Dec 20, 2012

Finding God in The Hobbit, by Jim Ware

Dreams, fears, pleasures, laughter, God’s unexpected intervention, endurance, tried patience, kindness and dependence on God continually weave together to shape our lives; through them, we learn dependence on God - which should prevail despite any circumstances.  Bilbo’s adventure in Middle Earth is no exception, and his journey is Jim Ware’s illustration of the latter.

In the prologue, the author explains that this book is the result of his own reflections on “The Hobbit,” which eventually took him back to God, the one who has made his life meaningful by giving it a purpose, just as Bilbo’s life, through the fulfillment of his purpose, found its true meaning.

The chapters have a simple and straightforward format.  First, there is an extract from “The Hobbit,” which is followed by an analytical description of the approach and attitude towards God that can be found in several people in the Bible.  As a valuable token, each chapter is closed with a simple and deep statement that summarizes the spiritual lesson we can learn from Bilbo’s own path.  

Despite the simplicity of the format, the deep and transcendental insights of each chapter are worthy to be savored slowly, even more than once.  This is one of the few books that have stirred in me the wish to reread chapters and paragraphs, even sentences…  

Moreover, the richness of the words Mr. Ware uses is rarely found in today’s popular literature, making this a delightful read for anyone who appreciates the vast possibilities of a higher linguistic register.  Precisely because of this, I would definitely recommend this book as a teaching tool in any literature or applied theology class; it is well worth the experience. Besides this, his numerous end notes and bibliography will prove to be good references. I can also picture this book being used as a devotional, particularly by those who like Tolkien or this kind of stories.  

And just like the author himself states, this book describes a journey of spiritual discovery, but is not the decisive authority on the matter, very probably the reason why Bible quotes and principles are present throughout the book.  It is his way of writing about how the great Author of life is always shaping our path.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers, in exchange for an honest review.  This has not biased my opinion.

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