I agree with @Jim Jenkins. I don't think it's bad to watch these shows that have a type of Savior and recognize that and teach our kids their right choices. But I think it is going to far to watch them and compare Jesus Christ, the Son if God to a Hollywood character. I think if we want to teach our children about Christ, we read about him and teach what he has done in the scriptures.
Thank you all for your kind words, insights, and feedback. I'm glad that we find in art and entertainment things that inspire the best in us. @Jim Jenkins: I guess we'll have to agree to disagree and I respect your thoughts. That said, it's not "straining" to find Superman as a type of Christ; the filmmakers have explicitly made him one.
Thank you for a well-written article. I, like Elizabethe, am touched most by movies that portray Christ-like attributes. Tolkien's LOTR trilogy not only typify Christ, but if you study carefully, it is almost uncanny how much of what happens in those books is a shadow of what is happening in these last days. I believe that many good authors are inspired to write such works in order to prepare people for Christ, although the authors themselves may not realize the light of Christ working in them.
Jonathan, thanks. An excellent intro into the "types of Christ" on the silver screen. I concur with your point to share with readers a guide toward "sanitized" R rated movies, and thanks for suggesting that some still have a message to offer. I would link readers to a wonderful (but long) treatise from Orson Scott Card on why he would offer that there is a need to portray and understand evil--https://www.nauvoo.com/library/card-talk.html.
Also, as someone who was never a comic collector, I can't say I'm a huge Batman fan, but I am a Christopher Noakes fan (director of the Batman Trilogy). I love his movies, despite their dark imagery. Thank you for your article, as I'd not seen the Christ allusions before. I would add to it. The most powerful aspect, in my mind, of the 2nd movie, is at the end, when Batman acknowledges, and accepts his role to give up his "hero" status for the greater good. Rather than expose Harvey Dent, the crusading district attorney of Gotham, for the evil that he's become, Batman frames himself for Dent's death in order to maintain amongst the people the appearance of his goodness and perpetuate the ideals Dent originally espoused.
In the same way, we could surmise that some would desire Christ to do things a certain way ("force" us to be good so that we'd all be saved, by the "military messiah" to free Israel from Rome's bondage) and that might make him more "popular." Yet Christ chose the role that would bring salvation, in the same way that Batman chose the way that would still embolden the people to good.
Just my two cents.
@Jim Jenkins: sad that you can't recognize that for most (including possibly your children), Christ always taught at various levels so that anyone would potentially have access to his teachings, including the lesser of us. I hope that your children share your appreciation of and understanding of the scriptures immediately, but for others, a twinkle of light that guides them closer to Christ is a great start. And if that's to be found in the powerful imagery that can be created through Hollywood, then I'm grateful that these stories exist on the silver screen to help men and women find the power in the great story of sacrifice our Brother made, as @Elizabethe suggests.
I have recently come to realize that almost every time I am deeply touched by a movie it is because of these same themes. Sometimes it is ordinary people making extraordinary sacrifices or achieving meaningful goals for righteous purposes, often at great risk or sacrifice to themselves. But at the root of it all, is the last and great sacrifice made by our Savior, of which these are just shadows.
I enjoyed your article which so well demonstrates that even in the movies, we can find the truth expressed by this verse of scripture, which is one of my favorites:
And behold, all things have their likeness, and all things are created and made to bear record of me, both things which are temporal, and things which are spiritual; things which are in the heavens above, and things which are on the earth, and things which are in the earth, and things which are under the earth, both above and beneath: all things bear record of me.
(Pearl of Great Price | Moses 6:63)
I appreciate your thoughts, but I say let's stop trying to find types of Christ in secular figures. I don't need the Lion King to teach my children about Christ. Maybe about honorable behavior, or integrity. There are so many types of Christ in the scriptures. I feel uncomfortable when people try to teach gospel principles in a Sacrament Meeting talk from a rock n' roll song. All things testify of Christ, in that He created all things, and shows his love and unbounded intelligence. Let's not strain to find Superman as a type of Christ.
Superman's father, Jor-"El" cannot be a mistake either... Thank you for a sobering and interesting view. Perhaps it is the subliminal chords of truth ringing in our subconsciousness that draw us to these themes again and again. We long to see good win over evil because we believe it to be ultimately true. It gives us hope for our own destiny.
Now I can show my children what their English Lit. teacher/mom was trying so hard to convey about in-depth reading. Thank you for a well-written article with amazing pictures to "make it real."
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