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God on the Streets of Gotham: What the Big Screen Batman Can Teach Us about God and Ourselves Paperback – May 18, 2012


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God on the Streets of Gotham: What the Big Screen Batman Can Teach Us about God and Ourselves + Batman and Psychology: A Dark and Stormy Knight + Batman and Philosophy: The Dark Knight of the Soul
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (May 18, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 141436640X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414366401
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #255,860 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Paul Asay is associate editor at Plugged In, a ministry that reaches more than six million people with movie reviews that help people understand popular cultural trends and how they intersect with spiritual issues. Paul is an award-winning journalist who covered religion at The (Colorado Springs) Gazette and whose work has been published by such outlets as The Washington Post, Christianity Today, Youth Worker Journal and Beliefnet.com. Paul has a special interest in the unexpected ways faith and media intersect. He lives in Colorado Springs with his wife, Wendy, and two children. Feel free to check out his website at www.paulasay.com.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By brenten gilbert on August 14, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Whenever I write about anything that touches the world of comic book superheroes, I feel I should explain that I didn't read a lot of comic books growing up. Certainly not Batman. If I got comic books at all, it was usually a Kool-Aid Man special or maybe even a Disney comic book. I did watch The Super Friends TV show that Asay references here and I have seen the first 2 of Nolan's Dark Knight movies. Okay, comic book credentials aside, I do have plenty to say about finding spiritual insights in the midst of pop culture. Lots of people do that - I do that - and lots of people overreach when they try. As such, I get pretty nervous around books like this... they can go so terribly wrong, so terribly fast.

Fortunately, Paul Asay doesn't stray from the realm of reasonable comparison and illustration. In fact, he doesn't even come across as preachy. This book feels as much like a memoir as it does a thesis-driven collection of essays. Asay is steeped in the Batman culture, clearly having spent many more hours with his head between the pages of comic book panels than I. But he writes in such a way that you don't need to have that rich historical perspective of the caped crusader to enjoy or even follow along. He provides an interesting perspective, hits his points well, and offers readers an enjoyable conversation. You probably won't get too excited by this book without at least a passing interest in Batman, but that's really all you need.

-from trudatmusic[dot]com[slash]raw
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Lisa M Zatezalo on July 19, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I ordered this to use as a study guide for my youth group at church. With the release of the Dark Knight Rises I thought it would be a good way to tie in current culture with God's word. So far the book has been everything I was hoping it would be. I'm enjoying it and I think the kids are too. I would like to see a study guide with discussion questions!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By ERSInk . com on July 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
When most people think about Christian books that compare and contrast pop culture figures or films with the Bible, the idea makes them sneer and say to themselves, "Here they go again. Those religious fanatics have to find God somewhere in everything to justify watching or listening to it." That could be true. However, what's wrong with examining the parallels between two pieces of literature that seem drastically different from each other?

There are books written about the similarities between the "Star Wars" movies and the Bible. "The Gospel According to the World's Greatest Superhero" even explored the parallels between Jesus Christ and Superman. Books exist talking about how J.R.R. Tolkien used the Bible to fuel his imagination while writing his "Lord of the Rings" novels.

The world of Batman is one I never thought to seek Biblical comparisons to. When a friend of mine told me about a book entitled "God on the Streets of Gotham" coming out on the eve of the release of "The Dark Knight Rises," I knew I had to read it. Batman is such a dark character and his universe is rooted in despair and vengeance on the surface. I was beyond intrigued and wanted to know how author Paul Asay would tie the iconic super hero to the Bible.

First off, Asay is a self-professed Batman fan. He spent his childhood watching "Super Friends." The first coloring book he can remember is a Batman one. He's also the associate editor at Plugged In, which is a website that explores how pop culture traverses Spiritual issues through movie reviews and the likes.

Asay digs deep into the mythology and characters in Batman's universe. He doesn't skim across the surface cherry picking little nuggets to fit his Christian agenda while justifying his obvious obsession with the Dark Knight.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Nikole on July 15, 2012
Format: Paperback
The caped crusader stopped thrilling me. After so many Batman movies, one wonders why movie producers aren't utilizing the many original novels out there instead. God on the Streets of Gotham by Paul Asay gives Batman a different spin.

Batman has fascinated many since its inception in the DC Comics. Paul explores the similarities between Batman and Christ. Paul isn't saying Batman was ever a believer, but he dissects Batman and Batman's famous villains. The villains are a bit like us. Paul looks at Two-Face and how he went from the savior of a city, good, district attorney, Harvey Dent, to a disillusioned bad guy with one half of his face burned beyond recognition. Harvey or Two-Face mourned Rachel Dawes loss when Batman in one episode was forced to choose who to save. He also explored the Joker and Bane. Paul referred to Batman's purpose as a calling.

"There are very few things that would compel a sane man to tackle the evil lurking in Gotham's mean streets at the rise of every moon. Radical, unflappable submission to a cause is the most rational and reasonable among them. Batman didn't just submit to his ideals, to his calling, in the mountains of Nepal. Every day he renews his commitment, and every night he submits again--even at the risk of discovery, injury, and death." (pg. 92)

I especially liked this chapter. Paul spends a lot of time on dissecting Batman's purpose as a calling. It reminded me of my calling and how often it can be discouraging. Sometimes, you wonder if you make any difference at all? Paul talks about how Batman suffered doubt, too. In these chapters, we read of Paul's childhood or snippets of real life examples as he compares a fictional character to Christ and other biblical characters.
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