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Your responses to: Lord of the Rings: Truth, Myth or 'Discovered Reality"?

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From Tristan D: You take an interesting stance on the issues involved with "Lord of the Rings". While I respect you for putting your views in the public eye, I cannot agree with what you have said.

'Lord of the Rings' is personally one of my favorite books. Not because of the presence of magic, wizards, immortal beings, sub-creators, and the like; but because it tells a good story. LOTR does not try to rewrite the bible, and rightly so- we already have the bible, why write it again? No, LOTR instead tells its own story, imaginative, creative, and spellbinding. It teaches its own morals, the same morals as the bible, just in its own way.

The problem with people like you is that you take everything in such a literal light. Say the word "witchcraft" and you're up in arms, "douse me with kerosine, hand me my torch!" (-Fahrenheit 451) The words "metaphor" and "symbolism" are not in your vocabulary. You cannot see the light beyond the darkness, the forest for the trees.

LOTR isn't about magic, wizards, immortal beings, or sub-creators- it's about friendship, love, sacrifice, and the triumph of good (whatever its form) over evil. It speaks of how "even the smallest person can change the course of the future", and how to
persevere when the going gets tough.

What brings triumph over evil here, Tristan? Not faith in God. Nor in human fellowship. The solution is faith in a mythical system which includes spells and magic and deceptive sacrifices that may sound Christ-like but leave an impression that -- in the minds of many fans -- distorts the understanding of God's true sacrifice.

If you apply Biblical values -- God's view of good and evil -- then Gandalf and elves and everyone else that either trusts or uses magic become an "abomination." See Deut 18:9-12. This so-called Christian myth prompts fans to love what God calls evil.

You take an interesting stance on the issues involved with "Lord of the Rings". While I respect you for putting your views in the public eye, I cannot agree with what you have said.

I don't mind that, Tristan. That's your right as an American.

'Lord of the Rings' is personally one of my favorite books. Not because of the presence of magic, wizards, immortal beings, sub-creators, and the like; but because it tells a good story. LOTR does not try to rewrite the bible, and rightly so- we already have the bible, why write it again? No, LOTR instead tells its own story, imaginative, creative, and spellbinding. It teaches its own morals, the same morals as the bible, just in its own way.

Yes, it "teaches its own morals," but they are contrary to the morals taught in the Bible. The most important part of God's eternal moral law is summarized in the first of the Ten Commandment. He tells us to worship no other gods. This important command is reinforced in Scriptures throughout the Bible. For example, see Deut 8:10-20.  Tolkien's strange mythology presents several other gods: a head god and several co-creators and guides. The documentation is in the article, Lord of the Rings: Truth, Myth or 'Discovered Reality"?

The problem with people like you is that you take everything in such a literal light. Say the word "witchcraft" and you're up in arms, "douse me with kerosine, hand me my torch!" (-Fahrenheit 451) The words "metaphor" and "symbolism" are not in your vocabulary. You cannot see the light beyond the darkness, the forest for the trees. LOTR isn't about magic, wizards, immortal beings, or sub-creators- it's about friendship, love, sacrifice, and the triumph of good (whatever its form) over evil. It speaks of how "even the smallest person can change the course of the future", and how to persevere when the going gets tough.

But alas, you do not see this. All you see is what you want to see- you are trying to find the evil in something, so that is what you find, whether it is truly there or not does not matter. Of course there is magic in the books, I'm not denying that, and of course there is a "white" magic in the books as well. You are right- the bible says all magic is evil. But the only magic the books are performing is the magic of imagination. If I pick up the Fellowship of the Ring, I will not suddenly be given the ability to turn someone into a newt- but I will be able to see the world in a different light....

That's an important point, Tristan. You now see some of the world in the light of Tolkien's mythical system and magical triumphs. That system includes practices that God clearly hates. See Deut 18:9-12. But you have already learned to defend them. Thus you illustrate what happens when we saturate our minds and imagination with popular occult myths. See also 2 Timothy 4:3-4 in which I must show respect for all people no matter who they are, no matter how insignificant they may seem. Can you say that such a thing is bad? I don't see how. God gave us our imagination, just like he has given us everything we have- and frankly, I intend to use mine. Not to escape into some realm of fantasy, but to better understand His world, and the people in it.

Fantasy is a wonderful tool for metaphors and symbolism, far more powerful than anything realistic. Why? Because once we go into our Middle-Earths, all our prejudicies and constraints from the "real world" are stripped away, our imaginations given free reign to teach us and enrich us. There is no need to speak out in such a way against Lord of the Rings, or any other work of fantasy. Instead, speak out against the REAL problems of the world- hate, violence, cruelty... and censorship.

From Edward Evershed: I am at a loss to understand your painful struggle against occult practices shown by your attacks on JK Rowling, JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis. To suggest that CS Lewis was not a Christian really is the height of the absurd. To be honest I think it is you who are being deceived more than the readers of these authors' books.

What is great about these books is that they present both believer and unbeliever with a clear moral framework. Good and Evil are clearly portrayed, and clearly separated. People like these books, because good and evil are so much more clearly demarcated than they are in our own world. It is moral understanding that is more likely to lead a person to searching for God than reading the Bible.

But the "good" in all these books win by using occult powers and practices, Edward. They fit God's warning in Isaiah 5:20

For those things which the Bible forbids, it forbids because those things are wrong. It is not ever the case that something is wrong because the Bible forbids it. With a world in which Christianity often seems as if it has been thoroughly taken over and corrupted by the devil, books that find new ways of helping people to see its truth, are to be congratulated and celebrated.

Are you serious? Do you really believe that? What is truth to you? Anything you read that feels true and right by your standard [or J.K. Rowling's standard], not God's?

JRR Tolkien wrote: "the Lord of the Rings is not an allegory of the human war. If it were then the forces
of good would have taken the ring and used it to defeat Sauron..."

His point is clear, and you seem not to have understood it even though Jesus made the same point.
You cannot fight evil by using evil's weapons, because if you do, you yourself become evil, you turn into what it is you are fighting. It is precisely this that has happened to the United States, a once great nation.

Yes, that's true. Yet, you ignore the deceptions of the occult mastermind that masquerades as "an angel of light" or as "the beautiful side of evil."

The mythological account by JRR Tolkien of Creation by Eru the One, and the rebellion of Melkor the greatest of the Valar, (archangels) and his metamorphosis into Morgoth, the Dark Enemy of the world, is scarcely different from the Christian account of the fall of Lucifer.

That's the problem with your reasoning, Edward. You don't see the the difference between the world's counterfeits and the real truth of the Bible -- partly because you see the Bible through the filter of your mythical assumptions or presuppositions.

Your argument that these books show diabolic inspiration because they implicitly approve of sorcery
is peculiar. Clearly, you believe biblical accounts of miracles performed by God either unilaterally or
through human intermediaries or angelic intermediaries, and you do not condemn God for using sorcery. Sorcery for you seems to be anything that is beyond the realm of the normal, but not originating in

First I would be interested to hear your definition of sorcery, your evidence that it is a should be a banned practice. I find your views wrong, because it seems to be that if Jesus has a psychic experience in the desert and talks to the devil, and even goes to the trouble to tell people about it so that they can write it down, that's just fine, but if anyone else does it, it's wrong.

Please read the discussion with Tristan posted at Computer Games where I answered that question in more detail than I could here. See also Unequal Contenders in the Spiritual War

Possibly, magic is discouraged because even though there is some good magic, it is too easy to be fooled by magic practitioners, and by magical beings, and so magic is dangerous to those who don't understand it, so the sensible thing to do is to discourage them from doing it.

It is important to distinguish between good and evil, and right and wrong. Right and Wrong are concepts that only acquired their meaning as part of Christ's attempt to redeem the planet. Right is with Christ's plan and wrong not part of Christ's plan.

Good and evil are older concepts meaning roughly with life, and against life.

Older than what? Remember, the word "redemption" goes back to man's original rebellion against God. And Job's hope was grounded in confidence that his "Redeemer lives." In the Bible good is right and evil is wrong -- and goodness comes from the life of Christ, not from our own inherent nature.

To really understand Eastern religions you have to realise that most of their disputes with Christianity stem from the fact that for the East, good and evil are much more important concepts than Right and Wrong, and that there is evil does not stop God's creation from being perfect, indeed the main source of evil is humans' inability to see its perfection, with the result that they become cut off from the spirit of Life, (the fall of man).

Which religion are you referring to here? This concept of inherent perfection sounds more like contemporary New Age spirituality, Baha'ism or certain idealistic forms of paganism. It's not Buddhism or Shintoism - nor the myths of Tolkien.

The way of Christ is not subject to legal code, though it is condemned in the law, it is the way of life, adaptable and responsive to circumstance. You place too much emphasis on a legalistic understanding of the bible...

What do you mean by that, Edward? Taking the Bible literally rather than seeing it as a myth that can be adapted to human feelings and ideals as cultures change?

...and fail to realise what is really happening on this planet, which is that the powers that Be, ordained by Satan, the lord of this world (as were Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, and Nero, the rulers of the lower-class Romans to who Paul was writing) are doing their utmost to destroy the power of God, by making material currency more important than spiritual currency and doing their utmost, like Sauron in the Lord of the Rings, to use the need for money to
enslave the rest of the human race into poisoning and destroying the planet.

Humans have a funny position in Lord of the Rings, somewhere between Orcs and Elves. If you look around you, or at least in a big-city ghetto, you will see Orcish behaviour everywhere. Satan's project is to make us become more like Orcs, while God's project is for us to become more like Elves, as we were when we were not fallen.

You should take the evidence of your eyes more seriously even than the evidence of the Bible. This is a new time, and a crucial time. Humanity could repent, and inaugurate a time of paradise on earth, but if it carries on the way it is, it will not, and God's plan to redeem the world will fail utterly.

We can't even know what is good and evil -- or what sins to repent from -- unless we take the Bible more seriously than what we perceive with our human eyes and minds. We need to see from God's perspective, and that means studying His Word and making His truth the rudder and compass of our lives.

There is a chance for the old rules to change, for people even not to be born into a sinful world and
corrupted by it. In this process, magic and imagination are the friends of your God, not enemies.

When you shift from facts and truth to imagination and speculation, you lose me, Edward. I take my stand on God's truth and scientific facts. (In spite of what people say and think, the two don't disagree.)  God tells us to shun magic and warns us to guard against seductions of the human imagination. Those can never create a better world. But God has promised us that the old world will be destroyed, and He will create a new world -- not through human ingenuity, but by His mighty power.  See Heaven is Forever

I realise you may just wish to dismiss me as an unregenerate new-ager, but I tell you I am born again of the holy spirit just like you, and I have been given a lot of inside information. I agree with CS Lewis that the story of Christ is a myth that is factually true. If you don't see this, then I think you're missing the point. Hope you publish this. Yours, in Christ I trust,

From Alanna:  Vedui! (for those who don't speak Sindarin it means greetings) I'm a teenaged Tolkeinate/Fellowshipiac/Potterholic. I'm hopelessly addicted to both series. (although, I think my preference lies in the Lord of the Rings). I couldn't help being slightly distraught by your remarks towards the Harry Potter books. I'm a Catholic and quite involved in my parish (as an altar server, student at the parish school, and a decathlete in my archdiocese's junior high academic decathlon).

You proclaim that the Potter books are completely occultist. I could yell and scream curses into the air, but that would only be feeding the argument for your side. Therefore, I won't. So, instead, I know of a book that might be of interest to you. It is called Exploring Harry Potter, and it analyzes the series up to book three. It proved to quite an interesting read. I hope that you take my suggestion. Remember, never, ever close your mind to reading, learning, and new things. Namaarie!! (farewell in Sindarin)

I will try to find that book, Alanna.  But remember, any analysis -- mine included -- would reflect a particular world view.  Since I base my evaluation on God's Word, I would not agree with an analysis that contradicts the Biblical view of paganism and occult practices. My goal is to follow my Lord and Shepherd, not the world's appealing values. That's my choice, and  it sounds as if you have made your choice.

From Jason Ward (see earlier letter): I read your response to my reply and was disappointed. I apologize for not being clear. Truly, my main disagreement is the manner you questioned C.S. Lewis salvation.

"Did Tolkien really lead the unbelieving Lewis to a saving faith? Many Christians would answer "yes" -- and therefore assume that Tolkien's myths would teach a Christian message."

So in order to show that Tolkien's books do not have a Christian message you then attempt to prove that C.S. Lewis was not a saved!

No, the earlier part of the article showed that the message is occult, not Christian -- and that Tolkien never intended it to be viewed as Christian. This final section was written in response to those who argue that Tolkien's mythical message must be Christian because he supposedly led C. S. Lewis to the Lord. Many Christian ministries have argued that point the last few months. I wanted to show at least one reason why that's a shallow argument.

You continue by saying "Maybe Lewis did, at that moment, receive Christ as Savior and Lord. But this statement falls far short of such assurance. "

I have no words to express my shock at this tactic. First of all, the themes of the Lord of the Rings has no impact on the fact that God DID use Tolkien to lead C.S. Lewis to Christianity. God uses what he will and it is not our position to question the validity of anothers way to salvation.

Second, does it matter that Lewis' journey to salvation began with pagan myth? Or that those myths taught him the need for salvation? You ignore that Lewis emphasis on the difference between myth and Christianity was that the story of Christ was true.

You said in reply to me "A 'myth' doesn't make Jesus 'worthy'." Lewis believed that too. What made Christ worthy is that he is TRUE; that is he is truly the son of God.

Third, do you have the moral authority to question C.S. Lewis faith? You are the first Christian I have heard actually make the attempt. Here is what C.S. Lewis himself said about it from an abbreviated biography at 1931 - Lewis became a Christian: One evening in September, Lewis had a long talk on Christianity with J.R.R.Tolkien (a devout Roman Catholic) and Hugo Dyson. (The summary of that discussion is recounted for Arthur Greeves in They Stand Together.) That evening's discussion was important in bringing about the following day's event that Lewis recorded in Surprised by Joy: "When we [Warnie and Jack] set out [by motorcycle to the Whipsnade Zoo] I did not believe that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, and when we reached the zoo I did."

It is clear to me that he was saved. Even so, you sadly conclude that somehow God's revelation to Lewis was unholy in order to prove a point about a book that Lewis didn't even write.

God's revelation is never unholy, Jason. Please read what I said. The issue here is not whether C. S. Lewis ever received Christ and became a Christian. The issue is whether he was born again through his conversation with Tolkien on a particular night in 1931. Those are two very different points. I only brought it up because others have argued that Tolkien's stories are good and Christian because he led his friend to Christ.

Neither you nor I can know for sure what happened that night, Jason. The Bible tells us that we cannot know for sure who is truly converted or not, since only God can see a person's heart. So He tells us that the wheat and the look-alike tares must grow and exist side by side until the end: "Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, 'First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.'" Matthew 13:30

Even though we can's be certain what happened that night, many people claim a certainty that the public glimpse into that conversation doesn't justify.  I believe it's appropriate to ask some searching questions for two reasons:

(1) this is not a private issue, since Tolkien's influence continues to affect the Church through his books, and

(2) the main argument given for his conversion was a questionable conversation that seemed to satisfy Lewis own desires to pursue his fascination with myths and allow him to blend it with truth. From what I have read -- including your reference above -- nothing was said that would have brought him to conviction of sin and actual salvation.

Keep in mind, believing that Jesus Christ is God is not the same as coming to the cross in Spirit-led repentance, being "crucified with Christ," receiving Him as Savior and Lord, and being filled with the His Spirit. Remember James 2:18: "You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!" 

The Bible tells us to be discerning, to "test the spirit" and notice "the fruit" of a person's life as a sign of genuine conversion. "Therefore by their fruits you will know them." Matthew 7:20. In the modern Western culture  where Christianity was the norm  -- as contrasted with today's postmodern culture -- many would identify with Christianity without coming to the cross and being born into God's Kingdom.  Perhaps C. S. Lewis did receive Christ, but the famous 1931 conversation -- so often cited as proof -- proves nothing. Please review What it means to be a Christian.

"Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil. Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it." 1 Thessalonians 5:21-24

From Jason Ward [third letter]: Thank you for replying to my message. Although, as I read messages from others on you site, my concerns grow. You obviously have an influence on others by their jumping on the bandwagon to label other Christians work as from Satan.

You posted from Doug Arndt: "Then, yesterday, I was watching Jeff Godwin's video on "What's wrong with Christian Rock" and he made the statement "Satan always marks his stuff". As an example of this he showed a copy of an early release of Michel W Smith's "Big Picture Album" where his name is printed using runic letters, and on the back, the name is written backward, again using the runic symbols."

Let me get this right. Satan uses runes to indicate satanic work. Someone used runic styled letters on a 15 year old Michael W. Smith album, therefore MICHAEL W. SMITH WORK IS SATANIC?? Come on!

I didn't say that, Jason. Nor do I believe Doug Arnt intended to imply that. As usual, when I don't know enough about a particular topic (this is often true in the Anime section), I didn't respond. 

I actually don't know enough about Michael Smith's ministry to make any comment. I could talk about the problem with runes -- which is why I answered as I did -- but (believe it or not), I have never heard any of Michael Smith recordings, therefore I didn't immediately connect the comment with a Christian singer. I just passed right by that comment. Thanks for bringing it to my attention so that I could explain. 

As you said, LOOK AT THE FRUITS! Michael W. Smith has many many albums, all with an intensely Christian message. His most recent album is a WORSHIP album. The accusation that Michael W. Smith's work is satanic is wildly inappropriate.

You continue to question whether Lewis was a Christian while ignoring your own advice. In your last reply you said:

"The Bible tells us to be discerning, to "test the spirit" and notice "the fruit" of a person's life as a
sign of genuine conversion." "Perhaps C. S. Lewis did receive Christ, but the famous 1931 conversation -- so often cited as proof -- proves nothing."

Lewis is a well established Christian apologist. The many books he wrote on the subject are undeniably "the fruit" you speak of, yet you still parse words. Even if you aren't convinced by his one statement, his volume of writings should be enough to convince you; unless you don't want to be convinced.

I keep replying because the world questions Christians' work and lives enough without other Christians doing the same.


From Catt Shadsie: You probably don't remember me, but I'm "Shadowcat", aka S.E. Nordwall, and I e-mailed you once about Pokemon, and you have that letter on your page. I was browsing your page again. I do that sometimes for entertainment, and because I get curious as to what you are bashing next.

I am a comitted Christian. Jesus is my Lord and my life, make no mistake about that. I have suffered for him on message-boards I post at and such for my views on certain things (such as the wrongness of homosexuality).

But...your page...I'm sorry, it just makes me sick. I was especially appalled over skimming your articles on Left Behind and on The Lord of the Rings, my two favorite book series.

Now, Left Behind...I believe that we aren't going to know how the end times are going to be until they
happen, I just read the books as entertaining fiction with a Christian worldview and Christian characters. And, my dear, the books get downright preachy about the Gospel in several places.

I doubt you have read The Lord of the Rings. (utter masterpiece!). I take it not as a Biblical allegory (like C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia), but just as an entertaining fantasy story of basic good vs. evil with a lot of good insights and lessons for life. But, you have to bash it because you are so scared of the "magic", which in no way relates to actual pagan magic.

I see the "magic" in The Lord of the Rings as being more related to miracles than to "magic". It, in my opinion, is the most beautiful peice of fiction ever crafted. I find it perfectly safe for Christians to read, and to go see the current movie. I read it, and have no desire to go out and become a pagan or anything. I see a lot of beautiful truths in it. It has not hurt my faith in Christ one bit, and hey, I talk to him about it! It's just a wonderful piece of FICTION, and I think you should not take fiction so seriously.

Some of us human beings ARE able to distingush fantasy from reality. I know, that as much as I'd like to be one, that I am not an Elf. The "magic" in the stories is blunt, and I see the good (such as Gandalf's magic) as coming from God.

How one takes fantasy stories is all in how one looks at the story. You can find evil in a hamburger if you look for it. Why not look for the good in things?

I, myself, enjoy writing fantasy stories. I am currenty trying to get a novel published in that genre as a Christian writer. I consider it a secular novel rather than a Christian novel, but I do have Biblical themes, and I do have "magic" in it, but my "magic" is not magic, but another term for miracles, truthfully, but, I bet when it comes out, you'll be there to bash it and to question my salvation... Ugggh.... Can't you just try to look for the good in things rather than SEARCH for evil and proclaim everything that you do not personally like or understand as evil?

Can you not just praise God for good things and for the great stories and art that come out of the brains that he GAVE US and not worry so much all the time? That's what I do, I praise God in everything, and enjoy fantasy, while knowing the truth, and I in fact, see a lot of truth in secular stories.

It is articles like yours that make me feel weird as a Chrisitan, that I'm "not good enough" or something because I like to use the imagination and creativity that God gave me.

In conclusion, I'd rather praise Jesus for the beauty in my life, both the real and the fictional. And, I'm
glad I'm saved, but I kinda think that I'd rather go to Hell than to be like you, so scared of everything
and putting things down (fiction) without even bothering to take the time to understand them.

And I'm an anime fan, too! *Gasp!* Yep. ...

This part of Catt's letter is posted here: Anime

Eh, well, there is my latest rant to you peoples as a fellow Christian and as a young, imaginative, creative person whom God is going to use for great things, possibly to REACH PEOPLE WITH THE GOSPEL in ways that you would not touch (fantasy writing) that will get them saved that you would never be able to reach, because God uses many diffrent people for his purposes, because he's just so cool.

Call me evil now. May you go with God. I look forward to meeting you in Heaven and talking to you
about all this stuff over a cup of tea me seeing how He has used your life, and you seeing how he has used mine, and love of fantasy to bring about great things for Him.

Catt asked me to post this letter without adding my own comments.

From Doug Arndt: Several weeks ago I was browsing through John Ankerberg's New Age Beliefs book when I came across a reference to the Lord of the Rings (p127).  Stopping to look further I learned of Runes, something I had never come across before. 

Then, yesterday, I was watching Jeff Godwin's video on "What's wrong with Christian Rock" and he made the statement "Satan always marks his stuff". As an example of this he showed a copy of an early release of Michel W Smith's "Big Picture Album" where his name is printed using runic letters, and on the back, the name is written backward, again using the runic symbols. Other examples where shown as well.

Tonight I ran an internet search on Runes "The Lord of the Rings" and was amazed at the dual references, people selling swords, rings and other items from the movie all describing their careful use of rune inscriptions.  Plenty of games and other references to both the movie and runes.  If Harry Potter is an introduction to witchcraft, The Lord of the Rings is very much an (re)introduction to runes.

You are so right, Doug. Tolkien was fascinated by Norse history and mythology. The old runic alphabet was used by Scandinavians to create magic signs (for invoking and manipulating spiritual forces) as well as messages and inscriptions. These added mystery and magic to his elaborate myth. He sought all kinds of ways to include historical images of ancient realities  that would make his myth all the more inspiring to the mind and magical to the imagination.

I've not seen the movie or read the books, but this simple search clearly indicates a book/movie that is deeply saturated with runic use.   Much has been said about Harry Potter, which should have been a no brainer, but The Lord of Rings is always referred to as a Christian story.  I'm afraid it's laced with strychnine and the Christian community is lapping it up, totally ignorant of the occult trappings, thinking it has a Godly message.

Doug, you might like to see some quotes from "The Letters of J.J.R. Tolkien." The first one is introduced with this editorial comment: "With the following letter, he submitted a drawing for the dust-jacket, which included a runic inscription."

"The presence of the sun and moon in the sky together refers tot he magic attaching to the door.... In redrawing the whole thing could be reduced - if you think the runes are attractive. Though magical in appearance, they merely run. ... Yrs truly, J.R.R. Tolkien" (13 April 1937)

"There is the matter of the runes. Those used by Thorin and Co., for special purposes, were comprised in an alphabet of thirty-two letters similar to, but not identical, with the runes of Anglo-Saxon inscriptions." (18 February 1938) 

"The 'crith' or runes in L.R. were invented for that story.... similar signs have different values. ... The signs used in the crith are nearly [all] to be extracted from the basic pattern [drawing of the geometric pattern included here], the possibilities being decreased by the avoidance of the juncture of a diagonal line with the bottom of an upright...." [25 June 1963] 


The last quote sounds to me like the specific rules for magical signs used in "high magic" as contrasted with more simple "fold magic." But I may be wrong.


Page 132 shows a Christmas greeting from Tolkien using the runic alphabet.

From J. Miller: I’ve read your response and I still find cause for fault in your argument.  Let us begin with the elves use of “magic”.  I refer to chapter seven of book two: The Mirror of Galadriel.  Quote:  “’And you?’ she said, turning to Sam.  ‘For this is what your folk would call magic, I believe; though I do not understand clearly what they mean; and they seem to use the same word of the deceits of the Enemy.” Galadriel to Sam.  So we see that the term magic is applied to powers that the more ignorant hobbits can’t understand.  In much the same way, the ignorant among us may take miracles as magic for they do not understand the nature of what they have seen.

That's true. But those who know God and His Word will understand the difference. In today's pluralistic world, even Christians blur the line between what God calls good and evil.

Elves are clearly not men and are clearly not created the same within the context of the story.  Men (representing human kind) are not enamored of ‘magic’ powers and those among men who yearn for those powers find only their destruction (Boromir, Denethor, etc…)  Similarly, God created both men and angels (of the latter there exists a hierarchy).  It is also true that God has willed the latter with powers greater than those of humankind to be disposed of at His will and when they do so, it is always in His service and used against the powers of hell.  Those angels that defied Him and tried to become like unto gods themselves, were cast into hell and within the story may be seen as orcs, goblins and in Sauron himself, within the context of the story. 

You are right in saying that occult powers may not be used to fight evil, but the power of God wielded by his angelic servants is not the occult.  There is a clear delineation between the source of power of Sauron and the powers that oppose him.  Quote: Book 1, Chapter 2; Gandalf to Frodo: “So now, when it’s master was awake once more and sending out his dark thought from Mirkwood, it abandoned Gollum.  Only to be picked up by the most unlikely person imaginable: Bilbo from the Shire!  Behind that there was something else at work, beyond any design of the Ring-maker.  I can put it no plainer than by saying that Bilbo was meant to find the Ring, and not by it’s maker.  In which case, you also were meant to have it.  And that may be an encouraging thought”  End quote.  To recap, elves, wizards, and men are not the same order of creations, in a similar way that angels are of a different order than mankind. 

You make a good point, J., and I can see the parallels between myth and truth. But I can't agree with your conclusion. However much you analyze Tolkien's mythical theology, you will find that it both distorts and adds to God's order. The similarities make it more deceptive. Since Tolkien's spiritual order and diverse characters become part of your understanding of truth, you illustrate how a "Christian" myth can distort a Christian's thinking. See Deuteronomy 4:2

Also, the powers that stand behind the opposing sides are of opposing sources, not equal and opposite as with Star Wars, but with the source of good (i.e. the supernatural power of God) as being stronger.  There is a sense of inevitability in Gandalf’s words above as if he sees with the eyes of a prophet that the evil cannot and will not endure.  Frodo says as much later in The Two Towers Book four, chapter seven as Frodo & Sam look upon the fallen head of the defiled statue of the King and see a crown of flowers about it: Frodo: “Look Sam!”…”Look!  The king has got a crown again!”…”They (Sauron, orcs, forces of evil) cannot conquer for ever!”

I'm not sure what your illustration proves. According to God's plan, as stated in His Word, evil will endure throughout the church age -- throughout the existence of this present earth and world system. It will end when time stops and eternity begins. But that's not what Tolkien is telling us.

Tolkien did abhor analogy.  This is what he never liked about Lewis’ writing style.  In Lewis’ ‘Chronicles of Narnia’, it takes little thought to connect Aslan with Christ.  What Tolkien was more interested in was getting Christian truths and philosophy incorporated into his work.  The world his story takes place in is often described as being pre-Christian; that is, in a world in which Christ has not yet been revealed, but in whose creations, the yearning for His truth can be seen plainly.  I think one of the mistakes you make is to confuse direct analogy with the conveyance of the abstract truths, such as with my previous example of the elves’ waybread or ‘lembas’ which conveyed in the abstract, the very real qualities of the Eucharist.  (And by the by, Tolkien did, in one of his letters, admit that the Eucharist was foremost in his thought when describing the properties of the waybread).  Despite your assertions, conveying truth was one of the biggest goals of Tolkien’s in writing Lord of the Rings and that is not the same at all as allegory.

Christianity wasn't born in a vacuum. The whole Old Testament helps explain the essential truths of the Christian gospel.

If Tolkien's "pre-Christian world" introduces abstract concepts that are later used to explain God and the Bible, then the Christian Tolkien fan would (probably unconscously) brings into the church misleading assumptions that will distort his or her understanding of truth.

I have read the prologue and first chapter to your work (not having the time to read each and every chapter at the moment) and already, I can see somewhat how it will play out.  From the small portion of what I’ve read, I can deduce that it will most likely repeat with direct analogy to the playing out of various Biblical passages (the tempting in the garden, for one) of the deceit of Satan and of the obedience (or lack thereof) of God’s children.  This is fine and O.K. with me.  To that I have no objections whatsoever.

 But I do find it interesting that one must resort to simply (and do I not correctly guess that your work is geared to be aimed at young children?) stating the truth without being curious as to the reasons for it’s truth.  That we accept it is given, but if we aren't to explore any further, then we deny ourselves a better understanding of God's will.  If God gifts someone with a great imagination and he or she uses that to convey with greater complexity and interest the Truth that He has given us without simply restating it, then they indeed are doing His work. 

No, the opposite is more likely to be true. Please consider these Scriptures: Deut 4:2  and Genesis 8:21

To state the Truth is only to scratch the surface.  To explore, examine and determine the mechanics of the philosophy behind it is a pursuit that is, in itself, divine in it’s beauty.

Allow me to illustrate further what I’ve just said.  You and I would probably agree that abortion is without a doubt, evil and wrong.  Should we, in arguing a debate, continue to state over and over again that it’s wrong and evil and go on that way?  No, we would back up that opening statement by exploring the nature and value inherent in human life and why destroying even that ‘clump of cells’ is akin to homicide and why.  We could approach it in either a Religious or purely logical manner, or both. 

There are a hundred launching points for argument and all follow and revolve around the initial truth: abortion is evil and wrong.  You have to dig deeper if you’re going to persuade people who have been lured to think that it isn’t.  It irritates me no end to see the abortion debate degrade into the most simplistic rhetoric available when there is a veritable wealth of logical, philosophical and religious reasons to argue against it with.  Similarly, if you are to argue that Lord of the Rings is a dangerous gateway into the occult that is to be avoided, then you must go beyond simply quoting scripture to examine whether or not the term wizardry as mentioned in the Bible is how it is being applied to the object of scrutiny.  As for your other objections to 'magic' in the novel, those I have addressed already.

I see your point, and I expect only those who seek or already love God and His Word to believe me. But the subtle dangers of occult fantasy are very different -- and far more difficult to explain to non-Christians - than horrors of abortion. Even so, if you go back and read Harry Potter and Dungeons & Dragons, Harry Potter and the Power of Suggestion, etc. you would find that I cite credible medical and psychiatric journals in order to build a logical argument. What would you suggest I add? 

Ahem, but I digress J.  Tolkien had a gift for being able to explain the abstractions of Truth in story which is a tool that has been used for ages to do just that.  Please do not misunderstand me when I speak of these abstractions.  For I do not speak of Truth as wavering, undetermined, or unattainable.  It is none of  those things and I am no moral relativist.  But Truth cannot be proven by concrete forms of science.  In that sense it is abstract, which necessitates other methods of explanation.

            If what you say is true, and I have indeed  been duped by enticing deceptions, then they have had a most unusual result.  For my experience, I have been drawn closer in my relationship with Christ and in the convictions that come with it, since reading it (twice now).  It reminds me of why I am a Christian and a Catholic.  I am not the only Christian thus affected.

May the Peace of God be with you,

In our postmodern times, experience and feelings are fast becoming the primary measure of faith, truth and goodness. Therefore, I tend to be somewhat skeptical when people refer to their own experiences and feelings as proof of a closer relationship with God. But I cannot know or evaluate your experience. So I will just thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

From J. Miller: I've read you're section on Lord of the Rings and find fault in much of your analysis. First off, there are many testimonies to Tolkien's faith in the Catholic Church. The man went to Confession almost every week, which has been testified to by his friends and family. That's many times more often than I go myself (also being Catholic and conceding that I should improve my record there :-). He was also a regular attendee at Sunday Mass. It is not logical to show that kind of behavior if one is not sincerely devout in one's faith or does not believe in the tenets of said faith.

He probably did believe in the tenets of the faith of his choice. But "going to confession" and attending Sunday Mass don't make a person a member of the body of Christ. The basis for salvation is faith in the death of Jesus Christ on our behalf and His resurrection. Remember, committed Muslims pray five times a day to their Allah, but he cannot grant them eternal life -- no matter how fervently they believe or faithfully they perform their prescribed rites. 

Secondly, let me offer this passage from 'Lord of the Rings'. "The lembas had a virtue without which they would long ago have lain down to die. It did not satisfy desire, and at times Sam's mind was filled with the memories of food, and the longing for simple bread and meats. And yet this waybread of the Elves had a potency that increased as travelers relied on it alone and did not mingle it with other foods. It fed the will, and it gave strength to endure, and to master sinew and limb beyond the measure of mortal kind." Let me tell you, if you're one who believes in the Real Presence as I do, that paragraph is unmistakable in it's meaning and is more than a bit of testimonial to Tolkien's belief as well.

Tolkien himself asked that his readers not receive his myths as Christian allegories. But even if he did intend to put Catholic meanings into his characters' actions, we cannot receive them as Biblical truth. God warned us against the slightest twist of His Word. See Gal 1:6-10

Also, I gather from your statements that you believe myth and the human imagination are dangerous to faith. Indeed those things may be so, but like nearly every genre and subject studied by man, these things are tools and tools are neither inherently good nor evil since they do not have concienses, are not living entities and do not have free will of their own. For human beings alone on earth can claim to have all of those things and it is how humans use the tools they are given that will produce a good or evil result. Pick a major social category, art, music, science, medicine, etc. and in every case you will discover both Godly and ungodly uses of all. If authors of fantasy willfully promote paganism, that's evil. If they promote Christian values, that's good. Fiction is a branch of art and literature and is also a tool that may be utilized either for good or ill.

The issue here is not the motive of the author, it is the moral choice of the reader. If a Christian chooses to read something that stimulates his mind to delight in magic and occult practices, then he or she have violated Rom 12:2-9: "Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good." You cannot delight in the "abominations" of Deut 18:9-12 while choosing to "abhor what is evil."  If your conscience has been trained according to God's Word, you cannot "delight in what is evil." If you do, you turn God's guidelines upside down. See Isaiah 5:20: "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil."

Now, is 'Lord of the Rings' a perfect testimony to Christian faith? No, but then the only perfect testimony to Christian faith is Christ Himself. It is plain from the above example (and many more like it) that Tolkien's work falls into the category of promoting Christian faith by the primary means of it's philosophy, and not in direct correlation to the people, places and events of the Bible. If it had (correlated directly to the Bible), it would be ripe for condemnation (possibly by yourself as well, but that's presumptuous) as being blasphemous; a conclusion I would probably agree with should the author have taken that route. The only solution that leaves is for the author to abandon fiction altogether; for by it's very definition, fiction is not true and any attempt to attach philosophical Christian truth to it would be blasphemous. Yet how are people who are given the talent to write able to fulfill their God-given talent if they are hamstrung by this apparent paradox? Are Christians morally obliged to avoid writing and reading fiction except that which is devoid of meaning? How, for example, should a gifted Christian writer write fiction? What is your solution?

If you click on The Invisible War, you will see one solution.

What I see as dangerous in most fantasy writing is that it involves the granting of powers to the hero that are beyond his natural measure to govern. A good corollary to real life would be the 'power' or 'right' to choose abortion. Most fantasies grant such powers to their heroes and yet there are no consequences for use of such powers. In real life, the consequences are devastating. The distinguishing element of 'Lord of the Rings' is the view that power granted beyond measure is inherently corrupting and evil. Now there's a theme that would apparently be consistent with your views on many other issues. It's also a principal exposed in the Bible.

True. But that end doesn't justify the means: using occult forces to prove the consequences of a a specific evil. I don't see the good elves facing any bad consequences for using occult powers to triumph over a more obvious evil.  

One last point. I acknowledge that there are many (mostly deluded) fans of the book who use the novel as their own 'personal bible' and I abhor that since it is most certainly not the Bible. As I said before, there is no perfect testimony to the truth outside of the Church, and people willfully misconstrue other's works all the time and mostly for their own agendas. However, with as much wisdom as we are granted by God, we are obliged to infuse our manmade works with as much of His truth as is humanly possible. For every Christian, that is the challenge. In Tolkien's 'Lord of the Rings', an imperfect, but highly successful attempt at conveying truth was made.

Tolkien himself tells us that wasn't his intention. Please read Tolkien's Lord of the Rings again. And when you mix Christian truth with occult myths, the deceptioon becomes all the more enticing.

From Sarah: Hey, I want to congratulate you ...  I have always been a fan of LOTR, especially before I was a believer. I threw the novel series in the garbage as well as my Anne Rice literature and other novels that had an ungodly...effect (unless they were documentaries or biographies). For some people, they can read novels with discernment, but I  used to read these types of novels with extreme fascination.

When I heard about the relationship between CS Lewis and Tolkien...and found some of the parallels that Tolkien attempted to make with Christianity in LOTR. (such as Gollum being imprisoned by the ring) I had decided that maybe the novels weren't that bad after all.

I have read CS Lewis' "adult" fantasy/sci-fi novels called "The Cosmic Trilogy". Since, I have decided to do a report in school about the common themes between Perelandra (by CS Lewis)(which is supposed to be some kind of OBVIOUS parallel with the Fall) and The Silmarillion (by Tolkien).

I am stuck with saying that you are correct. I have read much of Lewis's stuff, including the theological things and his theories on reality. I have read The Silmarillion as well (and will have to read it again, although I am confident it is safe for me to do this as long as it is with a critical mind) and you are also correct about these demi-gods, and how Illuvatar in this "creation" process, instead of being the sole Creator in speaking the Universe into existence, had these angels speaking the world into existence.

They sung in this massive choir in The Silmarillion, Illuvator being the conductor, and their songs brought the world into existence. The song of Melkor (who was supposed to be a Satan figure) corrupted the universe and the whole physical reality is only to be a reflection of their song.

If you want more information, read The Silmarrilion (it will go into more detail into the mythology of Middle-Earth), and if you want to see how their (Lewis and Tolkien) common view of myth evolved also read Lewis' The Cosmic Trilogy (which makes up three books). You will be amazed how the protagonist "Ransom" ruminates on how human myth has a basis in reality somewhere in the Universe.

I had always had a difference with Tolkien and Lewis on this score, about mythology. Alot of the things they said I agreed with. They dealt a lot with spiritual realities, and I thought that some of the things they said about human nature was correct.

I am completely stuck with this fact, that you are correct about everything you say. If I am going to be consistent about my beliefs regarding Harry Potter, then I should deal with Lewis and Tolkien with discernment as well. I will have to check out what scripture says this type of thing.

Again, thanks alot, may the Lord bless you,

Thank you, Sarah, for your encouraging words and helpful information.


From Michael: While I disagree with your article on Tolkien and the Lord of the Rings, I found it extrodinarily well written and well researched. Except on one vital point. You state:

"For example, his elves and wizards -- the creatures empowered with magical skills -- enjoy the certainty of unconditional eternal life. But humans do not. Their lives -- with rare exceptions [9] -- must end with their physical death. Instead of the Christian's hope of eternal life, Tolkien's world offers re-incarnation -- but only for a select group. "

This is, unfortunately, a considerable corruption of the Middle Earth concept of afterlife. Death is considered to be the Gift of Men - because when a human dies, he passes beyond the realm of the world to dwell with Iluvatar (God).

Can you give some credible references? I didn't see that in any of the literature I read.  The references I cited gave evidence for my position in the article.

This gift, as given by Iluvatar himself, not by any of the sub creators, IS the immortality of Middle Earth. The elves are fated to die with the eventual death of the world. Men are not. To me this reveals a special relationship between man and God which goes quite beyond the physical realms.

Again, this conflicts with the research I did. Please give me some evidence.

Elves can die, by the way, through grief or through physical injury, and journey to the Halls of Mandos. They may be reincarnated into a physical body, if they are judged worthy or after a period of time, but this is not a certainty.

How this fits (or does not fit) into Christian spirituality I will leave to you, but did feel obligated to correct you on this point.

   Thank you, Michael, for your thoughtful letter and correction.

From Jason Ward: Generally your articles seem to be well thought out and articulate. Even though I disagree with some of your conclusions, I understand your reasoning. However, your inferred questioning of C.S. Lewis’ conversion is way off base. After all he is arguably the most important Christian Apologist of the last century.

In the section "Myth and inspiration" you base your reasoning on the premise that "Myth, by standard definition, implies something other than reality." Accurate conclusions depend on a truthful premise. Sadly, your premise is incorrect. Your disputes with Tolkien’s and C.S. Lewis’ worldviews indicate a fundamental misunderstanding of the term "myth".

A dictionary’s definition explains "myth" more articulately than I can:
a.       A traditional, typically ancient story dealing with supernatural beings, ancestors, or heroes that serves as a fundamental type in the worldview of a people, as by explaining aspects of the natural world or delineating the psychology, customs, or ideals of society: the myth of Eros and Psyche; a creation myth.

b.      Such stories considered as a group: the realm of myth. (

In truth, Tolkien and Lewis referred to myth as something that explains the human condition. It does not imply something other than reality. In fact, it attempts to illustrate truth. In context, Tolkein and Lewis were using the above definition of myth. Now, if specific myths achieve that goal is what is debatable.

You seem to take exception with Lewis claiming that "now the story of Christ is simply a true myth: a myth working on us in the same way as the others, but with this tremendous difference that it really happened...." The problem is that you emphasized the wrong statement. Lewis knew the proper definition of myth. The story of Christ is myth (illustrating the human condition), but it really happened (praise God) which makes Jesus worthy of being our savior!


"... a fundamental type" for what? The concept of using Biblical truth "as a fundamental type in the worldview of a people" clashes with the absoluteness and uniqueness of Scriptures.

I appreciate your thoughtfulness, Jason. But I can't agree with you. The Bible warns us that myth or fables turn us away from the actual, unalterable Truth of God. Among the many problems with presenting Truth by telling myths (as you defined above) is simply to idealize the vary same practices (spells, magic, divination....) that God forbids, thus calling evil good.  [See 2 Timothy 4:3-4 Isaiah 5:20, Col 2:8]


A "myth" doesn't make Jesus "worthy". He is worthy of being our Savior whether we know or believe it or not. I am confident you share that belief, but I wanted to clarify that statement.

Yes, salvation is only through Christ, but Lewis’ point was that the human condition can be truthfully illustrated through other myths. For example, Greek myths show that humans are universally subject to envy, greed, and jealously among other sinful natures. Using the correct definition of myth, Lewis’ statement was true. After realizing their sinful nature, people can then begin looking for salvation and will hopefully find Christ. Your quote about the gospel being made alive in us through the holy spirit and Lewis' views are not mutually exclusive if you realize that quote is just affirming the truth of salvation through Christ and not the sinful nature of man.

You can't separate those two. "Salvation through Christ" means that Jesus bore our sins and took on Himself God's legal judgment for that sin. To present this amazing historical and eternal event through a mythical story that ignores sin and its consequences, tends to minimize and trivialize the meaning of that salvation. In fact, this tendency to repackage God's holy Word as man's unholy stories gives rise to all kinds of confusion, deception, "cheap grace [see The Cost of Discipleship]" and apostasy. 

You were correct when you said that the Lord of the Rings should not be compared to a biblical reality. But then you criticized how the characters do not fit into that reality.

That's right. And I explained why: Christians around the world have been told and therefore believe that his message is a Christian one. Keep in mind, my goal was not to analyze Tolkien, but to warn Christian families about the influence of his myth. Since many already believe that this message is compatible with Scriptures, I had to explain the other side.

Also, you misrepresented how magic was used in the book in response to another reader’s letter. Bilbo did use the ring at his party, but the book (and movie) indicated that Bilbo’s use of the ring was bad. Using the ring would increase its evil influence over the user as well as draw the evil "Nazgul" to it. In fact, the final resolution of the entire story was not achieved through the use of magic.

I will finish this later

You focused so much on the aspects of magic and divine figures, that you missed the overall theme of the book and therefore the main focus of the debate. I agree with others writers who believe the overall theme is a struggle between good and evil. The myth (or lesson about the human condition) is that evil does not conquer with power, instead it seduces. Isildur was seduced by the ring when he took it from Sauron. Golem was seduced by it and became a murderer. Bilbo was under its power but escaped with urging of his friend Gandalf. Gandalf recognized its power and knew he would use the ring with a desire to do good, but it would eventually lead to his fall if he took it. In addition, Frodo found evil hard to leave behind when he finally had the opportunity.
So the debate should be, is the theme of the book true? If so, is it still appropriate even if there is "magic" in the book?


I hope you specifically examine all of C.S. Lewis works in determining the truth of his worldviews. I am convinced after reading such works as the Screwtape Letters and Mere Christianity that C.S. Lewis salvation is not in question and his worldview does not conflict with yours. I pray for harmony within our faith. I do not mean at the expense of compromise. When I see two people (you and Lewis) who have promoted Christianity so faithfully, I am saddened when I see criticism between the two.

Jason, I really appreciate your kindness and desire for genuine unity in Christ. I long for that too.  will re-read some of Lewis' other writings.


From Catherine:  This Christmas I saw a number of my  Christian friends purchase Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. It made my heart sad. I had heard what a good book this was. My husband and I, about two years ago now, rented the movie. I couldn't watch it very long. It grieved my spirit. I think because it represents the good and evil that Christians are deceived.

Anyway, I am so thankful for your ministry and have emailed a couple of pages already to a friend. One of my friends said she was against Harry Potter yet when her family suggested that if she liked Tolkien's Lord of the Rings she would like Harry Potter, too.

Lord help the Christians of this day. The deceptions will only  increase and become more deceptive. It is my constant prayer that I would not fall prey to any and that the Lord would give me a GREAT discerning of his spirit, which I believe he has so far.

 I so agree with your last paragraph. It breaks my heart to see the compromise all around.  Many Christians feel alone in their churches these days. Finding no Biblical church in their communities, they pray that God will bring them together with other uncompromising Christians.

From "a Sister in Christ": Thank you for publishing your article on Tolkien's Lord of the Rings.  I agree with many of the points in your article, and I thank you for making it well documented and to the point.  Many things I did not know about Tolkien were brought up as well as many points in his works in Middle Earth.  Both have helped me greatly. 
May I ask you a question?  What is your opinion on Christians reading The Lord of the Rings?  I agree completely with your statement, "Since Tolkien denies any supposed allegorical link between his myth and Biblical truth, it's not fair to hold his stories accountable to that truth. Nor is it wise to continue claiming that they teach us God's truth," and I wanted to know what you thought about Christians reading Tolkien's work without making any comparisons to Christianity since it appears that many comparisons do not hold to the Christian theology.
Do you think that The Lord of the Rings should be avoided or do you think it is safe to read?  I must admit from personal experience, when I first read The Lord of the Rings, I drew no conscious comparison to Christianity - but I did enjoy it as a story.  I know this is a very weak and dangerous argument since the same can be said of Harry Potter. 
However, with Harry Potter, it just seems to me that almost everything in the plotline is occultic while Tolkien was more vague as to the source of the magic used in The Lord of the Rings.  In my spirit, I felt no peace while reading Harry Potter while, with The Lord of the Rings, I did not feel like it posed a temptation or hindrance to my Christian walk. 

Our "feelings" tend to be a very subjective standard for what is right and wrong. The human mind and imagination is capable of amazing rationalizations that justify delighting in what God calls an abomination.

You have said that both stories have the potential to lead to the temptation of witchcraft since the "good" magic is very ambiguous.  Do you think that The Lord of the Rings should be avoided because of this, or that it is a personal call many Christians will have to make?

I would apply the same Biblical standards to the Lord of the Rings as I do to Harry Potter. But Tolkien's myth is far more seductive because Christian leaders have already persuaded much of the church that it is good and Biblical. That makes even the trivial magic at Bilbo's opening party seem like clean fun.

Thank you for asking. I appreciate your thoughtfulness.


From "a self-confessed pagan":  "The beliefs, morals and values that role playing games teach us were questioned in your article. When I look at my eight year old brother playing Pokemon with his friends I see that it teaches today's youth to interact more with one another and less with television and video games. Social groups that may have once been divided are now able to relate with one another because they've found a common interest.

I agree. This speeds the homogenization of America and the rest of the world. It tears down the barriers between religions and helps establish the envisioned global community. In the atmosphere of this new consensus, there will be little tolerance for those who avoid the games and refuse to conform their beliefs and values to culturally correct thinking.

I feel that it also teaches them to set goals for themselves, try achieving new things, master your own life and don't leave it up to another "higher being" which will not put clothes on your back or food in your mouth.

I agree. Even those who call themselves Christian will learn to think outside God's Word. God will become like all the other gods to them.

My own experience teaches me that these games promote family involvement. I've never had a very close knit family. However through the card game The Lord of The Rings (based on J.R.R. Tolkein's novel) my brother and I now have something we can do together. Through the card game my entire family became interested in the story line and we went to see the newly released movie together The Fellowship of the Ring ( Part 1 of L.O.T.R.) which is something that we never do.

I realize that you didn't mention the Lord of the Rings card game in your editorial however it's made by the same company that creates Magic and Pokemon and Tolkein himself states that he is a devoted Roman Catholic and added many underlying religious aspects to the story that support his beliefs. So yes the same company that has created Magic also promotes a religious story that fits more with your beliefs. ...

I posted the missing parts in Multiple Topics.

To conclude this long response yes today's role playing games may influence people (specifically children) and their thoughts, feelings and actions. Yes they become engulfed in the games however I would prefer that a game do it rather than a religion who has a history of being murderers, rapists and thieves (take a look at the witch burnings, Spanish inquisition, Vatican's role in ww2, etc) and who obviously supports prejudices and stereo types through the idea that their pure children shouldn't have to see "gross and ugly characters".

If you are referring to Christianity, please read my response in Biblical versus Cultural Christianity

There is nothing wrong with r.p.g's the symbols on Magic cards have no connection with satanism or anything of the type they merely show the five elements, the five elements represented by the pentagram, the pentagram which shows a five pointed star like the shape the seeds in an apple make when you slice it open. Sounds pretty natural to me.

The five elements play a large part in the symbolic beliefs of the world's pagan religions. You help me to show the world view behind these games -- and why committed Christians would be wise to avoid them. I appreciate your sharing your views.

From Shawn:  You said, "That makes even the trivial magic at Bilbo's opening party seem like clean fun." My question is I never saw the movie because I know its evil but it would help to know at what points the 'good guys' are using magic.

You seem to indicate some magic going on at a party but is this at the begining of the movie or later? If I knew a little about it I could relate better to those who say, "hey guys there is no good guy that uses magic." Thank you,

Here are just two small examples from the beginning: The movie opens as the village of Hobbits prepare a party for Bilbo Baggins, the hero in Tolkien's earlier book, The Hobbits. Later that evening, two mischivious friends blend firecracker materials and magic to set off a supernatural fireworks that endangers life as well as property. Later, Bilbo, pulls out the magic ring from his pocket, puts on his finger and makes himself invisible. (Like Harry Potter's invisibility cloak) We also see the effects of the cursed ring which evokes an overwhelming (supernatural) covetousness in its various keepers or observers.

Much more powerful magic is demonstrated later, especially through the elves and wizards. Gandalf is more restrained, but his mentor, Saluman, the white wizard, has chosen to leave the "good" side of the force for greater victories on the evil side.

Later today I will upgrade our article on the Lord of the Rings and add more insights from the movie.

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