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The Gospel according to The Simpsons, Bigger and Possibly Even Better! Paperback – May 24, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
The Simpsons not only contains blatantly Christian characters but it explores issues of faith that other shows would never touch with a 50 foot pole. Ned Flanders, though ragged on by Homer a lot, is perhaps the best depiction of an evangelical-type Christian in mainstream television history. Lisa Simpson seems to present the side of the social Gospel. Marge's real faith in God also shines through. Though characters with faith are often made fun of, in the end the show always seems to prove that the joke is on the joker, not the jokee. The Simpsons isn't trying to evangelize, but it is surprisingly fair and evenhanded in its presentations, and with how it deals out the humor. In its history the show has dealt with subjects like cults, hypocricy, why God allows evil, hell, and forgiveness.
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO THE SIMPSONS surprised me, made me laugh out loud multiple times each chapter, and was just an all-around enjoyable read. The picture of Christianity that is presented isn't perfect. The writers stumble on theological points many times (such as grace vs. works). This will happen when you're not a theologian and, in most cases, not even a Christian. But in spite of that, Pinsky shows that the Springfield world of Homer is one that is rich in faith and religious devotion.Read more ›
The chapters are arranged in an intelligent manner, outlining basic precepts of different Christian faiths: the idea of a personal God and personal prayer, the role of evangelizing, the existence of Heaven and Hell, the authority of the Bible, and so forth. Pinsky does readers the service of exploring the Jewish tradition and even the "miscellaneous" (Hindu/Buddhist) traditions in separate chapters; although these serve as mere introductions to these religions, it offers a nice balance and places the entire book within a larger context.
Although those who have studied Christian theology might want more depth, those people aren't the book's target audience. For those who want to make the teachings of Buber, Tillich, Lewis, Boenhoffer, and other recent theologians accessible to all (especially the low-attention-span, pop-culture oriented youth), "Gospel" is a great way to go about it. The writing is clear (not surprising since Pinsky is a journalist), and the topics timely.Read more ›
Being a seminary grad, I always watched the Simpsons with one side of me laughing and the other side trying to figure out what message the show was trying to convey. So some of the things that this book points out concerning faith matters that the Simpsons address I already knew. Still, this book brings with it a unique insight and helps one appreciate all aspects of the show that much more.
Overall, I recommend this book for anyone who is a Simpsons lover or has a Simpsons lover in thier family. I especially recommend this book for parents whose kids love the Simpsons and they do not. This book offers some unique insights into how to turn this TV show into a time where parent and child can address issues of faith.
Mr. Pinsky begins his book by relating his way of coming to watch the show. He fell into the category of people who found the show crude, but never sat long enough to dissect it. Finally he came around, and recognized that a case could be made for "The Simpsons" to be the most religiously-based show on television today.
Each chapter tackles a specific topic - primarily the individual characters in the show. Mr. Pinsky develops a very strong character profile, showing how each character can be related to people we run across in real-life - or even who we may be in real-life. In doing so, he tackles the religious complexities of each character, and weaves this into his broader thesis. He shows that despite Homer's numerous flaws, he does have Christian beliefs, suggesting he is like a person who believes in God, but doesn't grasp it firmly - using his belief when it serves him. Ned Flanders is described as a cariacture of the born-again or evangelical Christian.
Throughout the chapters, Mr. Pinsky highlights many episodes in which religion - or a religious moral - was very much at the forefront. Again, he uses these examples to bolster his main thesis.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I found Pinsky's book to be both humorous and analytical. In the body of the text, you are not just treated to opinion. Read morePublished 12 days ago by Jorge Alberto Orduna SR.
Well written. I was afraid this was going to get a bit high-handed. It did not.Published 16 months ago by GLENN PROVEN
Especially liked what the readers learn about the writers' backgrounds and reasons for writing the stories they do. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Amazon Customer
This work should probably be titled "Spirituality According to the Simpsons," though it will not have the same ring to it as the chosen title, "The Gospel According to... Read morePublished on February 15, 2014 by SLIMJIM
I really enjoyed this book. I learned a lot about how religion was portrayed in the show that I really didn't notice until now.Published on June 5, 2013 by TechGeek
Being a fan of The Simpsons, I was excited to read this book. The purpose of the book is to examine the spiritual aspect of the show. Read morePublished on June 1, 2009 by W. Matthews
I am an Orthodox Christian, and as conservative as we are, I recommend this book to ALL Christians. I've been watching the Simpsons since it started, and only after i read this... Read morePublished on January 22, 2008 by Mr. Albert Osseily
Who would expect such a clever critique of American religiosity from a cartoon sitcom? This is a very entertaining read that unveils how the Simpsons cartoon has more religious... Read morePublished on September 7, 2007 by Joshua V. Schneider
Some of the one star reviews that this book has generated tell me that some people have entirely missed the point of the book. Read morePublished on August 4, 2007 by DWD's Reviews