Because Tolkien and Lewis Took A Walk After Dinner


I had someone leave a comment on a post who lamented questioningly,

“After all, do Christians proselytize to others as they wish others would proselytize to them? The very notion is ridiculous.”

Below is a great video clip, courtesy of Kevin O’Brien’s Theater of the Word, Incorporated, that puts that statement to the test. Because we are called to spread the Good News in ways that appeal to all people.

This is why St. Paul said,

For whereas I was free as to all, I made myself the servant of all, that I might gain the more. And I became to the Jews, a Jew, that I might gain the Jews: To them that are under the law, as if I were under the law, (whereas myself was not under the law,) that I might gain them that were under the law. To them that were without the law, as if I were without the law, (whereas I was not without the law of God, but was in the law of Christ,) that I might gain them that were without the law.

To the weak I became weak, that I might gain the weak. I became all things to all men, that I might save all.

This is a scene that brings to life the after dinner discussion that Lewis had with Tolkien that Lewis recounts in his autobiography, Surprised By Joy. Essayist Andrea Monda sets the stage for us,

Although in 1929 Jack was already on his knees and had prayed to God desperately and reluctantly, it was Tolkien’s friendship that brought him to the encounter with Christ. On 19 September 1931, Jack and “Tollers” (as Tolkien was called by his closest friends), together with their common friend Hugo Dyson, were taking their usual after-dinner stroll in the grounds of Magdalen College and began discussing ancient myths and the Truth “hidden” in these legends.

This is O’Brien playing the character of Tolkien. If the Golden Rule is to be utilized when witnessing the Faith (and I would argue it is), then Tolkien followed it scrupulously. This video is 8 minutes and 46 seconds that you will want to watch again, and again.

Of course, no one proselytizes anyone really. The best we can hope to do is be a witness for Christ, like Tolkien was for Lewis. Because each person is called to seek God on their own.  For as Our Lord promised,

Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and you shall find: knock, and it shall be opened to you. For every one that asketh, receiveth: and he that seeketh, findeth: and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.

And that word eucatastrophe. What does that actually mean?

Andrea Monda’s essay can be found here.

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  • tom in Ohio

    Wow; to see it dramatized, this fateful conversation, this turning point, this . . . conversion. And to think how profoundly Lewis has been used to point the way for poor fools like myself. Well, it’s quite stunning. Thanks for posting!

    tom in ohio

    • Frank Weathers

      Yes, I agree, this was really well done.

  • Marilyn Sizer

    Thank you, Frank! This is wonderful. I am a third year seminary student at Earlham School of Religion (Quaker) and so very much appreciate your posting this video. Lovely Truth-told by faithful giants. Ah, the sublime gift of Love and Forgiveness with the invitation to us all to abide in Love/Christ/Father (the I AM).

  • Fred Warren

    A brilliant example of someone “ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you.” I’ve often wished I could have been perched somewhere in the trees nearby, listening to this conversation. Thanks.

  • Bob Hoeppner

    You can get the dvd from which the video was taken from here: Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings: A Catholic World View

  • mosesfoo

    My wife had a get together with her former workplace colleagues last Monday (20 Aug 2012). It was already a few years since all of them went separate ways.

    When they were working together, there was a certain camaraderie among the six of them, for it was a small group in the first place. Back then, when they were younger, they used to joke about the things that my wife believe in, about Church, Jesus and stuffs like that.

    Surprisingly, last Monday gathering, there more seriousness and earnest in listening to things of the more profound. Questions about homosexuality and the Church, about God being a kind of alien being, etc were fielded and my wife tried to make her point as clear as possible, though struggling to state it clearly.

    The gathering couldn’t last long because of children and it was getting late, but there was a promise to meet again in December. And hopefully a bit more clarity in providing guidepost to Jesus.

    For among the group, there was one who had somewhat recovered from a bout of overcoming life-threatening cancer and still have to be watchful about her diet, another struggling with his sexual tendency, and another with success in career.

    Hopefully, and by the grace of God, there is going to be a fruitful dinner gathering conversation for some friends in search of something for themselves.