The Chuck Colson Center recently posted three well written articles on a subject related to the Medieval Model and fantasy stories: “The Avengers and the Gospel.” I think you’ll enjoy them.
What has Asgard to do with the Gospel?
OK, I admit it. I’m a bit of a geek. Not as much as some people I know, but I am a fan of science fiction and fantasy, and lately I’ve gotten into the Marvel Comics Universe via the Avengers movies. But I’m also a historian, a mythology buff, and a worldview thinker. From those perspectives, even popcorn movies like the Marvel series raise a number of worldview issues and demonstrate the impact of Christianity in shaping our ideas of heroism and virtue whether Stan Lee and the Marvel writers realize it or not.
WARNING: Spoilers ahead. READ MORE
Gospel truth in action movies
Even though movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe are intended to be action blockbusters, like all films they include worldview ideas and themes. This is the second article identifying some of the worldview ideas included in the films that point to the Gospel, whether this was consciously intended by the writers or not.
In the previous article, we looked at the impact of Christianity in transforming the concept of the hero. In the ancient world, heroes were warriors characterized by pride, arrogance, and skill at war; Christianity brought in a new ethic of humility, service to others, and using force only to protect the weak.
Summer action blockbusters aren’t exactly known for their profound ideas, but if we understand worldview, we can find interesting worldview ideas in the most unlikely places. This series has focused on one of the more popular recent franchises, the films involving the various Avengers in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In the previous articles, we saw how Thor demonstrated the triumph of Christian ideas of virtue over the pagan world, and how other films in the universe showed the influence of Just War Theory and the danger of unchecked power. In this article, we will wrap up by looking at the theme of self-sacrifice and the hope of redemption in the films.