Granville Sharp, a Madman with a Holy Agenda

Granville Sharp

Where Granville Sharp’s Name First Appeared




Reading about William Wilberforce and his work toward ending the slave trade revealed a character of even higher interest. Someone who, unlike Wilberforce, contained little charm. But, like William Wilberforce, and even more so than the great politician, he showed extraordinary skill, intelligence, and zeal in everything about life. His name was Granville Sharp.

Great appreciation is given to Eric Metaxas, both for his work and his ending bibliography. Amazing Grace solely focused on the abolition movement, and somewhat on those involved in the seemingly-impossible task. However, readers with greater interest in William Wilberforce’s friends have the information available to go and learn more about them.

Why Our Work Will Focus on Granville Sharp

Why would someone have any interest in learning more about the individuals involved in the abolition movement? Someone other than a student studying the history on slavery? Because William Wilberforce’s friends, godly and zealous individuals, pursued exemplary lives. Such lives, as to make modern-day Christ followers only wish for their passion and determination.

Based on the information in Amazing Grace, people knew Monsieur Granville Sharp as a madman, an unhinged genius. He and his family, brother, wife, and children, contained extraordinary musical talent. So great was this talent, the Sharp family frequently performed for the King of England. But the general public viewed him as a madman for other reasons….

Why Granville Sharp Drew Our Attention




During an age when hedonism ruled the public at large, both upper and lower classes, Granville Sharp stood out like a flame in a dark woods.  Superstition also ran rampant during this time, but some, the hated few, knew better. These few English citizens, having heard and believed George Whitefield’s message, became what the hedonists’s dubbed as Methodists. In America today, they are known as Evangelical Christians.

William Wilberforce felt obligated to keep his faith under wraps, due to the politicians he daily dealt with. Granville Sharp, free from any restraints, spoke about his faith in Jesus Christ with gusto. When the Church of England authorities attacked his view on the Holy Trinity, using his ignorance of ancient languages as ammunition, he learned the Hebrew, Latin, and Greek languages and wrote several dissertations defending his beliefs. Sharp even used what he learned to fix several translation mistakes in the English Bible. His amendments remain intact today.

Granville Sharp and His Dissertations on God and Slavery




To pursue Granville Sharp’s works on Archive.org, readers will find a plethora of the genius’s works available as public domain. If reading through these documents to learn more about the man and his faith seems odious to some readers, then allow us to read them and summarize what we find for you!  Two resources that Author Eric Metaxas used and referenced will find their way into our work as well.

Studying about slavery is, for some Generation Ys and Millennials, an overdone study. But, what America’s public schooling left out, The Unspoken Christian Law will cover. Such information predominantly being about the faith behind many essential abolitionists.

So, please, join us in this study. Though Granville Sharp may have had a reputation as a madman, Eric Metaxas, and what I suppose to be many other Christ followers, viewed him as a man insistent on bringing God’s Perfect Will to the fallen world. And if a great author like Metaxas thought the man to have pushed forward God’s Holy agenda, then we hope to learn exactly what Granville Sharp believed, taught, and lived.




**Sorry for the long absence. As all my readers know, life hits hard sometimes.

***Cover image provided by the Yale Law Library

The Mad Ramblings of a Cra-Cra White Woman Living Under California Jurisdiction

California




Some people who read this title will automatically judge my thoughts, beliefs, actions, and hopes to be worthless. Most people in California, at least in the metropolitan areas of California, are these people. And I just so happen to live in a small Californian town, between the Great Valley and the Bay Area. Small or large, it seems like every city here is filled with flamingly-wild libs.

Why do all these people think my worth as an individual is minimal, if not non-existent? It’s not only because I’m officially classified as paranoid schizophrenic, because inwardly people do take my mental illness as a good reason to disregard everything I say. (Never would they admit to judging me for my mental illness, for that’s non-PC….) But, I’m thought of worthless because I believe in Christ Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior, who died and rose again to save all mankind from eternal damnation. And I’m Republican, and that’s simply unforgivable to them.



“How dare you speak of us as filled with hate and judgment! That’s you and your religion!” said the up-till-the-moment-politics-and-religion-came-up friend. Well, you know what? I find that I am growing increasingly angry and upset that people speak ill about my faith, slander my fellow Republicans, and call me stupid for following a path that WILL ULTIMATELY, as in ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THIS LIFE, bring me joy and peace from my Eternal Father in Heaven…. God save me now from my anger and bitterness on this side of Heaven….

Over the past few years, as I’ve struggled with coming-to-terms with my condition, learning to live a semi-normal life, I’ve learned a thing or two about what it would be like to live as if it was only me and the land around me. It would be hard, extraordinarily hard and life-threatening. However, if Federal and State government hadn’t turned civilization into such a soft, clumsy, namby-pamby bunch, then maybe everyone would have been happier. Maybe, just maybe, some overpowering and manipulative authorities wouldn’t have come in and destroyed mankind as we know it.



Think of my politics as you will: Tea Party, Nature Lover, etc. I know virtually nothing about them and they mean nothing to me. All I know, based on the original setup of Adam and Eve in the Garden, when mankind walked with God, knowing neither shame nor fear, life must have been beyond my comprehension of beauty and peace. So, ultimately, our overpowering and manipulative authorities came to be because of sin.

I’m not here to convert anyone who doesn’t wish for something better than what life has given them. (Because, as certain libs have instituted it, their political supporters do get many freebees the rest of us don’t….) But, does California really have to take all our hard-earned money just so we can water our plants and catch our meat?



The laws have become so ridiculous that we aren’t even allowed to kill certain animals. “They’re almost extinct!” cry the libs. Bull! Small town ranchers are losing cattle, pigs, sheep, chickens, and more because, as California so enforces it, hunters aren’t allowed to shoot wildcats. Pull your heads out of your butts, California State Officials, we’re being overrun by these “almost extinct” species!

As California law officials enforce, we Californians can’t even tie a string to a pole and grab one or two inch-long fish without first paying them for our permission to do so. Ridiculous! How will we eat unless we have a high-enough income to support all the Federal and State taxes, Social Security, Medicare, rising-prices on clothes, gas, shelter, and electricity, the mouths dependent on us, and more? We can’t! Unless we wish to go to a church’s food program. Or, most dismally, a government food program.



What makes getting free food from the government so bad? A.) It’s not free. B.) It’s not coming from the taxes we’re paying, it’s coming from the Federal Loan Fund. So, even though the government is taking our money in various ways, causing debt among the people, the state’s financial officials are still causing California to go into debt. And let’s not even discuss USA’s Federal Debt, and how it’s causing the whole nation to sink ever lower and lower among worldwide civilizations…. Stop giving our hard-earned pennies to under-worked, overpaid government employees, California!

For those who have stayed with me until this point, take joy in knowing that my cra-cra (for those who don’t know, “cra-cra” indicates the disabled mentally ill) ramblings are coming to an end for today. Personally, I believe everything that I wrote. And I believe and think ill about many other enforced laws – and some given permissions, such as Marijuana- in California. But what can I do? I’m a simple girl, trying to live a simple life, without trying to anger anyone too badly. But California makes that a very difficult, if not impossible, goal to achieve.



Ultimately, the problem is rooted in sin. And if only more people, especially the small-minded sect of libs, realized the One God’s loving nature, we would all be better off. But, no. Government punishes Christian business owners who stand up for their beliefs, and no room is given for mistakes. And that goes for the Christian non-business owners as well.

Christians and Republicans have no room in California, and we know how much we are hated and desired to leave the state, if not the country. And to end with a bit of bitter and angry sarcasm…Thank you, Californian libs, for making a poor, struggling, mentally-ill, Christian woman feel unwanted, incompetent, and hated in a state which she cannot afford to leave. May the peace of God be with you all, amen



*The article’s photo, called “Loveless Cafe Neon Sign,” was created and provided by Brent Moore.

**Yes, it’s an actual hotel in Nashville, but it is “oh, so applicable” to California homes.

Welcome to all Truth-Seekers and Christian-Haters. This website is for all of you…




How many young Christ followers have read theological material, attempting to grow in their Christian faith, only to wonder why they have never heard any Ordained Pastor, or Priest, preach on the material found in so-said Christian book?

“The material must be false,” said the too-busy-to-read Church friend. “He’s only a man. It’s not guaranteed anything he writes is God-inspired,” said the avid feminist.



Or, there is the other side of the argument. The side where the so-called God-breathed material actually IS FALSE.

“Beth Moore has sold millions of books. Throughout all her mission-oriented years, she has always had a heart for lost and hurting women. And, oh! How can you actually question Rick Warren? He has clarified the meaning to life!” Modernized Christian theology has BAMBOOZLED many Christians.

What is the point to this statement about Christian material?




My husband, my family, and I have reached the point, having read through the Holy Bible countless times throughout the years, where we wish to make THE TRUTH known to all people. At least, to all people who desire inner peace and joy. (And we’re not talking happy-go-lucky peace and joy. We’re talking about finding the ability to stay goal-oriented and on the right path in a depraved and insane world.)

From this point forward, studies regarding unpopular laws regarding Christian living and Christian belief will appear below. Such topics include a woman’s role in the church, what the Bible says about anger and wrath, abortion, turning the other cheek, and so-on and so-forth.



If these topics are mundane and acceptable to you, great! Maybe you can help defend the Gospel with me to all the people who hate the One-and-Only Living God.

That is all that I have to say at this given time. Please follow along with me as I study my books and write about what I learn. If it pleases God, maybe some genuine GOOD will come from this blog.

*All articles pertaining United Kingdom items, located in the USA, are still on here. Please ignore or peruse them as you will. The focus of the blog has shifted toward biblical studies.


How Anglo Saxon’s Éarendel Inspired J.R.R. Tolkien’s Eärendil

Eärendil

Eärendil was a mariner
that tarried in Arverenien;
he built a boat of timber felled
in Nimbrethil to journey in…

~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring (1994)

Clarification for all readers who have yet to read The Silmarillion, including myself, is here required: The character Eärendil, of whom the star of Eärendil was named, appeared in J.R.R. Tolkien Elvish mythology, and received much reference elsewhere for genealogy purposes. Below, I have consolidated the information from three sources, detailing how an Anglo-Saxon poem inspired J.R.R. Tolkien’s Eärendil and all that the character embodied.

When Eärendil First Appeared to J.R.R. Tolkien as Éarendel




In reading Humphrey Carpenter’s biography on J.R.R. Tolkien, I stumbled across a name which rung a familiar tune. The name was Éarendel. Found in the Anglo-Saxon religious poems, entitled the Crist of Cynewulf, Éarendel was the one significant Anglo-Saxon influence of only a spare few Anglo-Saxon influences seen in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-Earth. And what Tolkien drew and created from this inspiration formed the significance behind Elrond, Ruler of Rivendell, and all his kindred.

But let me not jump ahead. First, an explanation on how young Ronald Tolkien found this name: It happened during Tolkien’s time spent studying at Oxford University. In-between his lengthy essay writings, he took some time to delve more deeply into “the West Midland dialect in Middle English,” as described in Humphrey Carpenter’s J.R.R. Tolkien: a biography (2000, p. 72). When he read the Cynewulf lines, he felt an awakening, or something more akin to an enlivenment of his inner imaginative being.

Eärendil Origins As Seen in the Meaning Behind Éarendel




The Cynewulf lines contained definite religious context, explaining why Ronald Tolkien interpreted Éarendel as symbolizing John the Baptist, the prophet proclaiming the coming of Jesus Christ. However, as Carpenter discovered from his own research on J.R.R. Tolkien, the up-and-coming scholar and author “believed that ‘Éarendel’ had originally been the name for the star presaging the dawn, that is, Venus” (Biography, 2000, p. 72). To decipher the certain meaning behind the possibly-Germanic-origin name is presumably impossible, as noted in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien (2000).

Both interpretation and personal belief scream out the origins behind Tolkien’s Eärendil. Because Eärendil had an Elvish mother and a Mortal father, he would father children who could choose immortality or mortality. An Elf species, such as the half-elf Elrond, that could choose Middle-Earth over the voyage into the immortal land. The clearest example existed in Elrond choosing to voyage to the next land, while his daughter, Arwen, chose mortality to stay behind with Aragorn.

As for Eärendil being exiled to shine brightly as a star, representing to all as a beacon of hope…. Well, I would think the connection to J.R.R. Tolkien’s astronomical belief about Éarendel representing Venus – a star to the earth, for all intent and purposes – to be evident.

How J.R.R. Tolkien Used Eärendil, Seen in a Christian Perspective




For those who haven’t made the connection yet, Éarendel is the same name as Eärendil, only the latter is in the Elvish language. One language, I’ve heard, of the 10 or 12 languages that Tolkien created. Along with creating languages, Tolkien used Christian theology, in an uncommon way, to portray faithful Christians in their walk with God in The Lord of the Rings. An example in mind is Tolkien’s idea of both immortality and mortality being gifts from the One God.

Though J.R.R. Tolkien is known for his devoutness to God, a note in The Letters teased that the idea of mortality being a Godly gift is nothing but ‘bad theology.’ However, in continuing to read this particular letter, the reader learns about how Tolkien desired to show the beauty in Christians staying faithful to God and practicing His Will, while still living on earth.

Then comes the symbolism where Eärendil shines as the brightest star: The star gives Men, Elves, and all the good species hope for a brighter future, free from the slavery to darkness. Much like how John the Baptist gave the hope of Christ to a dying world, enslaved to sin.

Concluding Thoughts on J.R.R. Tolkien’s Eärendil




I, too, can appreciate the phonetic beauty in both names, Éarendel and Eärendil. This appreciation led to a discovery on how J.R.R. Tolkien truly tied his epic fantasy to Catholicism, and on how Christians ought to live during their time on earth. But much more symbolism lies in wait, I am sure, of what Christian living ought to look like. And with that, I hope to make deeper connections with the Holy Bible itself.

Please feel free to comment below. This is a study in progress, and all helpful commentary is gladly welcomed. Thank you for reading, and I hope you will join me as the journey through Middle-Earth continues.

Or, start on this journey’s beginning here.

Title picture as seen in Peter Jackson’s The Fellowship of the Ring, found at Movie Screencaps.com.


Bibliography
  1. Humphrey Carpenter J.R.R. Tolkien: a biography. Great Britain: Houghton Mifflin, 2000.
  2. Humphrey Carpenter and Christopher Tolkien The Letter of J.R.R. Tolkien. Great Britain: Houghton Mifflin, 2000.
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien The Lord of the Rings. Great Britain: HarperCollinsPublishers, 1994.

J.R.R. Tolkien’s Early Years – The Lord of the Rings Backed with Cornerstones

J.R.R. Tolkien's early years




Everyone with even a slight interest in the man behind The Lord of the Rings knows J.R.R. Tolkien became, and remained, a devout Catholic all his life. Don and Author, J.R.R. Tolkien’s early years provide hints as to why he took this scholarly and literary path in life. As to his success in these pursuits, little need be said.

The third book I’ve picked up, to learn more about this great Christian Author, is Humphrey Carpenter’s biography on J.R.R. Tolkien. More questions arose in my mind about the literary giant’s parents, and how their behaviors and decisions influenced J.R.R. Tolkien for the long term. I will detail the most obvious influences, as much for my benefit, as for any young person who has yet to learn about the Most Influential Fantasy Author of this age.

J.R.R. Tolkien’s Early Years – Why Hobbits Enjoy English Countrysides




Soon after young J.R.R. Tolkien turned four-years-old, his father passed away from rheumatic fever. Therefore, his mother, Mabel Tolkien, was forced to take charge for her two sons, Ronald (as J.R.R. Tolkien was then called) and Hilary. After many months of staying with her family, Mabel finally found an affordable spot in Sarhole, the English countryside.

Author Humphrey Carpenter emphasized the strong impact this move made on J.R.R. Tolkien and his imagination. He went on to describe how young Tolkien and his younger brother would trespass on their neighbors properties, including local farms. Memories from these times must have influenced J.R.R. Tolkien in writing The Fellowship of the Ring. Or, at the very least, it influenced the film makers. Merely consider how Merry Brandybuck and Pippin Took joined Frodo and Sam, as they travelled to Rivendell, from the following quote:

An old farmer who once chased Ronald for picking mushrooms was given the nickname ‘the Black Ogre’ by the boys.
~ Humphrey Carpenter, as found in J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography

J.R.R. Tolkien’s Early Years – How Middle Earth’s Languages Were Born




Ever since Mabel first began to teach her sons, Ronald showed an enthusiastic interest in linguistics. Enthusiasm, and to emphasize an obvious point, GREAT aptitude. Word meanings, as well as word sounds, fascinated Ronald. And he brought this fascination with him to King Edward’s School, where he added on to his Latin, French, and English language skills.

To connect this with The Lord of the Rings requires no effort at all. Everyone who has read the books, and/or seen Peter Jackson’s movies, knows about the Elvish language. The language that J.R.R. Tolkien created himself. And, as I recently learned in my studies about the man, the Elvish language was only one of many. One of 14, was it? I will find out for certain later.

J.R.R. Tolkien’s Early Years –  Why The Lord of the Rings Contains Many Christian Values




In my last article about The Lord of the Rings, many readers made the assumption that I assumed Tolkien’s great work lacked in Christian principle and meaning. This is false, for I have read and heard the Holy Bible many times, and I have a fair understanding about what the Christian values are (though, Christian values in regards to Catholicism, and all the meaning behind it, I am completely ignorant of). And, having read both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, I can see where the values and principles apply.

J.R.R. Tolkien’s early years ended up containing much family drama, especially in regards to religion and death. Mabel Tolkien and her sister, May Incledon, both decided to become Catholic and receive instruction, around the time Ronald entered his school years. The predominantly Baptist Tolkien relations, and Mabel’s Unitarian father, were outraged. And much funding that Mabel relied on was suddenly cut.

Suffering both from financial hardships and diabetes, Mabel crossed over to be at peace with Our Father in Heaven in year 1904. She left Ronald and Hilary orphaned at the tender ages of 12 and 10. Thus, her passing solidified J.R.R. Tolkien’s love for linguistics and Catholicism, and his love for her and all she did for her children.

J.R.R. Tolkien’s Early Years – In Summary




I pray that I have done J.R.R. Tolkien justice, based on what I have written so far. I intend to learn a great man’s mind, and attempt to share what I learn with my peers. My apologies for upsetting many readers with my previous article. It surely was close-minded and presumptive.

Humphrey Carpenter has so far written plainly and comprehensively on J.R.R. Tolkien’s early years, and I can’t wait to read more! I see where humanity’s fallen nature affected the Tolkien family, but what more can we expect from people who walked the earth? I shall not cast the first stone, for I am not without sin.

Title picture as seen in Peter Jackson’s The Fellowship of the Ring, found at Movie Screencaps.com.



Origins Behind Tolkien’s Fantasy Lay Within Myth and an Avid Imagination

origins behind tolkien's fantasy




Please forgive me for the last anecdotal article, as some Facebook Group individual has labeled it. And, allow me to mention some very enlightening information, provided to me from a different Facebook Group individual. An individual with far more advanced research on my blog’s present topic.

The material comes straight from J.R.R. Tolkien. Though the Inkling author wrote this material for over half-a-century, he never finished it. However, thanks to his son, Christopher Tolkien, we can read some about Tolkien’s symbolism as found in his posthumously published work, The Silmarillion.

Origins Behind Tolkien’s Fantasy: What I Expected




What I expected, really, is irrelevant. For, it merely seemed like an extensively thought-out history of a boy’s imagined fairy-land and people. And, it is. But there is so much more!

Contained within The Silmarillion‘s preface, a letter from J.R.R. Tolkien to Milton Waldman in 1951, there exist the admitted origins behind Tolkien’s Fantasy. And they are not what the average run-of-the-mill Christian is led to believe. Below, I provided two quotes that indicate something surprising about J.R.R. Tolkien and his lifelong work. Something he would later regret, and come to change.

Origins Behind Tolkien’s Fantasy:  Written to Trick and Mislead



On the side of mere narrative device, this is, of course, meant to provide beings of the same order of beauty, power, and majesty as the ‘gods’ of higher mythology, which can yet be accepted – well, shall we say baldly, by a mind that believes in the Blessed Trinity.
~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion

Does this written sentence sound devious to anyone other than me? If objects like romanced monsters, like Frankenstein’s monster, were looked down upon as poor literature, then writing about mythological gods definitely would have been considered in a poor light. Did J.R.R. Tolkien understand this when it came to publishing his childhood fantasies?

As far as I have heard, people throughout all the Christian first-world countries began to neglect their Christian backgrounds after the World Wars, especially WWII. And, if people neglected their upbringing in Christian beliefs, then Faith in “the Blessed Trinity” would diminish also. Though I will refrain from discussing it here, I have read some into J.R.R. Tolkien’s love and religious life. How much emotional trauma did he endure to suffer in the trials of his Faith? To seemingly merely appease the Christians in his life?

Origins Behind Tolkien’s Fantasy:  Something Like Sacrilege in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Letter



Of course there was and is all the Arthurian world, but powerful as it is, it is imperfectly naturalized, associated with the soil of Britain but not with English; and does not replace what I felt to be missing. For one thing its ‘faerie’ is too lavish, and fantastical, incoherent and repetitive. For another and more important thing: it is involved in, and explicitly contains the Christian religion.
~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion

The writer goes on to speak about how modern authors, in writing about allegory and mythology, should avoid ‘real’ modern-day symbology. He even explicitly emphasized to refrain from referring to the Christian religion. Though, pre-Christian, pagan day symbology was perfectly acceptable. Consequentially he used much Norse mythology, linguistic inspiration, and more content from age-old religions.

Outrageous! To thus criticize those who openly share their faith through their writing seems morally wrong to me. And, since Tolkien’s good friend, C.S. Lewis, wrote about what a popular YouTube video called his Jesus Lion in Narnia, then the rift between the most beloved Inkling members is perfectly understood! Whoa, there, calm down, Mary. Tolkien had his fallacies just like everyone else.

Origins Behind Tolkien’s Fantasy:  The Summarization




So, in reading the preface to The Silmarillion, I have learned that J.R.R. Tolkien didn’t base everything in Middle Earth on the Faith and Belief in Christianity. While he may have sought to include more on One True God and His righteousness into his fantasy in later years, the origins behind Tolkien’s fantasy lay in paganism.

Conclusively – oh! One thing more! According to Tolkien in his note to his friend, the Elves more closely resembled the angels. Not necessarily the angels as heard about in the Holy Bible, but angels of Tolkien’s variety. And if Gandalf was an “incarnate angel,” then he served the mythological gods, and not the “‘real’ world” Christian God.

Please don’t come away from this blog post with the impression that our beloved J.R.R. Tolkien now exists in the underworld. I believe he’s finally at peace with our Lord and Savior in Heaven, but it proves an excellent point: We see what we want to see.

Tolkien’s genius still fools some of us simpletons, especially me! But, then again, was God working through Tolkien, to speak to an ever-growing Atheist world about the beauty in the Christian walk? It is said J.R.R. Tolkien believed it to be so, and he proudly carried the torch onward in later years.

Title picture as seen in Peter Jackson’s The Fellowship of the Ring, found at Movie Screencaps.com.



* A large Thank You belongs to those who are continuing to teach me on Tolkien’s inspirations. And I, as the writer, beg for the reader’s patience as I learn about Tolkien’s great worth as both a Christian and an Author.

Symbolism Behind Gandalf: The Debate About Wizards and Angels

Symbolism behind Gandalf

Symbolism Behind Gandalf: The Background




English 101, a requirement for this particular religious university. An attractive female professor taught the class, barely older than her students, and a complete fantasy nerd. What does she give for her students to research and debate about? Either The Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter, asking which contains stronger meaning and symbolism.

Students were required to make a five minute speech about their chosen topic, and answer any questions which their fellow students had about their speech.

Symbolism Behind Gandalf: The Set-Up




First day of speech and debate, and a teenager, as sweet and shy as she was tall and lanky, took stage. She influenced nobody. Her audience, whether action-driven The Lord of the Rings (LOTR) fans or geeky, wanna-be-a-wizard Harry Potter fans, already had their minds set. And she was too hesitant and receding to sway anyone.

What did she argue? According to her research, and according to her religious parents and teachers from her high school years, LOTR far outdid Harry Potter in everything good and right. The Boy Who Lived dealt in nothing good, for it developed from Wicca.

Symbolism Behind Gandalf: The Question




I could hardly stomach her judgment on Harry Potter. To say something to bring her down felt like a necessity, not a personal inclination. So, being the even-more hesitant and shy Harry Potter nerd, I posed her the one question that I could think of as a flaw in her argument:

“If anything with wizards and magic is so distasteful and disreputed, then why did J.R.R. Tolkien include wizards in his Middle Earth?” The hesitance in my voice didn’t match the swelling anger in my heart, and I waited with bated breath.

Symbolism Behind Gandalf: The Answer




Miss Tall and Lanky seemed afraid when I raised my hand. But, when she heard my question, some confidence filled her person. Effusing sweetness and gentleness, she answered:

“J.R.R. Tolkien didn’t write in the wizards to represent magic and witchcraft. The wizards actually symbolized God’s angels. Does that make sense?”

Symbolism Behind Gandalf: The Reality




At the time, I merely mumbled in agreeable understanding, seething in my heart at having failed to defend Harry Potter. But now, having finished the Harry Potter series, and having set it aside for several years, my interest in the Inklings  and their works piqued. C.S. Lewis might have started me in studying theology, but J.R.R. Tolkien and his symbolism now appears in a new light to me.

Miss Tall and Lanky had argued a beautifully true and honest point, regarding J.R.R. Tolkien and his use of symbolism. Her faith at that age allowed her to see it, whereas at that age I was still lost and unable to see. But, please don’t just take my word for it. Let’s look at how Gandalf spoke and behaved within the first two chapters in The Fellowship of the Ring.

 Symbolism Behind Gandalf: The Strong, Yet Subtle, Meaning




Take the small speech from Gandalf, as he tried to comfort Frodo about holding the One Ring. It’s meaning struck me as plainly as a child throwing her toy at me. But J.R.R. Tolkien explained it in better words in The Fellowship of the Ring:

‘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 its maker. In which case you also were meant to have it. And that may be an encouraging thought.’

Gandalf spoke the above words to Frodo, as Frodo lamented over having hold on the most dangerous thing imaginable. The indication of a stronger, more powerful force is now clear to me, as it had been clear to the other student all those years ago. And its subtlety, based on the alludence to naming the good force, more clearly indicates something real in J.R.R. Tolkien’s world, such as his belief in the holiness in Christ Jesus and His power over all things.

Symbolism Behind Gandalf: The Final Conclusion




Gandalf seemed to represent God’s angels in other ways in these first chapters of The Fellowship of the Ring.  His watching over Frodo’s well-being represents guardianship. His roaming Middle Earth to help find answers to present oddities much represented to me how God’s angels roam the earth to help humanity fight the evil forces. And more examples will appear later in the series showing the symbolism behind Gandalf.

Ultimately, the other student was mostly right in her argument, at least in regards to the symbolism in The Lord of the Rings. Seeing as she had never read Harry Potter, she remained in the dark to that series’s great qualities. But, as my readers and I go through J.R.R. Tolkien’s most popular series, I hope to be able to learn and share more about the hidden meaning behind the text.

Title picture as seen in Peter Jackson’s The Fellowship of the Ring, found at Movie Screencaps.com.

J.R.R. Tolkien’s Hobbits Resembled Men in Decades Past

Tolkien's Hobbits resembled men in decades past



Some will probably roll their eyes at this title. After huffing in annoyance, they will say, “J.R.R. Tolkien incorporated men as men in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Hobbits are part of the fantasy.” This is how it seems to them. Those of us who have dwelled a bit longer in Tolkien’s Middle Earth see things differently. For, we see how Tolkien’s Hobbits resembled men in decades past.

But, don’t take my word for it. Take a look at what the author had to say about the matter himself:

It is plain indeed that in spite of later estrangement Hobbits are relatives of ours: far nearer to us than Elves, or even than Dwarves. Of old they spoke the languages of Men, after their own fashion, and liked and disliked much the same things as Men did. But what exactly our relationship is can no longer be discovered.
~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

How Tolkien’s Hobbits Resembled Men in Decades Past – Prologue



The above quote came from the second page in The Fellowship of the Ring. Now, I could relist all the characteristics Tolkien used to describe the Hobbits, comparing them to mankind’s characteristics. However, that seems redundant. So, I will settle with brief descriptions and outlines from the prologue and first chapter.

Without farmers, mankind would cease to exist. Farmers work hard, love to see things grow, and are skilled with farming equipment. Traveling back through time would reveal how vital growing grains, vegetables, fruits, and animals were to everyone who wished to get by in relative comfort. The average modern American man forgets the farmer’s vitality.  However, Tolkien did not, as can be seen in his garden-loving Hobbits.


Other ways in which Tolkien’s Hobbits resembled men in decades past exist in the various Hobbit races. Though America is quickly turning into the biggest melting pot imaginable, where children are born with fair eastern skin tones and flaming red hair, it did not begin this way. Most of mankind’s recorded history reported various races and cultures amongst the earth’s populations, other than Adam and Eve. Hobbits are the same.

As for the story regarding how Bilbo Baggins acquired the One Ring and all his fame and fortune, that is for another tale. We will explore with Tolkien’s Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit in another series. For a quick reminder, merely pick up The Fellowship of the Ring and read the last part in the prologue!

How Tolkien’s Hobbits Resembled Men in Decades Past – Chapter One: A Long-Expected Party



J.R.R. Tolkien’s Hobbits resembled men in decades past (and, to be completely honest, even more so in modern men) in their less desirable qualities, as well. And, when I say less desirable qualities, I mean the sinful nature common to all mankind. For even the Hobbits had some less than admirable characteristics.

Reading through the first chapter brings a certain Hobbit name forefront to the mind when thinking about lesser qualities: The name is Sackville-Bagginses. When Bilbo Baggins told stories about these disliked relatives, there always seemed to exist a strong aura of greed, theft, selfishness, hatred, and discontent. Much like past and current men and women throughout the world.



Oh? Might someone disagree with me about having disagreeable qualities in his or her nature? To each his own faith and religion. As for me, I shall adhere to the belief that everyone will die for their sins, but Christ can save us all if we only believe.

There also existed in the Hobbits a strong sense of xenophobia (i.e. the fear of strangers). Throughout the years, the Hobbits withdrew, slowly but surely, from the Middle Earth’s Men, Elves, Dwarves, and other creatures. They even grew suspicious, doubtful, and presumptuous toward their own Hobbit races. Why did the Sackville-Bagginses distrust and dislike the Brandybucks? I have no clue, other than their being distrustful and dislikable themselves.

How Tolkien’s Hobbits Resembled Men in Decades Past – To Be Continued…



This short article is by no means a comprehensive look at how J.R.R. Tolkien’s Hobbits resembled men in decades past! As the story continues, I along with fellow fans and readers will learn to see how the Hobbits exhibit mannerisms and qualities, both loveable and dislikeable, similar to humans. However, to see the similarities properly, one might need a PalantÍr Stone or the Mirror of Galadriel.

Please continue with me as I move forward through The Lord of the Rings trilogy once more! I shall do my best to read other interpretations and gather all the cohesive thoughts on the beloved books. If you think I’m too off point, please tell me your thoughts in the comments below!


Honesty is the Best Policy – Our Mothers and J.R.R. Tolkien are Agreed

honesty




My first job taught me how to lie. I needed to be “Good” and “Great” when someone asked after me. Honesty was irrelevant to them. Therefore, I learned to say “Good. How about you?” Even on my worst days, I replied positively.

Frodo Baggins, in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Two Towers, must have learned the same lesson. For when Faramir, son of Denethor II, learned about these two hobbits holding the One Ring, he thought of only what his father told him to do. And, though Frodo tried to stop him, the hobbits held their tongues (at first!) about the One Ring’s power. This was a mistake.

Some Background on Why the Hobbits Abstained from Honesty




Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee had already undergone many trials because of the One Ring. And the trials came in many forms. Frodo suffered psychologically, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Sam, who chose to stay with Frodo whether Gandalf ordered him to or not, suffered in a different way. He suffered because he saw his friend suffering.

Despite the pain, Frodo and Sam knew they needed to destroy the One Ring. To destroy it at any cost. Gandalf had also warned them against peoples, especially among Orcs, Nazgul, and Men, who would try to take the ring. The steward of Gondor was one such man. He sent out his eldest son, Boromir, to obtain the One Ring.

Everyone in the original Fellowship knew how the One Ring drove Boromir mad, driving him to his death.  Though, no one knew better than Frodo and Sam. For this reason, knowing what the ring did to Men, Frodo and Sam tried to hide the One Ring from Faramir. And when that failed, to at least hide the dishonor that befell Boromir. But, because they hid the truth, Faramir almost suffered the same fate as his brother.

How Honesty Saved Good Men and Hobbits from Harm




Truth has the ability to strike hard and brutal blows to men’s egos, emotions, and intellect. As a result, many people choose to live, and to allow others to live, in ignorance. However, individuals who choose to overcome pain, learn to recognize evil, and fight to obtain righteousness will receive blessings from God.

For example, because Frodo and Sam knew how the One Ring brought men into madness, they withheld information from Faramir. For these two good hobbits failed to recognize the fellow desire for righteousness and peace in Faramir, a good and strong captain. And because Faramir dealt mostly with scathing and manipulative orcs, he didn’t know whether to trust these hobbits from the Shire. All three had fallen into spiritual darkness.



But this did not last. First, Samwise brought the truth to light. Shouting at Faramir, Samwise made known Boromir’s fall into madness when he tried to take the One Ring. He pointed to Frodo’s own  struggles with evil and madness while carrying the ring to its destruction. Soon thereafter, Faramir witnessed Frodo’s struggles when Frodo tried to give the One Ring to the Nazgul.

Faramir had great intelligence, greater than either his father or his brother. Merely hearing about the One Ring’s evil, and seeing Frodo’s struggle, alerted Faramir to the importance in destroying Sauron’s ring. He chose to face his father’s wrath, to risk death in seemingly impossible fighting conditions, and to allow Frodo, Sam, and even Smeagol to carry on into Mordor. He chose the hard road, the painful road, for the sake of righteousness. And it was all because Sam spoke honestly.

Honesty Brings Benefits to Hobbits and Humans Alike




Americans today, and I imagine UK citizens as well, live in a society where hard work and honesty are frequently punished. For greed and avarice drive many wills and many governments into evil practices that give to the lazy and the selfish and take from the honest and the hard workers. Christians have reason to shrug this horrible truth from their shoulders.

God’s Word speaks about rewarding believers who work diligently. And those who pray and ask God for help will receive, as long as their will aligns with God’s will. Therefore, if Christians give their time, love, and money to God, then they don’t need to worry about being able to pay all their bills. For God will provide to those who are faithful.

The same is true for other good things. If Christians desire and ask for peace, God will calm their hearts amidst life’s storms. Because, like Faramir, we must battle for righteousness in a fallen world. Scripture says wars will always exist, without ever ceasing. So, we must wait for Christ Jesus’s return for everlasting peace. But! That does not mean that we cannot fight the good fight, speaking honestly and upholding righteousness, in pursuit of God’s glory filling all the earth!



Reckless Hate Follows Us All – Lessons Learned from The Two Towers

reckless hate

Reckless hate exists in every political party, people group, and family unit. A fact clearly portrayed when the Uruk-hai attacked the Rohan people in Peter Jackson’s The Two Towers. King Theoden, dazed at the amount of death amongst his people, knew the folly and helplessness amongst the peoples of Middle-earth:

What can Men do against such reckless hate?
~ King Theoden of Rohan (The Two Towers, 2002)

Sauron’s Reckless Hate and Men’s Weakness in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth




In this grand utterance, both horrific and true, King Theoden summarized the problem among Middle-earth’s inhabitants. All the various Orcs, Trolls, Nazgul, and Fighting Breeds followed Sauron. This dark lord dominated half of Middle-earth’s creatures, filling them with the desire to kill and squander, but he wanted dominion over all the land. No Man, Hobbit, Elf, Wizard, or Dwarf was safe.

The Elves had their own power, and used their power to resist the evil and flee the land. Wizards chose either good or evil, and Dwarves and Hobbits resisted Sauron so as to keep living as they chose to live. But Men on Middle-earth were easily swayed between the hope for peace and the desire for power. Consequently, they either fell prey to their evil desires, or died trying to fight against them.

What Reckless Hate Symbolized in J.R.R. Tolkien’s World




To put it plainly, J.R.R. Tolkien could have easily been describing two real-life, evil forces when he wrote about the wars between Sauron’s forces and the other peoples in Middle-earth. The first example Tolkien may have used was Germany and Russia in World War I (WWI). The second, Satan and the sinful human nature.

Everyone who has taken high school history knows the atrocities from the World Wars. Though Hitler hadn’t risen to power yet in WWI, his country and Russia behaved just as savagely in fighting for dominion over the other European countries. How Germany bombed London, scaring the citizens and causing them to send their children north, would be enough to cause any English boy to think of Germany as the ultimate evil, domineering force.

I may think too highly about the power behind spiritual enemies, but the devil and the sinful human nature could have certainly influenced Tolkien, as well. Spiritual darkness certainly influences men to war with each other. So, reckless hate could very well describe the constant war, between God and Satan, for human souls. And it is the Christians who stand up and fight the good fight. The unbelievers, filled with hate for what all Christians believe, fight against us.

What To Do About the Reckless Hate in the Real World




Terrorist groups and other violent organizations run around the world, bringing destruction to everything they hate. And American teachers tell us to sit back and “respect their religion.” This makes me seethe with anger. Why? Because no one, since I was a child until now, has ever respected my beliefs as a Christian. My faith receives more hatred and disrespect than any other. So, why must I learn to accept and respect other religions?

Christians are told to live with peace with everyone, as much as they can. Otherwise, as Aragorn said to King Theoden, let us ride out. Let us fight for what we believe in, upholding what is good and right and just. Otherwise, the reckless hate in this world will overrun us, trample us, and kill us. If not literally, then it will certainly kill us figuratively.

J.R.R. Tolkien understood the importance in fighting for a good cause. And while we argue about what the good cause is, we should never fight each other for it. Respect each other and love each other whenever possible. Our beliefs may collide, and we may never learn to accept what someone else believes, but we all should aim for life, and for peace.