MAN OF STEEL: Christian Faith and Hope | FCC 95

In Man of Steel, Superman takes a leap of faith to save the people of Earth from the wrath of Zod and to give them the hope of a better life – just like God Himself took a leap of faith to save us from death by sending His son Jesus to die for us so that we can put our hope back into God when we had once placed it elsewhere.

For your convenience you will find each podcast segment at the time referenced below:

  • 00:00:00 – Introduction
  • 00:02:41 – Movie Discussion
  • 00:23:17 – Christian Themes in Man Of Steel
  • 00:53:08 – Listener Challenge and Feedback
  • 01:02:20 – Well-mannered Frivolity
  • 01:09:41 – Lightning Round 
  • 01:14:21 – Upcoming

Superman and the Leap of Faith

General Zod has returned from the Phantom Zone and is looking for a foundation on which he can build a new Krypton (it’s what he was made to do). To do so, he needs the Codex from the Genesis Chamber – the Codex that Jor-El embedded into his son Kal before sending him to the third planet away from the yellow sun. Once Zod locates Kal on Earth, he threatens to destroy the planet unless Kal surrenders to Zod’s mercy (or lack thereof).

Conflicted (and justifiably so), Kal seeks out the advice of the local priest. Kal knows he can’t trust Zod, but he doesn’t know if he can trust the people of Earth. Thanks to his father’s consciousness revealing to him the rebellion that Zod led, Kal believes Zod will try something equally sinister on Earth no matter what. The clergyman tells Kal to take a chance on humanity – to take a “leap of faith.” Kal takes the advice and soon surrenders to the people, just like someone else we all know and love (hint-hint, Jesus, hint-hint).

This image from MAN OF STEEL shows Superman in the church with Jesus behind him.

But if we think about that idea hard enough, it really means that God took a leap of faith on us. Sure, we in good ole American church culture like to think we are the ones that take a “leap of faith” for God, but that isn’t necessarily the precedent that God Himself set for us. Just like Kal does for the human race in this film, God divested Himself of His incomprehensible glory, became flesh, and surrendered to us so as to pay the debt that we owed to death because of our sins. That’s the example we as Christians are called to follow for the sake of a world that we may not trust – that’s the leap of faith we are called to take. It is, after all, what God did for us.

Man of Steel, Man of Sorrows

Yes, he’s faster than a speeding bullet, and yes, he’s more powerful than a locomotive. That does not stop him, however, from giving hope to the human race at the expense of his own life. The Kryptonian symbol for hope is the symbol of the House of El; hope is what his family is known for. Just as Jor-El tried to give hope to the people of Krypton, so Kal-El tries to give hope to the people of Earth.

This image from MAN OF STEEL shows the symbol of the House of El which means Hope.

When one thinks of “hope,” though, one has to ask from whence that hope comes. Why does that hope exist, and what sets it apart from the rest of the world? For example, the “hope” that Kal provides for the people of Earth – which is life – contradicts the judgment that Zod has promised – which is death. In other words, even though the people of Earth are bound to die, Kal gives them a way to live by taking that death upon himself.

In the same way, we have been weighed, measured, and found lacking in God’s sight – so much so that we cannot rejoin Him in eternal life until our own debt has been paid. And because Jesus has already paid that debt for us, he has given us the hope of eternal life once again – a hope that cannot die.

Finding Christ In Cinema is the show where we discover Christian themes in movies past and present. Join us and together we’ll dig deeper into the silver-screen classics of yesteryear as well as the box-office hits of today. Brought to you by the Great Commission Transmission Network. View the complete show notes, including links to articles discussed, by clicking here.

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About Brenden Taylor

Brenden is an educational assistant and tutor by day and a theatre practitioner by night. He has his M.A. in Theatre Arts and is always looking for a way to use good stories to soften people's hearts.
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  • Philip Heard

    Hey guys, good episode on Man of Steel! It is definitely a film replete with Christian themes and imagery, but a worthwhile subject, for sure. I loved it the first time I saw it, and it holds up well on the second viewing. I agree that it could stand to have about 15-20 minutes of action sequences edited out to tighten up it’s run time- it seems to go on a bit too long for me. Hans Zimmer’s score is great, although it’s not the sort I like to listen to on it’s own, like Gladiator’s- which is one of my favorites, and also done by Zimmer. Michael Shannon is a great actor, and if you ever get a chance to see Take Shelter, he and Jessica Chastain do some awesome work in that indie film.

    One thing that I get from Man of Steel is Superman being a servant leader, and not lording his power over the Earth. Like Jesus, Superman could have basked in his power and indulged himself in numerous ways. Instead, he chose to obey his father’s wishes and keep his power hidden and restrained until the time was right. He used that power to help and serve others, when he easily could have been hedonistic. Mark 10:45(NET) says “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Like Captain America, Superman is a refreshing call back to heroes who have their act together, and a nice change of pace from the anti-heroes and deeply flawed protagonists that are now the norm. I like this movie quite a bit, and look forward to Dawn of Justice to see this version of Superman’s progression.

    Since you’re curious, I actually work as a mailman, which gives me plenty of time to listen to podcasts and audio books during my work day. I love stories in their various forms, especially books, films, and TV. Since I’m typically worn out when I’m home form work, I don’t usually have energy to do much more than watch stuff with my family. Which leads me to a possible idea I have for a special episode, if the topic can be discussed long enough to do so. And that is story, it’s importance, how we seem hard wired by God to be interested and captivated by story telling, and how it can educate and influence us. J Dogg hit on this when he said in his review that Jesus spoke in parables, and you guys speak in movies. I’m 44, and older generations, especially in the church, seem prone to dismissing film, and especially TV, as wastes of time and somehow invalid. I can’t help but wonder if those same people would not approve of a family reading a book together and discussing it? And is that not what we do with TV and film when we watch and talk about them together? The power of story is a fascinating topic to me, what do you guys think about it?

    Love the show guys, keep up the good work! #muhweeladgimli

  • Philip Heard

    Oh yeah, now that Kevin Costner is no longer black balled ;-), how about Field of Dreams? He’s really good in that, and it has some good themes in it. It’s a sports film you don’t need to be a sports fan to enjoy.

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