Jim Ware. Finding God in the Hobbit. Carol Stream, IL: SaltRiver (Tyndale House), 2006. 208 pp. $13.81.
When ChristianAudio offered me the opportunity to review Finding God in the Hobbit, I nearly declined. I’m not a particularly big fan of this type of work. After reading the book, I have to say that, in general, I am still not a fan of this kind of book. However, there are certainly things about this book that made it nice to read.
Jim Ware has clearly put a lot of thought into Tolkien’s works, and has done a good job of finding important moral principles in The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. For a mom or dad who is reading these books with his or her kids, Ware’s work could be an excellent source of conversation that goes deeper than the books’ plots.
On the other hand, some of Ware’s findings are, even according to Ware, admittedly beyond Tolkien’s intent. I would argue that we need to be very careful in finding principles or hints toward God that are outside of what the author of the work wanted us to find.
Overall, I was glad to have a chance to read Ware’s work and to think about The Hobbit in a deeper way. However, my recommendation of this book would be limited to those who are eager to read exactly this kind of work and not to the general public.
The recording of this book that I received from ChristianAudio in exchange for an honest review was excellently read by Simon Vance. His voice and inflections brought to life a work that I might not have finished had it not been read well.