I would recommend this book as either a way to introduce an unbeliever who really likes Batman to the basics of the Gospel (as the link between this and Batman may indeed show them that Christianity is "cool"), or as a light read for a Christian who is into Batman and is not overly familiar with the Bible.
Since I recently read Travis Langley's (secular) book "Batman and Psychology: A Dark and Stormy Knight," I was expecting a more thorough exploration of how Batman and Christianity intersect. However, I found it to be a fairly light read. Much of the book is very simple reminders of faith concepts such as loving others and having a calling to do good works, although the chapters exploring villains (as specific manifestations of temptations) and Batman's suit (as a new parable for the full armor of Christ) were interesting and offered fresh insights.
From the time I first watched "Batman Begins," I saw so many analogies and parallels to both Christ and the Christian, so I was very excited when I saw this book. Paul Asay covered all that I had picked up on, as well as so many other "hidden gems" in the movies and books. Speaking of which, since I've only seen the movies, I found it extremely helpful and insightful for Mr. Asay to have included many anecdotes from the books, especially since this book came out before this most recent installment of the "Dark Knight" trilogy. :)
Without going too much into what the book covers, one of my favorite chapters was when Mr. Asay covered the different Nemesis of Batman and correlated them to the "demons" and temptations we Christians face, and how the movies are a great tangible picture of our spiritual world.
Generally I would recommend "God on the Streets of Gotham" to fans of the Batman franchise, but Mr. Asay does a great enough job of giving background info, that even a non-fan could get a quite a bit out of it.
just in time for the theatrical release of Christopher Nolan's final film (say it ain't so) in his Batman series The Dark Knight Rises, comes a book from Paul Asay that looks at the world of Batman, with particular attention given to Nolan's interpretation, with a Biblical and theological lens.
God On The Streets Of Gotham: What The Big Screen Batman Can Teach Us About God And Ourselves is great reading for all and required reading for fans of Nolan's Batman films.
Asay is associate editor of Plugged In, a ministry that explores pop culture and it's implications for the Christian journey.
Asay engages Batman stories, past and present, and Biblical texts in an appropritate manner. he does not make the case that Batman is divine or his stories are Scripture. he does, however, draw parrallels between Batman, the Bible, and life.
read God On The Streets Of Gotham and watch Nolan's films. you'll look at the stories and reflect upon justice, mercy, grace, good vs. evil, and duty in a new way
The title of this book, God on the Streets of Gotham: What The Big Screen Batman Can Teach Us About God and Ourselves, instantly caught my eye. "What in the world is going to be written in a book relating Batman and God?" is what I asked myself... and knew I had to find out. I have liked Batman for a long time, ok... it was mostly Michael Keaton as Batman that I liked. But the character was always so interesting to me as a whole. Paul Asay, associate editor of Focus on the Family's PluggedIn.com, is the author and he honestly does a fantastic job of delving into the many different facets of who we know as Batman (and there are SO many different Batmans to cover!) and showing us how he does, in fact, relate to God and Jesus.
I appreciate the fact that Asay doesn't try to force Christianity onto Bruce Wayne/Batman. No, he readily admits he doesn't know if the Caped Crusader is a believer or not and yet easily gives detailed examples of how Batman, though dark and often deadly, shadows the Christian faith. Is his "higher calling" and moral code merely an outstanding sense right and wrong... or is it living for something more? We can only speculate and use Batman's examples to better ourselves in our walk with Christ.
The author mostly uses the Christopher Nolan films to gleam from, but certainly does not leave the comic books, TV show, animated cartoons and previous movies untouched. We run down the list of Batman's attire, comparing it to the spiritual armor we, as Christians, should wear described in Ephesians 6:14-17. Asay relates the Dark Knight's nemeses, quite accurately, to the struggles we often fight in our daily lives. And, though Batman is, essentially, a loner, he is not without his partners who help to keep him in check, provide encouragement and assist when needed.
I quite enjoyed reading this book, delving into the deeper levels of Batman and his Gotham. As far-fetched as the concept may seem, Asay does a great job tying Batman and faith in God together with enough detail, wit and insight to make for a wonderful read.
I received a copy of this book for free from the Tyndale Blogging Network in return for my honest review.
As you can tell by my previous posts, non-fiction books are not my normal cup of tea. I've joined a couple of "blogging" websites, though, that are helping me to expand my horizon of books that I read. So as I looked over a list of books available to be reviewed, I thought it would be a no-brainer for me to pick this one for my review.
The books starts out with a nice history of Batman over the years and his rise through print, to TV and ultimately on the bigscreen. The author begins by describing Batman in some generic terms; Being called from birth, the love of the Father, called by choice and then called by searching. He then brings in characters that battled against Batman to show struggles that he dealt with: Nemesis - Scarecrow - Fear, Two-Face - Despair; Joker - Annihilation. With each chapter, he builds off of the characteristics that we've seen in Batman and weaves them back to a comparison of the life of Jesus.
I'd say that I was skeptical of this book at first. It really didn't grab me the way that fiction does, simply because alot of the comparisons that the author makes are subject to interpretation. I guess that's what has always caused me to shy away from reading too much fiction. I didn't see anything scriptually wrong with the book. Again, I'm sure that another author could take the same information and make it say something totally different, but Mr. Asay did a great job with his book. I enjoyed that he didn't make this solely about Batman, but also the surroundings and influences that make up the character of Batman.
Is it a "man's book"? Sure, why not. It is a good read, has some good theories and talks about Batman. How many other times in life will you be able to read a book that combines two of a man's most talked about topics, God and superheroes.
I received this copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.