Is It Indeed

‘I have been expecting Gandalf for many days. He was to have come to Hobbiton at the latest two nights ago; but he has never appeared. Now I am wondering what can have happened. Should I wait for him?’
Gildor was silent for a moment. ‘I do not like this news,’ he said at last. ‘That Gandalf should be late does not bode well. But it is said: Do not meddle in tha affairs of Wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger. The choice is yours: to go or wait.’
‘And it is said,’ answered Frodo: ‘Go not to the Elves for counsel, for they will say both no and yes.’
‘Is it indeed?’ laughed Gildor. ‘Elves seldom give unguarded advice, for advice is a dangerous gift, even from the wise to the wise, and all courses may run ill. But what would you? You have not told me all concerning yourself; and how can I choose better than you? But if you demand advise, I will for friendship’s sake give it. …’
–Frodo and Gildor in J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring, 82.

Like Butter

…’Are you going further?’

‘Yes, I am. I feel I need a holiday, a very long holiday, as I have told you before. Probably a permanent holiday: I don’t expect I shall return. I fact, I don’t mean to, and I have made all the arrangements.

‘I am old, Gandalf. I don’t look it, but I am beginning to feel it in my heart of hearts. Well-preserved indeed!’ he snorted. ‘Why, I feel all thin, sort of stretched, if you know what I mean: like butter that has been scraped over too much bread. That can’t be right. I need a change, or something.’

Gandalf looked curiously and closely at him. ‘No, it does not seem right,’ he said thoughtfully. ‘No, after all I believe your plan is probably the best.’

‘Well, I’ve made up my mind, anyway. I want to see mountains again, Gandalf — mountains; and then find somewhere where I can rest. In peace and quiet …’

–Bilbo & Gandalf in J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring, 32.

Some Not Far Away

‘There’s some not far away that wouldn’t offer a pint of beer to a friend, if they lived in a hole with golden walls.’
–J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Rings, 24.

Too Much of a Good Thing

There were some that shook their heads and thought this was too much of a good thing; it seemed unfair that anyone should possess (apparently) perpetual youth as well as (reputedly) inexhaustible wealth.
‘It will have to be paid for,’ they said. ‘It isn’t natural, and trouble will come of it!’
–J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring, 21.

Virtue and Character

Too often evangelicals view morality in terms of the great controversies of the day rather than in terms of connections to older and more substantive notions of virtue and character.

–Richard Lints, Fabric of Theology, 5.

A Kind of Thinking

But like the current children’s literature, current theology gives evidence of a central moral vacuum created by a dearth of serious and sustained reflection. Christian character cannot be created without a kind of thinking that strains the soul.

–Richard Lints, Fabric of Theology, 4.


from Ayjay.

Based and Founded

…systematic theology must be based upon biblical theology, and biblical theology in turn must be founded upon exegesis that attends meticulously to the cultural/historical setting, linguistic data, literary devices/techniques, and especially the narrative plot structure, i.e., the larger story which the text as a unitary whole entails and by which it is informed. The converse is also true: exegesis and biblical theology is not an end in itself but a means to the large end of doing systematic theology which simply attempts to bring all of our thought and life captive to Scripture and thus under the lordship of Christ.

–Gentry and Wellum, Kingdom through Covenant, 11.

Two Big Questions for Good Bible Study

Jonathan Parnell. What does this text mean? Why does it matter/how do I apply it?


Gene Veith. I would argue that the same issues that sparked the Reformation are still problems in today’s church, including protestant and Lutheran congregations: financial corruption (the prosperity gospel, religious scams), sexual immorality (scandals among pastors and church leaders; the pornography plague), political power (the new social gospel of both the right and the left). And now, as then, we see the Gospel consigned just to first becoming a Christian, so that many people think of Christ’s atonement as applying to conversion, but feeling themselves now as being under the Law. They have lost the sense of God’s grace and forgiveness as a continuing reality, available through the Word and Sacraments as the constant life force for the Christian life.