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Some people respond by trying to pull away from pop culture altogether, and some accept it without question as a blessing. In Popologetics: Popular Culture in Christian Persepctive Ted Turnau reminds us that the issue is not so black-and white. Popular culture, like any other facet of society, is a messy mixture of both grace and idolatry, and it deserves our serious attention and discernment.
Learn how to approach popular culture wisely, separating its gems of grace from its temptations toward idolatry, and practice some popologetics to be an influence of your own.
Number of Pages: 448
Vendor: P & R Publishing
Publication Date: 2012
|Dimensions: 9 X 6 (inches)|
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Hollywood Screenwriter, Author of Hollywood Worldviews
This is one of the freshest and most original books I have read in ages...A fine blend of worldview apologetics and cutting-edge cultural analysis...I thoroughly commend it.
-Richard M. Cunningham,
CEO, Intervarsity UK
A tour-de-force. Written incisively, with appropriate humor, and especially using up-to-date examples from the field of popular culture...there is nothing remotely like it in print today. I recommend it enthusiastically.
-William Edgar, Professor of Apologetics, Westminster Theological Seminary
"Author Ted Turnau does a great service toward helping Christians engage their culture with both conviction and open-mindedness. He provides a thoughtful analysis of the issues and perspectives of Christian cultural interaction and offers excellent practical application for how to both appreciate pop culture and fairly critique it."
When biblical authority is slighted or popular culture is deemed insignificanterrors too often committed by evangelicals21st century Christian faithfulness is undermined. Human beings made in Gods image express their deepest fears, hopes, and yearnings in the art they produce, and today popular culture is central to this cultural dialogue. Ted Turnau recognizes the vitality of popular culture and knows that because God has spoken in Scripture we have a plumb line by which to uncover the idolatries that seek to seduce us away from the truth. In Pop-ologetics Turnau explores the meaning of popular culture, identifies insufficient ways of engaging it, provides clear instruction in being discerning, and helps believers see how the gospel speaks to the deepest questions of life. Accessible and thoughtful, this is a book that will help ordinary Christians move from understanding to gratitude to obedience to faithful witness.
This is one of the freshest and most original books I have read in ages. It is engaging from start to finish but never allows the reader to take refuge in simplistic positions, whether that be an uncritical acceptance of popular culture within a syncretistic framework or a knee-jerk rejection against anything that offends our evangelical sensibilities. Neither does it allow us to use one insight to trump all others. This means that common grace, fallen nature, evangelistic relevance and personal purity etc. are considered together as part of a mature, theologically rigorous reflection, which in turn leads us to honest, useful and realistic conclusions. This book is a fine blend of world view apologetics and cutting edge cultural analysis. There can be few people with proximity to such a range of cultural artefacts, and at the same time the theological discipline and training to write such an important book. I thoroughly commend it.
Author: Ted Turnau
Located in: Prague, Czech Republic
Submitted: May 17, 2012
Tell us a little about yourself. I got my M.Div. and Ph.D. in apologetics from Westminster in Philadelphia. My family moved to Prague in 1999, and we've lived here since. I teach cultural and religious studies at a couple of colleges here in Prague, as well as apologetics to high school seniors at a local Christian school. And I teach at a couple of seminaries (one in Latvia, one in Wales). We invite students and friends over to our house for movie discussion nights and other events. I have a wife and 3 kids (they help a lot in keeping me current with popular culture). And we have a cat named Enkidu.
What was your motivation behind this project? I don't think that Christians know how to respond to popular culture well. And since our world is heavily influenced by popular culture, that means we don't really know how to respond to our world that well. Instead of rejecting or uncritically drinking in popular culture, I'd like to see Christians practice a wise engagement.
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? I want to give Christians tools for bridging the gap between their faith life and popular culture. I want to give them a perspective out of which they can engage the culture around them. I think that will lead to really interesting conversations with friends, family and neighbors. I want to help Christians be in and yet not of the world.
How were you personally impacted by working on this project? First, I enjoy popular culture. But it's a challenge not to just switch off and let it flow over me. In the end, you get a far richer experience of both popular culture and God's grace from critically interacting with it as a Christian. Second, my wife and I actually use this stuff in talking with our students and with our kids. It's proven very helpful.
Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists? There are a lot, but here are a few: the Reformed apologist Cornelius Van Til, my mentor Bill Edgar, Paul Ricoeur (I did my dissertation on him), Francis Schaeffer, Calvin Seerveld, Tolkien and Lewis, the Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Kieslowski, Joss Whedon, and so many more.
Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know: Try to read the book with an open mind, but judge everything you read there against Scripture. Also, if you get bogged down, skip ahead. The really juicy stuff happens in chapters 10 and 11. You can always go back if you have questions.