The Gospel Reloaded: Exploring Spirituality and Faith in The Matrix Paperback – Jun 15 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
Pop a red pill and journey with the authors down the rabbit hole to the burgeoning world of Matrix spirituality. Ever since Neo first discovered his true identity in the now-famous 1999 sleeper hit, fans, critics and philosophers have gone over every celluloid inch of "The Matrix" to pick out its intellectual themes. And, like any pop culture phenomenon worth its salt, the film managed to be all things to all people, claimed by Christians as an allegory of resurrection and by Buddhists as a metaphor of awakening. Seay and Garrett are primarily concerned with the movie's Christian themes-Neo as the Christ; Morpheus as the John the Baptist figure who prepares the way; and Trinity as "the female face of God." (That's not the only thing that may cause more conservative Christians to put on Agent Smith faces; elsewhere, the authors very thoughtfully entertain the idea that the Matrix that is oppressing people in our own society may well be organized religion.) The authors are clearly diehard fans (Seay even named one of his children Trinity!), but the book is far more than an extended fan fawn; it is quite intelligent and substantive, as well as engagingly written. The final two chapters (not seen by PW) will discuss developments in the second installment in the Matrix trilogy.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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!Read more ›
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.
Although sometimes the author(s) sounds a bit like he's standing at a pulpit (after all, Chris Seay is a pastor) his message is, overall, uplifting. He mostly speaks of faith and tries to remain more spiritual than religious. I would have liked a chapter devoted to the relations to Buddhism and Zen, but I suppose the authors are not authorities on those subjects (the book "ZEN IN THE MARTIAL ARTS" is also highly recomended by this reviewer)Many pages discussed John the Baptist and were very interesting.
And the final two chapters are interesting, the last in particular. The title is Apocolypse Now, but it's surprisingly uplifting. After all, why should you be scared of Apocolypse unless you're an evil person?
I also learned a little about Gnosticism, which is very interesting and I'd like to learn more about it (not to follow it, but just because I love learning about new things).
In conclusion, buy this if you're a fan, read it in a two day period, and watch both movies during, before, and after you read it.
Most recent customer reviews
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... Read morePublished on Dec 5 2003 by Stephen T. Wynkoop
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. Read morePublished on Nov. 5 2003
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... Read morePublished on Oct. 29 2003 by Jeff Gang
This book really deserves two and a half stars. I give the authors credit for their more liberal slants on traditional christianity. Read morePublished on Oct. 11 2003 by hominuslupus
It is so refreshing to see a Christian write about the culture without criticizing everything that doesn't overtly preach Jesus. Read morePublished on Oct. 1 2003 by Micah McCarty
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. Read morePublished on Sept. 19 2003
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"... Read morePublished on Sept. 17 2003 by Joey Tulino
Chris Seay and Greg Garrett have done an excellent job of looking at the spirtual side of The Matrix and have taken us with them down the rabbit hole. Read morePublished on Sept. 17 2003 by N. Howard