20 April 2009

Exactly how dark is 'The Dark Knight'?

Those who know me well know my love for Sixties' and Seventies' popular culture - the TV we watched, the comics we used to read as we grew up. As we look back on those times we see the role models that we chose then in a different light. But does that now include the Dark Knight?

The character of Batman has been a personal favourite of mine for a while now. Although part of mainstream popular culture, he's a very dark, brooding hero. Both of his parents are murdered in front of him, and the way he comes to terms with it is to become a costumed vigilante. The whole look of the character is designed to project a particular image - but which one is the real man, Batman or Bruce Wayne? I've used this character as a study of obsession in a Salvation Army Youth Fellowship group which I used to lead in the Nineties.

However, you might remember the quotation which was used in the recent Batman movie, 'Batman Begins'. At a key point in the plot, he says “it’s not who I am that defines me but what I do." That's the opposite of the truth that Bible teaches, and it's one of the points that I've been blogging on lately.

As a Christian, I am aiming for something that used to be called “Christ Likeness." Throughout my life and my personal devotions I am striving to become a better person, which means become more like Jesus. Once I start getting that bit right, what I do should flow naturally out of it. It is not necessarily doing things and then out of your doing that defines who you are, your sense of identity and worth. It should flow from your being; who you are as a person, in relation to who Christ is in you.

John 15:16 (New International Version)
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.

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