It began as a simple illustration taken from a beloved classic, and now most of us are digging our own graves to spare our family members from the back-breaking work — we are all mostly dead now. Sproul: “I wanted to add some color to my sermon on spiritual maturity. I planned on including a small illustration of how sometimes we are spiritual hobbits, like Bilbo Baggins, but then Gandalf comes along to take us on spiritual adventures. I guess once I got going it was just hard to stop.”
What happened next is almost unimaginable for those familiar with Sproul’s work, and is causing many of us to “kick the bucket” early. After recounting the opening scenes of The Hobbit in great detail, R.C. Sproul did not continue with his sermon but proceeded to spend the next five hours narrating the entire story of Bilbo Baggins’ adventure. One of the deacons recounts that he “kept waiting for him to stop talking about The Hobbit and continue with his sermon. I was expecting, you know, some Scripture and maybe three applications on how to become more spiritually mature, but he just basically gave us a very detailed synopsis of Tolkien’s classic book, like from cover to cover. It was incredible.”
Mary Spinoza, a first time visitor, stated that Sproul “did such a good job telling the story that I felt like I was actually there…in the story. He was really into the narrative, adding different voices for each character and sound effects. I just don’t think he could stop himself without finishing the entire story.”
Although many church members were frustrated with the length and lack of scriptural content in the sermon, others seemed to enjoy a change of pace. A few church goers plan on inviting their neighbors next Sunday, hoping for Sproul to pick up where he left off and begin the Lord of the Rings trilogy next Sunday. I guess those of us who aren’t completely dead will have to wait until Sunday to see what happens!