The Battle of Worldviews: Dualism and Theism in Tolkien and Lewis

Everyone has a worldview.  And every worldview has to deal with a key issue: the origins of good and evil.  This is the perennial question of our existence and no one can escape it.  Even fictional worldviews have to account for good and evil (if they are going to make any sense).

One possibility is to suggest that there is no such thing as good and evil.  On a materialist-evolutionary worldview, where there is nothing but matter in motion, concepts like “good” and “evil” are merely human constructs.   But such a worldview leads directly to Nihilism.  We are forced to argue that the actions of people like Jerry Sandusky are …

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Lewis, Tolkien and the Phenomenon of Male Friendship

I’ve begun a new teaching series at my church entitled, “The Worlds of Lewis and Tolkien: Christian Imagery in Narnia and Middle Earth.”   As a big fan of both these authors (particularly Tolkien), it has been a pleasure exploring anew how Christ is represented in their fictional works.

One thing that has struck me in my background reading is the unique friendship shared by Lewis and Tolkien, particularly as it was manifested in the regular meetings of the “Inklings.”   Indeed, it was this friendship that not only led to Lewis’ conversion, but also was the context in which they developed many of their ideas that later appear in their fictional …

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Review of New Book, Did God Really Say?

In a prior blog post, I mentioned the publication of a new book edited by David Garner entitled, Did God Really Say?: Affirming the Truthfulness and Trustworthiness of Scripture.  This book is a compilation of papers originally given at the 2011 PCA General Assembly by scholars from Reformed Theological Seminary, Westminster Theological Seminary, and Covenant Theological Seminary.   Participants included Scott Oliphint, Michael Williams, Robert Yarbrough, Vern Poythress, John Frame, and myself.  David Garner also included a summary chapter.

I noticed in the Aquila Report today that there was a helpful review of the book by Aimee Byrd.  In particular, she notes a thread running through a number of the …

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Playing Fast and Loose with the “L” Word

Over the last few months I have written a number of posts (e.g., here and here) dealing with a tendency I have observed in some Reformed circles to downplay the moral commands of Scripture.  The motivating factor behind this tendency is often positive, namely a desire to make sure that people remember that salvation is by grace alone and not by works.   In other words, the downplaying of moral commands is designed to preserve the integrity of the gospel.

However, such attempts to preserve the gospel (while well-intended) can have negative side effects. One such side effect is that those who pursue serious obedience to God’s law are sometimes …

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The Real “7 Minutes of Terror”

I have been captivated this week the successful landing of the Mars rover Curiosity.  NASA has gone to great lengths to explain that this mission is unprecedented in regard to its complexity, intricacy, and difficulty.  In their fascinating video “7 Minutes of Terror,” the folks at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)  describe the harrowing 7 minutes as the capsule enters the Martian atmosphere at 13,000 mph, deploys the strongest high-speed parachute ever built, then is slowed further by rockets, and then finally the rover is lowered to the surface by a complex “sky crane” maneuver—and all of this happens during the “black out” phase when there is no radio …

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