The Kryptonian Gospel

'Superman Returns' presents a gospel story as moving as 'The Passion of the Christ'--and possibly more affecting.


"Miraculous." That's the one-word review of "Superman Returns" that I offered to the opinion-taker outside of the theater. The new movie takes most of what we loved about the 1978 "Superman: The Movie" and kicks it up a notch. Taking its cue from that earlier film, the gospel imagery on display in the new Superman movie is, in fact, awe inspiring.


But don't take the word of this Christian evangelical for it. I saw the movie with a friend who is not a Christian believer. Immediately afterward, as we said goodbye, we remarked casually about what a great movie it was—both of us having different reasons for thinking so, I was sure. Then the next night, we spoke by phone. Without my asking, he volunteered, "I can't stop thinking about 'Superman Returns.' I mean, the Gospel imagery was just so incredible."

And then he said it: "You know, 'Superman Returns' spoke more to me about Jesus than 'The Passion of the Christ.'"

I know my friend's reaction is one that will be replicated millions of times over in the coming weeks. "The Passion" was a literal presentation of Jesus Christ, which meant that nonbelievers could easily dismiss it. But "Superman Returns" speaks of Christ through symbolism, which often reaches the heart before the head.

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