This book will definitely cause you to think and rethink your views on bringing aspects of media into your life. This is good! You may or may not agree with the author's viewpoints, however. Keep that in mind. Great discussion questions, and it will definitely help you be more deliberate in your media choices for your own viewing and listening.
I received this study guide through the Thomas Nelson Book review blogger program. Although it is designed to be used as a study guide for a small group, it is perfectly readable independently. I was very interested to see what it had to say about how Christians engage in popular culture. In addition to the obvious subjects such as films, TV and books, the book also looks at the Christian response to sport, entertainment, the place of violence in entertainment, our entertainment based culture and the place of Christians within the entertainment industry.I found this book very useful and interesting as it challenged my views in a number of areas and made me think about certain issues I had not particularly thought through. Each section started with a question to address (e.g. "Must all entertainment Christians enjoy be "family friendly"?) followed by Bible references, an introduction to the issue and then an essay putting forth a particular Christian viewpoint.After this there was a study to work through which led the reader (or small group) through the issue in a way which made them think about the issue with reference to the Bible without dictating answers. Although I did not always agree with the views which expressed, the clear aim was to help people look at issues from a Biblical perspective and it certainly helped me to do this and has made me more open minded about certain issues.Although it is meant for a small group study I would certainly recommend it to anyone who wants to think through these issues from a Biblical perspective.
The eight lessons cover a variety of topics related to pop culture. Some of the articles are too "deep", and our group often had to come up with alternate questions for the study. Overall, we did like it and had some very inspired discussions.
Entertainment has been around since Biblical times and has taken on various forms through the decades; movies, television, video games, books, sports, art, and literature. The first glimpse we get of God in the Bible is The Creative God. God communicates to us in whatever beauty we can find. We can appreciate entertainment as a work of art and to also serve as an act of worship to God.After reading this book, I learned more than I had expected when opening it. Sometimes Christians tend to be too legalistic in their opinions regarding entertainment. Oftentimes Christians will not have anything to do with worldly entertainment. However, I have changed my opinion in that aspect. We can use great literature of our culture to point out truths about God in our conversations with non-Christians. We can teach our children to be critical viewers by watching worldly movies and television shows with them. We can teach them about the wickedness exposed in movies and books, and thus guide them to consider the reality of evil and the consequences of wrongdoing. Some depictions of evil in film portray a truthful message about the consequences of sin or the effects of sin on humankind.This book opened my eyes to the world around me. I do not think I will be as critical of non Christian entertainment in the future. This is a book I very highly recommend to everyone, especially parents, in providing guidance with raising children in todays culture.
This review took me some time to complete. Honestly, I wrestled with the very nature of the study.While I watch a fair amount of television, I don't feel I lean to the same reasoning for my viewing as do most of the article writer's in this Bible study.My favorite phrase from the study was at the beginning of the book, which encouraged me to examine where I stand in my beliefs and values on the topic at hand, which is a quote by Jeffrey Overstreet. He said, If I think that by withdrawing I can get away from sin's influence in the world, I forget that sin is active within my own walls and within my own heart.The whole work was well-written and put together in a smooth, easy-to-understand format, but I personally disagreed with much of what the articles were focused on.Section 5, called Cover Your Eyes seemed to resonate with me the most, but still left me feeling a little empty when finished reading the article.The study did help me to dig deeper, search the Scripture anew and find new areas (such as sports) that God can and does lead me and everyone else in that I had not really paid attention to before. For that alone, I do recommend the study.Iron sharpens iron, you know (Proverbs 27:17).