With a title like that, I feel like I should wax on about how I’d define it, but, nope, that’s not what this post will be. Rather, I’m curious what you think about the article, “It’s Time for Conservatives to Stop Being Content with JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis.”

It’s Time for Conservatives to Stop Being Content with J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis

What are you thoughts? 

To me, there could be more both/and in the article. Still, as Christians we should be creating more literature, art, etc., shouldn’t we? Are there ideological things holding us back?

In other news, Amazon is having a 3 for the price of 2 sale on a pretty large collection of children’s books, including some classic literature, popular fiction for various ages, Bob Books, some preschool workbooks, etc. It’s worth checking out.

Also, if you find yourself writing reflections or poetry during this unusual time, feel free to send it to me if you’d like to share. 🙂

Wishing you health and peace!


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3 Responses to Conservatives

  1. Why conservatives in general, and Lutherans in particular, don’t seem to be producing art in the quality and quantities they should, and why Christian art in particular hasn’t really moved beyond Lewis and Tolkien–these are questions I’ve grappled with in some form for quite some time now.

    I once went so far as to challenge a Christian fiction group that was in the habit of asserting that Christians shouldn’t get so hung up on Lewis and Tolkien to supply me with a list of suitable replacements. Their recommendations were generally okay, but only that, and when I finally cycled around to rereading Narnia and the Cosmic Trilogy the gulf in depth and quality between the older works and the ones recommended to me seemed all but insurmountable.

    And I really mean insurmountable. Modern authors can be challenged to surpass their forebears, but I suspect this challenge may be genuinely impossible, for reasons beyond the character, intelligence, and creativity of any individual author. Lewis and Tolkien wrote from the seat of one of the world’s most respected universities, drawing upon both classical education and the mythic tradition of their own country to aid them. In every sense, prodigies springboarding from the shoulders of giants. Contrast modern Christian authors, blockaded from popular publication, many of them literally isolated in compounds in my home state of Tennessee, running their social media accounts with a mix of caution and code words, like a modern speakeasy. Whatever they have to offer, is it any surprise that it so often seems strangled by the thorns?

    To put it another way, I think the question of replacing Lewis and Tolkien may simply be beyond our capacity as a community at this point. The best we may be able to do is to build the community that we need to build the great works that will unite this community, if indeed this community can be built before it has these works to unify it…

    • I like the analogy of standing on the shoulders of giants. Adding to it your point that we can further develop our capacity as a community, I think it means that we can do what we can to get people to both recognize the giants and attempt the climb. 🙂 Too often people pursue popularity or money over high literature, but it may be that even now new literary greats are being developed. And you are correct: even those who are not themselves literary giants can help those around them, and future generations, to pursue excellence. 🙂 Thanks!

  2. David J Susan

    Thank you, Mary, for posting this article! As a former missionary, it got me thinking about parallels to how culture “migrates” (“gets imported or exported”) from one person or people to another. (Now in this internet age, such import/export goes on exponentially!) I have learned that it is usually the negative characteristics of the “source culture” that seem to transfer most successfully; also how the whole process requires observation and interpretation. God reveals himself by the light of Christ through all this too; authors like Lewis and Tolkien have shown how this can be a blessing and not a curse. Perhaps all we can do is recognize and analyze such “migration”–but not “guide” how God does it. Perhaps this is what the good Lord meant when he told Moses “you shall see my back, but my face shall not be seen.” (Exodus 33:23)

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