Archives For Popular Culture

The happiness of a man in this life does not consist in the absence but in the mastery of his passions.
– Alfred Lord Tennyson, poet,
who died on this day, 1892
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Poem of the Day:
The Grasshopper”
Alfred Lord Tennyson

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Kindle Ebook Deal of the Day: 
Eyes Wide Open: Looking for God in Popular Culture
by William Romanowski

ONLY $2.99!!!      [ Tweet this ]

*** NOTE: This stated price is for the United States. Unfortunately, this offer may or may not be available in other countries. Sorry!

 
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The Wake Up Call – October 6, 2014

 

Consuming, Creating and Critiquing

A Feature Review of

PopCultured: Thinking Christianly about Style, Media and Entertainment
Steve Turner

Paperback: IVP Books, 2013.
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Reviewed by Matt Miles
 
You don’t have to watch television or movies or listen to the radio to be exposed to popular culture. If you wear clothes, use social media or ever set foot outside your door you are, like the rest of us, immersed in it. For Christians, there are usually two choices: avoid as much of popular culture as possible since it is worldly and a waste of sacred time, or partake indiscriminately and categorize “good” and “bad” entertainment the same way non Christians do.  Steve Turner, a journalist, author, and poet argues that for Christians, neither of these approaches are acceptable. If Christ is Lord of the Christian’s life, He should be Lord of all of it, including recreational time. On the other hand, being unaware of pop culture can deprive the Christian of a common language many people share and the ability to connect with people who don’t share the same belief or background. More than this, as a journalist who had many a discussion on popular culture, he believes Christians can and should create within the culture, because we have something to say. He contends we should consume discerningly, critique faithfully, and create wisely.  The author’s insurmountable task in PopCultured: Thinking Christianly about Style, Media and Entertainment is to spark the Christian imagination on what engagement with pop culture could look like. At his best, Steve Turner does exactly that.

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Video Games: Are they of Any Value?

A Feature Review of

Of Games and God: A Christian Exploration of Video Games

Kevin Schut

Paperback: Brazos, 2013
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Reviewed by Adam P. Newton.

 

Before we get into the meat of this review, I must confess to you that I love a good video game. Granted, I would never call myself a “gamer,” mostly because I like a specific subset of video games (Japanese-style fantasy role-playing games), and I’ve never voraciously engaged the wider community of gamers (mostly because I’m acutely aware that my “appreciator” status makes me an outsider). Nevertheless, I’ve received my fair share of odd looks and occasional rebuffs from church leaders and pastors whenever I mentioned that I play video games, especially the older I’ve become. Thus, it’s important that I’m upfront with my intrinsic bias towards the idea that the playing of video games is quite the OK practice for a Christian.

 

Kevin Schut makes this same confession in order to provide context and clarity to the discussion in which he engages throughout Of Games and God (though he’s a much more diverse and experienced gamer than I could claim to be). The book serves as an excellent examination of the intersection of gamer culture and Christianity, especially since a book of this nature hasn’t been attempted in the past. Schut confesses to his frustrations regarding the substance of the Church’s traditional critiques of video games – namely, they’re either a waste of time or they’re filled with content antithetical to the Christianity.

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The Undead and TheologyEngaging Popular Culture

A Review of

The Undead and Theology
Kim Paffenroth and John Morehead, eds.
Paperback: Pickwick Publications, 2012
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Reviewed by Amber Peace

 

From the growing popularity of The Walking Dead to the predicted Mayan Apocalypse, 2012 was a year focused on End Times and otherworldliness. Fitting right into our curiosity of horror is The Undead and Theology, a collection of essays edited by Kim Paffenroth and John Morehead. They collected several essays under three topics: Vampires, Zombies, and Other Undead. Each essay focuses on a contemporary, pop culture connection to an undead, and then muses on the theological implications of the connection.

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