The Avengers: A Closer Look at the Hulk

Posted: May 15, 2012 by jperritt in Action, Sci-Fi
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I finally had a chance to see The Avengers this weekend and I must say, it was excellent!  It is one of the best summer blockbusters I’ve seen in recent years and should be a model for what a summer action/adventure should look like.  Well done Joss Whedon!

I know we have already blogged on The Avengers (as well as every other movie blog) but there was one aspect of the film I wanted to highlight.  The Hulk!

Not only was Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner great, the Hulk was finally enjoyable to watch on screen.  He not only supplied much of the humor and spectacle, but one of the deepest theological lines in the film.

(***Spoilers***) When The Avengers have finally assembled in Manhattan and aliens are running amuck in the streets, they seem to be somewhat concerned by the large creature that made its way through a time portal.  Seeing that they are somewhat fearful about engaging this enormous creature, they prompt the Hulk to get angry.  As he slowly approaches this huge creature, which is knocking buildings over, Banner says, ‘That’s my secret.’  Looking back at the Avengers, ‘I’m always angry.’  He then transforms into our favorite green monster (sorry Oscar) and [boom] punches the creature in the face!  (queue the applause)

The statement of ‘I’m always angry’ resonated with me…and it should with you as well.  Dr. David Powlison once said that you could easily say that the Bible is about anger.  Who could be viewed as the angriest person in the Bible?  God.  Stop the presses!  God’s angry?!  Our sweet, loving God is angry?  Yes.  Very much so.  In fact, it is because of God’s love that he is angry.  God is not apathetic to our sin, he hates sin.  As Powlison says:  

Anger can be utterly right, good, appropriate, beautiful, the only fair response to something evil, and the loving response on behalf of evil’s victims1.  In fact, “It would be impossible for a moral being to stand in the presence of perceived wrong indifferent and unmoved. 2

Therefore, the Hulk’s words of ‘I’m always angry.’ should really resonate with every believer.  I’m not saying we need to go around screaming at people, honking horns, or punching aliens in the face, but we live in a fallen world that’s full of sin.  Sin causes sadness, injustice, murder, rape, child molestation, and many horrible things which makes any moral being moved towards anger.

I’m currently reading, Rid of My Disgrace: Hope & Healing for Victims of Sexual Assault by: Justin & Lindsey Holcomb, which is something everyone should read, especially because, ‘one out of four women and one out of six men are victims of sexual assault.’  This book shows us that there is hope for victims of sexual assault and it can be found in the gospel of Jesus Christ.  That being said, this book has moved me to sorrow and anger quite often.  Anger that horrific things have happened to men and women of all ages, and they are continuing to happen.  It makes me long for Jesus to return and wipe away every tear.  As the Holcomb’s say:

Victims often fail to realize that God’s own sorrow for what has happened is deep and profound.  Mourn.  Grieve.  Cry.  God is grieved by and angry at what happened to you.  He is even more grieved and angry than you are, so you are invited to participate with God in his grief and anger 3.

We must realize that anger is not always a negative emotion, there is such a thing as righteous anger, and Christians should experience it on a daily basis.  Life in a fallen world is filled with circumstances to be angered by – check out the nightly news.

We have a God that is angered by our sin.  Just look at the cross.  God hated sin so much, he had to punish it, however, it was love that drove Christ to the cross.  Even though we rebelled against God, he remained faithful.  He provided a Substitute for the anger our sin had kindled in Him.  While the Hulk may always be angry, our God will not.  His anger was satisfied on the cross and the Righteous Judge is coming back to fully satisfy that anger on those who do not bow the knee to Him.


1. Powlison, David. Understanding Anger. The Journal of Biblical Counseling, Vol. 14, #1

2.Warfield, B.B. “The Emotional Life of Our Lord,” The Person and Work of Christ. p. 107 62

  1. DustyOldTrail says:

    Wait so Mark Ruffalo isn’t God all of a sudden? Alright then Johnny P I trust you. And Emilio, just to let you know, he tried weaving this into every day conversation. Like we listen to John after he started driving that minivan.

    On a more serious and less sacrilegious note (don’t tell J Kwaz about the Mark Ruffalo God thing) I tend not to think of God as angry. It’s a bad habit I’ve picked up from a severe comfort with my sin. It’s not as if I don’t feel guilt sometimes but more often than not I can slip on my footy pajamas and forget about it instead of going to the cross. I understand that we should have a righteous anger at the world and at our sin I just tend to placate it to a certain extent. Rather than turning over the Veggie Tales dolls at Lifeway or playing the Lottery until I can afford a batmobile I tend to become dull. I view every sad thing as just a fact of life and in severe cases as just another birth pang on the way towards New Creation. A reminder that we were not meant for this world and that it won’t last longer than we can handle.

    “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV)”

    I don’t know if viewing God as angry would help or hurt me in my personal relationship with Jesus and my daily struggle with sin. I’ve been on all sides of the spectrum. I’ve cried myself to sleep and in prayer over sin I have yet to come to complete terms with. I have also chalked up heaven brownie points for beating myself up over my sin. That my guilt over sin ultimately payed for it thereby bypassing the cross entirely. I know that guilt is supposed to lead me humbly to the cross, showing me God’s ultimate sacrifice in His Son and uplifting me in justification and further sanctification.

    “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 ESV)”

    That ultimately yes I am a sinner and not perfect as I am called to be perfect. My mouth is an open grave and my best possible kwazny-special-needs-ministry-curing-cancer-inventing-peanut butter-you-can-spray-out-of-a-can good works are and will be as dirty rags. But that doesn’t matter nearly as much as I would want it to. Because the gospel isn’t about what I can do but about what He’s done. It’s not about who I am but about THE I am.

    Ok so I get that this was long and rambly and mentioned “The Avengers” all of one time and that was just now but it’s really late and no one else was really utilizing this reply section. I guess what I’m getting at here is you’re welcome. Great article by the by John and great site the rest of you guys. If only there was someway I could get this in book form. Don’t let it collect dust John. If you read this far +2 experience points or whatever now get some sleep and or ultraviolet radiation. You’ll get carpal tunnel.

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