Mostly stuff on Christianity by an Anglican priest who reads a lot of C. S. Lewis. Please note: all my posts about Lewis' book How To Pray are on the site, under Social Media/blog.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Peace in Christ: Sermon for Rogation Sunday, 2020

I begin my sermon around 27 minutes into the video; text is the last part of John 16:23f.  Of course, I start out with a goof up, saying Jesus wants us to pray in the Father's name.  Thankfully, I got on track. :-)

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Response to Injustice

The best thing the Church can do in the face of any social injustice is to stay on mission.  Sin is the reason for injustice, and the only one with the power to deal with it is Jesus.  The wisdom of God is greater than the wisdom of man: "make disciples of every nation."  That's God's program for the peace of this world (remember the angels' message to the shepherds) and for the ultimate resolution of all things.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Tolkien's "Discovery" Method

Having recently re-read Carpenter's biography of Tolkien, I keep thinking about how he often wrote or talked about discovering elements to his stories.  For example, he would come up with a name for character in a story, and then he would say he had to "discover" where this person came from and what they were like, and so forth.  He treated his stories as if there was a real history behind them, and he had to research and find out what that history told him.

My past reaction to this method of "discovery" was simply that this was a verbal construct on his work of imagining.  "I have to discover," meant "I'm going to go off and dream this stuff up."  However, I have also recently been learning how the act of writing can lead to thoughts coming to us which may not have come to us otherwise.  There is something about the connection between how our brains work and the act of putting pen to paper.  I'm now wondering if this is connected to Tolkien's method of story creation.

Was it the case that Tolkien experienced over and again how the act of writing fired his imagination and brought ideas to his mind about his stories?  If so, there is a sense in which a real discovering occurred.  The things discovered were out of his own imagination, but the experience of creation in the midst of writing was as if they just "came to him," as if they were already there - somewhere - and he was coming upon them, discovering them, for himself? 

If so, we ourselves can imagine how Tolkien would be anxious to get to his study and start writing in order to experience this discovery of things that he himself enjoyed creating.  He experienced discovery.  His saying that he had to "discover" this or that was not a way merely of talking about "dreaming something up."  It was, to him, a real experience of discovery, and what he discovered moved him deeply. 

We probably will never confirm this idea, but it is an interesting speculation about the psychology behind Tolkien's method of discovery.  What do you think about this?

[image source: Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash]