Dark Knight of the Soul

So I’m a little late seeing Dark Knight, but since I saw it on IMAX, I can say my experience of it was tremendous. I liked the character intrigue a bit more in Batman Begins, and I prefer my comic book violence more hand to hand combat than multiple explosions, but I loved the premise of Dark Knight. Repeatedly the characters talked about the hero Gotham ‘deserves’ and ‘wants,’ which was not the black, vigilante Bat, but a more presentable person who ‘plays by the rules.’ I won’t spoil it too much for you.

It is often said the church gets the ‘bishops we deserve,’ which is telling in our Episcopal Church and in other places throughout history (the popes of the 15th century come to mind).

It is also telling to look at the heroes of our own day and culture. Why are our heroes athletes who make millions and don’t have enough sense not to use drugs or drink and drive? Why are our heroes CEOs who take their companies for millions? Why are our heroes beautiful narcissists and handsome millionaire socio-paths who have less relational skills than your average toddler?

We all get the heroes we deserve.

6 thoughts on “Dark Knight of the Soul

  1. A totally different take (or perspective) on Dark Knight, altho I do appreciate your points…

    The film was really too long. I kept thinking it was about over, and it would continue another fifteen minutes. This kept happening, and reminded me of a drowning man… he’s almost done for, then he tries once more to get his head above water… but after several tries, each slightly weaker than the last, he gives in to the inevitable, that is, if no one lends him a hand, and he succumbs.

    What I noticed for the first time watching this genre of film, super heroes, was how many Christ-like parallels there are wuth the character of a super hero, and how many satanic parallels there are with that of a super antagonist. Of course, this has to be. I don’t know why I never noticed it before. (Maybe I did with Superman, but never with Batman. Maybe comparing Christ to a thing with bat wings is just too grotesque.)

    It seems like all our super heroes really are just mythical equivalents of Jesus Christ. Before He came, the pagans made up myths reflecting things they knew intuitively about Him, the Hebrews prophesied the same things only more in focus because they were getting an authentic preview from the One who was coming. After He came, the neo-pagans make up myths reflecting things they’ve been taught about Him in whom they cannot bring themselves to believe, and the Jews try not to notice that He’s come and some join in the myth machine, while others play “hide and go seek” with their rebbes living and deceased.

    Have you noticed how many of the films that have come out in the last couple of years have apocalyptic and eschatonic (I just made up this word, forgive me, you know what I mean) themes? Not only Christian TV but even pagan or post-Christian media just cannot keep themselves away from “end times” entertainment. Hal Lindsey and his gang have sure done their work.

    But like the Dark Knight, Jesus must be hated, feared, chased after with dogs, and arrested (if possible) by the very people He lives to save. And somehow we don’t see the irony in this.

    And “so it is with all who are born of the Spirit.”

  2. Tolkien and the Inklings discussed this phenomena, too. That is where “true myth” came up. I think the creation is like a huge hologram, with the beginning and the end and the role of Christ in every part of it. The “resonance” with the public is the recognition by all of the “truth” in the story. We see the holographic details subliminally.

    OK, Neo, since you’re the one, give us a little commentary.

  3. Neo, I know the word “eschatological” of course (after all, it’s Greek) but I needed a word related to the “eschaton” without meaning specifically the things that “eschatological” takes in, so I made up “eschatonic”. If you don’t see the difference, then just forget about it. No problem.

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