Late last year I began seeing posts on Twitter from some of my Christian brethren linking to a number of cartoons. Naturally, this piqued my curiosity as many of the men sharing these comics were more of what I would consider, well, not comic strip kind of guys. After spending what seemed like a couple of hours on the Adam4d.com website, I was hooked.
Written and illustrated by Mr. Adam Ford (4d, get it?), the web comics at Adam4d strike a wonderful balance between solid theology and entertainment nicely packaged in a plethora of pithy strips. Mr. Ford describes Adam4d as, “A curiously Christian webcomic…” which, I would add, adheres to a right understanding and handling of the Word of God.
Imagine my delight when he chose to create a book from, what he describes as, “… a compilation of some of the most popular comics from the website thus far, each one revised, polished, and upgraded so as to not be identical to the version published online in addition to some brand-new material. Granted, I am late to the game in this review, but I enjoyed the book and the website so much, I really wanted to publish a review.
As with any faithful Christian ministry, Adam4d.com is not without its critics. While Jesus tells us this fact should not surprise us (Mt. 10:22, Mk 13:13, Lk 21:17, Jn 15:18), it’s nevertheless discouraging when it comes from within supposed Christendom. It doesn’t surprise us when an unsaved world comes at us with half-truths and out-of-context criticisms, and it shouldn’t bother us because, but for the grace of God, we would be no better. A perfect example of this is when one of Adam4d’s comics was pulled from Facebook:
Really? pic.twitter.com/89zTVxyXTC— Adam Ford (@Adam4d) November 7, 2015
While nonsensical and largely hypocritical on the part of Facebook, again, those things should not surprise us. In fact, Mr. Ford illustrated an entertaining response to Facebook in the form of this comic.
You might be wondering why I’m spending so much time talking about the actual website instead of the book. Well, as previously mentioned, the book is but an extension of the site itself.
The cover art is a picture of a man taking a “selfie” whilst holding a machine gun and comes from one of the longer comics in the book entitled Don’t Waste Your Internet…1 which delves into the arena of redeeming the time; specifically the time spent on the wondrously ripe harvest field of the internet. However, the book actually opens with a comic entitled I am a Christian and this is how some different people see me.2
In this sadly accurate comic, Mr. Ford explores the different attitudes and stereotypes heaped upon Christians by various groups of people including social-progressives, neighbors, the media, atheists, ourselves, and finally how God sees us. In a humorous way, Mr. Ford allows the Christian reader to identify with the character in the comic realize all Christians are in the same battle of perception.
Later in the book, the pithy comic entitled Trust your heart, sweetie3 succinctly and accurately attacks the notion that we are to trust our hearts. After all, as written in Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”
The strip starts with a mother talking to her young son saying, “This is a difficult decision. In times like this you have to learn to trust your heart, sweetie.” The boy then looks down and says, “Ok heart, what’s it gonna be?” Cut to the next slide with a blackened heart with fangs shouting “Sin!” The comic then ends with the boy devilishly smiling with lightning bolts in the background.
While seemingly simple and certainly not long in length, this comic (as do many others) perfectly portray a Biblical truth in a way that is both entertaining and informative. Mr. Ford, through his comics, manages to tackle serious theological issues with whimsy though not devoid of seriousness. This fact is illustrated no better than in the very last comic of the book entitled Life’s tests… In this strip, Mr. Ford presents the Gospel in a way that resonates with the reader and assists in understanding our true depravity before sharing the reality that, in Christ, our tests have already been won.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a fun, theologically sound way to unwind. Further, you might have a young person in mind who is in need of some training in the basics of the faith. This book would be a great Christmas gift for that young individual that would feed their minds on the truth of Scripture while being fun to read.
Adam4d has provided Christians with a wonderful resource and his website, Adam4d.com, continues to fill with more of these comics on a regular basis. Pick up a book for yourself, a friend, fellow church member, whomever. Then, be sure to subscribe to the Adam4d RSS feed to be alerted when a new comic is published.
We should be very grateful for faithful men of Christ sharing His message through their God-given artistic talents.
(Note: Mr. Ford says on his website that he does not do interviews. So, I am shamelessly requesting that you shoot him a message and ask him to make an exception for Fire Away! I would love to spend some time talking theology with him.)
Title: Implications Abound
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform