I think it has been pretty well established, both in life and in this space, that I am deep J.R.R. Tolkien nerd (the books, not the Peter Jackson movies–first three are enjoyable, but don’t get me started on the travesty of The Hobbit franchise) . But I promise, I’m not sharing this article from The Art of Manliness in my capacity as Middle Earth Apologist, but because it offers A) one of the best descriptions I’ve read on the power of the Christian myth from someone other than Marcus Borg (myth as Mystic Truth, not necessarily as Fact), and B) because it makes a strong argument for the reclamation of the face-to-face conversation. For each of these points, the author uses the fairly well-known story of C.S. Lewis’s conversion to Christianity, by way of many deep conversations with his friend J.R.R. Tolkien, as illustration.
I came across this soon after reading Cathy Baskin’s blog post (and newsletter reflection, which you can read here) on the importance of open, honest, communication and how that can change hearts, and therefore the world. Synchronicity, indeed.
The article is a little long, so I’ll give you the short version, but if you do have time, consider reading the whole thing (link below).
First, on the power of Myth:
And now on the need for real conversation (and yes, I’m aware of the irony of launching an appeal for face-to-face conversation out into the digital abyss, but we’re looking for balance here, not for one necessarily to triumph over the other):