Finding God at The Movies: Iron Man 3

god-at-the-moviesI love God…and movies.  Not on the same scale mind you…but when they come together, boy…it sure is good!

Over the years I have become pretty good at finding “the Kingdom of God”  poking through different stories in both film and TV.  My wife and teenage son have gotten used to me jumping up while we’re all watching a movie together and declaring, “See there…right there!  Now that is the Kingdom of God in action!”

So I thought I would start an occasional post titled Finding God at The Movies highlighting some key movies or TV episodes that reveal God’s Kingdom in action.  No “deep theology”…just some fun finding God operating in modern day stories. For the first installment I chose the movie I saw last night: Iron Man 3


Iron Man 3

Date Night with Tammy also meant an evening with Robert Downey Jr.  Really, since Val Kilmer’s Doc Holliday in Tombstone, has there been a cooler character portrayed on film than Downey’s Tony Stark?  Thoughts on this?

Warning *MINOR* Spoilers Ahead! (Really…only minor)

Anyhow, there is a great scene toward the end of the movie when Air Force One gets attacked and 11 innocent people get whisked out the blown door of the plane.  Iron Man / Tony Stark  dives out the opening and identifies all 11 victims currently plunging toward their inevitable deaths.  He then asks his on board computer, Jarvis, how many of the people in free fall he’d be able to catch before they reached the ground.  Jarvis responds, “Four.”


Stark looks out over the eleven and has to decide who lives and who dies.

Its here when I leaned over to Tammy and whispered, “He’s going to save them ALL!”

Stark flies down to the first woman who is in terror.  He calms her enough to explain he’s going to send an electronic charge through her arm.  Although she’ll no longer be able to bend it her arm will be strengthened and she then has to link to the next man who will then also carry the power charge.

Iron Man flies with the woman to the man who then link up..

to the next person…

and the next

and the next…

Until all 11 people are in a chain with Iron Man at the center providing the power (you see where I’m going with this don’t you 🙂 )

As the last of the eleven people hook on, Iron Man slows everyone enough to drop them as a group gently into the Potomac River.  Everyone is saved!

I actually clapped at that moment (cheesy I know) and said to Tammy, “See, that is “Kingdom” right there.”

If Iron Man had just saved 4 people and the other 7 people fell to their deaths we would have congratulated the super hero for doing all he could do.  But what made the story amazing was when Iron Man was told he could save only some, he did the impossible and saved them all!


And he saved them all by providing the strength they needed to reach out to one another.  This “body” of people were able, after overcoming fear, to extend their hands out to others to join and be “saved”.  The power for the whole rescue operation being provided by Iron Man acting as “the chief cornerstone”.

So Steve, are you suggesting God will save all people?

Well, this is not a theology heavy post and I don’t want to open a can of worms.  My friend Paul over at Escape to Reality has done a really good examination of this issue which I resonate with.  Check that out here and here.

If I had to sum up my view simply though it would be “Jesus will save anything in us than can possibly be saved”!

So I don’t know if “All will be saved”?  It’s probably not even the right question.

But, like Iron Man, wouldn’t it be cool if he did?



  • I’ll open that can! 😉

    God saving everyone is easily justifiable using scripture – eg. as in Adam, all die… so in Christ, all will be made alive. Romans 5 would make clear that the sin of Adam cannot trump the power of Christ. YET, there is certainly a scriptural case to made for concious, eternal torture of a majority of God’s creation. So which is it? I have an Atheist answer for that… but, leaving that aside, which scriptural narrative you cling to says A LOT about the clinger, wouldn’t you say? Do you not notice a personality and attitudinal difference between the folks who cling to those different narratives? Which one makes for the better human?

    Simply put, only the person who BELIEVES that everyone can be saved will make it happen – as Tony did. The person who clings to the narrative that God will condemn a portion to torture will, at some point, throw up his hands and cut his losses.

    Our narratives define us, and many religious folks are clinging to a HOPELESS narrative.

    • Steve

      Yes, I don’t believe that anyone is going to be chucked into an eternal torture chamber screaming, “Please God, don’t”. With God saying , “Sorry, you know the rules!” There are enough scriptures to indicate loss though. There is a ” Refiners Fire” 1 Cor 3 which we will all go through. I think we’ll be surprised what comes through intact through that fire.

      Again, my simple belief is God will save anything in us that can be saved.

  • Great post Steve! I too shouted when Iron Man saved all 11. I love the analogy – as those rescued received the new electrical life of Iron Man they were able to reach out and connect others to him.

    Here’s another interesting thought. The flesh and blood Tony Stark wasn’t actually there – he provided the help remotely through the agency of a mysterious metal being that came out of the sky. Similarly, we have a flesh and blood Christ providing aid from heaven through the agency of a mysterious spirit. The metal being and the spirit work principally by connecting the lost and falling to an ever-growing body of people. My only question is who, or what in the movie, represents God the Father?

  • Steve

    Thanks Paul! In regards to what, or who, in the movie represents God the Father. Well, the movie analogy may break down at that point…but if I had to choose, I’d have to go with “Pepper” 🙂

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