Jason C. Stanley

ponderings of a dad walking humbly & seeking justice

Book Review: The Salvation of Dr. Who

Dr. Who CoverThe Salvation of Dr. Who: A Small Group Study Connecting Christ and Culture, Matt Rawle, Abingdon Press, 2015.

“Seen through eyes of faith,” author and pastor Matt Rawle writes, “Doctor Who can be lens through which we understand who we are and our connection with God’s saving grace.” Rawle uses his small book to examine spiritual truths from the BBC television series that has run for more than fifty years.

The book is short and assessable to read. It is a small group study, but one could do the study on their own. Each chapter is divided into five sections, which makes it great for daily devotions and reflections with the questions provided at the end of each section. Much like The Faith of a Mockingbird, this book is a tool of discipleship for a small group or an individual. You can also find the leader’s guide and DVD for the complete small group experience.

From the start, Rawle, a United Methodist pastor in New Orleans, makes his case: the Doctor is an image of Christ as the Great Physician. In this way, the Doctor “reveals that there is always hope for those who fight for mercy, grace, and love.” The chapters focus on an aspect of the television series from the nature of the Doctor to the nature of time. The Chapters include “Bigger on the Inside,” “God and Time and God’s Time,” “The Oldest Question in the Universe,” and “The Sonic Screwdriver is Mightier Than the Sword.”

As you might imagine, there is a lot of talk about salvation and how God redeemed all of creation through Jesus Christ. Rawle blends each chapter with a solid dose of Doctor Who and scripture. But, the series also lends itself for a discussion of religion and faith. Sprinkled throughout the book is a solid United Methodist theology of grace. Rawle introduces the three shades of grace, such as prevenient grace.

And of course, there is discussion of good and evil. As Rawle writes,

“The difference between good and evil becomes complex when we realize that the line between the two isn’t out in the world where some people are completely good and others are purely evil. The line is drawn through each of us.”

If you are a major Who fan, it would be helpful to keep in mind that this is a short little book with four chapters. Not long enough to cover a fifty year history of one of the best television shows out there. But it is enough to begin thinking about the intersection of Doctor Who and our faith.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a digital review copy.


1 Comment

  1. I realize that a short book like this one can’t cover the long run of Doctor Who. But I feel like some of the examples used here could have been underscored with classic series examples. 🙂

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