RS asks: Would you consider Tolkien to have been a Christian?
I really dislike answering this sort of question. It does not fall to me, or any other man, to judge another man’s soul. However, we can certainly say that JRR Tolkien was a devout Catholic, considered himself to be a Christian, was instrumental in leading CS Lewis to accept Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior, and wrote a literary masterpiece that is rife with Christian references, analogies and metaphor.
In other words, if he was not a Christian, I don’t know who is. And if we judge Tolkien by his fruits, as we are instructed, there can be very little doubt as to the nature of the tree. In other words, yes.
By this same metric, I very much doubt that Adolf Hitler was a Christian, his sometime public protestations to the contrary notwithstanding. His blasphemous attempts to usurp the role of Jesus Christ would alone appear to rule him out as an antichrist, not to mention the small matter of his massive body count and notorious hatred for God’s Chosen. But the truth is, we do not know the truth of what was in either man’s heart at the end.
It is possible to imagine that Hitler repented of his sins in the Berlin bunker. In near-total ignorance of his life, it is possible to imagine that Tolkien secretly abjured Jesus Christ and embraced Belial. But both possibilities, especially the latter, are so uncharacteristic of what we know as to be monstrously absurd, in my opinion, and not worth the breath required to discuss them. For my part, I hope to one day leave as bold a Christian testimony behind as did Mr. Tolkien.