There are a lot of movies and television shows that don't make sense to me. I might start to watch, and then think "this is not God-honoring" or "this is disgusting and shouldn't even be on television". Usually I can disengage. I've even walked out of the movie theater because of the foul language. Sometimes though, I just sit there and keep watching .
Usually then I ask myself why I'm wasting my time on such garbage. I could be doing something productive. But maybe that's the wrong approach. Advertisers don't spend mega-bucks to promote their products on shows that nobody watches. Regardless of what I might think, somebody likes these things, and as a husband, a dad, a member of the community, a pastor, sometimes I have to pay enough attention to things just so I know what other people are talking about.
But, according to Kevin Harvey, there may be some other reasons to pay attention to what's popular in today's culture. In his new book "All You Want to Know about the Bible in Pop Cultures: Finding Our Creator in Superheroes, Prince Charming and Other Modern Marvels (Thomas Nelson, 2015), Harvey suggests that through some of the things that have made it big within the pop culture of today, people sometimes get to glimpse the Savior, get to see God, get a picture of the Redemptive power of Jesus.
And as I started to think about it, it makes sense. Superheroes show up again and again to save their city from evil (the Bad Guy). How often did God show up to redeem Israel. In movies, TV shows and books a popular theme is the unlovable, ugly, clumsy, always getting it wrong, picked on person who slowly but surely undergoes some sort of transformation, and by the end is beautiful and on top of the world. Our new life in Christ is like that. Our transformation allows us to see ourselves as God sees us and loves us, not as the world does.
Harvey uses examples that most of us might have heard of (even if we haven't read the book or seen the show), and regardless of my opinion, they have proved to be very popular among the population as a whole. Along the way there are "quizzes" and clarifications', and at the end of the book is a section called "learn even more" - puzzles and mazes, and games.
I needed this book because it's very easy for me to see things in Black and White, and sometimes I need to see the nuances of what's in the middle of the spectrum. It's useful for anyone who has a hard time connecting with today's culture. And let's be honest, society's idea of what's appropriate has changed a great deal since the days of Bonanza, Leave it to Beaver, and I Love Lucy.
A must read for boomers trying to relate to Gen-Xers, Gen Y, and Millenials.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my review.