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The Gospel According to the World's Greatest Superhero: The Man of Steel and Spiritual Truths Paperback – May 1 2006

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 225 pages
  • Publisher: Harvest House (May 15 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0736918124
  • ISBN-13: 978-0736918121
  • Product Dimensions: 21.5 x 14.1 x 1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #606,174 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa4e2d804) out of 5 stars 30 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5650b34) out of 5 stars Entertaining analysis, but not quite super Nov. 29 2006
By Todd Grotenhuis - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is a fun book, but in places it attempts to create connections between Jesus and Superman that don't really appear to be there. Prospective readers should be aware that Superman is, and has aways been, primarily a pop culture icon intended to entertain, not a symbolic figure meant to remind us of Christ.

The author admits this truth and tries to navigate around it by several times admitting that not all the parallels he mentions were intended by the creators or writers responsible for the stories. Nonetheless, Skelton says, Christians ought to see any figure in pop culture through the lens of the Bible, so that we can be reminded of truth even in a medium where the author did not deliberately try to convey it -- essentially, we should interpret all our experiences (including those involving Superman) from a Christian persective.

This is all fine and good, but Skelton then goes on to point out such elaborate and inventive parallels between Jesus and Superman that it becomes hard to take some of them seriously. According to this book, we should be reminded of some aspect of Jesus' life by Superman's Kryptonian name (Kal-El), his earthly name (both "Clark" and "Kent" can remind us of Jesus), the names of both his Kryptonian parents and his earthly parents, the shape of the spaceship that brought him to earth, the clothing worn on Krypton, the clothing his earthly parents were wearing when they found him, the fact that Kryptonite is lethal to him, the color of Kryptonite (at least, the Green K), the colors on Superman's costume, the name of the actor most known for portraying Superman (i.e., Christopher Reeve), and on and on. It is as if every detail of some parts of Superman's life is meant to suggest some new idea about Jesus to us. The examples are so creative that they begin to appear contrived and artificial, rather than genuine parallels to the life of Jesus.

Ironically, Skelton ignores a pretty heavy dose of the Superman mythos to make his case. While he pays attention to every "jot and tittle" of some parts of the Superman lore, he completely overlooks other parts. He draws most extensively from the TV show "Smallville," the first "Superman" movie (not including any of the campy or humorous scenes from that film), and a couple of Superman comic stories -- mostly his origin and the "Death & Return of Superman" saga from the early '90's. Almost no mention is made of the "Lois & Clark" series (which definitely did *not* portray Superman as a parallel to Christ), the Superman III or IV movies, the 1940's Max Fleischer cartoons and movie serials, the George Reeves TV series, nor to broad themes appearing in the comics throughout their 70-year history -- other than mentioning these all briefly in a "Superman chronology timeline" in the beginning of the book. Also noticeably absent was any reference to Brian Azzarello's recent 12-issue stint on the Superman comic, which portrayed Superman as regularly flying to a church and confiding in a priest. Surely if all these other mundane aspects of Superman's life can remind us of Jesus, his presence in a church ought to, as well!

The book ends with a brief synopsis of Bryan Singer's "Superman Returns" movie. However, because the book was released at roughly the same time as the film, the author was not able to view it before the book was complete, so he just deals with "plot speculation." This is unfortunate, because that film did make several deliberate attempts to depict Superman as a Messiah/Christ figure, and examples from it would have fit better than some of the ones that are in the book (Skelton doesn't even mention the most overt Christ-image in the movie, of Superman "giving his life" to save the earth and then falling with arms outstretched, in the position of Jesus on the cross, back to earth.)

Still, this book certainly is an entertaining read, even if I had to scratch my head a little at some of the examples that Skelton draws. After all, it is a well-thought-out book, and it's Superman!!! Anyone who enjoys Superman and wants to see how some of the ideas in his history can point us to Christ ought to enjoy it, as long as you don't expect an analysis that starts with the Superman creators' own intentions.

An excelent supplement to this book, which focuses more on broad themes (not only on the minutiae) of Superman, and also includes a "spiritual" analysis of many other comic book heroes, is H. Michael Brewer's "Who Needs a Superhero?"
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa72227d4) out of 5 stars A Super Book! Please read before you review! June 26 2006
By E. Mitacek - Published on
Format: Paperback
It seems there is a misconception that this book is about one man's opinion. It is not. Those who will read the book will quickly realize that the parallels between Christ and Superman are not the random and far-fetched musings of one man with a Christian agenda. Those who have participated in the telling of the Superman story, from writers and screenwriters to producers and directors (across comics, TV shows and movies) have gone on the record as saying that they intentionally based Superman and his story on the gospel story of Christ. That is not to say that they in turn are pushing an agenda of their own, but are simply basing their story on the greatest story ever told. (Pretty good strategy, no?) As an example, Bryan Singer, director of Superman Returns, has said that "Superman is the Jesus Christ of superheroes" and that Superman Returns is a tale of "what happens when Messiahs come back."

The research is extensive and intriguing; the points are well-made and thoughtfully outlined. Skelton makes it easy to see why we are drawn to the Superman story - despite how self-sufficient we think we are, we're all in need a Savior!
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4b3e798) out of 5 stars I believe a man can fly! June 24 2006
By James R. Ferguson - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is an amazing-- even "super" little book! Stephen Skelton does an incredibly thorough job of delineating the not-so-coincidental sililarities between the world's most iconic superhero and Jesus Christ. The writer is an obvious fan of both, and really does his homework, giving readers the evidence to back up his supposition that the character we know as Superman can indeed be viewed as a Christ figure. Although Superman was created by two young Jewish friends, his story has been developed over the past almost-seventy years by many comic book, television, and movie writers who have intentionally woven allusions to the story of Jesus, his life, death, burial, and resurrection into the Superman "canon." Skelton is exhaustive and complete in his exposition of these parallels, and it becomes apparent to this reader why so many people worldwide are attracted to the goodness and the amazing powers of Superman. Reading and sharing this book can provide an excellent opportunity for believers to dialogue with non-believers-- either way!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa69dc918) out of 5 stars Up in the sky Dec 28 2011
By ellison - Published on
Format: Paperback
A delightful read that asks "Is it possible that Superman represents Jesus?" Plenty of Bible verses and comparisons. Personally, if you compare them on just a few things: Both an only son sent by their Father from far away to Earth to help, seek and to save those that are lost. Never lie. Think about it. Good read to think about. Perhaps share with others.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4c49e58) out of 5 stars Seeing Superman as Jesus will change your outlook on both Oct. 10 2013
By RyanJ - Published on
Format: Paperback
Once you watch the movies/shows about Superman and you read the Bible about God and Jesus, you begin to see that the comparisons are too many to name. Many are mentioned in this book and its one of the most compelling reads I've ever picked up when it comes to Religious and Comic Book writings.