The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

“When I was ten,” wrote C.S. Lewis, “I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty [in 1952], I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.” Who could have imagined that this brilliant Oxford don would openly admit that “a children’s story is the best art-form for something you have to say”?

If I were trying to overcome your reluctance to read J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic or watch Academy Award-Winner Peter Jackson’s film, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, I would seek to persuade you by having you consider the immense value of Fairy Stories: 

  1. They enrich our minds and hearts;
  2. They challenge our worldview, and we are invited to examine our own thoughts and lives in the light of God’s eternal truths;
  3. They give us the opportunity to think analogically (to think God’s thoughts after Him) in order to interpret our lives in the light of His Word;
  4. They open our eyes to astonishing things we never expected to see in order that we may be filled with wonder;
  5. They introduce us to interesting and well-developed characters who have much to teach us about the joys and challenges of living life in a broken, fallen world;
  6. They serve us well as schools of virtue and repositories of truth; and
  7. They offer us a better understanding of our true humanity and dignity and propel us back into the full romance of living life under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

The second in a trilogy of films adapting J.R.R. Tolkien’s enduring masterpiece, The Hobbit, was released on December 13, 2013. The Desolation of Smaug continues the adventure of Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf, and thirteen dwarves on an epic quest to reclaim the lost dwarf kingdom of Eregor. If you have seen it, you may want to consider discussing the following concepts with your family and friends: enchantment, desirability and awakened desire, the need for recovery, freedom from the drab of triteness or familiarity, the potency of words, wonder, eucatastrophe, and sub-creation.    

Living in an age that has largely dismissed the cardinal virtues of goodness, beauty, and truth (in favor of inclusivism, multiculturalism, and environmentalism), how can The Hobbit refocus our attention on important themes, messages, and morals to give us a better understanding of our true humanity and dignity and propel us back into the full romance of living life in relationship with God through Christ?

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