I saw the third installment tonight. The triology is an awesome accomplishment, but I still liked the books better than the movie. As you may know already, the movie has generated a plethora of Christian reviews (see here for links), mostly positive. Does this strike anyone else as odd?
Sure, the books and the movies contain some obvious Christian imagery, but they also contain devil-like creatures, mystical powers, and a conspicuous absence of God. I assumed that more Christian writers would pen reviews like this:
Is the Lord of the Rings harmless fantasy or perhaps even a wholesome Christian allegory? We think not. I read The Hobbit and the three volumes of The Lord of the Rings in 1971 when I was in Vietnam with the U.S. Army. I was not saved at the time, and, in fact, I was very antagonistic to the Christian faith. Had the books contained even a hint of Bible truth, I can assure you that I would not have read them at that particular point in my life. I had forgotten many of the details of the books, so I refreshed my memory recently by going through them again. They are filled with occultic imagery, such as witches, goblins, warlocks, wizards, fairies, and such things; and though these are strongly and unconditionally condemned in the Bible, they are often portrayed as good and desirable by Tolkien. Many of the heroes of the Lord of the Rings, in fact, are wizards and witches. The books were published in inexpensive paperback editions in the late 1960s, and they became very popular with that generation of drug headed hippies.
While some Mormons probably have sympathy for such views, I suspect that most of us (certainly most of the people on this site) see such views as silly. Still, I believe that the animating force behind these views is the idea that the books and movies portray the supernatural in a manner that distorts truth. Surely, popular culture can make true religion seem silly (is the Priesthood power something akin to the power in Gandalf’s staff?). Alternatively, popular culture might encourage unrealistic beliefs that equate true religion with voodoo. Are we too complacent as we are led down the garden path to hell?