Dallas Morning News has an article about the new Superman movie and religious imagery.

The 1978 Superman movie, co-written by Mario Puzo and directed by Richard Donner, resonated with many Christians. In a line resurrected for the new movie, Superman’s dad (played by Marlon Brando) says: “They can be a great people, Kal-El, if 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.”

That’s almost straight out of the Gospel of John, said Reg Grant, a professor of pastoral ministries at Dallas Theological Seminary. But there’s a vital difference from the message of Christianity: The caped, comic book “savior” is not sent to save people from their own evil. “He comes to help us find our potential,” Dr. Grant said.

In fact, the new movie, despite its Christ imagery, could hardly be less theological. There’s nothing of prayer or heaven. Superman offers salvation only from the perils of this world.

Maybe that is where Christianity today is missing the mark. Maybe Jesus DID come to help us find our potential, to save us from the perils of this world. We focus so much on eternity being “out there” after death that we fail to recognize eternity here and now.

Isaiah 57:15 – For this is what the high and lofty One says—
he who lives forever, whose name is holy:
“I live in a high and holy place,
but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit,
to revive the spirit of the lowly
and to revive the heart of the contrite.”

Jesus Himself said, “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” (John 17:3).

We are saved for eternal life “out there.” But that’s all we seem to be living for. What of the potential of knowing we are living in eternity right now? What does it mean for us to live in that thought that we are saved for the here and now? We often live our lives like we are always waiting for something, always waiting for those “streets of gold.” But what if we are “saved” to change the world, this world? What if we are called to make a difference here and now, to help people “find our potential” that only can be found in knowing God? What if we are called to show people what the Kingdom of God is all about in our daily living now, not in some far away after-you-die future event?

I don’t know. These are some thoughts that oozed out while I was reading the article. Nothing concrete at the moment, hence the oozing.

His peace.