Hearing Echoes of the Gospel In Spider-man, Captain America, and Other Fictional Characters
Everyone has heroes they look up to, who are yours? As a kid, my hero was Aquaman, because riding a shark is probably the coolest thing ever. As I got older though, my idea of heroism began to mature. True heroes were not people with super-abilities, but people who modeled the same qualities as Jesus Christ: Love, Grace, Justice, Courage, and much, much more. Many Christians have turned great spiritual mentors like John Piper and Billy Graham into the heroes of the Christian faith, but if I’m completely honest, I haven’t given up on Aquaman just yet.
E. Stephen Burnett of Christ & Pop Culture feels the same way. In a recent article, Burnett argued that fictional characters like Spider-man, Captain America, and even Harry Potter can serve as reflections for God’s Word. Their stories are echoes of the Gospel, reminding us that God is not limited to the “religious”. As an example, Burnett writes,
“To this day I can remember Peter Parker in Spider-Man 2’sfinal battle recalling the truth he had just learned and repeating it to a remorseful Dr. Octavius: ‘Sometimes to do what’s right, we need to be steady and give up the things we want the most — even our dreams.’ I can’t always say how, but that truth imaged by a fictional hero has aided my spiritual “revival” for years. I followed Spidey’s web all the way to the true story — God’s story — of the Hero who surrendered Himself to help people become the heroes they should be. To this day, I can credit the original Spider-Man films for helping save my marriage before it even began.”
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