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Customer Reviews for Inter-varsity Press Tolkien's Ordinary Virtues: Exploring the Spiritual Themes of The Lord of the Rings

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Inter-varsity Press Tolkien's Ordinary Virtues: Exploring the Spiritual Themes of The Lord of the Rings

If you have read Tolkien's classic The Lord of the Rings, you know of its incredible ability to draw us into its story, into the battle between right and wrong, good and evil. And you have likely been inspired by the portrayal of various characters and their heroic actions. Mark Eddy Smith is a reader who has been dramatically impacted by Tolkien and Tolkien's characters. Smith reminds us just how good Tolkien's heroes really were, as he looks at Tolkien's insightful portrayal of 30 biblical virtues.

Though The Lord of the Rings is, indeed, myth, it is a myth truer to life than the reality many people live in. Tolkien's characters are filled with heroic, even godly, virtues like simplicity, generosity, friendship, hospitality, and faith. Smith highlights passages of The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion which portray these virtues and many others. More a lesson on applicability than an allegory, Tolkien's portrayals are the best kind of sermon, the kind that tells a story.

Smith has been captivated by Tolkien's ability to tell a true and good story, and he shares that captivation as he looks at memorable characters like Frodo Baggins, Sam Gamgee, Aragorn, and Faramir, explaining why they are so memorable. They are memorable because they are virtuous, living out goodness, simplicity, love, trust, and trustworthiness as they undertake their quest. We have much to learn from the heroes of The Lord of the Rings, and they can point us toward those truths about character and virtue found in the Bible. Smith reminds us that Tolkien was indeed shaped by his Christian faith, and his books are ample evidence of that. Let yourself be swept away by the laudable and virtuous behavior of true heroes.
Average Customer Rating:
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Customer Reviews for Tolkien's Ordinary Virtues: Exploring the Spiritual Themes of The Lord of the Rings
Review 1 for Tolkien's Ordinary Virtues: Exploring the Spiritual Themes of The Lord of the Rings
Overall Rating: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5

Getting water from rocks?

Date:September 7, 2011
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Osvaldo Cristo
Location:Itapevi, SP - Brazil
Age:45-54
Gender:male
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Although I agree with most of the points presented by the author it looked me he went beyond the reasonable in some cases introducing ideas I think are outside the scope of the Tolkien's works.
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Review 2 for Tolkien's Ordinary Virtues: Exploring the Spiritual Themes of The Lord of the Rings
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:February 2, 2010
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Gary Copping
A very good spiritual theology book. One is challenged by the LOTR characters to emulate their virtues. It puts spiritual matters in easy to understand examples.
+1point
1of 1voted this as helpful.
Review 3 for Tolkien's Ordinary Virtues: Exploring the Spiritual Themes of The Lord of the Rings
Overall Rating: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5

Date:June 5, 2009
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Susan Simon
Ordinary virtues is indeed what you get not Biblical. Things like loyalty etc. are explored but I was hoping for more direct Bible references or overall concepts and was disappointed. Many books have goodness, loyalty, honesty etc. as underlying themes. I was hoping to finally answer my questions about the direct corelation that LOTR and the Bible might have. Did not find it here.
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Review 4 for Tolkien's Ordinary Virtues: Exploring the Spiritual Themes of The Lord of the Rings
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:May 14, 2009
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Lynnmarie Couvillon
I already knew that The Lord of the Rings had many Christian connotations, but I never thought of them in the light that Mark Eddy Smith tells. It was totally awesome. I believe Mr. Smith not only understands The Lord of the Rings, but also the Lord Jesus Christ very well. A must read for all who appreciate Tolkien.
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Review 5 for Tolkien's Ordinary Virtues: Exploring the Spiritual Themes of The Lord of the Rings
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:March 27, 2009
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Mary Mccurdy
Neat book to help see the underlying themes in The Lord of the Rings. Very helpful if you are doing a unit study on the book.
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Review 6 for Tolkien's Ordinary Virtues: Exploring the Spiritual Themes of The Lord of the Rings
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:February 10, 2003
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Bradford James Zinnecker
Good work for character building based on character development!!!This book follows along with the storyline of the Lord of the Rings and is helpful in pointing out both + and - virtues within characters and/or their development of those characteristics. It might be esp. helpful to those who want to teach the books in a scholastic setting, including home schooling, so that children can see virtue in action. I would recommend it also for the person who simply wants to enjoy the epic more and see some of the thematic elements he/she might be missing.
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