The Annunciation and “Lord of the Rings”

More belated Annunciation thoughts.  From Isaac Augustine Morales, The Annunciation and the One Ring | Dominicana Blog:

In a seemingly insignificant detail in one of the appendices of his masterpiece, The Lord of the Rings, J. R. R. Tolkien notes that the destruction of the One Ring and the defeat of Sauron took place on March 25. What might have led Tolkien to date the destruction of the ring with such precision? Being a devout Catholic, Tolkien most likely was subtly weaving into his work an ancient Christian tradition regarding the Solemnity of the Annunciation, the feast the Church celebrates today. [Read more...]

J.R.R. Tolkien on Sex

In 1941, J. R. R. Tolkien did what most fathers tremble to do:  talk to his son about sex.  He did so in a letter filled with wisdom, insight, and a thoroughly Christian sensibility on what he called the devil’s “favorite subject.”  Suggestion to trembling fathers:  get The Letters of J. R.  R. Tolkien and show this particular  letter to your sons.  Al Mohler quotes from the letter and discusses what he had to say. [Read more...]

George Herbert on prayer

We blogged about Miranda Threlfall-Holmes, who wrote about how  she was converted from atheism in part through the poetry of George Herbert.  She is following that up with a series of articles in the London Guardian about specific Herbert poems.  That’s literary scholarship as it’s supposed to be–not a mere academic exercise but an exploration of literature for the purpose of illumination.

Read her take on Herbert’s poem “Prayer (1)”.  Read the poem at the link, and then read her discussion, linked and excerpted after the jump. [Read more...]

John Donne’s impact today

Mathew Block discusses that piece we blogged about in which a former atheist credits her conversion to the poetry of George Herbert, going on to tell about the impact that John Donne had on him and his classmates. [Read more...]

How George Herbert’s poetry converted an atheist

I throw out opinions on all kinds of topics, but my real area of expertise is 17th Century English literature.  To drill down to an even more specific field, as we English professors have to do, I have a specialty in George Herbert, the great Christian poet.  He was the subject of my dissertation and my first book, which has recently come back into print: Reformation Spirituality: The Religion of George Herbert

Now British journalist Miranda Threlfall-Holmes tells how the poetry of George Herbert played a factor in her conversion to Christianity from atheism.  (He had a similar impact on the French philosopher Simone Weil.)

What does this tell us about apologetics and evangelism? [Read more...]

Discovering the novel “The Hammer of God”

Tullian Tchividjian tells about discovering–along with some other evangelicals–the great Lutheran novel The Hammer of God. [Read more...]


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