GO forth and tell thine flocks to pack cinemas for the latest Superman blockbuster, Man of Steel.
That’s the essence of an aggressive marketing campaign by Warner Bros to get faithful bums on seats for their newest offering.
According to this report, it has set up a special ministry resource site touting a nine-page pamphlet entitled Jesus – the Original Superhero, intended to help pastors base sermons in which parallels can be drawn between the fictional antics of Jesus and those of the Man from Krypton, played by the hunky Henry Cavill .
The movie studio even asked a theologian – Pepperdine University professor Craig Detweiler – to provide the sermon notes for pastors. The notes pose the question:
How might the story of Superman awaken our passion for the greatest hero who ever lived and died and rose again?
The spiritual themes in Man of Steel are abundant, Detweiler said, and his notes enable Christians to thoughtfully engage with pop culture instead of shunning it:
All too often, religious communities have been defined by what they’re against. With a movie like Man of Steel, this is a chance to celebrate a movie that affirms faith, sacrifice and service.
Detweiler writes in the sermon notes:
What Jesus and Superman both give us, through their `hero’ actions but also their `human’ actions – is hope.