Lord of the Rings, Perspective on Life, and Understanding the Bible

Dinner Talk Topics for Friday

Lord of the Rings, Perspective on Life, and Understanding the Bible

keyoldBlessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. ~Matthew 13:16


Eyes That Know What to Look For

lord-of-the-rings-wall-elven-wordsScriptures, like life, can be puzzling. In The Lord of the Rings, author Tolkien deliberately places a riddle. Like the characters here, we, too, are often compelled to think before we can progress.

Frodo and his friends come to a set of doors through which they must pass to proceed on their way. In plain sight on the door are the words, “Speak, friend, and enter.” They try to decide what word they are to speak, so that they may enter. Gandalf the wizard assures them they can figure it out, if they only have eyes that know what to look for.

They each bring different approaches to the problem-solving process. Merry seeks further information. Gimli the dwarf draws on previous experience. Frodo reflects on his education. Gandalf exercises his expert training, seeks a more subtle meaning, and pauses to ponder the problem. Boromir complains.

Jesus-bcome-disciple-lds-churchThis is a similitude to unlocking the door to meaning in the scriptures. Because of the perilous times in which He lived, the Savior spoke in parables. Each parable was simple yet masterful, woven with many layers of meaning. The meaning grasped depended entirely upon the heart condition of the hearer. People from many different backgrounds came to listen, and their interpretations could be as numerous and diverse as they themselves were.

Jesus, too, used key words as a signal that He had a message for those among His listeners who were prepared to receive it. The clue was simply, “he that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”

If you have eyes that know what to look for, you will always be rewarded when you search the scriptures— not only with important clues, but with messages that speak to your heart and bless your life.

Another clue in searching the scriptures is found in types. Types are defined as “actual objects, events, people, or rituals that teach spiritual truths about Jesus Christ and the eternal plan of God. [1]When you read the scriptures seeking these types or patterns, you will have eyes that know what to look for. These types will not only unlock the powerful relevance of the scriptures in our day, but also repeatedly verify their truthfulness. You will see how epic heroes in the scriptures resolved both personal relationship challenges and the perplexities of national leadership. This understanding can empower you to respond with comparable nobility to modern challenges as well.

Dinner Talk Topics

Eyes That Know What to Look For

dinnerAn example from Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings illustrates different approaches to problem-solving. *Problem-solving, Literature, Parables

  1. How do parables inspire people to make righteous choices?
  2. Why do parables have universal appeal?
  3. Why was the Savior’s use of parables so effective?
  4. Malcolm Muggeridge said, “All happenings great and small are parables whereby God speaks. The art of life is to get the message.” How do types in the scriptures and patterns in history help us understand life’s parables?

Copyright © 2010 by C.A. Davidson

[1] T.R. Valletta

One comment on “Lord of the Rings, Perspective on Life, and Understanding the Bible

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