Thursday, 12 February 2015

Brilliant and deep understanding of Lord of the Rings in a five minute videa


I was seriously impressed by this little, slightly facetious, video.

I may have been reading and thinking about LotR for more than forty years, but this tiny and user-friendly cartoon surprised me with several insights which - as soon as stated - were obviously correct.

The above link is where I watched it, but the vid is primarily located at:


Saturday, 7 February 2015

The Christianity of the Inklings has disappeared, is no longer available

One of the sad things I experienced about being an Englishman coming to Christianity via the Inklings, is the (delayed) realization that the Christianity they knew and practiced has gone.

So the Inklings reader may become a Christian, in hope of in some way emulating either JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis or Charles Williams - but then he, like I, will find that there is nowadays no remotely similar church he can join; that the Christian way of life from 1945 (when Charles Williams died) has gone - gone, except for some rather horrible, deceptive, almost parodic, institutional residues.


JRR Tolkien was a very traditional Ultramontane, scholastic type of Roman Catholic. Towards the end of his life, Tolkien was made very miserable by the changes introduced by the second Vatican council, especially the vernacular Mass; and would have been appalled and made even more miserable by liberalizing changes since he died in 1973.

He could only have found the kind of church he admired by joining the Society of St Pius the Tenth (SSPX) or similar - but I suspect he would have found their formally schismatic and excommunicate status intolerable.

I think he would have stayed a Roman Catholic but would have been extremely unhappy.


Lewis was a mainstream Anglican who after converting began on the Protestant side of the denomination and moved gradually towards a more Catholic practice (eg taking more frequent Holy Communion, attending confession with an Anglican Monk).

But Lewis did not get much satisfaction from attending church - he did it primarily from duty; and he would not have tolerated the incremental liberalisation of the Church of England, the abandonment by senior Bishops of belief in miracles, the Virgin Birth, even the divinity of Christ; the introduction of priestesses from 1992, and so on.

I think Lewis would have continued to attend a church; but what kind of church? Would Lewis have become a non-denominational conservative evangelical, or a Roman Catholic (like his 'disciple' Walter Hooper)? Perhaps...

Or would he have become Russian Orthodox - a Platonist faith with which he had considerable sympathy and some links? That option seems most likely to me.


Charles Williams was highly heterodox in his interests - although a traditional Anglican in his theology. his practice was Anglo-Catholic, but as a mature man he seems to have like church-going even less than Lewis; and towards the end of his life had founded his own loose Christian association: The Companions of the Coinherence.

I think Charles Williams would have left the Church of England and set up his own sect, or group, or mini-church - probably some kind of Anglican group using the Book of Common Prayer. Williams did not have much regard for priests, and so perhaps he might have made this a denomination with pastors but not priests.


So, the main Inklings would by now have necessarily become outsiders to - or at most marginal, fringe, and reluctant members of - their own denominations; and we to try to follow in their footsteps cannot help but do the same, if we wish to preserve their true legacy.