Journal Reader Responses 36.01


Reader Responses

Article ID:



Jul 31, 2022


Oct 11, 2015

The Hobbit

These reader responses first appeared in the Response column of the CHRISTIAN RESEARCH JOURNAL, volume 36, number 01 (2013). The full text of this article in PDF format can be obtained by clicking here. For further information or to subscribe to the CHRISTIAN RESEARCH JOURNAL go to:

A Thief in the Night

While I enjoyed how greed or obsession was portrayed in The Hobbit, I would ask clarification of what was meant by “commercialization” (vol. 35, no. 6). If it was a lament that now you can purchase Hobbit character dolls, legos, and so forth, then I would ask whose fault that is. I mean, if a parent gets those toys for their kids, then the parents would be part of the “commercialization” problem.

Another thing that bothered me was that Peter Jackson does outstanding quality work. It was precisely the Rings trilogy that drew me back to attending the movie theater. Prior to that were either crappy movies or those that bored me. I have looked forward to seeing this new movie for the past three years and have gone to see it since December 14 twelve times. I still get blown away with each viewing. I have difficulty leaving Middle Earth to re-enter reality. Peter Jackson loved Tolkien’s works and has done more justice in the spirit if not the exactness of the books. Richard Armitage grew up reading Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit and loved them. Do you think a lover of those works would not do their best in loyally portraying their character? Would you rather have had Quentin Tarantino make The Hobbit?

Elizabeth Rosenstiel
Denver, CO

The Troubling Truth about Bonhoeffer’s Theology

Mr. Dietrich Bonhoeffer had proven himself to be a man of intelligence and sophistication of thought by his many writings and instructional accomplishments. Furthermore, he proved to be a man who feared God and a man of great quality of character as he willingly sacrificed all for the sake of Christ, and a love of people.

Mr. Bonhoeffer wrote that Scripture “alone is the answer” to all our questions. As well, in the article (vol. 35, no. 6) we are reminded that Mr. Bonhoeffer professed the “truth, reliability, and unity of scripture.” Therefore to assert that the quotation with respect to Universalism is a profession of acceptance by Mr. Bonhoeffer is logically inconsistent with his stated positions. Now refer back to the facts about the man’s example and his clear teaching and one cannot draw this conclusion. Therefore there needs to be another interpretation for what Mr. Bonhoeffer wrote.

Is it not possible that another equally tenable interpretation for Mr. Bonhoeffer’s statements about principles and ethics resulted from a growing concern with the churches’ increasing egocentrism (v. Christocentric), legalism, and self-centered programs? Therefore, Mr. Bonhoeffer’s encouragement to “the church” to focus less on deriving principles and ethics and more on a “humble” servitude to Christ, that is, discipleship. Further evidencing of his thoughts in the matter is referred to by his quote of a “resistance against everything religious.”

In conclusion, it seems we waste much energy on replacing logically consistent critical thought, and theology, with academeology.

John A. Goudy
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

In our reading of the article and Bonhoeffer’s work, author Richard Weikart took Bonhoeffer in context. It would be a case of special pleading to interpret Bonhoeffer in the manner you suggest. —The Editor

The Fine Points of Discernment

Volume 35, number 6 of the CHRISTIAN RESEARCH JOURNAL just arrived yesterday, so I haven’t had time to read it all quite yet, but Elliot Miller’s editorial is worth the price of the magazine. For those of us who grew up in an atmosphere of isolation where separation from anything and everything was the highest good, and sanctification was defined by a list of do’s and don’ts, Miller’s insightful, incisive editorial is both delightful and right on target. How desperately the church needs this message!

Jim Sukach
Ypsilanti, MI

We welcome your feedback. To have your response considered for publication, please keep it within 250 words, include your full name, city, and state, and send it via e-mail to [email protected]. Reader responses will be edited as needed for readability and space.


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