Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Shards...  I know Bill Whittle almost exclusively as a conservative commentator, especially for his excellent series of short videos.  Today I ran across a long post of his titled Shards, wherein he talks about his relatively recent discovery of the Lord of the Rings trilogy (and other Tolkien works), and why he loves them so much.  It's a fascinating piece, and I knew I was going to enjoy it when I read this bit near the beginning:
But twelve years ago, I saw The Fellowship of the Ring – somewhat reluctantly, I might add – and I loved it. I’ve read the Trilogy several times since then; read the astonishingly beautiful Silmarillion… I’ve read everything. And I now believe that J.R.R.Tolkien has created the single greatest work of literature in the history of the world. Because underneath the magic and the Elves and the Wizards is an endless allegory of good and evil; of sin and redemption; of hubris and arrogance and acts of transcendental courage in the face of certain death.

These themes are so timeless, so universal and so powerful, and ultimately so spiritually satisfying because what Tolkien is selling – all that he’s selling, when it’s all said and done – are the cardinal virtues; courage, and faith, and more than anything: hope.

Not hope and change. Hope in the face of change. Hope for the eternal in the face of catastrophic change. Hope where there is no hope. And speaking for myself here, that is a message I need to hear in these dark days. So walk with me a little, because I have to tell this story in order to tell the one I need to tell.
If you, like me, are a Tolkien fan, you'll love Shards.  If you're not a Tolkien fan, then just maybe this piece will nudge you to give his works a try...

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