Paul Asay

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

The dinosaurs in Jurassic World gobbled up at least 22 hapless park attendees. The villains from teen-centric films Divergent: Allegiant and Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials go through victims as if they had expiration dates printed on their foreheads. In Mad Max: Fury Road, much of the world’s dystopian populace is vaporized in exploding clouds of petrol. Los Angeles and San Francisco both pretty much collapse in San Andreas; if you find yourself in that movie and you’re not named Dwayne Johnson, you could be in trouble. Yep, there’s a reason they’re called “extras.”...

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 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.

Spotlight is a terrifically unsentimental story about how a team of Boston Globe journalists uncovered the pedophilic priest scandal in 2002. While the movie doesn’t yank at the heart like, say, Roomdoes, it feels utterly real. Utterly true. The detached zeal of the Globe’s reporters reminded me of the journalists I’ve worked with. The stories from abuse victims sounded very similar to what I heard during my own interviews when I covered the scandal—the reverence to which parish priests were held, and how those priests used that reverence for their own ends. “How do you say no to God, right?” one victim says. Spotlight felt spot on. ...

Posted Nov. 15, 2015, by Paul Asay

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.