Saturday, November 3, 2012

Book Review: Finding God in the Hobbit

Finding God in the Hobbit. By Jim Ware. Colorado Springs: SaltRiver. pp. 208. 2006. ($14.99 Hardcover | $9.99 Kindle | 12.98 Audio)

Few authors have captured the imaginations of millions through multiple generations like J.R.R. Tolkein. His four primary works, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy introduced us to Middle Earth, and many of us enjoy travelling there once in a while simply because it challenges and changes us. These books speak to us and call our minds to contemplate bigger things. Books like these are rightly considered classics, worth reading and rereading, considering and responding to.

As believers, our responses to works of art, be they written, painted, or filmed, should necessarily be influenced by our faith. I enjoy one church’s online podcast of “Film and Theology” because it encourages us to view things in light of God’s revelation and to appreciate beauty and art as man’s creativity reflecting God’s creativity. Jim Ware’s book, Finding God in the Hobbit, does just that superbly.

This book carefully considers passages from The Hobbit in light of their context and role in the whole narrative of the entire Middle Earth canon and considers how the story reflects God’s story, how Bilbo Baggins unwittingly plays a crucial role in the ultimate destruction of not only Smaug, but the evil Lord Sauron himself, and how we too are created by God to fulfill purposes in His grand design that we ourselves may never be fully aware of.

This book is written well. I don’t say that about many books. And the audio version is narrated by Simon Vance, a veteran narrator, and his light English accent somehow makes the book seem more authentically Tolkein. Though this book came out in 2006, the audio book version is out just in time for the 2012 film adaptation of The Hobbit. I highly recommend that both The Hobbit and Finding God in the Hobbit be on your reading list in the immediate future. It’s that good.

I received this audio book from christianaudio for purposes of review.

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