On the plane on the way back home, I watched the movie,Tolkien.
I enjoyed the movie, and highly recommend it.
But the movie failed to demonstrate the influence of Christianity in Tolkien’s life and his writing.
It was a fitting end to our Viking Travel Journal.
It reminded me of the uniqueness of the perspective of the GSB blog in general and the GSB travel journals specifically.
Historians write to impress other secular historians.
The travel industry is motivated to entertain the general public.
Neither are interested in showing how King Jesus has transformed and is transforming the world into the place He originally intended.
So, historians delve into Norse mythology hoping to find some nuance others have missed. Tourist guides,seeking to entertain their guests, tell their silly folk legends about trolls and elves. And, as a result, people miss out on the evidence of the most important event that has been in process for the last 2,000 years––the redemption of the planet by Jesus of Nazareth.
The Vikings learned how to make better boats than other people groups, and that enabled them to travel greater distances safely. If there was any one conspicuous characteristic about the Vikings as a people group it was their aggressive and adventurous nature. When they were redeemed, their advanced boat-buidling techniques and aggressiveness enabled them to Christianize Scandinavia and take the gospel to places like the Faroe Islands, Iceland, and Greenland. Instead of stealing, killing, and destroying, the redeemed Vikings went out to bring the knowledge of King Jesus to old and new places.
The more I have studied the pagan Vikings, the less I have liked them, but this is to be expected amongst any pagan culture. The more one studies any pagan culture the more clearly one sees of the unredeemed human heart. It is not a thing to be adored or romanticized.
But here is the thing: we were all pagans of a sort before meeting Jesus. If we were fortunate enough to grow up in a Christianized culture the full manifestation of that paganism was restrained but impulses were the same. And here is the most important thing we share with the Vikings, regardless of the culture in which we were raised, and that is our path to redemption leads to and through the same door that is Jesus. GS