Christianity in The Lord of the Rings: (Part III) Evil in Middle Earth

The Lord of the Rings is full of Christian symbolism, ranging from the Threefold Office of priest, prophet, and king represented by Frodo, Gandalf, and Aragorn (respectively) as covered in Part I to the slew of “good guys” representing various Christian aspects and relationships as covered in Part II of this series. This Part III covers the darker aspects of Middle Earth and their connections to Christian concepts of evil.

Christianity in The Lord of the Rings (Part II): The Good in Middle Earth

The Lord of the Rings has many characters with aspects reflecting a Christian worldview. In this Part II of Christianity in The Lord of the Rings, we’ll be exploring various allies of the Threefold Office (Gandalf, Aragorn, and Frodo) covered in Part I. Some bear similarities to prominent Christian figures, while most demonstrate the qualitiesContinue reading “Christianity in The Lord of the Rings (Part II): The Good in Middle Earth”

Christianity in The Lord of the Rings (Part I): The Threefold Office

J.R.R. Tolkien’s legacy-defining book The Lord of the Rings is not an explicitly Christian work. In fact, Tolkien disliked on-the-nose allegory, when a story contains a one-to-one function to some exterior idea and permits a message to lead the story. Nonetheless, in a 1953 letter responding to a Father Robert Murray, Tolkien admitted the followingContinue reading “Christianity in The Lord of the Rings (Part I): The Threefold Office”

The Importance of Fairy Tales for Children

For the past year, I’ve been reading stories from classic children’s anthologies (many printed in the 1940s – 1960s era) to my kids before bed. One such collection of stories is from a series called Childcraft, which I find so aptly named since reading good stories is so critical in “crafting” children to be virtuous,Continue reading “The Importance of Fairy Tales for Children”

The Four Domains of War: From Self to Spiritual

Wherever there are people, there is war. Taken in its most general interpretation, bellum or war is a constant in the human condition. War was waged among the first men thousands of years ago; war is waged today; and war will be waged far into the future. Though war is constant, it is not necessarilyContinue reading “The Four Domains of War: From Self to Spiritual”

The Benefits of Reading the Great Books

Why read the great books? Apart from fulfilling some antiquarian dream or feeding an ego pining for intellectual praise, these books serve a useful purpose. That the books are (usually) old is of little consequence except in evidence that these books are important enough to have survived so long. Hence, we do not read theseContinue reading “The Benefits of Reading the Great Books”

A Year of Reading: Books I Read in 2021

As is customary, let’s take a look at the books I read in 2021. My reading heavily favored nonfiction and has begun leaning toward histories. Overall, my time spent reading declined from 2020 as the last year was busier than ever. My reading of the Great Books especially slowed down since I had little timeContinue reading “A Year of Reading: Books I Read in 2021”

Are Humans Natural?: The Contradictory Ideas of How We Think About Our Species

Humanity is a strange thing. It cannot decide whether it is part of nature or apart from nature. Mankind’s identity crisis has emerged from the clashing of naturalist and theistic philosophies, with political, religious, and philosophical fallout on how we treat ourselves. The Scope of Scientific Inquiry No matter how good the science is, itContinue reading “Are Humans Natural?: The Contradictory Ideas of How We Think About Our Species”

New Year’s Resolution for 2022: Resolve To Keep Your Resolve

What does it mean to resolve? According to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, the type of resolve relevant to our New Year’s lists means “to make a definite and serious decision to do something”. Contrast that definition to the common trope and truth of the New Year’s resolution: something everyone makes big promises about in the firstContinue reading “New Year’s Resolution for 2022: Resolve To Keep Your Resolve”

The 12 Book Classical Education

A true classical education is a lifelong pursuit of wisdom and understanding with no demonstrable end. The end of the classical education is played out in real time, in parallel to its pursuit in everyday life. When confronting a claim, one might turn to principles put forth by Aristotle or Bacon to find their veracity;Continue reading “The 12 Book Classical Education”