Superman: Flying to a church near you [Excerpts]
As the new Superman movie takes flight this weekend, filmmakers are hoping the Man of Steel lands not only in theaters, but also in pulpits.
Warner Bros. Studios is aggressively marketing "Man of Steel" to Christian pastors, inviting them to early screenings, creating Father’s Day discussion guides and producing special film trailers that focus on the faith-friendly angles of the movie.
The movie studio even asked a theologian to provide sermon notes for pastors who want to preach about Superman on Sunday. Titled “Jesus: The Original Superhero,” the notes run nine pages.
“How might the story of Superman awaken our passion for the greatest hero who ever lived and died and rose again?” the sermon notes ask.
Similar campaigns to corral the country's large number of Christians into the movie theater have been used for "Les Miserables," "Soul Surfer" and "The Blind Side," all of which had at least some faith angle.
Baltimore pastor Quentin Scott is among dozens of ministers who received an e-mail invitation from Grace Hill Media, a Hollywood-based Christian marketing firm, to an early screening of “Man of Steel.”
“There was an actual push to say `We’re putting out something that speaks to your group,' ” said Scott, one of the pastors of Shiloh Christian Community Church in Baltimore.
At first, Scott said, he didn’t buy the religious pitch. Then he decided to attend a free midweek screening in Baltimore.
“When I sat and listened to the movie I actually saw it was the story of Christ, and the love of God was weaved into the story," said the pastor.
"It was something I was very excited about that with the consultation of our senior pastor, we could use in our congregation.”
Grace Hill’s sermon notes are specially designed for churches like Shiloh that integrate multimedia into their services.
[TBC: This isn’t a new development. Jerry Siegel and Joseph Shuster, both Jewish, were the creators of Superman. Superman’s original Kryptonian name was “Kal-el, which borrowed Hebrew names which can be taken to mean "voice of God." Siegel and Shuster were borrowing the terminology and themes of Scripture for their own use from the beginning. Furthermore, we see continuing evidence of the (marketing) world using the church for material gain (2 Peter:2:3). This is indeed one more example of shepherds fostering "showtime for the sheep."]