Author: Scott Bayles
Publisher: Judson Press
Published: April 16th, 2019
Genre: Devotional, non-fiction, superheroes
Go into any Christian Book store, any book rack at a pharmacy, or any book section at a local grocery store; and you’ll find tons of different devotionals geared towards different groups of individuals. You’ll find devotionals for outdoorsmen, teens, mothers, hazel-eyed / club-footed / caffeine-addicted / dudes in their mid 30’s… wait, I still haven’t seen that one yet… The point is there are devotionals for almost all groups, but what’s rare is finding one designed for superhero/comic book geeks. Scott Bayles has joined the ranks of those attempting to fill the gap with his new 40 Day devotional, “The Holy Heroes Devotional.”
Each devotional tackles different aspects of the Christian life. It handles everything from a personal relationship with Jesus to how that relationship affects our actions and responses to the world around us.
Scott does describe a variety of action sequences in different comics and movies. He also tackles the abusive relationship between the Joker and Harley Quinn. While he describes the Joker slapping her, he does not go into further detail of physical abuse.
Keeping in mind that all content points back to scriptures, Scott does pull examples from Doctor Strange (a sorcerer), Shazam (a character who’s been magically imbued with powers, Ghost Rider (a man who made a deal with the devil), and the New Gods (a race of genetically engineered people)
“The Holy Heroes Devotional” by Scott Bayles is a 40 Day / 162 Page devotional explicitly designed for comic book geeks. This paperback edition that I’m reviewing is a nicely sized book that can easily fit in your backpack or sit on your nightstand next to your bed. While the full-color gloss cover is rather simple, it still carries an epic feel to it as it silhouettes Justice League like characters with bright yellow and orange lines capturing the comic book influences. On the inside, the book features decently weighted pages with titles, headers, and splashes that continue the comic book theme only in black and white. Overall the look and feel of the book itself is rather enjoyable to read with its aesthetics and its decently sized font.
The Devotional is designed for you to take on one chapter a day at a time, but the Table of contents does seem to suggest that if you wanted to, you could jump to a devotional about your favorite superhero at any point. I actually found the structure of each devotional to be quite nice. While yes, it is best to take the book in order, you won’t be lost if you jump into the middle. I could see this being an excellent tool for small groups who maybe have members who aren’t terribly regular.
Each devotion opens with a comic book premise that is written a way that really draws you into the scenarios. What I love about these scenarios is that they come straight from the books and movies. Scott does a fantastic job of not only presenting the scene but also documenting where you can read/see these scenes. At the end of each chapter, there is a footnote that gives you exact titles and issue number for what he’s referencing. I love this aspect because it shows that he’s put a lot of work and care into creating these devotionals and that he’s not drawing just general conclusions but drawing straight from the geeky source material that we all know and love.
Another fantastic aspect to each devotional is the inclusion of two sections “Ponder” and “Prayer.” Far too often, people will look at devotionals and walk away with it loosely in the back of their mind. Scott has purposely created a way to cause the reader to think about the ramifications of the devotional in the reader’s personal life. The following prayers are also purposefully worded in a way that while you pray, you really do some self-evaluation. You can tell that Scott wasn’t just concerned about putting information out but helping the reader to grow in their walk with God.
Wrapping up my thoughts on “The Holy Heroes Devotional” I have to say that I’m very impressed with this book. It’s easy to read, keeps your attention, the devotionals aren’t too long but have great content, and I honestly am encouraged and challenged by each chapter. If I had to change one thing about the book, it would be to have topics listed in the table contents rather than just the characters that each chapter is based on. Overall I give it a 4 out of 5 and highly recommend it for any geek ages 13 up into adulthood!
If you’d like to pick up your copy of “The Holy Heroes Devotional,” check out their Amazon listing. Also for more information about Scott Bayles and his fantastic organization, “Costumers for Christ” at www.holyheroes.org