Wednesday, January 07, 2009

All God's Children and Blue Suede Shoes
Chapter One

My PCQ (popular culture quotient) was less than ten, so Mr. Myers labels me as *semimonastic*, thinking that I probably dont need to read his book.

But I am surrounded in my immediate family and with others (aka *the world*) who find the conduits of popular culture and its content far more entertaining than I.

Therefore, I cannot helped but be influenced.

The pervasiveness of the *noise* compels me to investigate the assaults on my senses (and those of my children).

The author set out to understand popular culture and not condemn it, so that he could be more obedient to God and glorify Him appropriately in everyday living.

That's enough to convince me to keep reading.

Interestingly enough, Myers does not believe that much would be improved in our society even if Christians somehow could take over all the instruments and forms of popular culture.

That's makes me want to skip to the last chapter.

But I wont.

I know that our culture has been conquered by King Jesus and that the King of Rock 'n Roll is only an icon....even if his birthday is January 8th (many are already celebrating including Gov Huckabee).

Chapter One starts out with an interesting example of a fellow who moves to a new city because he has a job there. However, the atmosphere (culture) of the new environs are so base that it destroys him and his family. I had never thought of Lot in that way, especially not as a righteous man.

Myers made me remember the good advice given to us in pre-marital counseling: always assess the possibilities for your church home when evaluating a move to a new locale. There is no substitute for the weekly hearing of the faithful preaching of God's Word because it constrains the Monday-through-Friday activities.

At this point, the author designates television and rock and roll music as the two basic forms by which popular culture is influenced. I think that is still true today, twenty years after the first publication of the book. Even though Myers tries to eschew the discussing of the content (of pop culture) in favor of the sensibilities, in reality, the two cannot be separated.

I maintain that it's not the instrument that is evil per se; it's the heart of man (Mark 7:15).

But do I regard my culture as an enemy? including TVs, XM Radio, Wiis, and Ipods?

You betcha!

And the best way to capture the enemy?

To know his ways.

However, Myers reminds us that

Popular culture is not a simple, homogenous abstraction that allows for simple
application of Biblical principles. Its challenges and temptations do not
confront us like the proverbial harlot whose seductions are clearly to
sin. It has many dimensions and contours and hidden agendas that require
some historical and experiential perspectives before we can evaluate it fairly
and, having understood it, conduct ourselves in its presence with wisdom.


That's what I want to do:

Conduct myself with wisdom.


  1. I think Myers chose to discuss the sensibility of pop culture because Christians in the eighties focused almost exclusively on the content. I think an interesting question for today might be, can the new media that allow people to choose and fashion their own content (blogs, or even iPods) produce suitable Christian culture, or is there something inherently shallow about their sensibility?

    I'm not writing that as an argument with what you wrote; I'm just bringing it up more because I never did a blog book discussion before and every time I read a new post, it brings up another thought, and that's a new thought that your post brought to my mind.

    P.S. I like the shoes! (in the post below)

  2. I liked your premarital advice. That is advice we have never received (not that we've ever really moved before), and I can see that it is very wise.

    Do you really think TV is more influential than the internet? I'm not sure anymore. I've noticed network news, for instance, taking its cues from bloggers, so it seems perhaps the tables are turning? I think we might be beginning to see the end of TV, but also the rise of a more powerful screen bringing us the internet, which is TV and then some.

    One verse that came to mind is the one that says "How does a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to His word." I keep thinking about how the best protection I can give my children is to teach them the ways of the Lord.

    I like your thoughts. :)

  3. Brandy, One of my favorite hymns is based on that verse:

    Brings back sweet memories of teaching my own youngsters :)

  4. dana, i'll read & listen & ponder --- i don't have the book & haven't seen it yet in our local stores... thanks for inviting me...sonja

  5. My (grown) children's conduits are often distressing to me. My grandson knows more Disney characters than I will ever care to know.

    I too, was surprised at his description of Lot.

    We highlighted the same paragraph!

    Fun to read this with you,