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08.02.2019

‘Second Coming’ – Abomination or Opportunity? | Connecting with Culture

DC Comics, famous for their depictions of superheroes such as Superman and Wonder Woman, is preparing a series, Second Coming, in which a new superhero, Sun-Man, teams up with Jesus to try to save the world.

‘The conceit,’ explains writer Mark Russell, ‘is that God was so upset with Jesus’s performance the first time he came to Earth, since he was arrested so soon and crucified shortly after, that he has kept him locked-up since then.’ Seeing Sun-Man’s performance, the Father thinks Jesus could learn a thing or two and sends him to Earth for another try.

Many Christians are rightly troubled about this utterly unbiblical depiction of the Lord, and have signed petitions calling for DC Comics to drop the series. For those who would like to express their strong reservations, this is a good way of letting media companies know that we love Jesus and are committed to seeing his name honoured and not mocked.

But the comic also gives us a wonderful opportunity to talk about our beliefs with our friends and colleagues. How will you respond if someone asks what you think about it? You could brush it off in disgust, or use the opportunity to bring light in the darkness.

We can learn from Jesus’ approach in this. When people questioned him about the controversial topics of the day, he refused to take their bait, and instead turned the questions on them.

So, if someone asks what you think about a cartoon depicting Jesus as a failure, why not ask if they agree that he messed up the first time round? Why do they think that? What would success look like to them?

Should Jesus have used superhero-like powers to wipe out all the bad guys so the rest of us can live in peace? The Bible’s view of the human problem is that we are all ‘bad guys’. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

The wonderful news is that Jesus didn’t come to wipe us out. Nor was his goal to subdue humanity and make us obey him out of fear of the consequences. He came so we could be transformed into genuine ‘good guys’.

His crucifixion was not the failure it might first appear, but a glorious victory that was the only way the world could be saved. What an opportunity to share that good news with our friends!

Jennie Pollock
Jennie is a freelance writer and editor who lives in London and worships at Grace London. She blogs at jenniepollock.com and tweets as @missjenniep

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Author

Jennie Pollock

Comments

  1. Great article – excellent advice about taking the Jesus way of using it to ask questions. Thank you.

    By George Fisher - 8th February 2019
  2. Good read, but probably not a good link to put in for the source material as by innocently clicking to enter the site you will allow hundreds of advertisers to bombard your computer. It needs a warning as people will simply trust that as it’s posted by LICC it will be safe!

    By Simon Shutt - 8th February 2019
  3. Wow, yes of course! I hadn’t thought of it like that so thanks for pointing it out. I just felt rightly indignant at such heresy but this is, as you say, a wonderful opportunity for witness although it also stokes the flames of those who would denidrate Christ so it’s still a fine line between between abomination and opportunity.

    By Sue W - 8th February 2019
  4. True, it’s crass and not really the gospel, as such. On the other hand it is an attempt to satirise what Mark Russel sees as an un-Jesus-like American church and correct some of its errors. It’s not so much Jesus who has messed up first time around but the institutional church.

    By Andy Smith - 8th February 2019
  5. I am surprised that more people did not respond to Philip Pulman’s Lyra trilogy. In the final volume, Lyra frees all the condemned souls from Hell. No one seems to have pointed out that, in Christian tradition, Jesus has already ‘harrowed’ Hell.

    By Rosemary Milligan - 8th February 2019
  6. I admit that my first reaction was shocking and disbelief than DC could take Jesus and turn him into a failed cartoon character. I need to think of a measured response as a lot of my work colleagues are of a younger generation and they know I’m a Christian, they will also hear about DC’s ambition. Their inevitable questioning may lead to a turning towards God. This doesn’t mean I’m not annoyed that this potential series is a blatant slap in the face for Christians. I think the response would have been far more exacting for the producers had DC decided to have Mohammed instead of Jesus.

    By Clive Kelly - 8th February 2019
  7. Jennie, thanks so much for your thoughtful comments. It’s so refreshing (though once again from LICC so why am I not surprised?!) to have your different take on controversial matters like this – rather than us getting on our high horses with so-called ‘righteous indignation’ or wailing away about blasphemy etc, instead taking a more thoughtful, intelligent and gentler way. Thanks for inspiring our imaginations with a more truly Christ-like alternative.

    By Kate - 8th February 2019
  8. Jesus has more power in his little finger than a hundred supermen, a comic isnt a threat to him, just fiction n warped minds

    By kim Dempster - 8th February 2019
  9. Amen, Jennie!

    By Gary Nielsen - 8th February 2019
  10. Thanks Jennie for outlying how to reframe our response to share good news, rather than defeatist outrage!

    By Graham Christopher - 9th February 2019
  11. Bless you.

    By Paul Clay - 10th February 2019
  12. What a brilliant reminder how Jesus responded to the difficult questions of his day. We should look for opportunities to ask people what they think of Jesus and open up the discussion.
    I gave my life to Jesus at 16 because someone at school had the guts to ask me “ who do you think Jesus is ?” That was 62 years ago.

    By Ann McClements - 10th February 2019

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