C.S. Lewis reviews The Lord of the Rings

C.S. Lewis wrote reviews of the first two books of J.R.R. Tolkien’s trilogy The Lord of the Rings. Here are the reviews below. (At least to my knowledge, Lewis never wrote a review of The Return of the King. If anyone knows otherwise, please let me know. I’d be happy to be wrong.)

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Called to the ministry?

I’ve sometimes heard men wondering (or even been asked for my thoughts by some) if they’re called to the ministry. If they should try to become pastors or other “servant-leaders” in the church.

I usually just listen. I don’t have anything to offer. I’m about the last person anyone should ask these sorts of questions to.

I would imagine that’s something these men should primarily discuss with those in ministry at their church, their trusted friends and family members, other close confidantes in their lives, etc.

Not to mention in my observation it’s often something that organically emerges as a person serves in his church and others start to recognize his talents and so on.

However, I did want to point out something, though this is far more tongue-in-cheek than anything to be taken seriously!

On the one hand, there are men like David Martyn Lloyd-Jones who felt like they couldn’t do anything else but preach and teach. He left an extremely promising medical career for the ministry, and he never felt it was anything but an absolute privilege to minister God’s word to God’s people.

Along similar lines, there are men like Jonathan Edwards and Charles Spurgeon who came from long lines of ministers. They seemed to have gone into the ministry virtually as a matter of course. Like it was the most natural thing for them to do.

On the other hand, JC Ryle offers almost the opposite example. Being a minister was about the last thing Ryle wanted to do! He was forced into ministry due to his family’s bankruptcy.

Likewise, John Calvin had to be all but compelled by William Farel to become the minister in Geneva. Calvin wanted to lead a quiet bookish life. Write scholarly treatises. That sort of thing.

Augustine of Hippo intentionally avoided towns where priests might be needed. Until he was found out by Valerius, who, seeing Augustine in the audience, immediately changed his prepared sermon into a sermon about the need for priests, which in turn incited a crowd to push Augustine to the fore. Augustine was made a priest almost against his will. After Valerius died a few years later, Augustine was made bishop.

Of course, Moses was reluctant to lead Israel to say the least!

I’m sure there are other examples.

Point being, I guess if God really wants someone to be a minister, even if they’re completely against the idea, then God will find a way to make them a minister! 😉