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Christian Wisdom of the Jedi Masters Hardcover – March 28, 2005

41 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews Review

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.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (March 28, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0787978949
  • ISBN-13: 978-0787978945
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.2 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #424,440 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dick Staub is an engaging, broadly informed listener who consumes a vast amount of information each day and then communicates his observations and insights as a broadcaster, writer and public speaker. He enjoys learning about people's ideas and the personal journey that shaped their views. While he is a man of far reaching interests and curiosities, Staub is particularly fascinated with America's creative, ideological and spiritual quest, which today is often unlinked from organized religion. He believes there is a vibrant ongoing conversation about ideas and beliefs going on in today's popular culture through movies, books, theatre and music. Part of his mission is to listen to and facilitate that cultural conversation.

"The Dick Staub Show" first appeared locally in Seattle at King Broadcasting (an NBC affiliate) in 1987 and in 1991 moved to Chicago as a nationally syndicated, afternoon drive, radio talk show. After years of interviewing the shapers of American culture - authors, filmmakers, musicians, trend-watchers, educators, business leaders, theologians, politicians and futurists - Dick Staub is emerging as one of today's most experienced and thoughtful observers of people, beliefs & ideas driving contemporary culture. His award winning signature interviews have resulted in numerous honors including the Cardinal's Award for excellence in broadcasting.

In May 2006 Dick launched the Seattle-based The Kindling's Muse an intelligent, imaginative, hospitable exploration of ideas that matter most in contemporary life as sparked through our personal journeys and through our shared cultural experience in art, movies, books, music and events. Inspired by CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien who met weekly in a pub for lively conversation with friends they called 'The Inklings,' The Kindling's Muse features a live audience and round-table of thoughtful creatives and gadflies discussing ideas, beliefs and values shaping life today. The Kindling's Muse originates from a variety of locations in the public square: Hales Ales Brewery & Pub' in the Fremont District, The Windrider Forum/Sundance film festival, Experience Music Project and the CS Lewis Centre. Listen at

Staub has served on the board of North Park University, Martin Marty's ecumenical Public Religion Project and Image Journal (A Journal of Art, Faith & Mystery). He is a frequent conference keynote speaker and has appeared on dozens of college and graduate school campuses in the US and abroad and is also an adjunct professor at Seattle Pacific University.

Staub graduated cum laud from Simpson University and Gordon-Conwell Seminary and his done additional graduate level coursework at Harvard Divinity School and University of Washington. His academic concentrations include Philosophy, Communications, Religion and Cultural History

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By survivorman25 on April 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Dick Staub makes some very good points and connections to the training of a Jedi in the ways of the Force in Star Wars and the walk of a Christian following God in life today. However, he does misquote and misinterpret many quotes from the Star Wars movies, and I even found a misquotation from the Bible. He makes good points, but these details were distracting to me as I read. Dick Staub needs to take some time to do a couple of things. First he needs to re-read the Bible and get facts correct (He quoted Moses as saying something to Joshua, but Moses was dead at the time and God told it to Joshua). Second, he needs a simple commentary for the passages he misinterprets (He says David had Uriah killed to be the only one Bathsheba loved, He had Uriah killed to cover up his sin). Third he needs to re-watch the Star Wars movies and not bend the quotes of the characters to fit his book (He talks about Obi-Wan asking Yoda for help in Episode II and portrays the event differently than it happens, as well as bends Yoda's reaction to fit what he is trying to show). This book is not what I thought it was.
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50 of 65 people found the following review helpful By John Zxerce on March 23, 2005
Format: Hardcover
First of all, as far as entertainment goes the Star Wars series is some of the best! Furthermore, I realize there's real spiritual hunger that causes people to be drawn to Star Wars. It's a powerful series, with a powerful story. However, the answer to that spiritual hunger cannot be found in the films.

While there are some similarities between Jedi teachings and the biblical worldview, the differences are far greater. As a result, I wish Staub had been more thorough in contrasting the two belief systems instead of primarily comparing the similarities.

Staub wants to emphasize the similarities in order to assist, "Christians who want to claim Jedi wisdom as their own." My question is, what if Jedi wisdom is contrary to scripture - should that wisdom still be pursued?

Staub writes, "Star Wars seems to have stolen our message and wrapped it in science fiction." What message is that? There's a God in heaven who loves us? Humanity is separated from Him because of sin? Jesus died on the cross to forgive us, redeem us to the Father, and bring us a newness of life? These are the beliefs of Christians everywhere. However, none of these elements are found in the Star Wars series. As a result, Staub's claims are either an over-simplification or he's reading too much into the films.

Remember, a Jedi sees the force as the binding piece that holds all life together. It's said to surround us and direct our actions. In this worldview the `force' resembles more of a pantheistic teaching than a biblical one. More specifically, if everything is part of the `force' then everything is one. This stands in contrast to the Christian view which claims God is separate and distinction from creation, as well as a personal being.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I was very excited when I came across this book. I am both a Christian AND a Star Wars nut. I began reading this book right away, and it started slow. I kept reading, hoping it would really dive into some good contrast. It never came. I'm sure this guy meant well, but he had a very shallow knowledge of the Star Wars films, and on the Christian side, everything felt like it was from a 5th grade Sunday school class. I want so badly for this book to be great, but it is not. I wish I would have written it.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By David Allred on May 14, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book is perfect for anyone tired of walking through their Christian bookstores and seeing the same things from the same authors with only title and cover art changes. Staub takes the reader on a simple, yet profound journey through the "trials" of spiritual development. Truth be told, only a very minimal amount of Star Wars background is needed; however, I would recommend that a reader have already begun the Christian journey to appreciate the book at its deepest levels.

Striking about this book over so many other "sanctioned" (and often sanitized) Christian media output, is that this book is oozing with experiential wisdom which both reflects and inspires. Rather than presenting logical, factual, left-brain diatribes about how important it is to become a "spiritual master," Staub concentrates his writing on connection, relationship, meditation, and the journey of Christian faith.

In short, while other books are factoids about the "ends" of faith, Christian Wisdom of the Jedi Masters is a book about the "means." I connected with its simplicity very deeply as a pastor and a Christian of almost 30 years, but the book is suited for anyone on the Christian journey. I believe Staub has articulated very well the "one true myth" without railroading the Star Wars universe with triviality or Christian white-washing.

I rarely ever write reviews of a books (I think this is my second in 10 years) though I've read hundreds of theological works and "pop" Christian antiseptic self-helps. But this book was worth 10 minutes of my time to convey to anyone out there who may be uncertain: it is a five star read.

Simple, yes. Profound, for sure. Isn't that what Wisdom is supposed to be?
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