Sorry for the lack of new blog entries this week. I’ve been busy committing blog adultery. Been posting reviews on my Hollywood Jesus. The HJ site has been wanting to get into comic book reviews, so, obvious spiritual nerd that I am, I was one of the people tapped.

Again, so that you aren’t confused, at HJ, we try and engage culture (as opposed to the all too often Christian stance of throwing stones at, and withdrawing from, it). You see, many Christians take the position to retreat from “the world” that way their spirituality won’t be corrupted by disparate elements. This is a by-product, I believe, of a highly individualized Gospel message that basically concerns itself with that individual getting their soul “saved”. A kind of “fire” insurance faith. But, that’s a different debate.

The goal of HJ is to apply our faith in such a way that it is culturally relevant. A friend of mine said that this is a perpetual challenge in any culture. The gospel must be culturally relevant or it will not gain a hearing. Since all cultures possess negative elements, the gospel must also challenge the culture. There is a fine-line between a culturally-captive and a culturally-relevant gospel.

On a practical level, this means that we accept the general conceit to try and find God in all things. You see, I don’t like to live my life in some sort of schizophrenic, dualistic hell: this stuff over here is holy vs. this stuff over there is “worldly”. I prefer to live with an “all things can be redeemed” mentality. When it comes to art, my belief starts with the fact that all people are created in God’s image. All people have what’s been called a “God sized hole” within them that causes them to wrestle with certain ideas and questions. And as they seek to answer these questions or respond to these ideas, it comes out in their art. I try to pick up on that thread.

Plus, I love story. In loving story, I’ve started to read the Bible as story and I’ve come to appreciate how so many stories seem to echo the story of Christ. like people and their God-sized hole. I try to pick up on that thread and use it as a conversation starter. It’s a kind of spiritual exercise for me: I treat art like I do people. I accept it where it is and how it is (spiritually as well as for what it is trying to do) and then try to make a bridge to connect it to Christ.

As you can imagine, this has mixed results. For daring to call Constantine “theologically rich” (which once again, I’ll say is different than “theologically accurate”), I got letters; the ever popular, and not-as-oxymoronic-as-I’d-like-to-believe, Christian hate mail.

So you can only guess what the letters were like when I compared Marv to Christ in my Sin City review (which is not to say that Christ’s message was “repent or I’ll tear off your testicles”). Whenever someone points to a character as a Christ figure, we aren’t saying that the character models Christ (even close to) perfectly. Most times, the only comparison is that a character sacrifices themselves for another. Finding Christ in strange places is what I like to do. Because I think that Christ isn’t just in the places we “expect” him to be. And that spiritual walks can take a variety of different paths and look entirely different than we expect them.

This is a long way to go just to say that I have three new reviews up. Identity Crisis, and the mini-series Green Lantern: Rebirth.

And that’s what (and where) I’ve been blogging.