Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Star Wars Jesus

I've been a fan of Star Wars ever since seeing it in the theater way back in 1976. I remember the lines snaking completely around the movie theater, and the excitement with which I saw it repeated times. I had the toys, books, and so many other things. For my generation, these movies were our mythology and one we have passed on to our children. These movies have remained popular for over 30 years, and continue to inspire people of all ages. So when I decided to look for a new devotional, I explored ones using the Star Wars films. There were several choices, so based on reviews on Amazon I picked Star Wars Jesus.

And I'm very glad that I did. Caleb Grimes is obviously a fan of the series and very passionate and knowledgeable about the films. Other books I have seen talk about the Christian themes found among the Jedi, so it was no surprise that Grimes uses that heavily. What surprised me was how he pulls from all six Star Wars films to show the journeys of various characters. One of the themes that particularly struck me was the lessons learned from Luke Skywalker's life. He goes from a young, brash teenager dreaming of greater things to a mature balanced man who refuses to give into the darkness within him. The story of Anakin/Darth Vader is also interesting as a study of how we can give into sin and darkness, but how we can also receive redemption.

Grimes has a very approachable writing style that presents his ideas in a clear manner that makes the points easy to understand. But even with this simple style, there is still great depth to the discussion and there are some very Biblical lessons to learn. One downside of the book is that there are 101 entries, so Grimes sacrifices depth for breadth. That's not necessarily a bad thing, as there is a lot of material to cover in the six movies. Some of these entries are longer than others, so there is detailed discussion where appropriate. Occasionally an entry really seems almost forced just for the sake of reaching the "magic" 101 mark. But the large majority of the entries are very worthwhile, and well worth the read.

This book has given me several ideas for future sermons, and I plan on re-reading it a couple of more times. If anyone comes to Dragon*Con this year, I may just be talking about ideas I found in this book. If you see a sermon there titled "Red Five, Standing By", rest assured that I took ideas from Grimes' book (and will give credit for it). Yes, all of this means that I really like the book, and highly recommend it.

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