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The Gospel Reloaded: Exploring Spirituality and Faith in The Matrix [Paperback]

By Chris Seay (Author) & Greg Garrett (Author)
Our Price $ 11.89  
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Item Number 117583  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   176
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.24" Width: 5.52" Height: 0.47"
Weight:   0.45 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 1, 2003
Publisher   Pinon Press
ISBN  1576834786  
EAN  9781576834787  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Prepare to take a headlong dive into The Matrix---full of meaning and metaphors! You'll explore the significance of minute details from Neo's name to Thomas Anderson's room number; understand the religious undertones and eclectic philosophies in the futuristic trilogy; and discover how its themes call you to spiritual reflection. 173 pages, softcover from Pion.

Publishers Description
The world has changed. The Gospel Reloaded rushes headlong into The Matrix, exploring the trilogy's intricate details, religious undertones, and eclectic philosophies. These aren't movies you just "watch." They are postmodern epics, full of meaning and metaphor--deserving of serious inquiry and contemplation. Get inside the collective minds of the Wachowski brothers. See how even the minute details--from Neo's name to Thomas Anderson's room number--yield secrets to better understand the film. The movies call us to seek and find. Read how the themes of The Matrix call you to your own spiritual revelation. Ask of your own life: what's real and what's a mirage? Then you'll discover just how deep this rabbit hole really goes.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A decent but hardly great look at religion in The Matrix...  Dec 1, 2004
Since the first of the Matrix films came out, there's been plenty of talk about the religious paralells in it- Neo as Christ, Trinity as Mary Magdelene, Morpheus as John the Baptist, Cypher as Judas, etc, and it's theme of death, resurrection, and liberation. In The Gospel Reloaded, Seay tries to piece these together in a theologically consistent whole, but never seems to approach the matter with any depth.

While he discusses many interesting theological implications in The Matrix and it's sequels, there are many interesting points that he misses. For instance, what is the significance of the Merovingian and Persephone? (This is touched on, but never seriously looked at) Who is the Architect? What is the meaning of Trinity's death, return to life- and subsequent death? And, most glaring of all, Seay tries to argue that Cypher is not only Judas, but the "Satan" figure of the movie as while- while never confronting what Agent Smith's role is in all of this. On top of that, the author tries to see everything in terms of Joseph Campbell's "hero's journey", while ignoring the many implications of this story.

While I can tepidly recommend this book, I also recommend supplementing it with a few other resources- David Brin's article on The Matrix (as well as his articles on the hero's journey and it's implications in Star Wars and Lord of the Rings) at, and the commentary tracks available on the boxed DVD edition of the Matrix trilogy (with Ken Wilber and Cornel West)- Ken provides a unique spiritual interpretation of The Matrix which doesn't entirely correspond with that of Seay, but fuels much food for thought.
Seeing God All Around.  Mar 26, 2004
I wasn't for sure what to think when I first started reading THE GOSPEL RELOADED. From the title, I thought I was going to be reading a watered-down book that illustrated the Christian allusions in the Matrix movies. However, I got more than what I expected. THE GOSPEL RELOADED does illustrate some of the Christian allusions that are prevalant throughout the Matrix films. Yet, the book also illustrates many of the other influences that can be found in the Matrix movies (comics, Easternism, etc). It also touches upon the possibility that the Matrix movies are films that are anti-Christian in nature. But mainly, the book compares and contrasts Christianity with the world view of The Matrix. The book tries to show how The Matrix fits into Joseph Campbell's research of a hero and how Jesus Christ was the ultimate hero.

The authors of the book are very intelligent and have a huge concern for impacting our culture. Nevertheless, the book does have two flaws. First, the book really doesn't flow that well together and kind of skips around from one point to the next without any transitions. Because of that, the book comes off as being more of a hodge-podge than an accurate comparison and contrast. Secondly, though the authors are clearly Christian and it is apparent they are trying to illustrate the similarities and differences between the Gospels and the Matrix movies, they never really do come out and say, "Here's exactly how Jesus is different from Neo and here's how Christianity is different from the world of THE MATRIX". What ends up happening is that the authors end up doing more comparing than contrasting which is a shame. Still, I found THE GOSPEL RELOADED to be better than many Christian books on pop culture I have read and it presents a rounded enough approach that might attract non-Christians into learning more about the Christian faith.

beating a dead Trojan Horse....  Feb 25, 2004
i read this in a couple of hours (skimming certain parts, admittedly) at the Seattle Public Library, then put it back on the cart. there are about 3 billion websites on the Net (give or take) that try to dissect this or that aspect of The Matrix and explain the deep underlying concepts that the Wachowskis dabble in. in 99% of cases this is simply an exercise on the part of the individual in trying to justify his/her viewpoint by aligning it with one of the very ambiguous and wide-open mythological/theological constructs behind the films. the fact is that the films are actually so saturated with conflicting ideologies that they're not supposed to make sense. instead, they have a little bit of everything so that each and every person can relate, regardless of faith (or lack thereof), and take home the over-arching message that only confidence and personal responsibility will set you free.

so after finishing the book 15 minutes ago (more or less), i'm disappointed to say that "The Gospel Reloaded" is the printed equivalent of such a website.

the book seems to be intended for Christians young and old who want to get into all the Cool Stuff that the sinners are into, but can't reconcile it with their families and church-going friends. it's that old line about the atheists having all the fun... Mom says to Dad at the dinner table, "Billy is grounded because i caught him watching The Matrix. they were saying all these dirty words and there was a scene in a nightclub where people were wearing gas masks and groping each other like it was Sodom and Gomorrah!" little Billy replies, "but Mom, i read that the battle on the highway was actually a reference to Matthew 13! ...and that Neo and Trinity represent Adam and Eve for the postmodern era! ...and that The One is a metaphor for Jesus' love!"

even if little Billy (or the book's authors) can find such parallels, The Matrix films are still very dark, very violent, and very un-Christian. sure, the last human city is called Zion, as the authors point out. sure, you could come away with the impression that Neo is Jesus. but to make those sorts of things the central focus of a book is to disregard a hundred other things that take place in the films. what about the premarital physical relationship between the protagonists? the blatantly sexual non-hetero dancing that some of the good guys take part in? the fact that in the first film, Morpheus mentions that The Matrix takes control of your mind "when you go to church," just as it does "when you go to work" and "when you pay your taxes?" you can't ignore those things and pretend the movie played out differently... it didn't. the authors seem to ignore a mountain of contradictions, simply tossing them out for the sake of brevity and (superficial) clarity.

there are also numerous grammatical errors in the book which detract from its presentation... the book is probably better-written and more thought out than some homegrown Matrix-decoding books... however, the frequent typos and improper usage of common English words detract from any professionalism or theological credibility (contradiction in terms?) that the book might have to offer.

bottom line: i consider "The Gospel Reloaded" to be a parallel to Christian rock: take something subversive and re-brand it so it's OK for Christians to enjoy. of course, such rebranding can't be done without diluting the strength of the original. with their book, Seay and Garrett take the intellectual sharpness behind The Matrix and turn it into a blunt #2 pencil for people to write notes with during Sunday school.

besides, if Christian leaders have to go this far to ingratiate themselves with people who watch and enjoy secular films like The Matrix, then what's the point? Satan's already herding the sheep - and the flock has decided that watching The Matrix is more fun than Vacation Bible School.

Interesting ideas  Dec 5, 2003
This book is a fun, interesting look at themes in the Matrix films from a Christian point of view. The authors never claim to know the true meaning of the film triology but offer insightful and thought provoking reflections on the film in dialogue with Christianity.

Far from dogmatic, this book should stimulate further discussion and reflection on the Matrix triology and it's relationship to issues of faith.

good book  Nov 5, 2003
this is an amzing book , written by an amzing guy. I COMPLETELY RECOMEND THIS BOOK. I know chris and he has written a great book. Oh and dont let those 3 people who gave it bad reviews influence you, they just dont know a good book when they read one.

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