I once owned an ambitiously titled book, All the Doctrines of the Bible. Too many apologetics are muscularly evangelical, seeking to answer definitively all questions, enumerate every important theological theme, and quash questioners. One thinks of John Stott’s Basic Christianity, J. I.
Even Stanley Hauerwas’s friends have their criticisms of his work. Richard Hays wonders why he so rarely pays close attention to the specific words of scripture. Robert Jenson asks why he so infrequently deals with particular Christian doctrines.
By the time I finished this book, I was convinced of Fleming Rutledge’s fundamental claim: that the view of reality conveyed in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings not only is biblical but is an “almost exact replica” of the apocalyptic worldview that informs many New Testament texts.
When I retreat to the silence, solitude, prayer and worship of a monastery, I frequently wrestle with a familiar question: How did I—yet again—let my life get so out of balance, busy, hectic, distracted and frenetic?