Keller on Tolkien

In a recent interview Timothy Keller said the following about J.R.R. Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings:

Tolkien has helped my imagination. He was a devout Catholic — and I am not. However, because he brought his faith to bear into narrative, fiction, and literature, his Christianity — which was pretty ‘mere Christianity’ (understanding of human sin, need for grace, need for redemption) — fleshed out in fiction, has been an inspiration to me.

What I mean by inspiration is this: he gives me a way of grasping glory that would otherwise be hard for me to appreciate. Glory, weightiness, beauty, excellence, brilliance, virtue — he shows them to you in some of his characters.

When people ask: how often have you read Lord of the Rings?, the answer is: I actually never stop. I’m always in it.

As an aside, if you’d like to purchase a copy of LOTR, an edition that will withstand repeated use, Westminster Books now carries a gorgeously illustrated box set. I bought two sets last week and was really impressed with the quality. Find details here.

4 thoughts on “Keller on Tolkien

  1. LOTR is an awesome trilogy. I read it at least once a year, because it captures something – something maybe pure, or higher than life is for us now. I wouldn’t say it captures ‘heaven’, but it certainly is a wholesome book. If only more could be like it!

  2. Hello Dave! Yes, the pages are thick, bright white, and glossy. I like it–although I can see why some readers would prefer a muted pulp paper. As for the binding, they are sewn strongly. It really is a beautiful set imho.

  3. I don’t know if you have heard the unabridged audio version of this, narrated by Rob Inglis, but it is *exceptional*. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about listening to someone narrate it, but after the first hour or so I started thinking, “I wonder if this is what the voice in Tolkien’s head sounded like when he wrote this!?” I am almost through the first book and enjoying it immensely. It has been a wonderful way to spend my commute time as well as the two days I was sick in bed with the flu. I cannot recommend it highly enough!

    Blessings,
    Simple Mann

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