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Star Wars Jesus - A spiritual commentary on the reality of the Force Paperback – December 16, 2006
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"An exegesis on Star Wars at its finest! Caleb has managed to cleverly bridge the dichotomy between sacred, sci-fi, faith and force. This book will bring revelation to you as you explore Jesus principles through Jedi perspectives. May His Spirit be with you!"
Youth Counselor and Ambassador - Singapore
Youth Pastor - Church of Our Saviour - Singapore
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Top Customer Reviews
I appreciated that Grimes saw the connection with the Holy Spirit and reinforces it in several places throughout the book. Here's a sample from Entry 69: "Qui-Gon teaches Obi-Wan to learn that to understand a situation he must not ignore the living Force. For us, this is like learning to discern a direction in which the Holy Spirit might be leading us, or how we receive council from God." Grimes is also open to the supernatural gifts of the Spirit and wonders how Jedi powers are similar to them. He sees the world of the supernatural as "the nugget of truth that real life witches and wizards seek" (Entry 14, page 57). Regarding occult magicians, this may be true; however, many occultists are naturalists seeking self-empowerment and desired effects through the use of what they consider to be natural metaphysical laws. They prefer the term "paranormal" to the term "supernatural". Entry 45 (related to The Empire Strikes Back) also brings up occult activities such as divination, sorcery, and witchcraft and states: "To use witchcraft and sorcery, etc., is wrong because we are not able to see behind this part of the Force to understand its evil. For a deeper explanation of this topic, read Catherine Edwards Sanders' book, The Charm of Wicca" [sic, Wicca's Charm (2005)]. What "the Force" represents here is unclear (Grimes should have clarified this), and Sanders doesn't use the term (I've read her book). She reports that a couple inexperienced Wiccans said they were trying to "channel energy" through a friend to "knock down a mental wall" and "felt a flutter of unprotected power" (Wicca's Charm, page 104). The result was "problems with voices and visions" from apparently "unwanted spirits", so an older, more experienced Wiccan was consulted to help properly shield from such negativity. Demonic activity is a biblical reality, but one that Sanders did not focus on, preferring to let the Wiccans speak for themselves. The wonderworking power of the Holy Spirit as manifest through a submitted, obedient Christian is superior to, and can overcome, any natural or demonic power from whatever source.
I also appreciated Grimes' commentary in Entry 38 as to 1) Why the dark and the light sides of the Force cannot be part of one power, 2) Why neither the Jedi nor the Sith are, or can be, one with the Force, and 3) Why the Force cannot be divine. I agree that good and evil are not opposites, although I would have worded some things differently and distinguished between the goodness of being (ontology) and the goodness of doing (ethics). In terms of the former, I would have said that neither God nor creatures are the source of their own goodness (being) because God is uncaused and creatures are God-caused. Good is eternal in God, without beginning or end, whereas evil is not eternal because it has a beginning and therefore can have an end. This means that there is more good than evil and good is more powerful than evil. It also means, as mysterious as it is, that good is the ultimate cause of evil, even if we say that it was good creatures and not God who caused it. A lot to think about here, but Grimes' commentary shows that he is aware of these truths. I further appreciated Grimes' focus on the need for spiritual disciplines in the Christian's life to help overcome the dark side (sinful nature) within and increase the influence of the Holy Spirit. Entry 99 discusses the spiritual disciplines and recommends Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster as "the classic portal". I second the recommendation.
One thing that makes Grimes' book stand out from other Star Wars commentaries, Christian or otherwise, is the way he approaches all six films in the order in which they were released, beginning with the classic trilogy and continuing through the prequel trilogy. Each movie is also approached chronologically, the author discussing certain scenes in the order of their appearance while occasionally providing entries on certain important general themes before delving back into the specifics of the film under discussion. One gets not only spiritual commentary but social and political commentary as well. The time he has spent contemplating the classic trilogy is shown by the fact that Episodes IV - VI receive well over half (68) of the entries, although the ones for the prequel trilogy are no lesser in quality.
One does not have to agree with Grimes on every point, or way of expression of certain points, to appreciate the book. It is a welcome commentary for Christian fans of Star Wars and highly recommended.
I think this would be an excellent book for all ages, but would really help with teenagers as a way to reach out to them and share Christ with them!
All Star Wars fans should read this book! Well, done Mr. Grimes!
Analytical Review: This is a well-written and very well-organized book. If you want a particular commentary on any aspect of the Star Wars films, the chronological order of the book makes that very easy to access. It is not a "preachy" book, it does not intend to convert the reader to Christianity, merely to illustrate the bold similarities that the Star Wars films have with Christianity. It is respectfully enthusiastic about Christianity and Stars Wars. Themes of Toaism, and Buddhism take a very small role in the book, but overall it is well done, and readable. Recommended for Star Wars fans or those interested in science fiction and religion.
Those interested in a more academically challenging book should read John McDowell's work - it is more nuanced in some ways, but not as well organized or easy to read as this book.