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A Hobbit Devotional

Barbour Books

9781616267438

A Hobbit Devotional :  Bilbo Baggins and the Bible

   
Author: Ed Strauss 

If you enjoy J. R. R. Tolkien--even if you're new to his classic stories--you'll love A Hobbit Devotional featuring 60 humorous, challenging, and encouraging devotionals. Soon to be a major motion picture, The Hobbit has fascinated readers for more than 70 years. Now, this tale of humble folk who overcome fear, discouragement, and despair through steadfastness, courage, and hope forms the basis of a brand-new devotional book. Each reading sketches a scene from The Hobbit, relates it to a contemporary life situation you might experience yourself, and brings in the teaching of a relevant Bible story or verse.
Review:   
A Hobbit Devotional is perfect for daily reading. It's not planned out in a calendar/agenda format, but it has 60 short chapters. At about five pages each, one chapter each day will fit great into even your busy schedule. Another pro: Even if you haven't read The Hobbit in a while, you don't have to worry about losing your way in the devotional. The author refreshes you on the story as he goes along, so you don't need to flip through The Hobbit.  My overall impression: It's a wonderful little book for any age. And perfect for getting ready for the new Hobbit movie!!

A Hobbit Devotional centres around the book The Hobbit, although since all books take place in Middle-Earth, you could still enjoy it if you've only read Lord of The Rings. The book is broken down into 60 chapters (so I guess you could use it as a two month devotional) and is a book best enjoyed slowly. There are also quite a few references to the Lord of The Rings trilogy, so if you haven't read it, you may find them spoilers.  Each chapter uses on point of the plot in The Hobbit, draws out the moral lesson from it and shows the reader what the Bible has to say about it. There are as many references to the Bible as there are to The Hobbit, which means that the author isn't just blindly drawing out moral lessons. And as a conclusion, the author shows how this particular lesson can be applied in our lives. The chapters are all fairly short (a few pages long), which makes them good devotional material.  Since The Hobbit is about quests and adventures, there is a lot devoted to stepping out in faith, and stepping beyond your comfort zone. I think that this book distills the moral lessons found in The Hobbit very well and shows how it can be applied to our everyday life.  There's not much else I have to say except that I highly recommend this book. Especially for fans of Middle Earth (and Bilbo!). Personally, I'd like to see this book being used in a Sunday School class (with a book discussion of The Hobbit going on at the same time). 

One of the best selling points is to create a book surrounding something that million of people love and Ed Strauss has done a wonderful job by creating a Devotions guide called A Hobbit Devotional : Bilbo Baggins and the Bible. Contained in A Hobbit Devotional is 60 devotions relating The Hobbit storylines , chapters to verses and books of the bible. Written in a way fans of The Hobbit and those who have read The Hobbit will understand and enjoy. As I am not a fan of The Hobbit, this wouldn't be the book I would normally read but to readers if it is anything and by glancing through it , it is like The Jane Austen devotional guide. I would have to say , readers of The Hobbit , come forth and learn the word of God with A Hobbit Devotional and at the same time discovering and reading The Hobbit in a new clear light.

I think Strauss has taken the devotional application much further than what Tolkien probably had in mind, but the real strength of Strauss's project is his spotlighting Tolkien's deep moral vision. Even though The Hobbit can be read as a fun adventure story, Christian, moral themes abound. I especially like Strauss's point that unlike many fantasy stories, The Hobbit portrays magic not as a pagan power or spells and incantations, but as natural powers given by God.

Fans of The Hobbit will enjoy thinking about the lessons Strauss brings out from the adventures of Bilbo, Gandalf, and others in Middle Earth.

This book is filled with great lessons for the die hard Hobbit or J.R.R. Tolkien fan and is bound to be a great discussion point for youth group and church leaders as well as we near the release date of the Hobbit on the big screen. This book is bound to make learning from the Bible fun in a completely new way and makes the life lessons more relevant when you can relate them back to not only the story of the Hobbit but back to the Bible as well.

I first met Bilbo Baggins as a Junior in college.  Though a children's book, The Hobbit held my attention.  I was a young believer at the time - but even then I could see spiritual connections throughout the book.  With the soon to be released movie, it was a pleasure to see Ed Strauss' look at those connections in a devotional setting.



 



As Strauss moves through J. R. R. Tolkien's original book, we find ourselves introduced to the places and people which are familiar to those who have read The Hobbit.  Each of the 60 devotions reviews a portion of Tolkien's book, concludes with a clear application and an appropriate scripture. 

 

I have look forward to reading each day's snippit (of course, I never cheated and looked ahead.) Reading the devotional has made me even more eager for the movie's release this holiday season.

Being a Tolkien fan, and currently reading The Hobbit to my youngest daughter each bedtime, I have to say that this book is a joy. From the gorgeous cover picture, title font and thoughtful introduction, right through the 60 chapters of the text to the useful glossary of Hobbit related words and a timeline of how long the events in the story took to unfold, each page was a pleasure to read.

I do hope that in due course, Ed Strauss will produce one for The Lord of The Rings too.
 
This book is less of a companion to The Hobbit and more of a treasure trove of insights for readers well familiar with the content and context of the classic tale. Strauss does a nice job of pulling out spiritual principles to digest and ponder at the reader’s pace, independently of reading the source material.

I recommend this book to all readers. If you've never read The Hobbit, the devotional feeds you enough tidbits of fascinating facts and quotes from the book to whet your interest. If you're already a Middle Earth fan, you probably can't get enough of Hobbits and the Shire and this is a delightful way to appease your appetite for more. Either way, you'll find this book to be a smart investment.
 

Related Product: 9781630584900

Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Inc. 
ISBN: 9781616267438
320Pages / Publication Date: 20120901
Available

Subject: REL012020-RELIGION / Christian Life / Devotional,





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