Book Review: Lord of Legends: Jesus’ Redemption Quest
Publisher: Concordia Publishing House
Author: Eric T. Eichinger
146 pages, paperback © 2022
“Let me tell you a story. It begins far outside our solar system. A father, under perilous circumstances, sends his only son to earth. The infant is taken in by a kind and unsuspecting couple. The child possesses talents well beyond the abilities of mortals. He grows up and becomes the champion for truth and justice. The world has never seen someone quite like him before and marvels at his power. Some love him, others hate him.
“Intriguingly, he has a dual identity. He is entirely human in appearance and at heart, raised and cultured by human parents. He appreciates and cares for all the same values and concerns. Yet at the same time, he is also greater than human, almost godlike in stature. He is truly a mysterious hero—a savior from beyond the stars—come from the heavens to rescue the planet. He carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. He is even willing to sacrifice all of himself for the sake of humanity. During one notable incident, he surrenders himself to death for a sad season, only to return triumphant and victorious over the villain, to the astonishment of all.
“Who is this super man, might you ask?
“If you said, “Superman,” you are both correct and incorrect at the same time. While this origin story is explicitly about Superman, it is also strikingly recognizable on a deeper, more profound level. When comic book creators Joe Shuster (artist) and Jerry Siegel (writer) brought this character to life in the pages of Action Comics #1 (1938), there was also an unintentional yet undeniable underlying parallel story. The readily obvious root source of this story is none other than Jesus Christ.”
Thus, Eric Eichinger begins his new book Lord of Legends. The story of Superman is not the only epic hero’s story with parallels to our Lord Jesus. Eichinger maintains that this reaches back to the myths of the ancient world and forward to such classics like the Lord of the Rings and the Wizard of Oz. He gives compelling reasons to believe Jesus is the ultimate pattern for the standard hero story arc.
The chapters of the book basically follow the story of Jesus, starting with his birth and moving towards the Second Coming (the hope that your favorite book will have a sequel). In the books of fiction, we can find John the Baptist, the Apostles, the enemies of Jesus, and more. Eichinger maintains that these parallels are often un-conscienced.
I enjoyed the book. It gives us a wonderful way to rethink many of our favorite stories. It might also open to us ways to communicate the Gospel to friends. Imagine that you and a friend have just watched the latest Spiderman movie. As you leave the theater you comment, “You know that part where Spiderman did …? It kind of reminded me of when Jesus …”