Spidey Sense: Jeff Dunn Discusses Spritual Insights from the Spider-Man Movies
- Thursday, October 14, 2010
CW: We actually ran an article a couple of years ago on Crosswalk where the author compared peter parker to joseph, the son of Jacob. And you just brought up David and Mary. Is there a biblical character who you think parallels Peter's story most?
JD: Well, I look at David. I think of David a lot. But certainly, Joseph would fit right in there too. Joseph is a cocky teenager. He thinks he knows it all, or at least that is kind of the feel that we get from reading his early story. And then things happen to him that are out of his control. And then he becomes faithful, and God sees him through. So I certainly could see Joseph in here too, but David is who I had in mind. Honestly, I do not know who [my co-author] Adam had in mind. That is a good question. I am going to ask him.
CW: We know that, being a teenager and someone who is wronged as Peter was, he struggled greatly with revenge. What do we take from that? What can Christians glean from the thirst for vengeance?
JD: We all get angry whether it is over someone cutting us off in traffic, or somebody stealing a valuable something from us, or who knows, but it just seems that, most of the time, our first thought is, "How can I get even?" So in a way, we kind of look at Peter Parker, and we see this attitude in him, and we say, "Gosh, yeah, I can relate." For me, it is holding a mirror up to me, and I say, "Oh yeah. You know what? I had that same attitude last week when somebody did this to me." When I look in the mirror, I do not always see good things. That is necessary at times. We don't sugarcoat what Peter Parker does in here.
CW: One of the things I enjoyed was that you and Adam go deeper than just standard one-to-one analogies. You even write, "Don't take us to task on this; we are not making a total one-to-one correspondence" to the Bible. But Jeff... when you compare the rise of the Sandman to the resurrection of Jesus, well, can you elaborate on that comparison for us?
JD: It is okay that we see glimpses of God in things, and that they do not totally carry all the way out. No, the Sandman is not Jesus. We are not saying that the Sandman was Jesus, but we are saying that God takes dead people and raises them to life. When you see someone who is dead who comes to life, you say, "Ah, there is God! There is God." And we just get little glimpses of that.
The Sandman is one of my favorite characters in the movies because he has such a good heart. Yes, he has broken out of prison. Yes, he breaks into his estranged wife's house, but why? It is because he loves his child. His child is sick, and he wants to help. He will give his life for his child. Again, now we are seeing Jesus, giving his life. There is no greater love than to lay down your life for a friend. That is what the Sandman does.
He lays down his life, and it is given back to him in a very strange and unusual way. When he breaks into the bank to steal, it is not because he is evil and he wants to consume it upon himself, but he wants the money to help his child. He feels bad for what he is doing. So there are just lots of little things that we see in him.
CW: As you were writing, what other core Christian principles did you find in these movies, and which ones were you surprised to find?
JD: Oh, boy... good question! Aunt May is another one of my favorite characters. She is not condemning. She is very accepting of Peter. When Peter is going through his black Spider-Man phase, she is very accepting of him. When Peter has broken up with Mary Jane, and he is just heartbroken, but he is taking it out in a very angry way, Aunt May is there to calm him and to say, "It is all going to be okay."
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