Wednesday, July 29, 2015

#REVIEW: A True Hope: Jedi Perils and the way of Jesus by Joshua Hays

Title: A True Hope: Jedi Perils and the Way of Jesus
Series: none
Author:  Joshua Hays
Published Date: May 24, 2015
Publisher: Smyth and Helwys Publishing
Format: paperback
Pages: 166
ISBN: 9781573127707
Genre: Christian teaching
Add to: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon

Rating: 3 ½ stars

Synopsis: The Star Wars films have maintained a tremendous following for almost forty years, attracting successive generations of audiences while sustaining their appeal for lifelong fans. As viewers return to these stories again and again, the movies exert tremendous influence on their perceptions of the world. Star Wars offers an accessible starting point for considering substantive issues of faith, philosophy, and ethics. In A True Hope, Joshua Hays explores some of these challenging ideas through the sayings of the Jedi Masters, encouraging Christians to reflect on them thoughtfully. In so doing, Hays examines the ways the worldview of the Jedi is at odds with that of the Bible. Readers who accompany Hays on this journey will continue to enjoy the entertainment of the Star Wars galaxy while strengthening the stability and coherence of their faith.

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This book starts with one premise: the religion of the Jedi, a fictional part of the very fictional universe of Star Wars, is real, or at least real enough that people will take it seriously and convert to Jedi-ism.
I find this to be a very long stretch of the imagination, however, there are numbers to back up the author’s claim. For instance, in the 2001 census, there were almost 400,000 people that put down Jedi as their religion in the official census (wikipedia link here).
Because of this, the author has spent a considerable amount of time debunking why being a Jedi is a good, true religion, instead of Christianity. If these almost 400,000 people in the UK were actually serious about their choice of belief system, I would say that the author had some pretty good points.        
The author does an incredible job of defining the Jedi belief system, and then comparing it to Christianity, showing, without a doubt that Christianity is the superior choice in religions.
At the end of it though, I have yet to see anyone besides monks in monasteries, wearing robes, and I haven’t heard of anyone seriously wielding a light saber, truly believing they are a Jedi of the Star Wars universe.
While the premise of the book is noble, saving all those unsuspecting Jedi-wannabe’s from the fiery pits of hell for following Yoda and Obi-Wan, I think the numbers of Jedi in our midst are more an inflated reaction of thumbing their nose at the government’s inclusion of religion in the census than true followers of the Force.

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