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5.0 out of 5 stars good book
this is an amzing book , written by an amzing guy. I COMPLETELY RECOMEND THIS BOOK. I know chris and he has written a great book. Oh and dont let those 3 people who gave it bad reviews influence you, they just dont know a good book when they read one.
Published on Nov. 5 2003 by psc_z3_

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3.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good
This is a surprisingly good book, vastly better than LaVelle's Reality Within the Matrix, though they are both books that basically draw upon the movie(s) for evangelical purposes.
If you are from a Christian background, this book will give you a take on the movie from a reasonably sophisticated theological viewpoint. It is not at all like the dumbed-down...
Published on July 18 2003


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4.0 out of 5 stars Seeing God All Around., March 26 2004
By 
tvtv3 "tvtv3" (Sorento, IL United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Gospel Reloaded: Exploring Spirituality and Faith in The Matrix (Paperback)
I wasn't for sure what to think when I first started reading THE GOSPEL RELOADED. From the title, I thought I was going to be reading a watered-down book that illustrated the Christian allusions in the Matrix movies. However, I got more than what I expected. THE GOSPEL RELOADED does illustrate some of the Christian allusions that are prevalant throughout the Matrix films. Yet, the book also illustrates many of the other influences that can be found in the Matrix movies (comics, Easternism, etc). It also touches upon the possibility that the Matrix movies are films that are anti-Christian in nature. But mainly, the book compares and contrasts Christianity with the world view of The Matrix. The book tries to show how The Matrix fits into Joseph Campbell's research of a hero and how Jesus Christ was the ultimate hero.
The authors of the book are very intelligent and have a huge concern for impacting our culture. Nevertheless, the book does have two flaws. First, the book really doesn't flow that well together and kind of skips around from one point to the next without any transitions. Because of that, the book comes off as being more of a hodge-podge than an accurate comparison and contrast. Secondly, though the authors are clearly Christian and it is apparent they are trying to illustrate the similarities and differences between the Gospels and the Matrix movies, they never really do come out and say, "Here's exactly how Jesus is different from Neo and here's how Christianity is different from the world of THE MATRIX". What ends up happening is that the authors end up doing more comparing than contrasting which is a shame. Still, I found THE GOSPEL RELOADED to be better than many Christian books on pop culture I have read and it presents a rounded enough approach that might attract non-Christians into learning more about the Christian faith.
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2.0 out of 5 stars beating a dead Trojan Horse...., Feb. 24 2004
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This review is from: The Gospel Reloaded: Exploring Spirituality and Faith in The Matrix (Paperback)
i read this in a couple of hours (skimming certain parts, admittedly) at the Seattle Public Library, then put it back on the cart. there are about 3 billion websites on the Net (give or take) that try to dissect this or that aspect of The Matrix and explain the deep underlying concepts that the Wachowskis dabble in. in 99% of cases this is simply an exercise on the part of the individual in trying to justify his/her viewpoint by aligning it with one of the very ambiguous and wide-open mythological/theological constructs behind the films. the fact is that the films are actually so saturated with conflicting ideologies that they're not supposed to make sense. instead, they have a little bit of everything so that each and every person can relate, regardless of faith (or lack thereof), and take home the over-arching message that only confidence and personal responsibility will set you free.
so after finishing the book 15 minutes ago (more or less), i'm disappointed to say that "The Gospel Reloaded" is the printed equivalent of such a website.
the book seems to be intended for Christians young and old who want to get into all the Cool Stuff that the sinners are into, but can't reconcile it with their families and church-going friends. it's that old line about the atheists having all the fun... Mom says to Dad at the dinner table, "Billy is grounded because i caught him watching The Matrix. they were saying all these dirty words and there was a scene in a nightclub where people were wearing gas masks and groping each other like it was Sodom and Gomorrah!" little Billy replies, "but Mom, i read that the battle on the highway was actually a reference to Matthew 13! ...and that Neo and Trinity represent Adam and Eve for the postmodern era! ...and that The One is a metaphor for Jesus' love!"
even if little Billy (or the book's authors) can find such parallels, The Matrix films are still very dark, very violent, and very un-Christian. sure, the last human city is called Zion, as the authors point out. sure, you could come away with the impression that Neo is Jesus. but to make those sorts of things the central focus of a book is to disregard a hundred other things that take place in the films. what about the premarital physical relationship between the protagonists? the blatantly sexual non-hetero dancing that some of the good guys take part in? the fact that in the first film, Morpheus mentions that The Matrix takes control of your mind "when you go to church," just as it does "when you go to work" and "when you pay your taxes?" you can't ignore those things and pretend the movie played out differently... it didn't. the authors seem to ignore a mountain of contradictions, simply tossing them out for the sake of brevity and (superficial) clarity.
there are also numerous grammatical errors in the book which detract from its presentation... the book is probably better-written and more thought out than some homegrown Matrix-decoding books... however, the frequent typos and improper usage of common English words detract from any professionalism or theological credibility (contradiction in terms?) that the book might have to offer.
bottom line: i consider "The Gospel Reloaded" to be a parallel to Christian rock: take something subversive and re-brand it so it's OK for Christians to enjoy. of course, such rebranding can't be done without diluting the strength of the original. with their book, Seay and Garrett take the intellectual sharpness behind The Matrix and turn it into a blunt #2 pencil for people to write notes with during Sunday school.
besides, if Christian leaders have to go this far to ingratiate themselves with people who watch and enjoy secular films like The Matrix, then what's the point? Satan's already herding the sheep - and the flock has decided that watching The Matrix is more fun than Vacation Bible School.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting ideas, Dec 5 2003
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Stephen T. Wynkoop "hawkenstein" (Wray, CO United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Gospel Reloaded: Exploring Spirituality and Faith in The Matrix (Paperback)
This book is a fun, interesting look at themes in the Matrix films from a Christian point of view. The authors never claim to know the true meaning of the film triology but offer insightful and thought provoking reflections on the film in dialogue with Christianity.
Far from dogmatic, this book should stimulate further discussion and reflection on the Matrix triology and it's relationship to issues of faith.
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5.0 out of 5 stars good book, Nov. 5 2003
By 
"psc_z3_" (Magnolia, TX) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Gospel Reloaded: Exploring Spirituality and Faith in The Matrix (Paperback)
this is an amzing book , written by an amzing guy. I COMPLETELY RECOMEND THIS BOOK. I know chris and he has written a great book. Oh and dont let those 3 people who gave it bad reviews influence you, they just dont know a good book when they read one.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Read this book!, Oct. 29 2003
By 
Jeff Gang (Redlands, CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Gospel Reloaded: Exploring Spirituality and Faith in The Matrix (Paperback)
If you are new to Christianity or are exploring spirituality I highly recommend this book to you. For Christians, Chris Seay has done a masterful job contextualizing the Gospel in a contemporary story, as he already did with his other books The Gospel According to Tony Soprano and the Tao of Enron. More Christians should take note of how Mr. Seay goes about this process of using culture as a vehicle of the Gospel. He certainly goes way beyond the Wachowski Brothers----I doubt they ever intended the Matrix trilogy to communicate the Gospel, but that's beside the point of what Seay is doing. He goes deep into the Matrix story to help us see the Gospel in a fresh new way.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Taking A Risk, But Definitely Worth It, Oct. 22 2003
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This review is from: The Gospel Reloaded: Exploring Spirituality and Faith in The Matrix (Paperback)
Chris Seay and Greg Garrett take a significant risk in seeking to draw parallels between evangelical Christianity and an R-rated, culturally significant movie, but their risk was worth it.
While drawing criticisms from both within and from outside of Christian circles, the authors strived to redeem the worthy aspects of the Matrix. This choice to interact with contemporary culture proved a noble effort, garnering several media exposures from mainstream sources such as Publishers Weekly and USA Today.
In the words of another review, "The movies call us to seek and find--to ask of our own lives what's real and what's a mirage. They are modern epics, chock-full of meaning and metaphor." The Gospel Reloaded does exactly that--pushes the edge, explores the "truth" of the Wachowski brother's dialogue, and challenges even hardened critics to contemplate its questions.
Overall, I would not recommend this book to younger Matrix fans, but definitely encourage it for the student or serious thinker seeking to make sense of the Matrix from a Christian perspective. It can also serve as an excellent conversational tool for sincere explorers on their own spiritual journey.
The Gospel Reloaded will mess with your mind, just like the film, but leave you better off for the ride.
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2.0 out of 5 stars CHRISTIANITY COOPTS THE MATRIX, Oct. 11 2003
This review is from: The Gospel Reloaded: Exploring Spirituality and Faith in The Matrix (Paperback)
This book really deserves two and a half stars. I give the authors credit for their more liberal slants on traditional christianity. That said, throughout its 2,000 year history christainity has played the role of mind control that the makers fo the Matrix movies are criticizing. A central theme of the Matrix Reloaded sequel is that the Machines are using the cult of Neo's messiahood as a mechanism of social control.
However, this book misses that point and joins the current trend in christianity to coopt popular aspects of pop culture (as opposed to creating anything original itself) and misuse them to gain converts. (Christianity, like Walmart, always needs new customers.) For that "original sin", I docked the book a couple of stars. The authors seemed interesting and bright, why spend their time trying not to stand on the shoulders of the Wachowski brothers when the Wachowski brothers make movies that undermine the dogma of christianity?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Integration of Culture with Faith, Oct. 1 2003
By 
Micah McCarty (Oklahoma City, OK United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Gospel Reloaded: Exploring Spirituality and Faith in The Matrix (Paperback)
It is so refreshing to see a Christian write about the culture without criticizing everything that doesn't overtly preach Jesus. Greg Garrett and Chris Seay do this intelligently and entertainingly. This is a great book for anyone who loves examining the connections between faith and culture and isn't afraid to look for God in "secular" places. They obviously know their topics well and the book is short enough to read and reread as you watch and rewatch the movies. I highly recommend!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A new look at exploring one's spirituality, Sept. 19 2003
By 
"cwcamp" (Springfield, IL United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Gospel Reloaded: Exploring Spirituality and Faith in The Matrix (Paperback)
Chris does a good job of walking readers through the the small details of the film and making the connection with gospel of Jesus Christ. Obviously you need to have a good handle on the movies to understand the connection. I enjoyed the way Chris took the themes of the Matrix and made the connections to the Bible. It brought parts of the Bible to life for me in ways I had not looked at in the past. I would recommend this book highly to anyone. It is a great way to see scripture through a set of different eyes and explore the message of the Gospel in a relevant way.
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5.0 out of 5 stars not your average "christian" book, Sept. 17 2003
By 
Joey Tulino (Albuquerque, NM United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Gospel Reloaded: Exploring Spirituality and Faith in The Matrix (Paperback)
Chris Seay and Greg Garrett do a great job exploring spirituality in the Matrix films. However, what struck me most was that the authors did not solely focus on the "Christian" influences in the movie. Instead, they relate all the influences that the Wachowskis brought into these films from Christianity, Buddhism, Greek philosophy, even anime films. But, per the authors intent, they do bring it all back to the Christian ideas.
Well worth the read!!
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