Agonizomai: Man and Superman

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Man and Superman
With apologies to George Bernard Shaw
(but not too many)


[Great! I sit on this post for two years waiting for the timing to be right and the very day before I post it, wouldn't you know Dan Phillips over at Pyromaniacs goes and posts this, making essentially the same point, only much better, and more topically. Arrrgh!!!]

"They can be a great people. Kal-El; they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the Way. For this reason above all, their capacity for good, I have sent them you - my only son." - Jor-El to his son (Superman).

This is the proverbial pint of poison in the ocean of truth. While people rave about the gospel hidden just below the surface of the 2006 movie "Superman Returns" all that is shown is the great danger of getting your theology and your doctrine from comic books and movies, instead of directly from the Bible.

The true doctrine of the depravity of man and the grace of God in salvation actually teaches the polar opposite of what is stated in the above quote; but because this Superman quote appeals to, and finds its source in, modern day "Christian" sentimentality about man, and has an abysmally low concept of God, this heresy will be swallowed hook, line and sinker by many an unwary soul.

There is some truth here, but it is ironical truth. Men wish to be great alright, but the greatness they aspire to is to be their own God. Unregenerate men have no capacity for good, apart from the restraining grace of God. Every imagination of the thoughts of their hearts is only evil continually. (Genesis 6:5) And, yes, men do lack the light to show them the way, but their lack is not for want of the light shining, but for lack of a willingness to see it. Why? Because they will not come to the light because their deeds are evil. (John 3:20-21)

Beware of getting your theology from secular sources - the Devil is a liar and a murderer, and has been from the beginning. (John 8:44)


Blogger Derek Ashton said...


Funny you should mention this. Last night I watched the creepy new Batman movie, The Dark Knight. It, too, has a bit of caricatured Christian theology in it. It presents a man-centered version of the vicarious atonement, substitution, and imputed righteousness of Christ, strangely wrapping these around both the innate goodness and the innate corruptibility of human nature. Oddly enough, in all of this the movie lacks a God figure and it lacks a cross event. It's a sloppy attempt, but I can imagine the Emerging Church hailing it as a great illustration of the Gospel.

These movies represent a cultural interpretation of the Bible that has emerged after many years of Western society grinding the truth of God's Word under its collective feet - and even questioning the very existence of truth.


Grace & peace,

3:23 pm  
Blogger agonizomai said...


Whoooo! Amen, preach it, brother! Maybe you can stand in for Jeff Noblit or Paul Washer when they need it!



3:34 pm  
Blogger Derek Ashton said...


Thanks, but I can't hold a candle to those guys!

3:40 pm  
Blogger Derek Ashton said...

So, last night my wife says, "Hey, I picked up this movie at a garage sale, let's watch it." She holds up a DVD copy of - you guessed it - Superman Returns. Ugh. Two superhero movies with bad theology in one week! It was either watch the movie or go out in the backyard and rake leaves, so of course we watched it. The bad theology was about as impressive as the cartooney looking Superman character. Now I have a head full of mush and a leafy yard to deal with.

9:30 am  
Blogger agonizomai said...


As a punishment, go write at least two excellent blog entries on repentance...

O, wait - you already did that!


1:29 pm  

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