Faith and Pop Culture – Christianity Today Study Series

faith-culture-2(Thomas Nelson, 2008)
Christianity Today has published eight books in this study series. This most current study is a timely and very useful study asking the question of how Christianity and culture can best interact. There are eight session dealing with movies, literature, sports, television, whether or not Christians should only engage ‘family friendly’ entertainment, watch programs with gratuitous violence, reasonably expect to work in and be a Christian influence in Hollywood, and whether or not a life of faith is compatible with our cultures obsession with being entertained.

Each lesson begins with recommended scripture references, followed by a thought provoking article, a couple of activities designed to open up discussion, presentation of the issue, exploration through a number of discussion questions, ending with application questions.

Honestly, the more I read through this particular study guide, the more impressed I was. So many ‘guides’ ask relatively useless questions that are not inviting or engaging in the least. This was certainly not the case in this guide. The authors did not ‘dumb it down’, rather each article and question was clearly well thought through, making the whole guide a spiritually challenging guide.

For those who might expect a discussion on this particular topic by any Christian organization to be packed with bait and switch tactics – i.e. appearing open-minded in the beginning, but then aggressively force-feeding the same old prohibitions and apocalyptic threats – you will be pleasantly surprised. This study guide refreshingly elicits thinking without being a ‘tell you’ book. I would highly recommend it for small group studies among teens or adults of any age. It is a must study for all Christians.

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