The Gospel According to Lost

The Gospel According to Lost

by Chris Seay

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781418583408
Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date: 12/28/2009
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishing
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 224
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Chris Seay is the pastor of Ecclesia, a progressive Christian community in Houston, Texas, recognized for exploring spiritual questions of culture and breaking new ground in art, music, and film. Chris is the author of The Gospel According to Tony Soprano and The Gospel Reloaded. He lives in Houston with his wife, Lisa, and their four children.

Read an Excerpt


Embracing the Mystery

Mystery is a resource, like coal or gold, and its preservation is a fine thing.

— Tim Cahill, American travel writer

What if I told you that I planned to answer all of your questions about Lost over the next 189 pages? Would you keep reading?

Inquiring minds want to know: What is that island? Will Sawyer hook up with Kate? How did the women on this island end up with only tank tops to wear? Is Jacob a man or God — or something in between? Is Sayid dead or alive — and if he recovers, who will he shoot next? Is what happened, happened always true? If Desmond calls all men "brutha" in conversation, what does he say when speaking to a woman — "sistah"? Are the good guys always good, and are bad guys bad through and through, or is there a sliding scale of morality? What's with the Others' tendency to speak so inopportunely in Latin? Is Richard Alpert related to Dick Clark? (He never ages, and, after all, they do share the same first name.) Some of us watch Lost because we just have to know the answers — and we want them now.

If you are hoping this is a book filled with spoilers that explain it all ... I am sorry, but you have purchased the wrong book. And I apologize, but I won't give you your money back — not in this economy. Do not misunderstand me; I also want to know the answers. It is true that the questions drive me, but the sense of wonder that comes with not knowing is what has me intellectually invested in this story. For the 246 or so days between seasons five and six, the mysteries raised in the final minutes of that last episode of season five will bombard my brain with a slew of questions: What kind of loophole was needed to kill Jacob? Is the man seeking to kill him — cloaked in the form of John Locke — his brother Esau? This answer, when it comes (and I do believe this is one of the questions that will be answered), will help in assembling the puzzled pieces of this narrative. But it is unlikely the answer will satisfy me. In fact, as one well versed in the history and conflict of Jacob and Esau, I stand a strong chance of being disappointed. Not to knock the talented writers who create this show, but the scenarios I have developed in my mind might be better than what they ultimately present on the screen. Budgets, sets, actors, contracts, or special effects do not limit my imagination, so it makes sense that my story would be superior. As much as I value the answers — or the truth, if you will — it is often the journey to find truth that shapes me more than the revelation of the truth itself.

The purpose of this book is not to erase the mystery, but to allow each of us to seek a posture that celebrates the things we do know and to embrace the mystery of things that have yet to unfold. We may find that the unknown is more valuable, meaningful, and useful in stimulating the imagination than the known. Albert Einstein described the link between mystery and intelligence this way: "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed." If you have remained a participant of Lost beyond season one, you are likely someone who enjoys this pursuit and has learned to seek true art and science as you rummage through the story line of your favorite show.

In order to appreciate the connection this narrative has with mystery, one must delve into the mind of Lost cocreator J. J. Abrams. It may be that his disciplined pursuit of mystery has nurtured the imaginative intelligence it takes to bring to life ingenious series like Lost and Alias, or to revive an ailing franchise like Star Trek. Abrams's love for the unknown is hardly a storytelling fad; it is a lifelong pursuit. As a child, Abrams would go to a quirky magic shop in midtown Manhattan with his beloved grandfather, who once bought him a Tannen's Magic Mystery Box filled with fifty dollars' worth of magic tricks. This striking box filled with surprises is the ultimate treasure for an aspiring young magician and storyteller, but young Abrams chose to not open the box — in fact, he still has not opened it. The mysterious box marked only with a question mark sits on a shelf next to his desk, and he continues to wonder about the infinite possibilities of what the box contains. Abrams says, "It represents hope. It represents potential. Mystery boxes are everywhere in what I do. That blank page is a magic box. What are stories but mystery boxes?" He has a point. Every time a storyteller intentionally withholds information, he creates a mystery box, while his audience waits patiently to learn more about the characters and the plot into which we have been drawn.

If mystery heightens the experience of the story, then why do some people ruin it for themselves and others by reading the last page of a novel, or hitting spoiler Web sites before the big finale? Abrams himself points out in the March 2009 issue of Wired magazine that the word spoil means to ruin or damage irreparably. A story experienced without the unknown would be damaged, but we sometimes fail to patiently page through novels to let stories unfold in their own time because ultimately we are creatures who crave the safety of knowing what is going to happen, the comfort of a mystery resolved. We were created from mystery to live in mystery — to trek an adventure of faith — but instead of embracing the process, we stir and squirm until we find an answer to anchor us, to make us feel safe. Can you imagine walking through life with a foreknowledge of every second of the day? You may think that we as a society groan enough now over the mundane, but just picture, for a moment, knowing the outcome of everything. The unknown is a gift, one that in its universality still retains its novelty. It is always relevant, always significant. We were made to walk in this way together. Our eyes are not meant to see what lies in every shadowed corner, but to blindly, faithfully, and thrillingly take steps toward an unforeseen ending. And, as the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 discover, it is often in the shadows that we find our answers.

Why do people seek out spoilers? Some just enjoy the opportunity to extol themselves as the first to know. They basically want to bandage their insecurity; they want you to know how much better they are because they know (and how they are superior to you because you aren't in the know). For a moment it may feel good to have the answers and let the uninformed recognize our higher intellect. But those of us who choose to sit with mystery hope our patient journey will form our character in constructive ways. The seductive belief that we have decoded and solved the puzzle, that we have finally arrived and found all the answers, gives birth to an arrogance that repulses even our most devoted supporters. So we must beware; the pursuit of answers, or quest for truth, will keep us humble.

What we are most likely to discover in the end is that the most important questions to answer are not about what the island is, or the true identity of Jacob. It is our willingness to ask deeper, life-altering questions that impact who we are and how we treat one another that truly matters. Frederick Buechner best explains the way a mystery calls out those willing to embark on a true spiritual quest as he explores the power of the unknown: "Religion points to that area of human experience where in one way or another man comes upon mystery as a summons to pilgrimage." It is possible that the questions that naturally arise in this plot will beckon you to study, read, meditate, pray, discuss, debate, and become informed in ways that will change you, as together we ask:

• When is violence justifiable? Is torture ever an acceptable treatment of another human being?

• Does love ultimately lead to self-sacrifice, or are we all on a journey of self-preservation?

• Is morality black and white, or are there shades of gray?

• Is our destiny irrevocably mapped out, or do we have the ability to craft our own purpose?

• Does free will truly exist?

• Can people change?

If you are like me, you are often confronted with the reality that you have not yet become the person you want to be. Let us hope — and not just for the sake of Kate, Jack, and Sawyer — that people really can change. May we all know and experience the change that can only come by embracing the great mysteries of this universe and walking humbly in that embrace. May we open our eyes and awake from our slumber; as Annie Dillard says in Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, her classic book of essays, "We wake, if we ever wake at all, to mystery."


Life as Backgammon

All things truly wicked start from an innocence.

— Ernest Hemingway (A Moveable Feast, 1964)

Lost is a complex story. Each plot, each story line, is infused with deeper meaning. Leadership effortlessly transforms into control, love into jealousy, empathy into rage, and hope is at one moment near and at another drifting farther away on a tide of uncertainty. It is easy to get caught up in a particular narrative and believe for a time that Lost is about physical, human tension: we watch Jack and Locke butt heads; we want to strangle Kate as she bounces back and forth between Sawyer and Jack; we try to make heads or tails out of the relationships between Jacob and the unnamed Man in Black, and Ben Linus and Charles Widmore. Yes, it's easy to look at Lost as simply a good example of the most primal human conflicts, but doing so undermines the essence of the show. Ultimately it is about good versus evil, black and white, the Creator and the Adversary. In episode two of the first season, John Locke inadvertently (okay, maybe the writers knew what they were doing) but accurately identifies the true conflict while explaining to Walt the rules, oddly enough, of backgammon; there are, he says, "two players, two sides; one is light, one is dark."

Essentially Lost is a story about the struggle between good and evil, expressed in a rather far-fetched and fantastical way, much like Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy or C. S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia stories. All epic stories are based on this battle to see everything good and right prevail over evil and corruption; it's a literary archetype. This struggle is not a hook inserted into the Lost narrative to keep viewers in their seats through a commercial break; it lies at the core of the story, and apparently goes back to the beginning. In the sixth episode of the series, the Losties find two skeletons, who become known as Adam and Eve. Jack finds in possession of one of the skeletons a small bag that contains two rocks, one black and the other white. The island is the stage for this epic battle, but unlike the mystical land of Narnia, the inhabitants of this island often combat evil in all the wrong ways. Sophocles said, "All concerns of men go wrong when they wish to cure evil with evil," and this is a lesson the Losties have thus far failed to learn. As each character fights for what he or she perceives as good and right, the lines are blurred, and at times it seems as though the character is swallowed by darkness himself. Friedrich Nietzsche aptly described this power of evil in a book he called Beyond Good and Evil, saying, "Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And when you look long into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you." But it is also true, as Joseph Campbell says, that we find our greatest treasures as we delve into the abyss. Our hope is that the characters we have grown to love will be redeemed by this journey, not corrupted by it.

This tension makes Lost different from other epic stories such as Narnia, Star Wars, or Lord of the Rings: we are never exactly sure who is good and who is evil. In Tolkien's books, we know to always root for hobbits; and in Lewis's, we know we should never trust anyone who is responsible for making it winter but never Christmas. But with Lost, we find ourselves debating our loyalties. Sure, we are likely to remain faithful to the original Losties, but what about Ben? Widmore? Jacob? The writers know what they're doing. They know they're toying with our trust, and we simultaneously love them and hate them for it; the entire series is littered with clues that hint to the difficulty of ambiguity. For example, Ben's face is oftentimes depicted halfway covered in shadows, while the other half remains in the light. It hardly takes a genius to deduce, Aha! This is to remind the audience that we still don't know whether or not to trust Ben. Similarly, remember how strange Locke seemed at the beginning of the show? We weren't exactly sure if he was good, bad, or just a little odd ... and as if to confirm that, in the first-season episode "Raised by Another," Claire has a dream in which Locke appears with one black eye and one white eye. And what about Sawyer? When Sayid makes him glasses to cure his headaches, we see that the glasses are composed of two frames fused together: one black, the other white. Back then we weren't sure of Sawyer's character either, and this little detail reflected that uncertainty. In other words, it's in the nature of the show to keep us guessing. It's annoying at times, but at least when we find out the truth — the real, honest-to-Jacob truth — we staunchly adhere to it. It means that much more because of the struggle it took to put all the pieces together. And isn't this, more than anything else in the show, reflective of our everyday, magic-islandless lives? Think about this in terms of spirituality. John Calvin stood by the theory of a sensus divinitatis, or an innate sense of the divine; he asserted that we all were born with a universal tendency toward belief. We were created to believe. This is a powerful sentiment, and while it cannot necessarily be proven, most Christians will resonate with it, at least theoretically. But, of course, no life is without ambiguity or confusion. There's the problem of evil in the world, and while our problem may be not with God but with the world he's created, it's still a major problem in our faith. Reader, be warned: this chapter isn't going to attempt to solve this dilemma; this non sequitur is offered only to reiterate the idea that when we suffer, when we confront the big problems of who and what is truly good, we grow. And when we finally move out of those shadowy places, the ground seems to be a bit more firm.

All the evidence in Lost is pointing to the existence of a truly good higher power; and, in turn, to the existence of evil. We know that the core of the show is, like our lives, a struggle between these two interfaces, and how this struggle manifests itself in every facet of these complex scenarios. We see it in the ways the Losties relate to one another. We see it in the ways the Losties interact with the Others. We see it reflected in how they engage and entertain the idea of a providential being. The show uses this concept of duality to communicate the idea of epic and personal struggle — the struggle that pits us against each other, against God, and even against what lies deep within ourselves. Ultimately, this may be what it is about Lost that rings particularly true — we are all filled with good and evil, our motives are mixed, and a battle is being waged within each of us on a daily basis. Even Paul the apostle suffered this inner war of wills and describes it in bare honesty in his letter to Rome, saying, "Listen, I can't explain my actions. Here's why: I am not able to do the things I want; and at the same time, I do the things I despise. If I am doing the things I have already decided not to do, I am agreeing with the law regarding what is good. But now I am no longer the one acting — I've lost control — sin has taken up residence in me and is wreaking havoc. I know that in me, that is, in my fallen human nature, there is nothing good. I can will myself to do something good, but that does not help me to carry it out. I can determine that I am going to do good, but I don't do it; instead, I end up living out the evil that I decided not to do" (Romans 7:15–19). It sounds as if these words could have been uttered by any of our castaways, who seem to universally believe that they are losing the inner battle and have moved beyond the pale of redemption. But the Lost narrative is uniquely intertwined with the Judeo-Christian story, and the beauty of Christianity is found in its unyielding proclamation that no one is beyond redemption — not even a torturer, murderer, or con man.


Excerpted from "The Gospel According to Lost"
by .
Copyright © 2009 Chris Seay.
Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments, xiii,
Prologue, xvii,
1 Embracing the Mystery, 1,
2 Life as Backgammon, 11,
3 Numbers Don't Lie — Hurley: Patron Saint of Blessed Losers, 19,
4 Sayid Jarrah: Patron Saint of Tormented Humanitarians, 33,
5 Kate Austen: Patron Saint of Beautiful Killers, 43,
6 James "Sawyer" Ford: Patron Saint of Kindhearted Con Men, 53,
7 Man of Science, Man of Faith: Saint Jack and Saint John, 61,
8 Locke and the Island: John Locke (1632–1704), 71,
9 Jack Shephard: Patron Saint of Wounded Healers, 81,
10 Jesus Wrote a Best Seller, 93,
11 Eko: Patron Saint of Warlord Priests, 101,
12 John Locke: Patron Saint of the Fatherless, 115,
13 Sun and Jin: Patron Saints of Discontented Fishermen, 127,
14 Benjamin Linus: Patron Saint of Dutiful Tyrants, 137,
15 Jacob: Patron Saint of Fathers, 147,
16 The Lovers: Desmond Hume and Penelope Widmore, 163,
17 Daniel Faraday: Patron Saint of Mystic Scientists, 175,
Epilogue, 187,
Notes, 193,

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The Gospel According to Lost 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
mels_71 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Being a fan of the TV show Lost, I couldn't help putting my hand up for a copy of Chris Seay's The Gospel According to Lost through ThomasNelson's Booksneeze program. This book looks at how life, faith, science, philosophy, hope and the basic questions of what it means to be human are explored in the TV show and relates them back to biblical stories and characters.If you have watched Lost you will know that there are always questions and as an answer for each question is found more questions result. I like what Chris has to say in the first chapter - "We were created from mystery to live in mystery - to trek an adventure of faith - but instead of embracing the process, we stir and squirm until we find an answer to anchor us, to make us feel safe." The book is a short easy read, broken down into chapters, most of them dealing with one character and the issues they face. I felt some of the parallels drawn were a bit of a stretch and some issues could have been delved into more deeply. Just as things started to get interesting the chapter would finish and he would move onto the next character. As a starting point for thinking and discussion though it is a great resource.Now I'm impatiently waiting for the last season of Lost to start over here and carefully avoiding any spoilers on the internet.
dk_phoenix on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ultimately, this book offers just what the back cover copy suggests: examples of Biblical truths using observations taken from the television show LOST. On more than one occasion, Seay takes things a bit far, but he admits on a few occasions ¿this may seem far-fetched, but¿¿ and I commend him for that.But I suppose the main fault I see with the book is its simplicity. I¿m not entirely sure who the target audience is for this book ¿ Christians? Seekers? ¿ because the simplistic presentation of the gospel will likely bore the believer, while being too watered-down for a seeker to truly get the point of Jesus¿ message.Seay methodically looks at each main character in the TV show, drawing examples from the episodes and relating their experiences to Scripture. The main point he tends to draw out is that we¿re all broken people, especially the figures on LOST, but we¿re not actually lost forever. Jesus¿ truth can save us, in the same way that the island seems to be the redemptive point for many of the characters on the show.This isn¿t a book for someone who¿s never seen the show. In fact, if you haven¿t seen the show, I¿m not sure why you¿d bother with this book at all, since it already assumes a level of familiarity with the characters. I appreciate what Seay is trying to do, but without a clear target, I¿m afraid that the reaction he¿s aiming for falls badly off course¿ much like Oceanic 815.At the very least, for a Christian, it might provide a good starting point for discussions with friends of all backgrounds ¿ and I suppose that¿s something.
StephenBarkley on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Gospel according to lost is what happens when a pastor enjoys a television series.This book is not a book of theories and speculation about Lost. (With one season to go, that would be a foolish endeavour!) It¿s a reflection on the religious and philosophical themes that permeate the award winning television show. Seay (with a few exceptions) has written a chapter on each of the main characters, reflecting on what they bring to questions of faith.As a pastor, I often found myself making the same connections that Seay did: * Eko with his bible-stick of scripture * Locke with his insistence on faith * Shephard¿s stubborn anti-supernatural stance * Sawyer¿s bad-boy-seeking-redemption story * The list goes on . . .On the negative side, Seay often took the easy road when reflecting on the characters¿there are a lot of deeper connections that could have been plumbed. Also, the structure of the book was quite scattered. There was no unifying arc to the book as a whole. Maybe a second edition released following the final season could clear things up!If you love the show Lost, and are curious to see how a believer puts the pieces together, give this book a try.Disclaimer: I received this book as a member of Thomas Nelson¿s Book Review Blogger program.
NOTW-GURL More than 1 year ago
i really enjoyed this book. it gave some good insight to how lost compares to the bible.. it wasnt what i thought it would be as far as more in depth,but worth reading.
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myveryeducatedmother More than 1 year ago
The Gospel according to Lost is one of those books centered on a phenomenon that almost makes you embarrassed to be reading it. But this isn't a Spice Girl's biography, this is the real deal. This is a commentary on a television program that reminds us all to think, feel, explore and most importantly love. Author Chris Seay hit one way out of the park with his remarkable observations and comparisons between the characters and dynamics of a show with the love of God. The Gospel is a well written book that breaks down each character on the hit series Lost and points out the uncanny similarities between what they are going through and the struggle to accept God's love. As Seay writes, "One of the most beautiful parts of Lost is the attention paid to the shaping of personalities and development of individual modi operandi." Take for example Sawyer, the resident bad boy through and through, he's convinced himself that he cannot change but as with God anything is possible if we believe. "The miracle is that his love extended to us in our angry, hateful, and shirtless state-not offered as a carrot on a stick for the person we each might become. Looking at Sawyer's sly grin, I think he's gotten a glimpse of this truth." One of the most enduring chapters to me dealt with the character Eko Patron Saint of Warlord Priests. I'm not going to go through the Eko's history, if you're considering purchasing this book you're a Lost fan and already know it. I will point out that like many Lost characters Eko's life-changing moment came when he was a child and forced to kill a man to save the life of his little brother. Seay writes, "Children are a sacred trust, a blessing from God to be nurtured with love,.The world is filled with stories of not only neglect but also the abuse and exploitation of those we regard as the leaders, the innovators, the mothers, the fathers-the caretakers-of tomorrow." Pure Wisdom. In discussing the crazed Benjamin Linus the Patron Saint of Dutiful Tyrants Seay writes, "But Ben is relying on karma (you reap what you sow)-if he's been ruthlessly faithful to Jacob, Jacob should reward him faithfully." However, as Seay goes on to write, life in Lost is like life in the real world and karma just doesn't pan out. This was probably the one part that I disagreed with; I do believe that you get what you give. But let me point out, just because you give in this life doesn't mean you'll get in this life, your reward may be on the other side. Regardless of everything this is a book I read within a day.yep it was that good. Just like Lost it made me think, it made me feel in touch with myself, my world and my God.
AshleyKWells More than 1 year ago
The following book was provided to read and review by Thomas Nelson ( I also gave this review of my blog ( I am a LOST fan. So, when I saw The Gospel According to LOST as a book available to request, I jumped on it! I thought that it must be interesting and wondered where the author would take it. I loved the back of the book overview of what to expect. It seemed like a good read and I was excited to open it up! I had a hopeful attitude, especially after reading the Prologue. I had hopes that this quote gave a glimpse to the rest of the book (pg. xxiii) In the midst of all of its action, mystery, suspense, and romance, Lost is a story filled with substance. The focus on faith and truth is never more clearly explained than in the words of John Locke as he questions Jack Shephard. "Why do you find it so hard to believe?" Locke asks. Jack shoots back, "Why do you find it so easy." Locke then patiently and succinctly sums up his faith, explaining, "It's never been easy." This tension between faith and reason is what drives the story line. I am sad to say that I am quite disappointed in this book. I felt like the back of the book should be an overview for a different book. A book that had depth and created discussion with the reader. What I have in bold above is why I love LOST. The story line is so intriguing and keeps me thinking, not only about what is going to happen next, but also about me and my story of faith and how it affects how I live everyday. I had hopes that this book would help me to think even more about how LOST is a great story that should force all who watch it to think about faith and reason. Maybe it was my own fault for having high expectation of this book...I'm not sure. As an additional warning, I found it to be very surprising that in the first 50 pages I will read two instances of foul language. While watching LOST, a secular show, I have come to expect some language issues. While reading a Christian book, however, I don't expect it at all. This just added to my disappointment. I am sad to say but I would not recommend this book, at all.
Daenel More than 1 year ago
To say that Lost is a phenomenon would be an understatement. Over the last 6 seasons, I've watched and listened as viewers have followed the trials of their favorite island castaways and with the final season just beginning, it seemed appropriate for me to review The Gospel According to Lost by Chris Seay. As many viewers are aware, Lost is more than a story about a group of people who get stranded on an island, it's a multi~layered story that explores fate, reason, faith, guilt, salvation and a host of other philosophical and religious tenents. And it's within this framework that Seay seeks to explore the relationship between the television series and the Judeo~Christian beliefs in redemption and salvation. Although he acknowledges the show's exploration of other religious beliefs, his analysis is grounded in the teachings of Jesus Christ with reference to the Holy Bible. One of the strongest points in Seay's analysis relate to the power of words and the belief that they can shape a person's future. As an example, Seay talks about the names of the characters and how their names influence their personalities. The writers, he believes, put a lot of thought into the naming of the characters much like Jewish parents put serious thought into the names of their children because they knew there was power (or failure) in a name. Seay also examines the story of Hurley, who believes he is cursed. This curse, Seay writes, can be traced back to the casual utterance of Hurley's father: "Having hope is never stupid. You gotta believe good things will happen; then they will. In this world, son, you've gotta make your own luck." With those words, Hurley's father abandoned him, leaving a young boy (and, ultimately, a grown man) feeling "lost" and worthless. Therefore, the question arises, did Hurley allow his father's abandoment and fruitless words to bury him in hopelessness or could he have escaped the "curse" and made his own luck? Whether you are a Christian or not, this book offers and interesting analysis of a television series that has offered so much to so many people.
majetn92 More than 1 year ago
The Gospel According to "Lost" explores some of the spiritual, biblical, and philosophical references within the TV show, Lost. Seay analyzes fifteen different characters of the show, explaining how we can find biblical messages in each of the Losties' personal life journeys, and reveals the truths readers can take from this show to apply to their own lives. I found this book not only edifying but extremely fascinating. I am a huge Lost fan, and I am currently waiting patiently for the sixth and final season to finish and come out on DVD. I will probably be waiting a while, so I decided to read Seay's book in the meantime. I had always recognized the existence of biblical references within the show's script, but Seay elucidated some of the harder topics I had previously struggled with. Some of his characters analyses really hit home with me; specifically, his discussion of Desmond and Penny: "Nothing dissuades her [Penny] from dropping everything to find Desmond--not even Desmond himself, who runs away in the first place because he's scared of the implications of accepting and returning her love. It's only when he has lost her that he realizes how transforming love can be. This separation proves to Desmond that true love is unmerited, inexplicable, and fiercely magnetic. He finally sees that he does not, and indeed cannot, earn Penny's love . . . Nothing can stand between us and the love of the living God: not our fear or reluctance, not the disapproval of others, nothing. And even then, for as long as it takes for us to accept it, his love will bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, and endure all things. Love never fails." (p. 172-174) This is just one example of Seay's simple yet profound messages within The Gospel According to "Lost". For anyone who enjoyed the show, this book is a great tool for understanding some of its implications in terms of faith and God's immeasurable and unmerited love for us.
MootownMama More than 1 year ago
Chris Seay, the author of The Gospel According to Lost begins his book with an explanation of the phenomenon of Lost. He discusses how the show isn't just a TV show. It's an experience; it's a common experience that Americans can share with each other. It's a way to communicate and bond with co-workers. He then takes the reader on a tour of the show. He writes about the mystery behind the island. He discusses how the viewer really doesn't know what the island is about and how the plot twists and turns makes you think you know but then a new episode will dispel any thoughts you had and you begin back at ground zero again. All the while he's interspersing gospel concepts and using the story of Lost to explain them. For instance, in his chapter on the mystery of Lost he poses questions for the reader to ponder about violence, free will, love and self-sacrifice and other moral questions. He spends several chapters discussing characters from Lost. It would be more accurate to say that bulk of the book is discussing characters. Out of a total of seventeen chapters only three deal with something other than the characters. If you love the characters, then this is the book for you! His technique is to first do a sort of character sketch in each of the character chapters. Then he reaches back into scripture to find religious figures to compare and contrast with the Lost characters. I admired his conceptual model but found the actual execution to be a bit thin. In parts he seems to be imparting far too much importance to television characters and in other parts he seems to have missed opportunities to discuss religious historical figures. The book is an easy read and fairly lightweight. You needn't worry about having to think too very much while you read it. I suppose that might have been the author's intent. After all, it's based upon a television show and in our culture reading is nearly a lost art in itself. It's not the sort of book that would warrant space in my home library, but then again I'm not a fan of Lost. If you are, then it could well be a must have book for you. As a frugalista this is a book I'd highly recommend checking out from your local public library before you decide to invest in it. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Justpeachy1 More than 1 year ago
The Gospel According to Lost was written between the fifth season and the current 6th and final season of the wildly popular ABC television show, Lost. This book does not contain spoilers, it is the authors ideas of how the characters and the story of Lost fit in with Biblical principles. Oceanic flight 815 took off from Sydney, Australia and crashed over 1000 miles off course, which introduced us to a band of castaways whose lives are intertwined in small and amazing ways. But, is Lost more than just a TV show? Is it really about the struggle between good and evil? What can we learn from it? My Thoughts: Author Chris Seay is quick to let the reader know that there is more to meet the eye with this television show. It has been kept very quiet and guarded about what the final outcome will be. Millions of people around the world have speculated, formed theories, argued over the lunch table and become a part of the Lost experience. It has revolutionized how people view television and yet all along the creators may have had something very different in mind. Seay, likens the characters to patron saints and lets the reader explore their feelings about the story of each one. Any fan of Lost would enjoy reading this book! It gives deeper insight into what might be going on in this series that has taken the world by storm. I loved the book and came away from reading it with more questions than answers, which is what Lost seems to be all about.
Ellybean More than 1 year ago
I've been a fan of Lost since the very first episode aired many years ago. What drew me to this series were the people. They weren't shallow, they weren't fake, They were real people with real issue like the rest of us. Sure they are stuck on a mysterious island where a lot of pretty strange things happen but despite not knowing all the answers, the growth of each characters is what keeps me watching. Author Chris Seay does an excellent job interpreting how each character can some how relate to those in the Bible. I enjoyed the fresh look on this widely watched show compared to the Word. I can't help but think to myself that taking pop culture and comparing it is much like how Jesus gave visuals to the disciples through many well known parables. A story that truly touched me is found on the last two pages of this book. I don't want to give away exactly what it is because I want others to experience it them for themselves. I know this much and if you have a heart you truly will be touched, challenged, and broken after completing this book. Note that The Gospel According to Lost is more than just thoughts and comparisons about the show Lost but it's a tool to look within yourself to live more like Christ.
ryangeiger More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading a book called, The Gospel According to Lost, by Chris Seay. This book was sent to me by Thomas Nelson Publishers by my choice. To be fair, I am not a fan of the show Lost. To me the best part of the show will be at the end of the season when it ends without an ending and everybody will remain lost and sitting there with the feeling of having wasted years of their life. With that being said I was impressed with Chris and his ability to make something that I'm not a fan of engaging. I did find myself intrigued at his ability to draw out real world comparisons with each character. I like how he said in the prologue that, "The narrative of the show asks more questions than it answers." In reality that seems to be the story of life and I loved the parallel. What a great leadership principle as well to ask more questions than you answer. For me the most intriguing quote of the book was on page 47, "The island has a way of recognizing each castaway's Achilles' heel and bringing about a healing journey as each confronts his or her weaknesses." A healing journey as they each confront their weaknesses. That statement stuck out to me in my own life. Overall it was an okay book. I do think he wrote this book because of his love for the show, not so much because of the gospel. Each person will have a different view on this. I am passing this book on to my wife who is extremely excited about it. Great writer, engaging in his approach, the topic just did not resonate with me.
kitpalmer More than 1 year ago
Ok, I admit it. I am a BIG fan of Lost. It is one of the few dramatic series shows I watch with any type of regularity. So, when I heard about this book by Chris Seay, I knew I wanted to read it. I found it to be a very easy, enjoyable read. Drawing parallels between the story and characters of Lost, and real life, Chris brings out some very fresh insights on faith, community & our own tendency to find ourselves feeling "Lost" from time to time. If you have not watched any of the Lost series over the past several years, you may have a difficult time following some of the examples in this book. However, I would recommend it to anyone even slightly intrigued by the show. Kit is a member of Thomas Nelson's Book Review Blogger program. Find out more here:
HappyHermit35 More than 1 year ago
The Gospel According to Lost By Chris Seay Nearly everyone in the modern word has heard of LOST, and many have been captivated by the plot , and the characters and the novel situations of the hit TV show , now someone has found a way to relate quite probably the greatest Network TV show to The Greatest Book Ever composed. The Bible. Chris Seay Really tries to relate the two trying to delve into the mysterious events in the show and come up with answers according to the bible. I was really excited to get this book , I was interested in seeing it examine both the bible and the Lost series , and to see some of the beautiful things I thought I had seen , though mine only remotely touched on anything other than essential faith. When I got this book, I was somewhat surprised at the level of blasphemous allegory that I saw in the comparative illustration. I will not lie , it would be offensive to believers and neutral non believers as well. I gave the book a spin, and I must say I have had an easier time reading the smudged scribbling on the back of a receipt. This book was horrible, downright brought shame to mind. Your better off asking your 9 year old to make up stories to represent allegory. I really found it blasphemous and not exactly representative of the bible , nor of lost. The writing seems forced , and twisted. I just did not enjoy it , it made fun of both LOST and The Bible. That , just is not funny.
angela09 More than 1 year ago
The Gospel According To Lost by Chris Seay, delves deep into the many mysteries of the hit show Lost. Mauling over the many occurrences that has happened on the show this book provides an in-depth guide to unlocking the mysteries of faith. Using the show as a steeping stone, Chris Seay chronicles the characters many layers from their guilt, deceptions, theories, and fate, and shows how they go hand in hand with faith. A truly unique guide that will spark thoughts and discussions. Not only does this book help readers to connect with the show it also helps readers to connect with their faith. We are suppose to grow as we learn from the mistakes of the characters. The Gospel According To Lost is a thought provoking book that inspires readers to grow. I will admit I did have a bit of trouble getting into this book although it did get better as the book progressed. I think the context of the book is best suited for those who watch the show. This book provided by Thomas Nelson
CraigFalvo More than 1 year ago
Like all books that begin with The Gospel According To., I was hesitant to read. It has been my experience that these books are really just a stretch. But, being a fan of the show, I decided to give The Gospel According to Lost by Chris Seay a go. My fear was confirmed from the second chapter onward. Seay writes, "Yes, it is easy to look at lost as simply a good example of the most primal human conflicts, but doing so undermines the essence of the show." (13) No argument there. Seay continues, "Ultimately it is about good versus evil, black and white, the Creator and the Adversary." (13) I'll agree that the story is about good versus evil and as Seay points out, the characters in Lost often blur the lines between good and evil. But Lost is about the Creator and the Adversary? To me, that is where the stretch begins. That really wasn't made clear until the final episode of season 5 and it isn't entirely clear right now. The character assessments told a lot about the character and their back story, but loosely tied into Scripture. In the end, I was left wanting more. I don't think Seay pushed the theological themes far enough, especially in his breakdown of the major characters. I was left wanting Christ crucified for the forgiveness of sins, but only got a passing reference to justification by grace through faith. I give this book 2 out of 5 stars. Disclaimer: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. Providing me a free copy in no way guarantees a favorable review. The opinions expresses in this review are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
NMcC More than 1 year ago
"The Gospel According to Lost" surprised me in the depth and theological solidity with which it was written. I was preparing myself for the Gospel being stretched to somehow fit Lost. I was pleasantly surprised. The author writes through each character in detail, and it was both enlightening and inspiring to read. Now, I'm not sure that someone who hasn't watched a good deal of Lost would really grasp everything that the author is saying, but for any avid Lost fan, this book will open your eyes to yet another layer of the already intriguing story. Definitely a must read! I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
mandasparkle More than 1 year ago
I was very surprised with this book and how it related the tv show Lost to the real world and to God. I think this has become a very inspirational television show and book for me now. I view the show a little differently than when I first watched it. It's amazing to see just how correct the author is in all the statements he makes. It's a very easy book to read with short chapters and very nice illustrations of the "Lost" characters. I would recommend this book to all people, people who watch the show "Lost" and even to those who do not. Since the last season is coming up, I think this is the perfect time for this book to be out. Once people watch the show from the first season all the way to the last they can relate better to the book and the characters. However, the author does a great job of explaining the characters to anyone who's never watched "Lost" before. I review for Thomas Nelson publishing company as a book review blogger and I received a copy of this book for free to review it.
chaotic_reviewer More than 1 year ago
"The Gospel According to Lost" is not normally a book I would blindly pick up. I am not a major fan of any of the "Gospel According to" books. To say that Chris Seay pleasantly surprised me would be and understatment. As an avid viewer of LOST, I generally enjoyed this spin on the show. The book begins by explaining how LOST is different from other shows and why it has become an import influence to the people who watch it every week. After this introduction, each chapter examines a specific character by looking at the main philosophical theme they represent and how their character changes throughout the show in regard to their theme. He then compares the LOST narrative to stories found in the Bible. I often found myself making the same connections that Seay did: * Eko with his bible-stick of scripture * Sawyer's bad-boy-seeking-redemption story * Locke with his insistence on faith * Shephard's stubborn anti-supernatural stance On the negative side, Seay often took the easy road when reflecting on the characters--there are a lot of deeper connections that could have been plumbed. Also, the structure of the book was quite scattered. There was no unifying arc to the book as a whole. This book provides a great review of certain characters and mysteries the show has created, which is especially useful before the final season this spring.
Teresa_Konopka More than 1 year ago
"The Gospel According to Lost" by Sean Seay is a riveting read. It dives deep into the jungle that is Lost and does not even come up for a breather. The book briefly explains the concept of the show, its philosophical heritage, and its cultural repercussions. Subsequently, chapters are devoted to characters and their psyches, with the occasional chapter being host to two characters when they are a couple. Not all the personas from Lost are covered, but the main ones plus a few secondary roles are elucidated. Also, there is a full set of glossy pages with paintings of said characters in the middle, as well as black and white photos of these alongside their respective chapters. Seay refers to Scripture when necessary and is very simplistic in his explanations of such. While viewers of lost may be a bit partial towards this book, others will enjoy the ride as they find out what all the fuss is about whilst gaining a Christian perspective on it.
caroleledbetter More than 1 year ago
Suppose your plane crashed and you were forced to survive on a desert island with a group of fellow travelers. How would it change you? Fans of the TV series LOST will find similar questions to ponder in Chris Seay's recent book, The Gospel According to Lost. Since I had never viewed Lost, you may wonder why I chose this particular book? It's because I'm interested in how the Christian message can be contextualized in programs such as LOST, which drew over 23 million viewers. I rented forty-five episodes from my nearby video store-way too many. They didn't have Season One, but they did have Seasons Two, Three, and Four. I sampled a few episodes from each season, and then I read the book. I have to say it was a fun read! Those who have enjoyed the mystery-filled television series will appreciate the book, because the author analyzes the various characters and attempts to show how they begin to change as a result of their island adventure. The main character, John Locke, described in the book as a "man of faith," carries the name of a famous English philosopher who believed the search for truth to be the highest good for which a human being could strive. The John Locke in the TV program vies with Jack Shephard, the resident "man of science" for leadership of the group of "Losties," who share the island with the "Others," who were already on the island when the fated plane crash occurred. Various characters from the TV series are examined in the book. Hurley, described as the "Patron Saint of Blessed Losers," is said to be the "most morally grounded on the show." The beautiful Kate Austen is described as a true leader whom people choose to follow. James (Sawyer) Ford, the lovable "con man, " Eko, the warlord priest, Jin Soo Kwan and his wife, Sun; Benjamin, the mysterious Jacob and the others round out the cast. "The island has a way of recognizing each castaway's Achilles' heel and bringing about a healing journey as each confronts his or her weaknesses," says Seay. Those who found the many flashbacks in the televised episodes confusing will find the explanations in the book helpful. In the powerful and enigmatic Jacob, the author sees parallels to the biblical character, Jacob, which provide clues that guide the story. I'd have to admit that without reading the book, I wouldn't have caught the various biblical and philosophical insights the author sees. But then I only viewed a limited number of the episodes-perhaps a dozen out of over a hundred. Fans of the television series will more likely concur with the writer's thoughts. I found The Gospel According to Lost a thought-provoking book that I'd recommend to fans of LOST, or to anyone who might want to tune in on February 2 for the 6th and final season-which promises to provide answers to the mysteries of the island and its inhabitants. I've marked my calendar! Reviewed by Carole Ledbetter
MelissaEB More than 1 year ago
The Gospel According to Lost by Chris Seay is an enjoyable and interesting read. Although I have never gotten into the Lost phenomenon, I am familiar with the show. I have seen a few episodes in which I have enjoyed. Chris Seay is a Pastor, speaker and a wonderful writer. He describes all the characters of the series as "The Patron Saints of Lost." He also calls them Losties. The author delves deeper into the personalities of each character. He describes the flaws and quirks that each of the characters has, and he intertwines stories from the Bible to help describe them fully. Each chapter recaps the characters history in the show. Chris Seay is definitely a Lost fan and I wonder what he will write about when the sixth season airs in February. I recommend the book to all Lost fans. Disclaimer: Disclaimer: I received this book as a member of Thomas Nelson's Book Review Blogger program.