An Encouraging Book
How Tolkien's Lord of the Rings Saved Me
by Donald T. Williams
I first read The Lord of the Rings in the summer of 1968, the summer between my junior and senior years of high school. (I will never forget the chills running down my spine like the large, black, and angry summer thunderstorm that was rolling toward me across the Georgia piedmont as I first encountered the Black Riders.) I checked the hardback volumes out of the library and devoured every page, including every last word of the appendices. My very next act after that was to buy the old Ballantine paperbacks (which cost a whopping 95 cents each at the time) and repeat the process.
I have read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings annually ever since (missing only a couple of years), and The Silmarillion several times as well. The only book to which I have devoted more time and effort as a reader is the Bible, which I also read cover to cover annually. My fellow Christians, even those who are also fans of Tolkien, might well ask why I devote that much time to him. Here is why.
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Donald T. Williams Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus of Toccoa Falls College and the author of Deeper Magic: The Theology Behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis (Square Halo Books, 2016) and Ninety-Five Theses for a New Reformation: A Road Map for Post-Evangelical Christianity (Semper Reformanda Publications, 2021).
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