Originally Posted by pewter_tankard
The first is that, although Tolkien denies that there is an underlying message to the books (and I believe that he means this), JRRT was a man of his time. *snip*
You said more elaborately the same thing I was trying to say
His values/beliefs/experiences INFLUENCED his work, because well how could they not? But he wasn't TRYING to make the work have any overt message or allegory. There were themes, but I think what he really wanted was for the readers to draw their own conclusions and think about what it meant to them, and each get something different out of it. To say that it was written as a "christian novel" or that he purposely injected "christian symbolism" into it is just incorrect, not to mention a serious oversimplification of the many meanings of this complex piece of work.