Monday, December 10, 2012

"God on the Streets of Gotham...

....What the Big Screen Batman can Teach us About God and Ourselves", finishes the title of one of the most fun and real books that I have read in 2012. Paul Asay, writer for Focus on the Family's and all around nice guy based on our twitter interactions, takes us on a journey through the crime ridden streets of Gotham and all the personalities that dwell within in this amazing book. Now, if you are looking for a theological masterpiece, you probably need to go pick up Slave or the Truth War by MacArthur. Don't get me wrong, God on the Streets of Gotham is solid in regards to the Bible.  This book, however, won't shore up your thoughts on soteriology (Calvanistic/Arminian) or reaffirm your beliefs on the rapture or the millennial Kingdom so if that's what your looking for try some Sproul or Begg.  What it will do however (and possible just as importantly), is to let you know that there are others out there that share the same struggles, life issues, and sins that we do. And that is what I loved about this book.  It's not some guy writing page after laborious page about how we ought to be, act, and live all the while most likely not even coming close to his own mark in his own life.  This book feels more real than that.  You can sense the author's passion, concerns, fears then ultimately and thankfully his faith coming through on the pages.  Best of all, it's set in Gotham with the amazing characters we all know and love because...well, Batman is the best superhero.  Right?

You could look at the title and, like my beautiful bride, be concerned that this is a book comparing Batman to Jesus.  That's not what this is all about.  Only in one sense towards the end is that that the case and it is only in regards to sacrifice and humility(Philippians 2), not in perfection.  Batman has his flaws and weaknesses and they are shown in this book.  The cast of villians' issues are laid bare and are a good reminder of where we could all be without God's grace as well.  From Carmine Falcone's corruption and compromise, to the fear instilled by the Scarecrow, to Ra's Al Ghul's zealous ambitions, to Two-Face's despair, Catwoman's amorality, Banes' addiction, and even Joker's annihilation mindset, Paul Asay runs the gambit of emotions and sins that these Gotham villains represent. Like I already alluded to, Batman isn't immune to the realities of a fallen world either.  He battles through the same issues and emotions that we do as well. Pain, suffering, doubt, and of course loss just to name a few.  Loss is how Batman started and so many of us can relate to that one.  It is a great reminder for us to look to Christ and not to get trapped in these same lifestyles and emotions. In John 16:33 Jesus tells us, "I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." Thank God for that promise. 

Now, the best part of all of this is that most of the references in the book are directly from the most recent Trilogy so it is all fresh in most of our minds. This book may not be for everyone(setting-wise, not content-wise).  If you aren't a fan or familiar with Bats and his cast of arch nemeses, it might not be something you would put your time into.  If you are like me, however, and Batman is your all-time favorite, you really can't go wrong with reading this book. It was an amazing page turning Batmobile ride and  I loved every page of it.  I'm sure any other fan of what takes place in Gotham will too. Pick up your copy today!

Follow Paul Asay on twitter: @asaypaul
Purchase God on the Streets of Gotham on Kindle: HERE

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