Monday, June 4, 2012
God on the Streets of Gotham
In light of all the recent summer blockbusters coming to the big screen, I thought I would share with you an incredible book, I had the privileged to get to read and review. It's Paul Asay's debut book, God on the Streets of Gotham, What the Big Screen Can Teach Us About God and Ourselves. I have to say if you're a Christian and love super heroes, then you will LOVE this one.
Here's just a sample of the synopis from the rear cover:
"For more than seventy years, Batman has captured the imagination of millions of people worldwide. First created in the 1930's, Batman has become a cultural icon in comics, television, and films. Why does the story of Batman continue to fascinate? Why does this dark hero inspire millions of us?"
I think Paul does a fabulous job at walking through all the different media aspects in search of these answers and holds them up to the light of God's word. Here are just some of the incredible passages I highlighted in my reading:
"Batman is no lunatic. He is no villain. He is a hero, pressed into service by a source he may be only dimly aware of. He believes in goodness even if he doesn't call it God. Perhaps he's like the disciple Thomas, who heard the call to follow, but didn't quite understand who he was really following.
But because Batman perhaps doesn't perfectly understand his calling or the implications thereof, he can sometimes get a little lost. He can grow confused in his role and sometimes his values can get a little scrambled. He is prone, like most of us can be at times, to place his trust in the wrong things and his faith in the wrong people. We all lose sight of God and sometimes chase after the nearest approximation. And sometimes he literally follows the wrong guy." (pg 18).
"He is not much like Superman, but he is something like Moses, David and Peter. The Bible doesn't sugarcoat our heroes for us or tell us they're anything but pretty sorry, flawed folks. And yet God takes them and makes them special, even great, just as he does with us. God takes badness and makes it good. He takes shadow and shines a light - if not on it, at least in it. He transforms us not from the outside but from within.
Is it surprising, then, that Batman would see some light and hope in Gotham as well? The place may be bad, filled with all manner of corruption, but there's goodness to be found underneath the grime. It isn't Sodom, without even ten righteous people. It can still be saved. It can still be redeemed - if only someone would care enough to help the cause along. Someone with a little faith. " (pg. 15).
This is just a small sampling of the fine work that Paul Asay does in dissecting all the parts that make up both the man, Bruce Wayne, but Batman as well. He analysis the villains, his partners, his tools of the trade and what it all means through comic books, movies and the television series and why we all need to believe in a hero. Not just in Jesus, but that a hero lies within us all to seek out to be a better person and to care for those in need.
I received God on the Streets of Gotham by Paul Asar compliments of Tyndale House Publishers for my honest review and highly recommend this to any one who loves super heroes, both young and old alike. Paul Asay is the associate editor at Plugged In, a ministry that reaches more than six million people with movie reviews that help people understand popular cultural trends and how they intersect with spiritual issues. I easily award this book a 5 out of 5 stars in my personal opinion and for me as a parent, this book makes a great resource for balancing things out in the world and what God would want us to see. I think this does nothing more than point us to Jesus Christ in all the things we do today. There is a light within the darkness if we but only are willing to search for it. For now, I'm off to enjoy watching Batman Begins again with a greater sense of purpose.
For more information on this book, the author and where to pick up your copy of this book today, please click on the links below:
You can find out more about Paul Asay by following him on Facebook by clicking here.