Dick Staub starts his book by describing the key difference between the Christian faith and the Force of the Star Wars films. In Star Wars, the Force itself is the energy field that "surrounds and penetrates us… [and] binds the galaxy together." But in our world, Staub points out that a Christian believes in one true Lord over all things - including the Force itself, a Lord of the Force, if you will. So with this subtle but important point made, the rest of the book takes a journey of exploration, looking in detail at how a Jedi learning the ways of The Force can be readily compared to a Christian learning the ways of the Lord of the Force.
The interesting aspect of this book though, is not the primary conceit of using the Jedi mythology to explore Christianity. Instead it is the wealth of ideas Staub brings to the table from a variety of sources as he takes us on the journey. The title of the book may presuppose and even help ensure a select demographic, but in truth Staub's book comes across as a fireside chat that would be of interest to many, weaving together elements from Star Wars, the Bible, academia, psychology, and so on to make his underlying point, which is to live a fully-engaged Christian life. For example, in a discussion that starts with a quote from Yoda: "Always two there are, a master and an apprentice," Staub follows up with an obvious Biblical parallel on discipleship from the Book of John, but then takes it further, discussing the Jewish tradition of how a rabbi chooses and trains the next generation of teachers that will succeed him, a more detailed description of how Jesus discipled his own followers, and ending with an off-the-wall but thoroughly on-point illustration from the field of engineering that demonstrates the value of correctly applied knowledge from those we should look to as potential mentors.
By the end of the book, we are reminded of the commonality of belief systems (fictional or otherwise.) All seek to give us our place in the universe, and equip us with the knowledge necessary for a successful journey. Staub's book starts with the myth of the Jedi system, but it's true end is an invitation to become a Christian Jedi, following what he calls the "one true myth" of the Lord of the Force.--Ed Dobeas
From Publishers Weekly
Biblically literate Star Wars fans have long recognized similarities between Jedi teachings and biblical wisdom. Staub, a broadcaster and director of the Center for Faith and Culture in Seattle, artfully lays out many similarities for Christians who want to claim Jedi wisdom as their own. After seeing a Star Wars prequel, Staub realized that a young man he was mentoring wanted "to be a 'Jedi Christian,' " but Staub's generation had not produced a Yoda. To correct that, Staub takes on the role of a modern-day Yoda (the wise sage) by speaking directly to readers as aspiring Jedi Christians and doling out his understanding of Christian theology. Thankfully, Staub resists the urge to fit all-things-Jedi into a Christian framework, but instead picks and chooses from Jedi (as well as Buddhist, Jewish, Taoist and mystical) teachings, comparing what he finds with biblical wisdom. Because the book is so biblically oriented, it seems to be reaching out to young evangelical Christians, asking them to consider a more progressive tradition of Christian faith—one that embraces liberal Christian philosophers, theologians and mystics, and social and environmental activism. Using Jedi culture as a draw, Staub builds a number of bridges with this book that will keep coffeehouse theological discussions going at least as long as Star Wars films are popular. (Apr.)
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