Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Review of GOD ON THE STREETS OF GOTHAM by Paul Asay
Photo Credit: Tyndale House
Who the book is for: Christians and fans of Batman
Rating: 5 out of 5
I’ve always been a fan of superheroes. Though Superman claims the title of my favorite, when I was younger it was Batman all the way. I remember my dad bringing home the Tim Burton-directed Batman movie with Michael Keaton as Batman, and I was riveted. Then I just as taken in by Batman Returns. Then it started going downhill with Batman Forever and the horrendous Batman and Robin. Then Christopher Nolan, who is a brilliant filmmaker, gave us Batman Begins, the beginning of a new trilogy about the Dark Knight. The film was incredible, and I found The Dark Knight to be even better. Next month, the trilogy reaches its conclusion with The Dark Knight Rises. Without question, the movies have been incredibly popular. People seem to love the story of Batman. But why?
In anticipation of The Dark Knight Rises, author Paul Asay takes the opportunity to explore the history of Batman in all his different manifestiations throughout the years in a new book called GOD ON THE STREETS OF GOTHAM. The God part is there because Asay also proposes that Batman perhaps unwittingly acts as a guide to something greater than himself.
Rather than proposing Batman as some sort of Christ figure, Asay shows how Batman actually reflects a struggle in all of us to be a hero while often being dragged down by the darkness inside of us. The great things about Batman are the things that we wish were true of us, and the dark things about Batman are the things we wish weren’t true of us. Batman reflects a commitment to justice that seems to originate from outside of him. Using many different Batman symbols, Asay takes us on a journey of walking with Jesus, revealing the incredible gospel at our disposal because of Jesus.
While I love a good story that points back to Jesus, I also really loved the history of Batman mythology laced throughout the book. Asay clearly knows a lot about the Dark Knight, and his excitement over this story is infectious.
In Acts 17 Paul used elements the pop culture of the day to point people to the gospel of Jesus. People love the Batman movies, and using insights from this book we can both grow closer to Jesus ourselves while pointing others to the truth of Jesus’ story.
I received this book for free for review as a part of the Tyndale Blog Network, and the opinions contained in this review are completely my own