Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Book Review: The Spiritual World of the Hobbit

Book Overview:
The huge success of the first of The Hobbit movies has added to Tolkien's already enormous popularity. As fans eagerly await part two of the trilogy, they will be excited to find out all they can about the spiritual themes in the story's mythological world. This book explores good versus evil in Tolkien's writings, the spiritual quest of Bilbo Baggins, the guiding hand of God's providence, and much more. The author specializes in taking complex topics in religion and literature and making them accessible to every reader. A great gift for Tolkien book and movie fans.

My review:    Have you ever walked past a window of a store and looked in, walked by then stopped, turned around and walked back to get a better look?  That's THIS book.

It's a book that will make you say hmmmmm.   Why?

It's colorful yet complex.
It's whimsical yet spiritual.
It's masterfully crafted.

Page after page you realize that this author has done his homework.   The reflection of his thoughts, ideas and proposals on The Hobitt from a spiritual perspective is unique, witty and thought provoking.   I know you might be thinking elves, goblins, dragons - that's mythology, not spirituality!  However, a closer look under the pages of the artfully crafted cover gives you so much more to read.  While it helps to have a basic familiarity with the original Hobbit by Tolkien and /or it's characters, Bell gives a new perspective by introducing a spiritual twist.  He reminds us that at times, key things to consider are like Bilbao - have a strong moral compass and a strong character.   He reminds us that they remain constant - it's who they are and how they think, much like many passages in the New Testament have shown us.   One key point that stood out for me - Leadership = Courage.  Well, AMEN I say!  Being a leader is perfecting an existing craft, one we can learn from.  Bilbao is no Abraham - or Noah, or Joseph per se - but the premise that we can all take that journey towards betterment, seeking, finding .... to seek for a truth or justice for the greater of all is certainly a message worth journeying towards.

Truly a different yet refreshing read, one that has been a long time in coming.  This book is not a light book.  It will make you think.  You may have to back up and re-read passages again.   Grab your favorite pen.  Or highlighter.  Take notes.  You'll be glad you did.

4/5 stars!  
Reviewed by:  Kelly Santi

*Disclaimer:  I received this book for an honest review from Bethany House, a division of the Baker Publishing Group and was not required to write a positive review.  Any reflection of such is my own.

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