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EPISODE 05: Lewis and Tolkien

Historian Joe Loconte digs into the lives of C. S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, their friendship, and how their experiences in World War I shaped them for their entire lives. Joe’s book A Hobbit, A Wardrobe, and a Great War and his forthcoming documentary based on the book sparked our conversations on this episode of “Questions That Matter.”

Had there been no Great War, there would have been no Hobbit, no Lord of the Rings, no Narnia, and perhaps no conversion to Christianity by C. S. Lewis.

The First World War laid waste to a continent and brought about the end of innocence—and the end of faith. Unlike a generation of young writers who lost faith in the God of the Bible, however, J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis found that the Great War deepened their spiritual quest. Both men served as soldiers on the Western Front, survived the trenches, and used the experience of that conflict to ignite their Christian imagination.

Tolkien and Lewis produced epic stories infused with the themes of guilt and grace, sorrow and consolation. Giving an unabashedly Christian vision of hope in a world tortured by doubt and disillusionment, the two writers created works that changed the course of literature and shaped the faith of millions. This is the first book to explore their work in light of the spiritual crisis sparked by the conflict.

Recommended Reading:

A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War by Joseph Loconte. | Christian Book Distributors

 

Transcript


This is Questions That Matter, a podcast of the C.S. Lewis Institute. I'm your host, Randy Newman, and today my conversation partner is Joe Loconte, and I'm delighted to have Joe join us. Let me tell you a little bit about Joe. He is with the Simon Center for American Studies at the Heritage Foundation. He is a senior fellow at King's College in New York. He has numerous publications e articles that have appeared in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, you name it. And he is also the author of the New York Times bestseller, A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War, subtitle being one of the longest subtitles I've ever seen that I'm so impressed with: “How J.R.R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis Rediscovered Faith, Friendship and Heroism in the Cataclysm of 1914 through 1918.” Man that is a subtitle! Joe, welcome to Questions That Matter.

Randy, it's great to be with you, but why does everybody pick on the subtitle of this book? I mean, it tells you what the book is about.

Well, the great thing about it, it does tell you what it's about. No, it's great. And it is a great book. I loved it.

Great to be with you. Thank you so much for having me, Randy.

Hopes for Lewis and Tolkien Book

Well, I want to talk about this documentary that you're making that is really a documentary delivery of some of the same material that you covered in the book. Tell us about the documentary and your hopes for it and where it's going.

Terrific, Randy. Thank you so much for this opportunity, because being involved in this documentary film project, what we are envisioning, my team and I, a five-part film series based on the life of Tolkien and Lewis. It’s been one of the most encouraging projects I have been involved in in a long time, because what you have in the life and careers and friendship of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, you can really boil down to three words: War, friendship, and imagination. Because it was the crucible of war that, in many ways, brought these two men together in friendship. And it's the friendship between Tolkien and Lewis that helps to make possible the creation of their great imaginative works, these epic works of a tale between good and evil, The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, and their other works.

So it's a deeply encouraging story, because, as we'll discuss, it's not only the experience of combat in the First World War that these men had to endure, which I think informed their literary imagination, but it's also now a Second World War that they have to live through. Remember, these men, they fight in one war. They live through the 1920s and 1930s. They see the rise of the most destructive ideologies that the West has ever seen: Communism, fascism, eugenics, and all the rest of it. And now they have to live through a Second World War. And I think it's also the pressure of events, with the gathering storm in Europe, that creates a sense of urgency and creativity as these men continue in friendship together, and their own sense of calling and mission. So it's just a wonderfully encouraging story, as I say, of war, friendship, and imagination.

I love it. I love it. And like I said, I really did love the book. What was it that drove you to write the book in the first place? And then we'll talk about the documentary.

Well, it's a good question, because I never intended, Randy, to write a book about Tolkien and Lewis because it's such a cottage industry. There are so many wonderful biographies about these men. I've benefited from many of them. I think it was teaching Western civilization to my students there at the King's College in New York City that drove home tome the cataclysmic effect of the First World War on the European mind. And Lewis and Tolkien had a ringside seat to the disillusionment, the agnosticism toward the Western tradition, toward valor, toward heroism, toward faith, toward democratic values, capitalism. It’s all up for grabs in the postwar years, and they have a ringside seat to it. And that got me thinking. It got me thinking that their experience of combat in the First World War and then in the aftermath, this had to have affected their literary imagination.

No one could have lived and fought in the trenches of World War I and come out somehow unscathed, and they certainly didn't. Lewis was almost killed in combat. Tolkien suffered trench fever, and it almost killed him, I think. He survived. So those were formative experiences, and I really hadn't read in the biographies about how their actual lived experiences in the First World War, in the aftermath, and then in the Second World War, how that must have shaped them and prodded them and brought new pressures into their lives. They’re not just sitting in a mountaintop retreat somewhere in Colorado Springs, writing great novels about spiritual life. I’m not picking on anybody, but they're really in the crucible of it, of these destructive ideologies, really a difficult time in the world, in the West, in Europe. And so I wanted to explore that as an historian and try to put them in their context, understand their great works in their cultural and historical contexts, if that’s not too much of a long-winded answer.

No, I love that. I love it. And, you know, it's really interesting. I mean, I've read several biographies of Lewis and Tolkien, and you're right. They sort of report that they went through this horrible war situation and they had scars, but then they never connect that to their writing and their ideas. Very often, people connect Lewis’s childhood to those and the loss of his mother at such a young age. But it struck me, when I was reading your book, it’s just so intriguing, these two men who saw such terrible, terrible, horrible evil right in front of them.

Yes.

And yet that did not lead them to cynicism or atheism. That actually led them to hope and joy and trust and fear and ultimately to faith. So it kind of throws the question on Its head when people say, “What about all the evil and suffering in the world?” Well, sometimes evil and suffering drives people to God rather than away from him.

Yes, that’s absolutely right, Randy, and I’ll qualify it a little bit, in that, as you know, Lewis was an atheist when he went into the First World War, a young atheist. He arrived on his 19thbirthday on the front. Happy birthday, Lewis, on the Western Front. And he's an atheist in a foxhole, and he comes out an atheist. And he writes a number of poems under the title, publishes a work of poetry called Spirits in Bondage. And it's a pretty gloomy collection of poems. There's a real rage against God and the idea of goodness, a good, transcendent God. He’s raging against that in various poems in that collection, which has just been republished, actually, here this year, a 2020 edition.

So, for Lewis, in some ways, it probably deepened his atheism. The war did. For Tolkien, it’s a little harder to say. I mean, he experienced deep grief and sorrow, because two of his three closest friends, and other friends as well, perished in that conflict. And his children described him later, that the war caused a kind of a lifelong sadness in Tolkien. So these are difficult things to shake off. But again, I think it's the coming together in friendship and what that leads to, the fruit of that in their lives, is really remarkable.

Experience that Leads to Imagination

Yeah. You know, I'm reminded of this line in Surprised by Joy, where Lewis was really wrestling. After Lewis had that famous night time conversation with Tolkien and Dyson, where they challenged him with, “Why do you love mythology so much? And why do you love story so much? Isn't it possible that those are pointers to the ultimate greatest story, the true story?” And Lewis wrote, as he reflected back on it, “Nearly all that I loved, I believed to be imaginary. Nearly all that I believed to be real, I thought grim and meaningless.” And I think sometimes that's a strategy for us in pre-evangelism, is talking to people and saying, “Now, why do you suppose you're drawn to superhero movies or novels with happy endings, or you name it, if indeed you think logically that we’re in a purposeless, meaningless world?” And so that's where Lewis’s and Tolkien’s friendship, I think, pushed Lewis in the right direction. Say a little more about imagination. You said that these three words: War, friendship, imagination. Was there something about their experience in the war that contributed toward their love for imagination?

That's an excellent question. I think there's a couple of ways to answer it, Randy. Remember how these guys were educated at the turn of the century, the 1890s, the early part of the 20thcentury, in English schools, some very good English schools. They got a very classical education, what we’d probably consider sort of classical Christian education. They’re grounded in these great epic works, Homer and Virgil and Milton. And this is part of their mental furniture, the idea of heroism, the tension between duty and desire, the idea of a transcendent good, sacrifice for a noble cause. All of these themes are very much alive in their minds as young men, in a way that just isn't true anymore in our own civilization, which is a great tragedy. Some of us are fighting against it, I’ll just say parenthetically. So that's part of, I think, what they're drawing on, the resources that they're drawing on in terms of their imagination.

And this has been one of the great thrills in this film project. As I've gone deeper and deeper into their lives and their literary works, understanding the debt that they owed to that education, to that careful reading of many ancient, medieval, and then more modern works. They’re drawing on some really deep and rich stories, epics. And it's hard to overstate how important that was to both these men. Tolkien said that Beowulf, and you can see it in his writings, the great tale of Beowulf, this epic story, this quest that takes his life, Beowulf’s life, ultimately. I mean, Tolkien translates it. He teaches Beowulf, he reflects on it, he gives lectures on it. I mean, it's one of the themes throughout his life, the idea of the hero doing the right thing against all odds, with almost no hope of success. Lewis is drawn to the same kinds of stories. So that's part of their imaginative backdrop and framework. I'm not really getting at your question, I know, in terms of, well, how did the war stimulate all that?

I think the First World War, in one way, I'll say this quickly, and we'll get back into it. I think the First World War gave them a kind of realism about combat and a great struggle that I think you can see in their great works. The way they describe battles. The way they describe the camaraderie among soldiers. They knew that firsthand, and I think you see it in their writings. That’s one point. But then I think the Second World War, the way that affects their imagination is it creates a real sense of urgency to get on with their callings and to understand even the events around them in spiritual terms.

I’ll give you one concrete example, Randy. I think it's 1939. And so we've got the invasion of Poland in September. And now, of course, Great Britain is at war again, the Second World War. Well, Lewis is in church about a week or so after that, and he hears for the first time, translated into English for the first time, a broadcast from Adolf Hitler. Hitler in one of his rants, simultaneously translated into English, I think, over the BBC. He hears that on a Friday. On Sunday, he's in church, and his mind begins to drift to the devil. Now you ask yourself. He’s listening to a sermon, and his mind is drifting to the devil, and that's when he got it into his head to start writing The Screw tape Letters. The whole idea of a dark force bent on domination, the complete domination, of what? The human race. That kind of sounds like the devil, doesn't it? Kind of sounds like Hitler in 1939. So there is the pressure of events on them that is stirring up their imaginative powers as well. We can get into Tolkien here in a minute as well. Go ahead.

Oh, this is really good. And it's good for me to hear that story about the inspiration for Screw tape. Well, there's so much there. So I'm going to do a short aside. You mentioned Beowulf, and Beowulf, it's one of those books that everybody hopes that they could say they read it, but they don't necessarily want to read it. I think that was Mark Twain’s definition of a classic. It's a book that people want to say they’ve read, but they don’t want to read it. So I know that Tolkien translated it. Do you know, for the person who’s listening and going, “I really want to read that, but I've never been able to get into it. ”Is Tolkien's translation the one to go for? Do you have any thought about that?

Well, I haven't read different translations. I've read Tolkien's translation, and I think it's a pretty accessible, readable translation, and I think it's not an easy book, but when you work through it, you start to see phrases, descriptions that make you think, “Huh. There's a description of valor and sacrifice and heroism that shows up in The Lord of the Rings.” You begin to make the connections. So it is a rewarding book. I would absolutely recommend it to your listeners.

Okay. And the Tolkien translation is the one to go with. Great!

I would say. Why not?

Sure. All right. Here's another sort of related thing. I know I've heard this: There's this sort of this famous story that Tolkien and Lewis were talking about the kinds of literature that they liked to read.

Yes.

And that there wasn't anything being written in their time. In fact, they felt like the stuff that was being read by people was pretty despairing and hopeless stuff. And so Lewis sort of—we don't know this for a fact, but said something like, “Toller’s, we’re just going to have to write those books ourselves.

“Yes.

Do you know what would be some of the books that they were trying to counter? What were the things of their time that were the hopeless, despairing ones? I know that this is unfair for me to ask a historian. I should ask this of an English literary scholar, but you’re the guy on the podcast today, so best of luck.

Yes.

Completely unfair of you, let me just say. Thank you very much.

Well, okay.

No, no, no, no, no. I'm just giving you a hard time. It's a terrific question, actually. Think about what's coming out in the years after the First World War. Think T.S. Elliott’s “The Wasteland.” Think Good-Bye to All That. The antiwar novels and poetry that was being published, All Quiet on the Western Front, these were books that were almost violently antiheroic and in many ways deeply cynical. And I think that's part of what's coming out in the1920s and into the 1930s. And you're absolutely right: It's 1937. The two of them are sitting around, and Lewis says to Tolkien, “Well, Tollers,” his nickname for Tolkien. “Well, Tollers, if they're not going to write the kind of books we want to read, we'll have to write them ourselves.” A great example of taking leadership, cultural leadership, isn't it?

Well, and to also recognize the power of fiction, the power of literature. I think some people think, “Oh, it's only fiction.” But, you know, fiction is an amazingly powerful tool, and we think of fiction, “Oh, it's not true.” Well, it can convey amazingly truthful things, and certainly Lewis and Tolkien, I think, are some of the greatest examples of that.

Yes. You know, one of our friends in this project, Diana Glyer, who's written a terrific book about the fellowship, the friendship between Tolkien and Lewis and the other members of the Inklings, those Christian authors who met weekly for decades, literally. Lewis and Tolkien as the anchor to that group. Diana Glyer has a wonderful description of mythology and the power of mythology, and I'm paraphrasing her. But it’s that myths, they're not simply falsehoods. The great myths really express the deepest values and ideals of a civilization, but it’s put in narrative form, and that's what Lewis and Tolkien understood, that myths communicate profound truths about the human condition. They're not escapist literature. This is the typical accusation of Tolkien’s and Lewis's works, isn't it, Randy? It's just escapist fantasy literature. It's just the opposite, isn't it? Go ahead, Randy.

Well, yes, it is, but I'll confess that, for a while, I was a snob against fiction, and my wife devours fiction. I mean, she just reads it, and so she's inspired me of, “No, you know, they do different things. I mean, nonfiction and history and all those are very valuable as well. But there's something so powerful about a story.”

We’ll return to my conversation in just a moment. I do want to invite you to take a look at our website, cslewisinstitute.org, and avail yourself to the many resources that we have there. We have over 40 years’ worth of articles and recordings and events that can be tremendously helpful. Check out the different ways that we can help you share your faith or grow deeply in your faith. And consider also supporting the institute. If you click on the button that says donate, we would love to have you as a ministry partner. Now, let's return to the conversation.

 

Discovery on Working on the Documentary

Anyway, we could go on about that, but I want to hear more about the documentary. What are you noticing or discovering or sensing in a stronger way now that you’re working on this documentary, years after having completed writing the book?

Well, that's an excellent question. Really perceptive. That's what I think part of the excitement is you're discovering things as you go along. That's the thing about a documentary. You have a rough script in your hand, and now you've got to try to unpack it. And that means talking to people that you haven't talked to before and learning new things along the way. And I think one of the things I've been kind of discovering—I've alluded to it—is I didn’t appreciate nearly to the degree then that I do now the impact of what it was like to be in Britain in the 1930s, with, to use Winston Churchill's phrase, the gathering storm, the gathering storm of fascism. I don't think I appreciated the impact, emotional, imaginative impact that had on both Tolkien and Lewis. Because, Randy, it's right around 1937, 1938, when they really do launch into the writing of these epic works. Tolkien will start writing The Lord of the Rings around 1937.

Well, in 1938, you get the Munich Pact. That's the agreement that the allies, the democratic allies, signed with Hitler, allowing him to take over a portion of Czechoslovakia for the promise of peace. Well, we know where that went. But the incredible sense of anxiety and fear, the more you get into the literature of the period, as early as 1936, really, with Mussolini invading Ethiopia. The sense that we're going to get into another war, and it's going to be a Lot worse than the first one, and I think that is simply in the air. It's in the air and in the water, and you see it in the letters of Tolkien and Lewis, their growing anxiety. And I think a sense of, “We’ve got to get on with our task, our great calling.” And so, when Lewis delivers that amazing sermon, “Learning in Wartime,” you've probably discussed it with your audience, he is speaking into the moment, into the lives, the hearts and minds of those young undergraduates there in that church at Oxford. “Okay, the world is going to heck in a hand basket. We're at war again. Why get on with your academic profession?” And he gives the man amazing encouragement in that message, doesn't he?

Oh, it’s a great, great essay, and I would recommend it so strongly when I was in campus ministry with academically minded students. Now that may sound ironic because aren't all students academically minded? No, they're not. But there are a whole lot of undergrads who think, “I think God has made me smart, and I think I should go on for graduate study and maybe even doctoral work, but I'm a Christian, and some people are saying, ‘Gee, that's not really eternally significant. And why are you pouring in just for this really strange academic kind of thing?’” And Lewis’s essay puts learning into a very kingdom mindset. And it's a very, very important essay and sermon, and I love it. I love the way you're a historian, and so you see individual things, like that essay or this particular conversation, but you can't help, because of your training, to see it in the larger historical context. And how does things going on in the background contribute to shape, flavor this? And I just want to encourage our listeners, with these questions that matter. Well, there's a question that matters, and that is: What do we get out of listening to a historian that's different than a literary scholar or a theologian or philosopher? And I want to encourage our listeners that reading and listening to good historians, and Joe Loconte is one of them, we need that lens on things because it is different than just the theological lens or just the philosophical lens. I appreciate that you’re a Christian and a historian, and so you can't separate those two.

What do you hope the viewers of this documentary series get? What is it that you’re hoping for them to receive?

Thank you for that question, Randy, and for your wonderful compliments, which are not earned, but I'll take them anyway.

All right. I take it all back. Sorry. But we still have on the podcast, so fill it the best way you can, buddy.

Okay. Great. As an historian, obviously one of the things I do want is several things: I do want to encourage a thirst and a hunger for history, for understanding, especially our heroes, understanding them in the world and the times in which they live. Because when we do that, I think we gain a deeper appreciation for their achievements. We realize the struggles and the obstacles that they were up against. Again, they weren't just writing these books in some little safe haven retreat, with the sound of a waterfall behind them. No. There were bombs dropping in London. How does The Chronicles of Narnia begin, my friend? The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, about the children being sent out to the countryside to live in the house of a professor because of the war. Right?

Yes. Yes. Yes. Right.

So there's a wonderful line, I’m thinking back to “Learning in Wartime.” There's a wonderful line there where Lewis says, “We need, perhaps more than anything else, intimate knowledge of the past.” Intimate knowledge of the past, because he says, “It helps to inoculate us from the great cataract of nonsense that pours forth from the press and the microphone of our own age.” I love that phrase, “the cataract of nonsense.” I think good history can really inoculate us, insulate us from this madness, the lies that are coming at us all the time. So placing Tolkien and Lewis in their cultural, historical context, I think, for a large audience, we hope, it will help people to gain a greater appreciation for their remarkable achievements. They’re writing their great works through an incredibly difficult, profoundly uncertain, and anxious time. You think our own time is difficult, with this pandemic, and it is. It's a tea party compared to being in Great Britain from around 1939 to 1945.

You know, Lewis couldn't help himself. He had to use these imaginative words and expressions, “the cataract of nonsense.” He could have said, “You know, we’re surrounded with nonsense all the time, and we're hearing things that just are so confusing.” But calling it a cataract of nonsense like, “Oh, this is really harming me. It’s preventing me from seeing.” It reminds me—oh, where was it? I can't remember .But he was talking, he was critiquing some of the secular thinkers of his day, and he said, “They do not realize that this world is the vestibule to eternity.” And maybe people don’t know the word vestibule, but I grew up in a house with a vestibule. It’s like this little extra portico on the outside, where you took off your muddy boots before entering the house. It was this passageway that—you didn't live there. You were no longer outside, but you're not quite inside. And I'll never forget the vestibule. “This world is the vestibule to eternity.” Oh, my. Your mind goes in so many beautiful directions. I love it.

Yes. It really does. And that's what great writers do, isn't it, Randy? They have a gift with this language, with our English language, and they construct these phrases that are so memorable; we hear it once, and we don't forget it.

That's right. And we don't just we don't never forget it.  It's now we have lenses on, and we see through them, but very different ways.

Have you ever wondered what heaven is going to be like? What will it look like? What will we do there? We all have questions about heaven, and we, the C.S. Lewis Institute, are delighted to invite Dr. Randy Alcorn, who has spent decades literally researching the topic. He's written award-winning books on the topic, and he's going to be presenting a live stream event for us through the C.S. Lewis website on January 22 at 8:00 p.m. Please check out the website, www.cslewisinstitute.org, and find out the details about the Randy Alcorn event. I think it'll be really great.

Well, let me, if I can.... I've already put you on the spot several times, so why not one more time. The aim of our podcast, we want to push this in the direction of personal spiritual growth, personal discipleship. So how has working on this documentary affected your own walk with the Lord, your own connection to our Savior?

Well, I thank you for that question, Randy. I'm not sure if I've been asked it in all the numerous interviews I've done. So hats off to you and the C.S. Lewis Institute about all this. It’s just a wonderful question to ask.

A couple of ways. I've had the privilege of working with a couple of really talented filmmakers, Ralph Linhardt and Jock Petersen, and also Ralph Winter, who's an executive producer in Hollywood, a Christian producer in Hollywood, a very accomplished guy. He’s our executive producer. And working with this team has been so challenging and encouraging and enriching because we're all very different people. And when you're on the set, trying to get a scene right, whether it's a scene reenactment or I'm doing some kind of standup or whatever, and we have some difference of opinion, well, we have to work it out, and we have to work it out in a charitable, Christian way. And we have sometimes very strong feelings about a particular scene or what to say and all that. But we have a larger purpose in mind, it’s to produce what we hope will be a beautiful, enriching and redemptive film. And that's a high purpose. And that helps me, at least, put the Loconte petty agenda and ego off to the side fora few moments, as we try to accomplish this noble task. That has been a great, great experience, and it's been extended now for a couple of years. Working on this project has been nibbling away, getting a little money here, a little money there to work on it, and we’ve got more work to do. So I look forward to that dynamic, of that working in a team for a good and noble cause, to honor God and to advance His purposes in this world, with a message that is so beautiful and transformative. That's a great privilege. That's been one of the best things, frankly.

I love it.

The other thing I would say, though, quickly, and I've alluded to it, is when I consider, when I reflect on what these men had to endure and how they just carried on, I can't help sometimes but just get a lump in my throat. I can't find it in front of me now. I’ll have to try to quote it from memory. Lewis is writing to one of his dear friends. It's not Tolkien. I think it might be. Oh, which is it? Is it-

Arthur Greeves?

I don't think its Arthur Greeves, either. It's one of his other friends who was a member of the Inklings. And they've had this relationship that's gone on... one of the early members of the Inklings. It's gone on for a couple of decades, between 20 and 30 years now they've known each other, and here it is now in the Second World War. And he says something like this. He says, “Well, we've had a cracking good time, and who knows what the day will bring?”[UNKNOWN 32:13] cracking good time. And they're going to get on with their callings. They’re just going to get on with it and do the best that they can to honor God with the time that they have, continuing to encourage each other, working together, and critiquing each other’s writings, so that they can what? They can be faithful to their calling, faithful to the talents that God has given them. That has been a hugely challenging thing to me because I’m just prone to self-pity. I don’t know about you, Randy, but I'm just ready to go.

I’ve conquered that already. I don't have that problem.

Well, very well. Very good for you. Very nice for you. And so when I'm drawn into that, when I'm tempted to be drawn into that mode, especially now in our pandemic times, with the mayor of DC having her boot on our throats, if I could just say parenthetically.

Okay, well.

I mean, that figuratively, of course. We're just in lockdown mode. You can tell I get a little bit punchy at the end of the day, but when I'm tempted to get into that mode of really just feeling sorry for myself and down and all, I can't help but have my heart drawn back to these two men and what they achieved and what they achieved in spite of the circumstances that they wherein. And to me, that's just an example of the amazing mercy, kindness, courage that God gives us, that Christ gives us, because He lives in us, because it's just not humanly possible, I don't think, to do what they did, to do what we're trying to do without Him.

Yeah. I really echo that. And the more I read and try to study as much as I can about World War II, the more I marvel at these two men, because they really had lives of joy. And then they exuded it in their writing and their speaking. And you just look at the legacy of people who read their works and hear about their lives, and it spurs them on for joy and hope, purpose and meaning. I love it. So I really want you to finish that documentary tomorrow. I’m sure you do, too. Let me say to our listeners, you can go and watch the trailer, and it is wonderful, at-Yes!

The trailer is at hobbitwardrobe.com, just like it sounds, hobbitwardrobe.com. And we are in the thick of it now, so any support you want to offer, prayer support, emails, send us your pet hobbits, and financial support, we'll take it all!

Good. Well, yes, and I just think also of the potential for evangelism out of this. I’m going to be telling lots and lots of people, believers and nonbelievers, about this documentary series. So may God bless that work tremendously? Let me give you the last word. Is there anything else you want to say before we sign off?

Well, Randy, thank you for that. Thank you again for this incredible opportunity to talk to your audience and to talk about the film. I think the one thing that's probably worth saying here, as we wrap up, is that there's a realism that these men have. This is good for us at this moment in time right now. They’re realistic about life, its sorrows, the difficulties, the tragedies, but there is a hope that both of them have, because of their Christian faith, that they know that everything will be made right in the end. As Tolkien puts it in The Lord of the Rings, “Everything sad will come untrue.”

Oh, yes, yes. I love it. Well, this is great. We could keep going. And in fact, I hope we will, but not right now on this podcast. So let me just say to our listeners, we hope that this has been helpful for you, hope it's stimulating. If you haven't read Joe Loconte’s book, A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War, please check it out and then wait and pray for the completion of this documentary. And may all of this, and all our resources at the C.S. Lewis Institute, help you love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind.


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