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Page 1

“Superheroes Can’t Save You is creative, engaging, funny, and
both biblically and historically accurate. Who could ask for
more? Todd Miles takes familiar characters (especially for those
of us who grew up on comics or watch movies) and skillfully
uses them to help us better understand who Jesus is—and isn’t.
If we get it wrong about Jesus, in the end it won’t matter much
what else we get right. I’m happy to recommend this important
and enjoyable book.”

—Randy Alcorn, founder and director,
Eternal Perspective Ministries

“Superheroes Can’t Save You is the most brilliantly creative
Christology text I’ve ever read. By comparing each major
Christological heresy to a familiar comic book superhero, and
then contrasting them to the biblical Christ, Miles shows that
each heresy presents a Jesus who is unable to do what the Bible
claims Jesus did. As a result, the reader is given a lucid and
memorable picture of the biblical Christ.”

—Bruce Ashford, provost and dean of faculty,
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

“In a world that is in desperate need for clarity on issues of
faith, Dr. Todd Miles illuminates the truth about who Jesus is
in a creative and compelling way. By combining his love for
superheroes and his passion for the gospel of Christ, this book
will engage a broad spectrum of readers as they journey through
historic heresies that have plagued the church and are presented
with the truth of who Jesus is. This is a fun read!”

—Aaron Coe, executive director, Passion Global Institute,
and assistant professor of world missions and intercultural

studies, Dallas Theological Seminary

Page 2

“There are not many books that combine deep theology with
insightful creativity, but Superheroes Can’t Save You does, and
does so brilliantly. In a world searching for something bigger
and better with every movie ticket, Miles shows us how each
superhero undersells what only the Son of God can truly pro-
vide. This is a book you will want to read for yourself, read
with your kids, give to your youth minister, then to your pastor,
and then to your friends. You will want to because it is a timely
and accessible work and, more importantly, it offers us a Savior
bigger and better than anything Marvel and DC has to offer—a
Savior who can truly save us.”

—J. Ryan Lister, associate professor of theology,
Western Seminary, and director of doctrine

and discipleship, Humble Beast

“Superheroes Can’t Save You is a book that is culturally rel-
evant, theologically astute, and capable of providing the reader
with smiles as well as solid biblical knowledge. Youth and youth
workers who disciple them will find this to be a very accessible
book to promote the knowledge of our beautiful Savior.”

—Ron Marrs, associate professor of youth and
pastoral ministries, Western Seminary, and director,

Portland Youth Workers Network

“I like superheroes. I love Jesus a lot more. It’s not often that
I’m able to bring the two together. In Superheroes Can’t Save
You, Todd Miles deploys some of the most iconic figures from
the Marvel and DC universe to help us think rightly about
the true story of history’s greatest hero. This book teaches big
truths in a fun way.”

—Russell Moore, president, The Ethics and Religious
Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention

Page 21

Introduction: As We Begin . . . 7

referring to these bad ideas as “the Superman heresy” or “the
Batman heresy.”

As fun as the superhero illustrations might be, we are deal-
ing with serious and deadly ideas. So another reason I am writ-
ing this book is to warn you. We will look back in time at the
historical origin of each of the superhero heresies. I want you to
know how you, if you are a Christian, can unwittingly fall into
the Superman heresy or the Spider-Man heresy. There are peo-
ple who have decided to believe in and worship someone closer
to a fictional superhero than the actual Jesus Christ of the Bible
and of history. And many of those people earnestly believe they
are following the real Jesus! But they are not.

Finally, we will consider why any of this is important. These
sections are crucial because if Jesus is to be able to do everything
that the Bible says he does, then he has to be everything that the
Bible says he is, without any alteration.

Each chapter takes on a different bad idea (or heresy) about
Jesus, and each one of these heresies is embodied in a different
superhero. I suppose you could look at it as a series of battles:
Jesus versus Batman, or Jesus versus Ant-Man.2 So the chapters
will provide an explanation of each superhero; they will exam-
ine how each superhero represents a deficient view of Jesus; and
they will demonstrate how Jesus is much better than the idea
embodied in each superhero.

In all, I cover seven significant bad ideas about Jesus (and
therefore seven different superheroes, if you are counting such
things). The first two chapters establish the full humanity and
full deity of Jesus Christ. The remaining chapters investigate
how Jesus could be fully human and fully divine at the same
time. I finish up with a final look at who Jesus actually is and
how he could be everything that the Bible says he is.

2 Remember, though: I like all of these comic superheroes!

Page 22

Superheroes Can’t Save You8

I am certain that Jesus Christ is not only the most remark-
able and important person ever, but he is the most remarkable
and important person for you. The Bible makes the claim that
“all things have been created through him and for him” (Col
1:16). That includes you and everybody you know, everybody
who has ever and will ever exist. What this means is that every
legitimate ultimate desire that you have can only be fulfilled in
Jesus. Do you want significance? It can only be found in him.
Do you want meaning? Follow Jesus—he will give it to you. Do
you want life, true life, a life that is ultimately indestructible? It
belongs to Jesus to give. Do you want a family? Jesus has made
your adoption into the family of God possible. Do you want
to be part of a team, a league? Jesus will give you a church. Do
you want a purpose, a mission? Jesus promises to use you in his
quest to save and re-create the world. Do you tire of trying to
live up to what you think are God’s impossible standards? Jesus
offers to give you rest. Do you want to be forgiven—finally,
once and for all? Forgiveness such as that can only be found in
Jesus Christ. You were made to worship and serve him. Jesus is
a good Shepherd and a great King, the greatest that could ever
be. There is no one else.

My prayer is that as you read this, your understanding and
appreciation of the gospel will grow and that you will marvel
at the Lord Jesus Christ, fully human, fully divine, the King of
kings and Lord of lords, our model for living, our Creator and
Redeemer, our great High Priest, our help in temptation, and
our wonderful Savior. To him be the glory forever and ever.

Now, let’s get started.

Page 41

Superman Can’t Save You 27

opportunities to talk on the road, and I bet that often the sub-
ject matter between father and children turned to why the fam-
ily lamb had to be slaughtered. The answer was, “The lamb is
being offered as a substitute for us, its life for ours.” The obvi-
ous question that had to be asked was, “How can a sheep or
goat take the place of a human?” and further, “How can the
death of a sheep or goat atone for human sin?” And the answer,
of course, is that it can’t. Not only is a lamb not a human, but
it is completely inferior to a human. It was a human, an image
bearer, who had rebelled and incurred the penalty of death, and
it would have to be an image bearer who would pay that price.

So, if sin is a human problem that requires a human solution
and salvation belongs to the Lord, how can anybody be saved?
The answer lies in the incarnation of the Son of God. Jesus is
Immanuel, God with us. But Jesus is the son of David, a human
like us. He could offer himself as a substitute for human sin
because he is one of us. If Jesus was not truly and fully human,
unlike Clark Kent, then he could not die for our sin. If he only
seemed to be human, then there is no gospel, no good news.
If Jesus is just “God in disguise,” like Superman, we all stand
hopelessly condemned.

Superman cannot save you. But Jesus can. Jesus can redeem
us because he took on our flesh, our nature—he is one of us. But
he is not merely one of us. He is God in the flesh. And that is
equally important, as we will find out next.

Page 42

Superheroes Can’t Save You28

dIscussIon QuestIons
QueStionS for perSonal refleCtion

• What are the personal benefits of the humanity of

• What goes through your mind when you read of Jesus
getting hungry and tired?

• Do you see Jesus as “like you”? If not, why not?
• How has the humanity of Jesus inspired your love and

devotion to Jesus?

QueStionS for Group DiSCuSSion

• Why will the gospel not work if Jesus is not fully

• Reread 1 John 1:1–3. Why was it so important to John
that he had actually seen and touched Jesus?

• Describe a situation where someone talked of Jesus as
though he were not really human.

• Have you ever thought that asking “What Would Jesus
Do?” is silly because, after all, Jesus is God? If so, how
might believing that Jesus is fully human change the
way you approach temptation?

• What gets in the way of seeing Jesus as your legitimate
and true example?

for further study
Read John 4:6–7 (from the story of Jesus’s encounter with the
woman at the well). Consider the implications of the fact that
Jesus was actually hot, tired, and thirsty. How did such things
help him in his interaction with the Samaritan woman?

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