In Christian Wisdom of the Jedi Masters, Dick Staub has taken the setting of the Star Wars movies as the basis of a devotional style book to communicate various truth of Scripture.
Being a long-time Star Wars aficionado I had high hopes for Staub’s book; it even has a very cool look to it. However, it didn’t take very far in the book--the introduction and first chapter--before the red flags started shooting up.
It is obvious that Staub’s heart is to try and connect the Gospel to the disenfranchised post-modern generation, by using Star Wars as a conversation piece or springboard for discussion. While that is a noble idea, the failure of Staub’s material surfaces immediately.
The failure? He treats George Lucas’ Star Wars as one would expect C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia to be treated – he makes parallels between the Star Wars story and biblical truth where there aren’t any. The difference? Lewis’ intention was to communicate biblical truth through the metaphor of a children’s story. Lucas is trying to create new mythologies out of old mythologies he has hand-picked from various non-Christian belief systems (for further research check out the Bill Moyers PBS’ interview of George Lucas and Joseph Campbell. Campbell is the author of The Hero of 1,000 Faces and Lucas’ primary source for constructing the Star Wars mythology).
For example, in chapter one he states, “‘Jedi Christians’ believe that over and above the opposing forces of light and darkness there is a Lord over all, including the Force. These Christians call this Lord of the Force God.” Actually, Christians say the opposite. Lucas primary source for the “Force” idea doesn’t come from the Judeo/Christian notion of God, but that of Eastern Mysticism. Eastern Mysticism claims the idea that “God is all, and all is god.” This is in direct opposition to the God of Scripture where God is referred to as the one true God (Jeremiah 10:10; John 17:3; cf. Philippians 2:5-11).
Staub’s methodology is very characteristic of how the post-modern movement is trying to address the seeker in a culturally-sensitive way. Rather than truly using Star Wars’ mythology as conversation piece--which at best, should be handled with kid gloves due to Lucas’ worldview--he is conforming Scripture to fit into the mythology. That is a form of syncretism, which can be defined as taking worldly thought, stamping it with the cross and calling it the Gospel. The Apostle John warned the church in Thyatira against the sin of syncretism in Revelation 2:18-29.
This may seem a harsh assessment. But Staub’s intention is to use Star Wars vocabulary as a connection to the Gospel; instead, he mixes the metaphors and creates a different gospel, which is “no Gospel at all” (Galatians 1:6-9).
Equating the power of scriptural truth with the teaching of Star Wars’ mythology is very dangerous, at best. Although Dick Staub’s intention may have been good, he falls way short of truly using Star Wars to point us to the true Gospel. There may be a way to use Star Wars as a springboard for evangelism, but Christian Wisdom of the Jedi Masters is not it. Take the Star Wars series, at best, as a fun set of movies with some great special effects, not as a serious mythology or belief system. – Todd Burgett, Christian Book Previews.com
Written by award-winning radio personality Dick Staub, this compelling book is filled with anecdotes from the Star Wars films that serve as a launching pad into rediscovering authentic Christianity. Christian Wisdom of the Jedi Masters also contains quotes from revered “Jedi Christians” such as Thomas Merton, Teresa of Avila, the Apostle Paul, G. K. Chesterton, and other theologians, mystics, writers, and philosophers. The author sheds new light on the struggles and challenges of living faithfully in postmodern life and offers a reintroduction to what C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien called the “one true myth,” Christianity.