The Messiah Comes to Middle-Earth: Images of Christ's Threefold Office in The Lord of the Rings (Hansen Lectureship)
The Messiah Comes to Middle-Earth: Images of Christ's Threefold Office in The Lord of the Rings (Hansen Lectureship) by Philip Ryken
How can we grasp the significance of what Jesus Christ did for us? Might literature help us as we seek further understanding of the Christian faith? Since at least the fourth century, with church historian Eusebius of Caesarea, the threefold office of Christ as prophet, priest, and king has served as one way for Christians to comprehend the gospel narrative of his life, death, and resurrection. Another story that has generated much reflection is J. R. R. Tolkien s classic, The Lord of the Rings. It is well known that Tolkien disliked allegory. Yet he acknowledged that his work is imbued with Christian symbolism and meaning. Based on the inaugural Hansen Lectureship series delivered at the Marion E. Wade Center by Philip Ryken, president of Wheaton College, The Messiah Comes to Middle-Earthmines the riches of Tolkien s theological imagination. In the characters of Gandalf, Frodo, and Aragorn, Ryken hears echoes of the one who is the true prophet, priest, and king. Moreover, he considers what that threefold office means for his service as a college president as well as the calling of all Christians. Guided by both Tolkien and Ryken, things of first importance come alive in a tale of imaginary prophets, priests, and kings.