The new Superman film, Man of Steel, has broken box office records, earning more than $200 million worldwide during its opening weekend. Based on the popular 1930s comic book serial, the film “reboots” the Hollywood franchise with an edgier, grittier take on the classic superhero story.
Amazingly, despite even more violence and destruction than seen in earlier film and television depictions, the studio marketed the film to Christian churches as a story with deep connections to Jesus Christ …
“Warner Bros. Studios aggressively marketed ‘Man of Steel’ to Christian pastors, inviting them to early screenings, creating Father’s Day discussion guides and producing special film trailers that focus on the faith-friendly angles of the movie.
“The movie studio even asked a theologian to provide sermon notes for pastors who want to preach about Superman on Sunday. Titled “Jesus: The Original Superhero,” the notes run nine pages. … How might the story of Superman awaken our passion for the greatest hero who ever lived and died and rose again?” the sermon notes ask.”
Ironically, the creators of Superman wanted him to be a type of Moses. But today, “Christ-like imagery [is] planted throughout Man of Steel. One blaring symbol occurs during a climactic battle: Superman jumps from General Zod’s … ship and hovers in the sky with his arms out-stretched like the crucifix. Freeze-frame it and you can have your own Superman prayer card.”(Read about many more connections here and here.)This isn’t just Christian conspiracy theory either—the film’s director, Zack Snyder, has said, “I didn't make that stuff up. … That is the tried-and-true Superman metaphor. So rather than be snarky and say that doesn't exist, we thought it would be fun to allow that mythology to be woven through.”While some pastors around the country embraced the marketing as an opportunity to share the gospel story in a contemporary way, others have rejected the notion altogether. One church leader said, “Any pastor who thinks using `Man of Steel Ministry Resources' is a good Sunday-morning strategy must have … very little confidence in the power of God’s word.”What do you think? Should Christians be willing to embrace Hollywood’s attempt to connect with them? Or do we need to be especially wary about what comes out of Hollywood? Let us know in the comments below …Amazing Facts carries a very timely DVD documentary called The Replacement Gods that investigates the recent comic book film phenomenon now ongoing in Hollywood. It’s an extremely insightful look into popular culture and the open doors Satan can exploit to deceive and distract believers and skeptics alike from the true message of Jesus Christ. It’s a must-have, especially as TV and film are ratcheting up their comic book adaptations in the years to come.
It’s available right now at afbookstore.com.Click here to learn more and to order.
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