Thursday, May 10, 2007

Top Ten Films: Part One

The Lord of the Rings is not a Christian book. The author is careful to make clear that it is "just a story." However, Tolkien couldn't keep his Christian worldview out of the story.

Being an epic fantasy, everything is bigger, more beautiful, greater, and more dazzling. The sky is bluer, the grass greener, and the danger is worse. An evil that has haunted the land for thousands of years has resurfaced, and the key to its power is a ring that just so happens to be in the possession of a little Hobbit.

Hobbits are quiet little sheltered people who know nothing of the world outside their borders. They go through life thinking that only their world matters and that nothing could ever change it. When Frodo discovers that he must leave the shelter of his home to help save the world, it is a huge wake-up call and sacrifice.

This is a story about doing the right thing, not the easy thing. It is about everyone has an important role to play in the world. A conversation in the first movie communicates this theme.

Frodo confesses to Gandalf, “I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.”

Gandalfs response is the heart of the story. “So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world Frodo, besides the will of evil. Bilbo was meant to find the Ring. In which case, you were also meant to have it. And that is an encouraging thought.”

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