Thursday, July 17, 2008

Rolf and the Viking Bow

Samuel and William will be entering the fourth grade year of the Veritas Press History and Bible curriculum. I am trying to read several of the books they will be reading in the coming year. I started with Rolf and the Viking Bow. What a book! It has been a while since I read a book that made me want to be noble. But this one did. Rolf's father is unjustly killed and he spends the remainder of the story trying to get his family's farm back. It takes a little getting used to, but eventually you find yourself transported to Iceland during the early medieval times.
Throughout the story there is a juxtaposition of Christian themes, especially forgiveness, with pagan themes such as revenge and lying. There is also the theme of obedience to the law of the land. Rolf and his family are destroyed by men who use the technicalities of the law under the cloak of darkness to their advantage. Yet Rolf does not abandon law to gain revenge, as say Robin Hood does. Instead, he uses the law in broad daylight with lots of witnesses to win back his family and their honor. Throughout the ordeal, Rolf is noble. He does not complain. He does his duty. He is patient and kind, yet can fight when necessary. He accepts his place, whether as a slave or ruler.
Reading this book, along with Future Men by Douglas Wilson, reminded me that nobility is a lost virtue. We need men who understand that they are kings and behave like kings, even when they are enslaved. I am also preaching through Joseph and many of the themes in the Joseph narrative show up in this story. In fact, the last chapter is about how Rolf brings a proud and sinful man to his knees, much as Joseph does with his brothers. I found this book pushing me towards bibilical masculinity. It was a good read.

1 comment:

Julie Jones said...

Good stuff. Good comments. Good post.

Let the saints be joyful in glory, let them sing aloud on their beds, let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two edged sword in their hand, to execute vengeance on the nations, and punishments on the peoples; to bind the kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron. Psalm 149:5-8