Christians and Pop Culture

Christians and Pop Culture May 24, 2024

Image: Amazon

How should Christians engage with modern American entertainment culture? Robust thinking about this topic has been a staple of the Christian world for the last half century, and an important classic contribution to the topic was Kenneth Myers’ All God’s Children and Blue Suede Shoes. Myers’ 1989 reflection provides a great starting point for Christians who want to think about the topic–though it may not be the best place to stop.

While Myers’ argument is too complex to engage in full here, his overall point is a good one: we are part of the world and we will engage pop culture, so we should do so thoughtfully and carefully as Christians are called to do. Likewise Myers is right to be concerned not just with the specifically immoral aspects of music and film (he’s writing in the 80s, remember), but with the more general calls to selfishness and the undermining standards of quality once held broadly.

Again, this is all standard Evangelical reflection (though I don’t know that it was in the 80s). What hasn’t held up as well is Myers’ division of culture into discrete forms (“high”, “folk”, etc). While such categorizations can be useful up to a point, this obviously has limits–and any one form is going to be generously fluid with others.

Still, All God’s Children is a good place to start reflecting on the culture, and to think about how we as Christians ought to wrestle with the entertainment we regularly consume.

Dr. Coyle Neal is co-host of the City of Man Podcast an Amazon Associate (which is linked in this blog), and an Associate Professor of Political Science at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, MO

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