesn't get lost, at least after the second reading.
T: I'm very glad you told me that because I took a great deal of trouble. Also it gives me great
pleasure, a good name. I always in writing start with a name. Give me a name and it produces a
story, not the other way about normally.
G: Of the languages you know which were the greatest help to you in writing The Lord of the
T: Oh lord ... of modern languages I should have said Welsh has always attracted me by it's style
and sound more than any other, ever though I first only saw it on coal trucks, I always wanted to
know what it was about.
G: It seems to me that the music of Welsh comes through in the names you've chosen for
mountains and for places in general.
T: Very much. But a much rarer, very potent influence on myself has been Finnish.
G: Is the book to be considered as an allegory?
T: No. I dislike allegory whenever I smell it.


G: Do you consider the world declining as the Third Age declines in your book and do you see a
Fourth Age for the world at the moment, our world?
T: At my age I'm exactly the kind of person who has lived through one of the most quickly
changing periods known to history. Surely there could never be in seventy years so much change.
G: There's an autumnal quality throughout the whole of The Lord of the Rings, in one case a
character says the story continues but I seem to have dropped out of it ... however everything is
declining, fading, at least towards the end of the Third Age every choice tends to the upsetting of
some tradition. Now this seems to me to be somewhat like Tennyson's "the old order changeth,
yielding place to new, and God fulfils himself in many ways". Where is God in the Lord of the
T: He's mentioned once or twice.
G: Is he the One?
T: The One, yes.
G: Are you a theist?
T: Oh, I'm a Roman Catholic. Devout Roman Catholic.
G: Do you wish to be remembered chiefly by your writings on philology and other matters or by
The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit?
T: I shouldn't have thought there was much choice in the matter - if I'm remembered at all it will
be by The Lord of the Rings I take it. Won't it be rather like the case of Longfellow, people
remember Longfellow wrote Hiawatha, quite forget he was a Professor of Modern Languages!57

What follows are some quotes from sources that agree that Mr. Tolkiens books spawned
Dungeons & Dragons:

We must also note the words of Gary Gygax of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin,
who helped create the game Dungeons and Dragons. Gygax said, There is
no question we were influenced by Tolkien. It became apparent to me that
the more of Tolkiens creatures I put in there, the more people would enjoy
playing fantasy.5859

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Dec. 19, 2001, sec. E, p. 1, by Stanley A. Miller II, Milwaukee, WI.
Last Trumpet Newsletter, Volume XXI, Issue II, February 2002, The Sure Sign of a Dying Nation!


The original D&D game allowed players to assume the roles of fighters,
magic-users (wizards), clerics (priests), Hobbits (called by that specific
name in the original rules), Dwarves, or Elves.60
Tolkien fans had one outlet for their desire to experience Tolkien:
Dungeons & Dragons. Even Gary Gygax, creator of D&D told us in an
interview: Just about all the players were huge JRRT fans, and so they
insisted that I put as much Tolkien-influence material into the game as
possible. Anyone reading this that recalls the original D&D game will know
that there were Balrogs, Ents, and Hobbits in it. Later those were removed,
and new, non-JRRT things substitutedBalor demons, Treants, and
And you can draw another straight line from Gygax to J.R.R. Tolkien,
the British linguistics professor who cobbled together Anglo-Saxon and
Norse mythology into what we now call the fantasy genrewith its wizards,
orcs, swords, spells and epic quests.Tolkien didnt invent the fantasy
genre; rather, he created the modern, popular version of fantasy folklore with
The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, drawing upon common mythology
throughout Western culture. Its a testament to Tolkiens influence that
when you say role-playing game in a fantasy world, what you really mean
is wizards, orcs, swords, spells and epic quests in a Tolkien-esque setting.62


Dungeons & Dragons from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Gary Gygax and J.R.R. Tolkien, Game Spy articles


Original D&D Set

Yes, the "granddaddy of them all". Published by Tactical Studies Rules, a fledgling company (at the time) of Gary Gygax,
Don Kaye, and Brian Blume. The game is based on the fantasy portion of the earlier Chainmail rules, and also requires
the Outdoor Survival wargame (by Avalon Hill) to play.
Original D&D Set (woodgrain box) by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson
Original D&D Set (white box) by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson
Original D&D Set (white box, OCE) by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson
Contains three booklets (Men & Magic, Monsters & Treasure, Underworld & Wilderness Adventures) plus a Reference
Sheets booklet (unstapled, loose sheets) and one errata sheet (the errata sheet is only present in the Second and Third
The rule set was further expanded upon with the five Original D&D Supplements. It was superceded in 1977 with the
release of the D&D Basic Set (and to some extent, the Advanced D&D system).

Printing Information

First (Jan 1974)

o Wood-colored box, showing a mounted warrior on a rearing horse (the artwork is an adhesive sheet
affixed to the box cover) and the price ($10.00)
o Outside cover of Men & Magic shows a mounted warrior (same as box)
o Outside covers of all three booklets have a price ($3.50)
o Inside covers are white, and do not indicate any printing number
o Inside rear covers of books 2 and 3 show the printer's imprint -- Graphic Printing of Lake Geneva
o References to Hobbits and Ents are present (copyrighted names of the Tolkien estate; easy check:
page 9 of Men & Magic)
o Internal typeface is rather rough and difficult to read
o 1000 copies of this set were printed by Graphic Printing (and hand-assembled by Gygax and friends in his
home). This print was originally available at the 1973 EasterCon, but was probably in an unpublished
state at that point
o Thanks to Jon Peterson, Bruce Robertson, and Steve Vogel for help with this info

Second (Jan 1975)

o Wood-colored box, showing a mounted warrior on a rearing horse (the artwork is an adhesive sheet
affixed to the box cover) and the price ($10.00)
o Outside cover of Men & Magic shows a mounted warrior (same as box)
o Outside covers of all three booklets have a price ($3.50)
o Inside covers are white, and state "Second Printing January 1975"
o Inside rear covers of books 2 and 3 show the printer's imprint -- Graphic Printing of Lake Geneva
o References to Hobbits and Ents are present (easy check: page 9 of Men & Magic)
o Internal typeface is rather rough and difficult to read
o Contains an errata sheet
o 2000 copies of this set were printed, and hand-assembled by Gygax and friends


Thanks to Bruce Robertson for help with this info63



The first edition of D&D, like so many games that followed, featured
hobbits. However, Tolkiens lawyers soon threatened copyright action,
leading to the birth of the halfling.64
The following is from Dungeon Masters Guide (1979):

Inspiration for all of the fantasy work I have done stems directly from the love my father showed
when I was a tad, for he spent many hours telling me stories he made up as he went along, tales
of cloaked old men who could grant wishes, of magic rings and enchanted swords, or wicked
sorcerors and dauntless swordsmen. Then too, countless hundreds of comic books went down,
and the long-gone EC ones certainly had their effect. Science fiction, fantasy, and horror movies
were a big influence. In fact, all of us tend to get ample helpings of fantasy when we are very
young, from fairy tales such as those written by the Brothers Grimm and Andrew Lang. This
often leads to reading books of mythology, paging through bestiaries, and consultation of
compilations of the myths of various lands and peoples. Upon such a base I built my interest in
fantasy, being an avid reader of all science fiction and fantasy literature since 1950. The
following authors were of particular inspiration to me. In some cases I cite specific works, in
others, I simply recommend all their fantasy writing to you. From such sources, as well as just
about any other imaginative writing or screenplay you will be able to pluck kernels from which
grow the fruits of exciting campaigns. Good reading!
Inspirational Reading:
Brackett, Leigh.
Brown, Fredric.
Burroughs, Edgar Rice, "Pellucidar" Series; Mars Series; Venus Series
Carter, Lin. "World's End" Series
de Camp & Pratt. "Harold Shea" Series; CARNELIAN CUBE
Derleth, August.
Dunsany, Lord.
Farmer, P. J. "The World of the Tiers" Series; et al.
Fox, Gardner. "Kothar" Series; "Kyrik" Series; et al.
Howard, R. E. "Conan" Series
Lanier, Sterling. HIERO'S JOURNEY
Leiber, Fritz. "Fafhrd & Gray Mouser" Series; et al.
Lovecraft, H. P.

Astinus, A History of Role-Playing (located in the side margin of the story)



Moorcock, Michael. STORMBRINGER; STEALER OF SOULS; "Hawkmoon" Series (esp. the
first three books)
Norton, Andre.
Offutt, Andrew J., editor SWORDS AGAINST DARKNESS III.
Pratt, Fletcher, BLUE STAR; et al.
Tolkien, J. R. R. THE HOBBIT; "Ring Trilogy"
Weinbaum, Stanley.
Wellman, Manly Wade.
Williamson, Jack.
Zelazny, Roger. JACK OF SHADOWS; "Amber" Series; et al.
The most immediate influences upon AD&D were probably de Camp & Pratt, REH, Fritz
Leiber, Jack Vance, HPL, and A. Merritt; but all of the above authors, as well as many not listed,
certainly helped to shape the form of the game. For this reason, and for the hours of reading
enjoyment, I heartily recommend the works of these fine authors to you.65

The role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons had a similar genesis, with

creator Gary Gygax and friends originally playing it with Tolkien elements
before creating an original magical universe when the game was marketed
publicly. Dungeons & Dragons and Tolkien have gone on to influence such
video games as Gauntlet, Diablo, EverQuest and Baldurs Gate.66
Gary Gygax, creator of D&D has insisted that Middle-Earth was only a
minor inspiration on D&D which drew on many sources from myth and
literature, and in many ways this is true. However, the two are often linked
in gamers minds and it is undeniable that several D&D monsters and
characters classes (e.g. Halflings [another name for Tolkiens invented race,
Hobbits]) are drawn from Tolkiens works.67
The following is part of a interview with Mr.Gygax on in May of 2000.

1. Do you enjoy the works of JRR Tolkien? If so, How did he influence
your work?
Oh-oh! I am going to be in trouble from the get-go! I loved THE HOBBIT, read it once to
myself, then about three or four times aloud to my children.


From Dungeon Masters Guide (1979) by Gary Gygax

Lord Reigns in Pop Culture, Dec. 17, 2002, CBS
J.R.R. Tolkien (


As a Swords & Sorcery novel fan from way backI read my first Conan yarn about 1948, was a
fan and collector of the pulp SF and fantasy magazines since 1950, I was not as enamored of The
Trilogy as were most of my contemporaries. While I loved Bombadil, the Nazgul too, the story
was too slow-paced for me.
How did it influence the D&D game? Whoa, plenty, of course. Just about all the players were
huge JRRT fans, and so they insisted that I put as much Tolkien-influence material into the game
as possible. Anyone reading this that recalls the original D&D game will know that there were
Balrogs, Ents, and Hobbits in it. Later those were removed, and new, non-JRRT things
substitutedBalor demons, Treants, and Halflings.
Indeed, who can doubt the excellence of Tolkiens writing? So of course it had a strong impact
on A/D&D games. A look at my recommended fantasy books reading list in the back of the
original DUNGEON MASTERS GUILD will show a long list of other influential fantasy
authors, though.68
Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the
unfruitful works of darkness [TLOTR], but rather reprove them (Ephesians 5:10-11)
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath
righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And
what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living
God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and
they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith
the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you (2 Corinthians 6:1417)


( and


Another case against Mr. Tolkien is that rock and rollers love him:

Tolkien Enterprises is not the only one with interests in Tolkien. Led
Zeppelin, a rock band, has used Tolkien themes for songs, including
Ramble On, Misty Mountain Hop, Over the Hills and Far Away, and
Battle of Evermore.69
For instance, The Lord of the Rings is regarded as an influence on some
rock music of the 1970s.
Direct Tolkien references exist in Led Zepplins Ramble On, Misty
Mountain Hop and The Battle of Evermore and Rushs Rivendell, which
was one of the writers cities.
Led Zeppelin would not have been to (Tolkiens) taste, but they were trying
to evoke the same sort of mythic hammer of the gods feeling, Mr. Foster
Twas in the darkest depth of Mordor/I met a girl so fair/But Gollum, the
evil one crept up/And slipped away with her, read Robert Plants lyrics to
Ramble On.
The line is sung from the point of view of Frodo, with the girl apparently
representing the ring he plans to destroy. Mordor is the sinister kingdom
where the ring was forged and Gollum is a crazed creature corrupted by the
relics magic.70
Over the decades, Tolkiens world of elves, wizards, monsters and magic
has provided gothic inspiration for Stephen King thrillers, Led Zeppelin
songs, games, paintings and countless sword-and-sorcery novels.


Tracie S. Speake, The Power of the Ring: J.R.R. Tolkien and American Popular Culture, The Sextant, Vol. 1, No.
1, Summer 2003, page 76.
Anthony Breznican, Tolkiens Lord launched realms of fantasy fiction, The Cincinnati Enquirer, Wednesday,
December 18, 2002 (


For instance, The Lord of the Rings is regarded as an influence on some

rock music of the 1970s. [Same quote as above follows, so I will not
In the 1960s and early 70s, Tolkien was often associated with the
counterculture in particular, with the Green movement. After all, he once
wrote that in all my works I take the part of the trees as against all their
enemies. Gandalf for President buttons were common, and Led Zeppelin
lyrics abounded with Tolkien references consider Ramble On, for
example: Twas in the darkest depths of Mordor, I met a girl so fair / but
Gollum, and the evil one crept up and slipped away with her, yeah. (The
less said about Leonard Nimoys 1967 song-poem The Ballad of Bilbo
Baggins, the better.) But Tolkiens Christian interpreters, many of them
conservatives, have tried to wrest him away from hippies, tree-huggers, and
other assorted left-wingers. Birzer, for example, wrote in the New Oxford
Review last year that the new Christian interpretation makes it impossible
to see Tolkien as the poster boy for the libertine drug culture of the 60s.
Will the real J.R.R. Tolkien please stand up?72
Dont forget TLOTR tarot cards, another following of Mr. Tolkiens. The fruit of his
works indicate that his works are evil and should be avoided. It comes down to staying
as far away from sin as we can, not seeing how close we can come to it without being
pulled in.
Jesus said in Matthew 7:15-20: Beware of false prophets, which come to you in
sheeps clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their
fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree
bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot
bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that
bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits
ye shall know them.
The Word of God tells us to reprove the works of darkness and earnestly contend for the
faith. More preachers ought to be warning their congregations of the dangers of worldly books
and entertainment; but, I fear, many are deceived themselves. I am amazed at preachers who
wonder why members of their flock dont live more holy lives (or arent revived) when they,
themselves, dont seek to be discerning and lead by example. Shepherds are to warn their flocks
of the dangers that means naming names and enduring criticism, if necessary.

Lord Reigns in Pop Culture, CBS

Chris Mooney, How J.R.R. Tolkien became a Christian writer


I would like to suggest that we, as Christians, get more into the reality of Jesus Christ
through His Word only and in defending The Real Truth. We are citizens of heaven, not of this
world or any other, especially an imaginary and dark world of someone elses creation.
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ
sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the
earth. (Colossians 3:1-2)
While we are at liberty in Christ, it is not always expedient and we need to remember that
the lost (as well as those in Christ) are watching, listening, and observing what we do and say.
All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful
for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. (1 Corinthians 6:12)
All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful
for me, but all things edify not. (1 Corinthians 10:23)
We need to be a living sacrifice unto God which means, in part, that we need to be
willing to sacrifice those things in our life that please our flesh so that we can point others to
Christ and to living a holy life unto Him. We should point others to the Word of God for Truth,
not a mans writings. I know for a fact that TLOTR will never lead anyone to Christ since Faith
cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (not Tolkien). Neither do I believe any
Christian will be benefited or grow in his walk with the Lord by reading TLOTR.
It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. (Psalms 188:8)
ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the
saints. (Jude 3)





Here is some helpful information from a Christian website about what we as Christians should

Christian Books for Christian Homes

Including a selective list of recommended titles
by Stephen Ross

I. Biblical Warning and Exhortation

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men,
after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. Colossians 2:8
Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Proverbs 6:27
I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not
cleave to me. Psalm 101:3
For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit
shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. Galatians 6:8
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. I Thessalonians 5:21
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are
just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good
report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8

II. Echoes from Glory

There is, I should say, a very serious error
involved in a Christian parent's committing
the training of his children to unconverted
persons, or even to those whose hearts
are not one with him as to separation from
the world. It is natural that a child should
look up to, and follow, the example of, one
who has the training and management of
him. Now, what can a teacher make of a
child, save what he is himself? What
principles can he instill, save those which
govern his own mind, and form the basis of
his own character? The same principle
applies to the reading of books. A book is
decidedly a silent teacher and former of the
mind and character; if I am called to look
well to the character and the principles of
the living teacher, I am equally so to look to
those of the silent teacher. I am quite
convinced that in reference both to books
and teachers we need to have our
consciences stirred and instructed.

However strong and exalted your character,
never read a bad book. By the time you get
through the first chapter you will see the drift.
If you find the marks of the hoofs of the devil
in the pictures, or in the style, or in the plot,
away with it. You may tear your coat, or
break a vase, and repair them again, but the
point where the rip or fracture took place will
always be evident. It takes less than an hour
to do your heart a damage which no time can
entirely repair. Look carefully over your
child's library; see what book it is that he
reads after he has gone to bed, with the gas
turned upon the pillow. Do not always take it
for granted that a book is good because it is
a Sunday school book. As far as possible,
know who wrote it, who illustrated it, who
published it, who sold it.
T. DeWitt Talmage (1832-1902)


C.H. Mackintosh (1820-1896)

There are some so-called Christian homes today with books on the shelves of the library that
have no more business there than a rattler crawling about on the floor, or poison within the
child's reach. Billy Sunday (1862-1935)

III. Good Christian Reading

A frequently overlooked or ofttimes neglected necessity in the proper training of our children is
monitoring what our children read and providing in the home good Christian literature which
will guide them to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, encourage them to serve Him and obey His
Word, and will teach them honesty, kindness, purity, self-control, faithfulness, etc.
It is also important to inculcate in our children the life-long practice of reading good Christian
literature and the knowledge needed to discern that which is not Christian and biblical.
God's precious and Holy Word can not be overemphasized in our homes and in our lives! As
soon as our children can walk, they should be given their own small New Testament (KJV) to
carry to Sunday school and church services, and for family worship in the home. By kindergarten
age, they should have been taught to properly respect God's Word and can be given a complete
Authorized KJV Bible. In the past, children learned to read using the Holy Scriptures, so there is
no reason why our children cannot be reading the Bible from the beginning of their reading
experience. It is God's Word, and it is the Book of books!73

To God be the glory!


Stephen Ross, Christian Books for Christian Homes, Christian Home and Family Website. The selective list of
Christian literature for the Christian Home can be viewed on their website





By David W. Cloud & Posted by
(Pictures added by David L.
The Lord of the Rings movie has made more than $260 million since its
release on December 19; and in spite of its PG-13 rating and its occultic
imagery, it and its literary counterpart are being praised by some professing
Christians. The Lord of the Rings is the first in a proposed fantasy trilogy
based on the books by J.R.R. Tolkien. The movie edition of the trilogy was
filmed at a cost of $300 million, but as we have seen, that amount was
almost fully recovered a mere two months after the release of the first
episode; and the second and third parts of the trilogy are yet to appear. The
television rights to the trilogy were recently purchased by WB network for
$160 million.
Christianity Today ran a positive review of the books and the movie entitled
"Lord of the Megaplex." Focus on the Family praised Tolkiens fantasies and
promotes the book "Finding God in the Lord of the Rings" by Kurt Bruner and
Jim Ware (Tyndale House). The glowing advertisement at the Focus on the
Family web site calls fantasy a "vehicle for truth" and says: "In Finding God in
the Lord of the Rings, Kurt Bruner and Jim Ware examine the story behind
the stories the inspirational themes of hope, redemption and faith that
Tolkien wove into his classic tales." World magazines review is titled
"Powerful Rings" and claims that the "movie version of Tolkiens book speaks
to todays culture." There is no warning in these reviews about Tolkiens
occultic imagery.
Is the Lord of the Rings harmless fantasy or perhaps even a wholesome
Christian allegory? We think not. I read The Hobbit and the three volumes of
The Lord of the Rings in 1971 when I was in Vietnam with the U.S. Army. I
was not saved at the time, and, in fact, I was very antagonistic to the
Christian faith; and had the books contained even a hint of Bible truth, I can
assure you that I would not have read them at that particular point in my life.
Though I have forgotten many of the details of the books, I can recall very

vividly that they are filled with occultic imagery. The books were published in
inexpensive paperback editions in the late 1960s, and they became very
popular with that generation of drug headed hippies.
The author of the Lord of the Rings, John Ronald Reuel
Tolkien, was born in South Africa in 1892, but his family
moved to Britain when he was about 3 years old. When
Tolkien was eight years old, his mother converted to
Roman Catholicism, and he remained a Catholic
throughout his life. In his last interview, two years before
his death, he unhesitatingly testified, "Im a devout Roman Catholic." J.R.
Tolkien married his childhood sweetheart, Edith, and they had four children.
He wrote them letters each year as if from Santa Claus, and a selection of
these was published in 1976 as "The Father Christmas Letters." One of
Tolkiens sons became a Catholic priest. Tolkien was an advisor for the
translation of the Roman Catholic Jerusalem Bible.
As a professor of literature at Oxford University, Tolkien specialized in Old
and Middle English and loved ancient pagan mythology. His first fantasy
novel, The Hobbit, appeared in 1937, and The Lord of the Rings, in 1954-55.
Several others were published later, some posthumously.
One of Tolkiens drinking buddies was the famous C.S. Lewis. They and
some other Oxford associates formed a group called the "Inklings" and met
regularly at an Oxford pub to drink beer and regale about literary and other
matters. Tolkien, in fact, is credited with influencing Lewis to become a
Christian of sorts. Like Tolkien, though, Lewis did not accept the Bible as the
infallible Word of God and he picked and chose what he would believe about
the New Testament apostolic faith, rejecting such things as the
substitutionary blood atonement of Christ. And like Tolkien, C.S. Lewis loved
at least some things about Catholicism. He believed in purgatory, confessed
his sins to a priest, and had the last rites performed by a Catholic priest (C.S.
Lewis: A Biography, pp. 198, 301)
J.R. Tolkien died in 1973 at age 81, two years after his wife, and they are
buried in the Catholic section of the Wolvercote cemetery in the suburbs of



allegory whenever I smell it."

Thus, the author of The Lord of the Rings denied the very thing that some
Christians today are claiming, that these fantasies are an allegory of Christs
victory over the devil.
Tolkiens books created the vast and spiritually dangerous fantasy roleplaying games that are so influential today. Dungeons and Dragons, which
appeared in the early 1970s, was based on Tolkiens fantasy novels. One
fantasy-game web site makes this interesting observation: "The whole
fantasy adventure genre of books came into play when J.R. Tolkien wrote his
The Lord of the Rings books. From his vivid imagination and creative thinking
he created the fantasy adventure genre. Tolkien probably got his ideas from
ancient religions. Peoples of different civilizations were writing epics way
before Tolkien was even born. They wrote epics about people with superior
strength, about gods that punished people and, travels to the underworld.
Tolkien is accredited to being the man who started it all but if traced back
even further you'll see that he wasnt the one that created it, just the one that
pushed it forth."
This secular writer better understands what Tolkiens books are about than
the aforementioned Christian publications. Tolkien certainly did get his ideas
from pagan religions, and the message promoted in his fantasy books is
strictly pagan.
Tolkien has influenced many rock and rollers. The song "Misty Mountain
Hop" by the demonic hard rock group, Led Zeppelin, was inspired by
Tolkiens writings. Marc Bolan, of the rock group Tyannasaurus Rex, created
a musical and visual style influenced by Tolkien. The heavy metal rock group
Iluvatar named themselves after a fictional god from Tolkiens work The
Silmarillion. Others could be mentioned.
The world knows its own; and when the demonic world of fantasy roleplaying and the morally filthy world of rock and roll love something, you can
be sure it is not godly and it is not the truth.
February 5, 2002 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service,
P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143,
[Distributed by Way of Life Literatures Fundamental Baptist Information Service. These
articles cannot be stored on BBS or Internet sites or sold or placed by themselves or with
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