God on the Streets of Gotham: What the Big Screen Batman Can Teach Us about God and Ourselves

God on the Streets of Gotham: What the Big Screen Batman Can Teach Us about God and Ourselves

by Paul Asay
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God on the Streets of Gotham: What the Big Screen Batman Can Teach Us about God and Ourselves 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
libraryboy More than 1 year ago
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.
Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
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.
BWG1968 More than 1 year ago
I've been a Batman fan since I was a boy, and liked to think I knew the caped crusader pretty well. After reading this book I have a much deeper understanding of the man behind the mask. Asay delves deep to reveal his better angels and shines a light on the demons that haunt the man and his alter-ego, and he makes it pretty clear that more is going on in Gotham than meets the eye! This book will make a great gift for a lot of people I know. I highly recommend this book to any Batman fan, and to anyone who enjoys finding God in unexpected places.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AlaskanTebowFan More than 1 year ago
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.
Obi-Wan-L More than 1 year ago
With the upcoming third release in Christopher Nolan’s popular Batman movie series this summer, author Paul Asay is clearly capitalizing on the popularity and timing of Christian Bale on the big screen. And who can blame him? Batman is an American icon. And for good reason. He’s a superhero with no special powers. He lets us imagine that any of us (with a few billion dollars) could crusade for justice and right wrongs in our spare time. In God on the Streets of Gotham: What the Big Screen Batman can Teach Us about God and Ourselves, Asay uses images and stories of Batman from comic books, the early television show, and the movies (including the well-done recent ones) to look at the Christian faith in light of Batman. Asay reiterates several times that Batman is not a Christian figure, but simply that he can teach us about following God.
DSaff More than 1 year ago
Batman has been popular throughout many generations for a reason. His exploits have captured our imagination and kept us wanting more. In his new book, "God on the Streets of Gotham: What the Big Screen Batman Can Teach Us About God and Ourselves," Paul Asay takes us for a walk down memory lane, touching on the history and life of Batman. But, Mr. Asay does more here. He also shows comparisons between the life of a pretend superhero with our real life superhero - Jesus. What type of comparisons can there be? you might ask. Well, there were/are villains to defeat, people to save, and goodness to find and nurture; there was also persecution and love. Come take a walk on the streets of your town and see how the message of this book can illuminate your thinking. I selected this book because the title intrigued me, and I have to say that I really enjoyed it. So many times we forget the power we have on our side as Christians, but we do have power. This book helps to remind us that with God on our side, evil will be defeated. It was fun reliving the history of Batman, and it brought back many great memories. If you enjoy books that will help you think outside the box, and encourage you, this book is right for you. I received my free review copy from Tyndale House Publishers for an honest review.
GlenBarry More than 1 year ago
Smart, interesting book. I wish there'd been more to it, especially more from the comics because it sticks pretty heavily to the Nolan movies. The author knows plenty more about Batman obviously, so I wish he'd gotten into more of the long history and characters outside the Nolan films. All that said, it still made a great read. I'd never seen what now seems like an obvious association between Christ's sacrifice of his life to pay for the sins or others and Batman's sacrifice of his rep in The Dark Knight to protect the people from the sins of Harvey Dent.