I am a huge fan of both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit ever since I read the books when I was in the 7th grade. A year later, I also became a fan of C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia after I started reading them. I became fascinated not only by the spiritual depth of the fantasy worlds they created, but also with the lives of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R Tolkien. I even wrote research papers on both of these authors when I was in high school. Over time, I started my “Tolkien/Lewis book collection.” Many of the books are biographies of these authors and behind-the-scenes books about the production of the films based on their books. But the majority of the books are reflections on the spiritual values contained in Narnia and Middle-Earth. As I have been collecting these books for almost 20 years now but have still not reviewed one, I think it’s time for me to start sharing reviews on some of these titles. I’m excited to start by sharing two of my favorite devotionals. While it’s true that this one was written almost 20 years ago, I still believe that this is a journey worth taking for any Lord of the Rings fan ~ Bethel
In her book Walking with Frodo, Sarah Arthur uses the beloved fantasy trilogy The Lord of the Rings to take readers on a devotional journey through the biblical themes present in the story of Frodo Baggins and his companions in their journey to destroy the Ring of Power. Eighteen devotionals are paired together to present the reader with nine choices, such as choosing darkness or choosing light. Arthur uses stories from the trilogy and other relevant illustrations to set up the Scriptural truths for each devotion and summarizes each devotion with a main point to take away. Each devotion also follows up with additional Scriptures and reflection questions. Even when I read this as a teen who was not big on using devotionals, I found myself compelled by the way that Arthur integrated Scripture in the story of The Lord of the Rings. This was done in such a way that doesn’t allow one to dominate over the other but allows both to work together to communicate their point.
The only criticism I have is about the devotional format. The author chose to lay out the devotional over nine weeks, but only has two devotions per week. While what is here is well done, I have found that most Christians who like doing devotions want to do them daily, and would therefore prefer a devotional that has more devotions per week or allows the reader to go at their own pace. While I understand that doing an extensive devotional about a book that is over 1000 pages long would be difficult, I feel like the attempt to summarize the large story’s themes led to a rather unconventional devotional format. In the end, I usually end up reading it straight through anyway
Aside from this formatting issue, this is a great devotional. If you are a Christian Lord of the Rings fan, this is a book I highly recommend.
I so clearly remember reading The Hobbit for the first time. Reading that book changed my life, helping me fall in love with reading, writing, and learning. So when I found out that the author of Walking with Frodo had written another devotional about The Hobbit, I was so excited. In the end, I found this devotional to be even better than the first. Whether it be because of my fond memories of the first time I read The Hobbit or the improved devotional format, this book seemed to draw me even further into the world of Middle-Earth than ever before. This book, along with the first book Walking with Frodo, also eventually inspired me to write a devotional on another of my favorite movies in a similar format (Redeeming the Beast). While this book was released 18 years ago, I still believe this is a journey worth taking for any fans of The Hobbit ~ Bethel
In her book Walking with Bilbo, Sarah Arthur uses the beloved fantasy book The Hobbit to take readers on a devotional journey through the biblical themes present in the story of Bilbo Baggins and thirteen dwarves on their way to the Lonely Mountain. Throughout 22 devotionals, we follow the powerful story of Bilbo’s unexpected adventure to see what it has to teach us about the Christian life. As she did in her previous book Walking with Frodo, Arthur uses stories from The Hobbit and other relevant illustrations to set up the Scriptural truths for each devotion and summarizes each devotion with a main point to take away. Each devotion also follows up with additional Scriptures and reflection questions. Even when I read this as a teen who was not big on using devotionals, I found myself compelled by the way that Arthur integrated Scripture in the story of The Hobbit. This was done in such a way that doesn’t allow one to dominate over the other, but allows both to work together to communicate their point.
If you are a Christian fan of The Hobbit (or The Lord of the Rings), this is a book I highly recommend.
Lion's Eyes Reviews is a blog dedicated to reviews of Christian books, most of which are non-fiction, but may also occasionally review movies and musicals. It will also feature the work Bethel does to help launch and promote the works of Christian authors.
The name is derived from one of Bethel's favorite books, Through the Eyes of a Lion by Levi Lusko. Through these reviews, Bethel hope to give Christians the tools they need to look at the world "through the eyes of a lion" so they can find the courage to "run toward the roar".
To find the detailed archives of these reviews, you can check them out here:
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Bethel Grove is a Christian young woman who loves to read and write, eat Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Blizzards, and disciple teen girls as a youth leader. What started as a hobby of writing book reviews and doing deep biblical studies eventually led her down the path of self-publishing and helping other Christian authors launch their books. She hopes to someday be a vocational youth minister and well-known author.
Author Bethel Grove
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