Tolkien and Bilbo: a little Christmas gift to you and yours...

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My family loves me, so they put up with my idiosyncrasies. One was the subject of several jocular comments during our early Christmas celebration several days ago. Our good readers know how I drone on about Christians confessing our faith by not giving up the name "man" for our race.

I'll cop to it. When Christians employ "human," "humankind," and "person" in place of "man," I get facial tics. Pagans bashing in the chest of English usage to conform to their homogenized world of androgynous beings doesn't bother me at all. But when Christians do it, I wonder where they DO choose to confess their faith? If language doesn't matter, why did God say "let there be light?" He didn't need to.

And why do we bother naming our sons and daughters? Why do we call God "Father," and why did He name our race "adam?"

Here's a little Christmas gift for y'all. A Christian brother forwarded a link to this crowd-sourced lament about Tolkien making Bilbo a boy. Trying to be helpful, they provide links to machines that reverse the oppressive patriarchy of historic English. So I tried to explain...

Tolkien's usage. Add your own confessions of faith, or help your children to do so themselves.

In case the blogger doesn't approve my own comment, here it is:

Dear Friends,

Since the beginning of time, male inclusives have been used because God named our race "adam" (transliterated from the Hebrew of Genesis). In God's Word the Bible, "Adam" is both the proper name of the first man and the name of the race. God did not name the race "eve" or "adameve" because Adam was delegated the responsibility and authority of God, the Father Almighty. Thus when Adam was tested and fell into sin by listening to the voice of his wife Eve and eating the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3:17), the entire race of adam also fell, and God condemned us to death and Hell. God decreed that Adam would be our federal head. Thus the primer colonial Americans used to teach their children taught the first letter of the alphabet with this little ditty: "In Adam's Fall, we sinned all."

Jesus is the second Adam sent from the love of the Father Almighty to redeem adam (man) from the Fall of the first Adam. Therefore, Jesus also is not a woman but a man. He had to be a man to be our second federal head Who would represent us before God, just as the first Adam did. So, today, we celebrate Christmas because it is the day we remember God clothing His Son with man's flesh.

Of course, this is the reason the leads of Tolkien's and Lewis's and Bunyan's and most of Christendom's stories are male. Lewis and Tolkien were orthodox Christians and wrote in such a way as to reflect and teach the male responsibility and leadership of their Christian faith. Their stories are confessions of faith, not the chauvinism or misogyny most undeducated postmoderns assume them to be. What we have here is not prejudice, but principle. Biblical principle. Christian principle.

And to head off another slander thrown against Christians by postmoderns, the above doctrine does not mean women are worth less than man, nor that woman is unequal to man. Both man and woman equally bear the Image of God, yet there is order in their relationship. Eve is made to be Adam's helpmate and Adam is made to bear responsibility for, and authority over, Eve.

Why we reject this obvious truth in the relation of the sexes when we accept it so easily in so many other places is one of the mysteries of our time.

My congressmen and senators (both male and female) have responsibility for my wellbeing as one of their constituents and a citizen of their state. They are my representatives in Washington D.C. and act in my behalf. They have authority and rule over me, yet this in no way makes me inferior to them, nor does it relegate me to second or third-class citizenship.

There's much more explaining these Christians truths on our Baylyblog dot com. Feel free to come over and learn the history of the Western world's habits of language. You may choose to continue to diss them and use machines to change any story you don't like, but in the matter of male responsibility, leadership, and the resultant male inclusive God decreed, you should at least know the reason those you attack wrote and spoke as they did.

Especially when those you are attacking are Lewis and Tolkien who were seeking to be merely faithful Christians.

Merry Christmas!

And if you're curious about how this post will read under the mandates of our coming federal hate-speech legislation, check it out.

Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and big lots of grandchildren.

Want to get in touch? Send Tim an email!