Customer Reviews: Christian Wisdom of the Jedi Masters
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on April 5, 2006
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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on May 14, 2005
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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on January 18, 2006
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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on March 23, 2005
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. The `force' is not personal, nor loving, nor capable of having personal relationships. Perhaps the greatest distinction is that the `force' has both a light side and a dark side - the God of the Bible is light and there is no darkness in Him. (I John 1)

Lastly, and most importantly, was Jesus a Jedi? No, Jesus wasn't trying to tap into some universal force. He was (and is) the Creator of the Universe and all of its laws. He certainly didn't use mind control to influence people. He spoke the truth and allowed people to accept or reject - Him. He was better than any Jedi could be.
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on September 15, 2011
This book should probably be titled "Christian Wisdom of Dick Staub" and subtitled "Stuffed into the Mouths of Jedi Masters." If you are expecting an intricate and serious attempt to link the Star Wars films to Christian theology, then don't buy this book. Buy instead John McDowell's "The Gospel According to Star Wars" The Gospel according to Star Wars: Faith, Hope, and the Force, the most serious academic treatise on Star Wars and the Christian Faith, or Caleb Grimes "Star Wars Jesus" Star Wars Jesus - A spiritual commentary on the reality of the Force, also a fairly good attempt to unite Star Wars ideas with Christianity. In this book, Staub has some interesting insights in the first third of the book - he conveys some noteworthy quotes and ideas - but thereafter the book dissolves into merely a Christian self-help book (the middle third), and (about the last third) a book espousing Staub's interpretation of Christianity. I don't mean at all mean to say that either Christianity or Staub's interpretation of it is bad, it is just that if you are already familiar with Christianity he doesn't tell you anything new. He doesn't seriously or in a sustained effort link the Christian theology to Star Wars, he merely repeats endlessly the idea of "Christian Jedi would believe X", and "X" is his own Christian theology. So if all you want is Staub's theological view, or a Christian self-help book wrapped in Yoda's thin mantle, then buy this book. But if you are seriously interested in real connections between the film and the Christian faith, go to first to McDowell and then Grimes.
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on May 5, 2005
One of our keenest Christian culture watchers, Staub enables the readers of his latest book to examine what C.S. Lewis called "mere Christianity" through the lens of the Star Wars myth.

By aligning his tome with a popular series of films, Staub has opened himself to a barrage of inane criticism from both narrow-minded Christians and their mirror images; reactionary secular film purists. But the author is only doing what generations of the faithful have always done; relating the old, old story of the "one true myth" (Lewis) to a contemporary audience in language and imagery they can understand.

FUNDAMENTALISTS TAKE NOTICE: Staub is NOT saying that the Star Wars franchise is a Christian film series, that George Lucas is a closet believer, or that Yoda graduated from Bob Jones University! Once again, he is simply presenting "the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints" (Jude 1:3) in a form a large segment of our society can relate to, without out distorting the Christian message and worldview in the process.

One other point needs to be made here. This book should not be passed up by Christians who are not Star Wars fans. Staub's writing is clear, rich, and highly quotable. His citations of a vast array of writers and thinkers are enlightening. His challenges are (sometimes painfully) penetrating. In addition, 'Christian Wisdom of the Jedi Masters' is a model of cross-cultural communication at its best.

Get this book. Read it. Think about it. Give it to your friends.
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on May 9, 2007
As a person who is interested in the intersection between theology and popular culture I was very excited to read Staub's book. My excitement quickly faded when I read through the first few chapters. I find that Staub's book is a bit more of a devotional than anything else. Of course that is not a bad thing, but the content was not as in-depth as I had hoped. Also I found that for myself Staub's book is a bit elementary. That being said I believe that is where Staub was going since he notes in his preface that he was looking to create a text that could be used as a Christian "Jedi" training manual for young believers.

But as a person who has served the church as a professional minister, and has engaged in catechesis with young believers, I think that Staub's book fails in being a good catechetical help. There is not a clear connection between sound doctrine and sound practice. Staub jumps into orthopraxis without considering orthodoxy. Then again true orthodoxy includes both right belief and practice.

In regards to devotional books a good book that I purchased the same day as Staub's is a book called "Faith Odyssey: A Lenten Journey". I was impressed by the way in which the author (who's name escapes me) was able to blend theology and popular culture in his devotions. An excellent book and I only paid $3.00 for it.
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on December 28, 2012
I brought serveral copies as gifts for friends and family. I also got one for myself, it is a good read well done. This book does a great job an breaking down the relationships between Star Wars and Christainaty. I would certainly recommend this book for any Star Wars fan, who is looking for a way to make the connection between god and put god into a perspective that could make understanding god easier to learn.

The only con would be: I would not recommend for childern to young, cause it may be hard to understand. I would say age 10 and up.
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on April 21, 2005
This is an outstanding book. Next generation and baby-boomers alike will resonate with the challenging truths of Christian Wisdom of the Jedi Masters. Staub gracefully uses the Star Wars theme to connect with readers while staying true to the real source of truth.

Some readers might think this is an attempt to draw a close link between Star Wars and biblical themes. What Staub does in creative ingenuity is take the familiar and often culturally ingrained themes and dialog of Star Wars and uses them as an entry point to discussing real truth. To think this book is primarily about connecting Christianity to Star Wars or comparing the two side by side misses the point altogether.

Those connected with today's youth know that kids are searching for the truth because they haven't had a real role model either in their parents or other adults who not only speak the truth, but live it out as well. This book is a challenge to those of us who can be mentors to get down to the heart of the matter when it comes to spiritual growth and be a mentor to those who need it. It's also a challenge to those who need a mentor to seek the truth themselves and look for someone who can help guide them in their spiritual journey. This book is an encouragement to both audiences.

Anyone on a spiritual quest will want to dig into each chapter and discover not only the basics but go deeper in true faith. This book can significantly touch and change the lives of those who read it.
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on May 5, 2005
"We live in a superficial age. We long for the depth and substance of a faith that is intellectually credible, spiritually vibrant, and morally and ethically consistent with what we intuitively know to be right. We long for a good, true, and beautiful spirituality."

So says Dick Staub, the author of one great book: "Too Christian, Too Pagan," in one of the opening chapters of his latest book: "Christian Wisdom of the Jedi Masters."

I must admit I was a bit doubtful when I picked up my copy of this book. I LOVED Mr. Staub's last book, and I LOVE the Star Wars movies...but would I love what Mr. Staub would have to say about Christianity as it relates to Star Wars?

Before I give you my answer, let me digress for a moment. Let me rail, if I may for one second, against one of the most stupid, avaricious, and least helpful trends in "Christian" (and God help us all if there is anything Christ-like to the practice) publishing today: the canned "Christian" response to cultural phenomena in the form of an ill-considered and hastily written book (one need only look at the "Christian" publishing sub-genre of anti-Harry Potter books to know of what I speak). All too often mistaking a version of "Christian" sub-culture (or, the "Christian" ghetto, if you will) for actual Christian doctrine and belief, too many half-wits with a publisher have been allowed--here in 21st century America--to give voice to some of the most spurious, assinine foolishness ever set to paper this side of Mein Kampf.

Now that I have the tip of that iceberg out of my system, my answer:

Christian Wisdom of the Jedi Masters is not like the other books I just alluded to. I do not feel this was written to make a quick buck off of cultural luddites masquerading as authentic Christ-followers. The great thing about this book is that I believe it was not written for most people who would call themselves Christians at all.

Christian Wisdom of the Jedi Masters is a great book that looks at the stories of Star Wars (and some of the Eastern Religions that served Lucas as inspiration in writing them) and compares them to the stories of Christianity. Staub's wealth of knowledge about world religions is evident. Even more powerful is his grasp of how the world's greatest anti-religion (or as some might call it--a relationship)--namely, Christianity, apllies to the lives of people who have looked at Star Wars and seen in it something desirable spiritually.

I begin to prattle on though--and over what is really a simple and profound book. Dick Staub has written another MASTERPIECE. I hope that this book's influence extends well beyond a momentary readership of interest during the few months around the release of The Revenge of the Sith.

If ever a book called for and deserved a wide readership, it is this one.

I give Christian Wisdom of the Jedi Masters a full and heartfelt recommendation.
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