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Book Review: The Gospel According To Lost

November 24, 2010

The Gospel According To Lost

By Chris Seay

If you are familiar with me or my blog, it will come as no surprise that I am a HUGE fan of Lost (as evidenced by this past post).  So it seemed like a no-brainer to my buddy Michael Wilson to buy me a book examining the show from a spiritual perspective.  I’ve had a little bit of time to digest this one (I finished it last May prior to the Lost series finale), and my final reaction is as varied as the characters that populate the titular show.

First things first:  the best thing going for this book is the incredible artistic renditions of each major character from Lost depicted in the style of Christian iconography.  The other major selling point is the clearly in-depth research that Seay put into some of the obscure references in the show and how they pertained to the ideas the writers were attempting to weave into the narrative.  He also does an excellent job of honing in on a particular trait of each character to hang his biblical comparison on that lends his perspective credibility.  All of these things make the book an engaging and rapid read.

Which brings me to the negatives.  I have often reflected upon how (unintentionally) insightful Lost has been at depicting sin nature, struggles w/ temptation, and father-issues stemming from a need for a perfect heavenly Father, and so I was eager to see what Seay’s take on these topics was.  Unfortunately, the biblical content was quite lacking for a book written by a pastor examining the spiritual parallels of a mainstream TV show. I will give Seay the benefit of the doubt:  my assumption is that I am not the target audience for his book.  I can understand that he might have been writing to non-Christians with a passion for Lost, hoping to instill an interest in them to dive deeper into examining the Gospel and Christianity without overwhelming them and scaring them away.  In that case, he was probably right on target.

But as a Christian and an avid  ______ [insert appropriate word here:  geek, nerd, fanboy, etc.], it just didn’t cut it for me.  There was so much more potential to be had, so many more issues to raise that could have elevated this book to a whole new level for me.  As I said, I’m chalking it all up to Seay’s purpose and audience goals, although after coming off of my last book, I couldn’t help but note potential emergent buzz-words and wonder if this had anything to do with what I viewed as a shallow spiritual dialogue spinning out of the show.  Regardless, this book did inspire me to tackle a new challenge.  I propose to at some point in the future launch a new blog focused on rewatching Lost in its entirety, starting from the beginning. I will not only examine how each episode fits into the greater tapestry of the show (with the endpoint in mind now), the underlying themes interwoven into each episode, and the spiritual parallels that act as entry-level points into what the Bible teaches.  You heard it here first, faithful readers!

Final Verdict: Read this book if you are a die-hard or casual fan of Lost.  But if you are looking for something with a significant Christian viewpoint, you will have to look elsewhere.
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2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 24, 2010 5:44 am

    Jordan,
    A great review, i own this book as well, and am an avid fan of lost. One thing though, is that i have been to Chris Seay’s Church, ecclesia in Houston, a few times, and have heard him preach and seen what they are about. And although see falls under the “emergent” catagory, he does preach the gospel. I think you are right about this book, and his aim was for a non christian, who likes lost not to be overwhelmed. I was a little dissapointed, for many reasons, including, i think he should have waited until after the finaly to really get the whole picture of it. But it is what it is ya know..

  2. luminousvignettes permalink*
    November 24, 2010 2:44 pm

    Yeah, I agree, I thought it strange to be so close to the show ending and for him to write this book prior to the final season. I wonder if he will go back and revise or add to the book with the sixth season considered. I appreciate the feedback Hutch and the information about Seay’s church. Not having been to his church, I didn’t want to make any snap judgments about him, and I may have been a little “paranoid” after coming off my previous book about the emergent church. I’ve toned that down a bit now, which is why I arrived at the conclusion that it was more determined by Seay’s goal to write to a non-Christian audience, which is a respectable and wise aim to use that Lost fervor to draw people into the church. But he definitely brought a lot of insight about theme in the show that I appreciated.

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