Christ-like? A “Man of Steel” Review (FotF)
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The latest Superman movie came out this past weekend.
Yes. I was excited. (I have seen it twice, already.)
I wanted to write this amazing review that looks into how the gospel could be presented through this movie (such as when I wrote about “The Gospel According to Bill & Ted”).
Instead, I think Focus on the Family did a great job. Also, seeing as I am on a youth summer retreat taking teens down a river, through caves, across hiking trails, and deep into God’s Word when this posts to the world wide web, I do not have a great amount of time to devote to this!
Therefore, head over the site by clicking here to read their entire Man of Steel movie review.
The Superman stories have over the years developed a significant spiritual standing, with the man of steel serving as an analog for our heavenly Savior. He’s an only son sent to Earth to be a shining light in our darkness and an all-powerful paragon of truth and justice. As a baby he’s adopted by Martha and Jonathan, and he grows into someone who can defy the laws of physics in grand ways while championing the weak in nearly every way. He’s a superhero who sets out to save a humanity in desperate need. It’s never a perfect allegory, of course, but it’s generated countless conversations, articles, sermons and books that explore the rich subtext inherent in this once humble comic book tale.
With that as a backdrop, it’s quite remarkable to note that this Man of Steel movie is one of the most spiritually symbolic and Messianic-image-packed treatments made about this character. Here, Clark Kent even comes to understand—at the age of 33, no less—his responsibility to step up, face off with and destroy an ultimate evil that threatens all mankind.
But that’s at the end. At the climax. All through this film, dialogue and images hint at connections between Superman and Jesus. Several people, from Jor-El to Jonathan to Zod’s female second, Faora-Ul, talk to Clark about his ability (or lack of ability) to save the people on his adopted planet. Superman levitates with his arms spread in a cross-like form on several occasions. When he goes to church to ask a priest for advice, the camera’s eye frames a stained-glass representation of Christ over the young Clark’s shoulder. The priest tells him, “Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith first. The trust part comes later.”
After Clark rescues a bus full of children, a kid’s mother states, “This was an act of God!” Clark asks his dad, “Did God do this to me?” When Lara worries about her infant son’s safety on Earth, Jor-El assures her, “He’ll be a god to them.” Bad guy Kryptonians tell Superman that “the fact that you possess a sense of morality and we do not” gives them an advantage. “Evolution always wins,” they say.
Also: We learn that most Kryptonians were engineered, essentially, for whatever their lot in life was to be. In other (spiritual) words, they have no free will. Superman is the exception. He was born naturally—the first natural birth on that planet in centuries—and he is therefore free to “choose” his own destiny.