Paul Asay

 
Award-Winning Author, Journalist and Blogger
Religion, Movie and Pop Culture Geek

In addition to AIDS, Dallas Buyers Club gives us two sweeping villains—the medical establishment and homophobia—and many Christians will be deeply discomforted by this film for obvious reasons. For those who believe that homosexuality is a sin, Dallas' activist stance will be deeply problematic. And that’s beside the film's profanity (which is pervasive) and sex (which can be graphic). Plugged In gave the film just one-half “plug,” which isn’t good. But if we set aside the content and look at the movie's form—particularly the character arc of its prime protagonist—and we see a movie that looks, believe it or not, surprisingly evangelical, even though God’s not mentioned once. ...
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Paul Asay is a senior associate editor at Plugged In, a ministry that reaches more than 6 million people with movie reviews that help people understand popular cultural trends and how they intersect with spiritual issues. Paul is an award-winning journalist who covered religion at The (Colorado Springs) Gazette and whose work has been published by such outlets as The Washington Post, Christianity Today, Youth Worker Journal and Beliefnet.com. Paul has a special interest in the unexpected ways faith and media intersect. He lives in Colorado Springs with his wife, Wendy, and two children.

















We can invoke God's name for the worst of reasons. It's not a new thing. In the New Testament, you read about lots of folks who claimed to be speaking for God. "Watch out for false prophets," Jesus tells his disciples in Matthew. "They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves." Throughout history, people have done some pretty horrific things in God's name—atrocities that have turned people away from God altogether. It's like a variation on that old Bon Jovi song. Sometimes we give God a bad name. ...
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Posted July 21, 2014, by Paul Asay
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So why write a book about Batman? Why not Superman or Spider Man or The Avengers?

When I was a little kid, maybe 6 or 7, my best friend Terry and I would pretend to be superheroes every chance we got. He was always Superman or Captain Marvel or someone impossibly strong and powerful. But I was always Batman. For me, even though Batman wasn’t the strongest superhero around, he was always... Read the rest of this answer.

Batman may be a hero, but he’s a pretty dark one—particularly the hero we see in Christopher Nolan’s recent movies. Why did you pick him to use as a spiritual exercise?
God-honoring stuff can be found in really rough and messy circumstances sometimes. We’re living a world that no Christian should be comfortable in, just as the Apostle Paul was. But Paul used elements of the culture to speak into people’s lives. And even today, I believe that God’s fingerprints can be found on everything... Read the rest of this answer.

Batman’s been around for nearly 80 years now, and he’s more beloved than ever. What’s the secret to his continuing popularity? 
Well, he just looks cool, for one thing. One look at the guy, and you know not to mess with him. And then there’s the fact he has so many awesome gadgets, drives an amazing car and could buy a handful of Caribbean islands if he really wanted to. But an even bigger reason, I think, is that he’s recognizably human, just like... Read the rest of this answer.

Is Batman Christian?
That’s a hard question to answer. In the end, I think it depends on who Batman’s caretaker is at any given time. Batman’s first origin story shows him praying to God after his dad dies—praying for the strength to fight evil and, in essence, become the hero he’d eventually grow into. But he’s always been a man of... Read the rest of this answer.