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All God's Children and Blue Suede Shoes

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

No, I haven't gone suddenly contemporary or compromising.

All God's Children and Blue Suede Shoes - Christians and Popular Culture is the name of a book that I have recently been reading. (I tend to read multiple books at a time, rather than going through one book and then starting another.)

I recently came across a book that feels like it is an essential part of the Scott Anoil library. Our Salisbury Branch of the Wicomico County Library has an area where they usually have a small selection (from ten to one hundred) of books that are available for purchase. The books only cost 50 cents for a hard back and 25 cents for a paper back, so I usually check the area whenever I am in the library to see what I might find that is work a quarter or fifty cents.

Recently I picked up a copy of a book entitled, All God's Children and Blue Suede Shoes: Christians and Popular Culture written by a Kenneth A. Myers. This book is part of the Turning Point Christian Worldview Series which is edited by Marvin Olasky. I regret to say that I know very little about those involved in this series and I have only read the first part of the book, but I find some of the comments being made by Mr. Myers (who produced and edited programs for All Things Considered on National Public Radio for eight years) to be very interesting.

The chapter titles alone tell you that this book is going to take you on an interesting journey. Here is a listing of the chapter titles.

1. Of the World, But Not in the World
2. What is Culture, That Thou Art Mindful of It?
3. Would You Take Jesus to See This Planet?
4. Popular Culture and the Restless Ones
5. Accounting for Taste
6. Better to Receive
7. Before the Revolution
8. Where Have All the Standards Gone?
9. Popular Culture's Idiom: Rock Around the Clock
10. Popular Culture's Medium: The Entertainment Appliance
11. Where Do We Go From Here?

As I make my way through the book, I am going to be occasionally posting some of the thought- provoking comments from Mr. Myers' book on this blog. In some cases, I will comment on the quotes. In other cases, I will simply post the quote and see what you think.

From the Introduction:

Christian concern about popular culture should be as much about the sensibilities it encourages as about its content.

...popular culture's greatest influence is in the way it shapes how we think and feel (more than what we think and feel) and how we think and feel about thinking and feeling.

Popular culture is in many ways a very trivial matter...but its triviality , while making it seem innocuous, also enables it to be extremely pervasive, and that is its most toxic quality.

What think ye, O ye thinking men (and women)?