Books! We wants them, yes, precious!

Let me bring to your attention two recent books that belong in the library of every Christian college, Christian school, and Evangelical seminary—and in the personal libraries of many of their professors of English literature and theology–not to mention hordes of their students!  Not to mention yours.

First is Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis (Baltimore: Square Halo Books, 2016).  Diana Glyer says, “Williams has done the impossible: he has written a highly readable overview of C. S. Lewis’s theology.  He draws from the deep well of a lifetime spent studying literature and theology and Lewis.  My understanding has been greatly enriched; yours will be too.  This book is a marvel.”  Lewis was the greatest apologist and one of the most influential Christian thinkers and writers of the Twentieth Century.  Yet until now we have not had a study of Lewis’s theology that was both comprehensive and critical, asking, “What is the theology that lies behind the Narnia books, the Space Trilogy, and the popular apologetics, and what are its strengths and weaknesses as a guide to biblical truth?”  Clearly this book meets a critical need.

Then there is An Encouraging Thought: The Christian Worldview in the Writings of J. R. R. Tolkien (Cambridge, OH: Christian Publishing House, 2018).  Jim Prothero writes, “This book on Tolkien is not only readable, it is profound. The counter-culture movement latched onto to The Fellowship of the Ring more than a decade after its 1954 publication and never let go. The ultimate irony is that many of those young people were looking for alternative world-views to traditional values. And all the while, Professor Tolkien was a devout believer writing stories that reflected precisely traditional Christian beliefs and values. Donald T. Williams explores all the nuances of that irony here with humor and insight.”

Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings was listed as the book of the century in three separate polls, and remains one of the most popular and beloved books of all time.  And it was built on the biblical worldview of its author, as he himself said, “unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision.”  That grounding in the Christian worldview is less obvious and in-your-face than in his friend Lewis’s books, but Williams brings it into clear focus here.  Tolkien’s vision is a lens that lets us see the Gospel as true in the real world too.  Williams is a good guide to why that is true and to what difference it makes.

Donald T. Williams (M.Div., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, PhD, University of Georgia) is R. A. Forrest Scholar and Professor of English at Toccoa Falls College in the hills of NE Georgia.  The author of eleven books and countless articles, he is a border dweller, camped out on the borders between theology and literature, serious scholarship and pastoral ministry, Narnia and Middle Earth.  These books are most easily ordered from Amazon.

Soli Deo Gloria!

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WHAT ARE THEY SAYING?

What are people saying about “An Encouraging Thought”: The Christian Worldview in the Writings of J. R. R. Tolkien, by Donald T. Williams (Cambridge, OH: Christian Publishing House, 2018)?

“This book on Tolkien is not only readable, it is profound. The counter-culture movement latched onto to The Fellowship of the Ring more than a decade after its 1954 publication and never let go. The ultimate irony is that many of those young people were looking for alternative world-views to traditional values. And all the while, Professor Tolkien was a devout believer writing stories that reflected precisely traditional Christian beliefs and values. Donald T. Williams explores all the nuances of that irony here with humor and insight.”  —  Jim Prothero, author of Gaining a Face: The Romanticism of C. S. Lewis

“Williams is always worth reading for his thoughtful engagement with a vast range of disciplines, topics, and perspectives. What is compelling in this new book is the greater sense of play: interspersed with poetry, infused with personality, and bound together with humor and good cheer. Whether or not you agree with each and every observation and interpretation, it is hard to resist the sense that you are being personally invited into a rich and nourishing conversation with ideas that deserve your best attention. I thoroughly enjoyed it.”   —  Diana Pavlac Glyer, Professor at Azusa Pacific University and author of The Company They Keep and Bandersnatch: C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and the Creative Collaboration of the Inklings

“I enjoy the way Williams provides meaningful insight into Tolkien’s writings in a very personal way. He takes the reader through an interesting journey of when he first encountered LOTR and how he began to understand the Christian underpinnings and how that helped strengthen his faith.”  —  William O’Flaherty, author of The Misquotable C.S. Lewis

“This book deserves to be savored with a deep bowl of Longbottom leaf and a pint of the Prancing Pony’s best.”  —  WinterReader, on Amazon

To receive a $4.00 discount, order it here:

http://www.christianpublishers.org/apps/webstore/products/show/7721662

NEW BOOK!

IT’S OUT! “An Encouraging Thought”: The Christian Worldview in the Writings of J. R. R. Tolkien, by Donald T. Williams. Cambridge, OH: Christian Publishing House, 2018. 154 pp., pbk, $11.95.

 

 

BOOK DESCRIPTION: Donald T. Williams learned a lot about the Christian world view from Francis Schaeffer and C. S. Lewis, but it was actually Tolkien who first showed him that such a thing exists and is an essential component of maturing faith. Not only do explicitly Christian themes underlie the plot structure of The Lord of the Rings, but in essays such as “On Fairie Stories” Tolkien shows us that he not only believed the Gospel on Sunday but treated it as true the rest of the week and used his commitment to that truth as the key to further insights in his work as a student of literature. “You can do that?” Williams thought as a young man not yet exposed to any Christian who was a serious thinker. “I want to do that!” His hope is that his readers will catch that same vision from this book. An Encouraging Thought elucidates the ways in which Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are informed by and communicate a biblical world view. This book will help readers appreciate the ways in which a biblical worldview informs Tolkien’s work, to the end that their own faith may be confirmed in strength, focused in understanding, deepened in joy, and honed in its ability to communicate the Gospel.

To receive a $4.00 discount, order here:

http://www.christianpublishers.org/apps/webstore/products/show/7721662

If you find this book interesting, you will also want its companion volume on C. S. Lewis:  Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis (Baltimore: Square Halo Books, 2016).  Order from Amazon or the publisher.

3R MINISTRIES

I’ve been asked to put together a brochure that would briefly explain who I am and what I have to offer as a speaker as well as a writer.  A couple of weeks ago I blogged here about the three great movements of God I see as desperately needed today: Renaissance, Reformation, and Revival.  That was as good a summary of what I am about as anything I could offer.  So, based on it, here is some material for that brochure:

3R MINISTRIES

Renaissance:  The restoration of the life of the mind;

Reformation:  The restoration of sound doctrine;

Revival:  The restoration of vital Christian spirituality.

Donald T. Williams, PhD

Pastor, Professor, Writer, Speaker, Apologist

Portrait-DTW1
At the Areopagus Forum, Atlanta, 2014

Renaissance—a restoration of the life of the mind; Reformation—a restoration of sound doctrine; Revival—a restoration of vital Christian spirituality.  These are the three great movements of God we desperately need in our generation.  And our great mistake is to believe that you can have the last one without the first two.”  —  Donald T. Williams

The "Trinity Knot": Three in One
The “Trinity Knot”: Three in One

Donald T. Williams, PhD, is one of the foremost apologists and Christian thinkers you may not have heard of.  What makes him unique?  He is a border dweller, camped out on the border between fields of theology and literature, the border between pastoral ministry and serious scholarship, and the border between this world, Narnia, and Middle Earth.

Donald Williams
At the International Society of Christian Apologetics, Charlotte, NC, April, 2015

Pastor, professor, and poet, theologian, apologist, and cultural critic, Williams is R. A. Forrest Scholar at Toccoa Falls College in the hills of NE Georgia.  He also serves as Scholar in Residence for Summit Ministries and has served as a pastoral trainer for rural pastors in places like Uganda, Kenya, and India for Church Planting International. He is the president of the International Society of Christian Apologetics.  Williams is the author of nine books, including Mere Humanity: G. K. Chesterton, C. S. Lewis, and Jr. R. R. Tolkien on the Human Condition (Nashville: Broadman, 2006), Inklings of Reality: Essays Toward a Christian Philosophy of Letters (Lynchburg: Lantern Hollow Press, 2012), Stars Through the Clouds: The Collected Poetry of Donald T. Williams (Lynchburg: Lantern Hollow Press, 2011), and Reflections From Plato’s Cave: Essays in Evangelical Philosophy (Lynchburg: Lantern Hollow Press, 2012).  His articles appear frequently in popular magazines such as Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity and Christian Research Journal as well as various scholarly journals.  He is also one of the featured “talking heads” in the popular recent apologetics video “Mining for God” (www.miningforgod.com).

Very definitely one thing and not another!

Williams speaks frequently for churches, colleges, Christian schools, home school groups, campus ministries, and other ministries.  Popular topics include “The Theology of Tolkien’s Middle Earth,” “Why We Lost the Culture War, and How to Make a Comeback,” “Worldviews in Literature,” “The Problem of Evil,” “True Truth: Why We Need to Remember Francis Schaeffer,” and “The Validity of Lewis’s ‘Trilemma.’”  His preaching is expository, in the tradition of men like D. Marty Lloyd-Jones.

Preaching at Christ's Coworkers Church in rural Kenya
Speaking at Christ’s Coworkers Church in rural Kenya

 

*To book Dr. Williams for your church, school, or group, contact him at dtw@tfc.edu.*

3R Ministries

Renaissance; Reformation; Revival!  

Donald T. Williams, PhD

381 Talmadge Drive

Toccoa, Ga. 30577

dtw@tfc.edu

706-886-1299

706-491-0766

Sola Scriptura;  Sola Gratia;  Sola Fide; 

Solus Christus;  Soli Deo Gloria!

 Order Dr. Williams’s books at https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/.

If you are interested in the case for God or more on the Christian world view, check out Dr. Williams' book REFLECTIONS FROM PLATO'S CAVE in the Lantern Hollow E-store.
If you are interested in the case for God or more on the Christian world view, check out Dr. Williams’ book REFLECTIONS FROM PLATO’S CAVE in the Lantern Hollow E-store.

CX

Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.”  I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”

I was really on a blank-verse jag that year for some reason.  More rhyme is coming soon; I promise.  I don’t even remember where this landscape was, but it reminds me of some parts of Wyoming, or of the Salisbury Plain near Stonehenge (though I had never seen it at that time, nor was I in Wyoming that year).  It also brings to mind Tolkien’s barrow downs.  Clearly it was somewhere not in the Appalachians seen by someone whose way of relating to landscapes is defined by places that are.   The specific location is forgotten, but not the feel of it.  That is where poetry is valuable.

Apocalypse

SalisburyPlain1

It was a bare place, despite the vegetation.

There was grass on the rounded hills, the long slopes,

A few trees standing, just enough

To make you notice that there were not more.

They were dark evergreens, stooped with age.

They did not stand in bunches, but alone,

Spread out like silent sentinels to watch

The years and keep a record of their doings.

There was wind in the grass and the twisted limbs.  There was

Too little between a man and the horizon.

SalisburyPlain2

You ought to have to climb awhile before

The sky can open up and leave you standing

Emptied out of everything but wonder.

You ought to have to go past dripping ferns,

Cool with water seeping from the rocks.

The graceful arms of trees should pull back slowly

To open in an unexpected meadow,

Then fold together again to receive you back.

SalisburyPlain4

It ought to be a thing you have to seek,

Perhaps unconsciously, and then return from,

Weakened and yet stronger for the journey.

It is not always so, for there was grass

On rounded hills, and wind was in the grass,

And the sky was all around you, all around you,

And lonely trees told tales that had no words.

SalisburyPlain3

Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.

Donald T. Williams, PhD