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Customer Reviews for Thomas Nelson Faith and Pop Culture: Christianity Today Study Series

Thomas Nelson Faith and Pop Culture: Christianity Today Study Series

If the medium is the message, then today's books, movies, music, and television are the conduits of questionable values. How should Christians respond? Focusing on the intersection of faith and pop culture, this challenging 8-week study shows believers how to discern between entertainment that is meaningful and appropriate, and that which is destructive. 128 pages, softcover from Nelson.
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Customer Reviews for Faith and Pop Culture: Christianity Today Study Series
Review 1 for Faith and Pop Culture: Christianity Today Study Series
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Book has good intentions, but not always godly.

Date:November 3, 2011
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Julieanne Miller
Location:Oregon
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
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.
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Review 2 for Faith and Pop Culture: Christianity Today Study Series
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:December 1, 2009
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Susan
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.
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Review 3 for Faith and Pop Culture: Christianity Today Study Series
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:October 2, 2009
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Glenn Scott
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.
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Review 4 for Faith and Pop Culture: Christianity Today Study Series
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:August 1, 2009
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Susan Beckman
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.
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Review 5 for Faith and Pop Culture: Christianity Today Study Series
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:July 15, 2009
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Jess Gunning
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).
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Review 6 for Faith and Pop Culture: Christianity Today Study Series
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:July 10, 2009
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Bob Garbett
Christianity Todays Study Series Faith and Pop Culture, is a small group study which examines various forms of art, from TV to literature to cinema from a Christian perspective. As the authors point out, there has historically been a love/hate relationship between the church and the arts. From Steinbeck to steroids, the eight sessions cover not only the traditional arts such as cinema and literature, but also address sports and television. The study also explores the role of family friendly movies, violence and the specific role of Christians in the entertainment industry. The eighth session is a challenging consideration of what it takes to fulfill the modern desire for entertainment. The outline of each session is designed to facilitate a small group study, with step-by-step instructions from breaking the ice to getting focused on the topic, to rolling up your sleeves and digging in to what the Bible has to say about each topic. Each session ends with a challenge and a personal action plan for how to apply or further consider the subject in the coming days. This study would be suitable for youth or adults and, I think, would be especially useful for family devotions either in the home or small group setting. It challenges the student to be careful of what we watch and the impact of our choice of entertainment on our thinking and our witness. I think this is an especially timely study considering the events surrounding the recent death of Michael Jackson, Steve McNair and Farah Fawcett. Faith and Pop Culture is a well designed and useful study guide for small group study.(I reviewed this book as a member of Thomas Nelsons Book Review Blogger Program http://brb.thomasnelson.com/)
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Review 7 for Faith and Pop Culture: Christianity Today Study Series
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Date:June 29, 2009
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Kim Turnage
Faith and Pop Culture is an 8-session Bible study series using articles from Christianity Today about entertainment in our culture. Each session begins with an article then includes ice breakers for small groups and several discussion question based on relevant bible passages. Topics include: * the relationship between the church and the arts * literature * sports * TV * movies * video games * Hollywood disciples * entertainment immersion, overstimulation, and a deadness of the soulI was intrigued by the concept of the Bible study, but the first two sessions put me off to a slow start. The sessions on sports, TV, movies, and video games were my favorites, along with the final session. For me, these session spoke more clearly to "pop culture" than the others. I found myself disappointed that a bible study published in 2008, centered on pop culture, didn't even touch on YouTube, MySpace, and Facebook. Social networking and virtual community are as "pop culture" as you can get. And their implications for Christians and the church are vast.
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Review 8 for Faith and Pop Culture: Christianity Today Study Series
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:June 10, 2009
Have you ever wondered how faith and pop culture influence each other? Are you struggling to stand firm in your faith while wanting to have entertainment in your life? This eight-week study is great for small groups. It's designed to engage Christ's followers in interesting, thought-provoking discussion. It covers different (sometimes controversial) issues concerning movies, books, sports, television, violence in video games and movies, Hollywood, and culture of entertainment. Each study starts with a relevant article from Christianity Today Magazines as a springboard. Various activities are suggested for getting people in the group to open up and share. Then, there are open-ended questions that help people reflect on the issues presented in the article and encourage them to express their thoughts. Each session lists Bible verses for us to explore what God's Word says about the topics being discussed. I don't agree with some things in some articles. But that's the beauty of this book. Its purpose is to help us think critically and use discernment regarding entertainment, to give people in the small groups the opportunity to share their views, dig deeper in God's Word, encourage each other to grow spiritually, and pray for the Holy Spirit to guide us.
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Review 9 for Faith and Pop Culture: Christianity Today Study Series
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:June 8, 2009
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Aaron B. Reddin
If we don't know where we are, how can we ever get to where we are going? If we are unaware of our position on things, then how will we ever be able to effectively explain our faith to anyone? We won't. To that end, it stands that we must explore ourselves and determine why we do what we do. Whether it be the movies we see, the TV shows that we watch, or even the sports that we play, it all adds up to create our relation to pop culture. Christianity Today did an awesome job throughout this book, of assisting me to see my life in relation to pop culture. I'm a huge believer in the fact that we have to strive for awareness in our every moment. This book is a quick and very easy "study" tool. You won't gain a ton of knowledge, but you will explore your very own life and make a determination about where you stand on what many would call the most important issues that this generation faces. It personally challanged me to think about the things that I'm doing. Something I don't normally do!
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Review 10 for Faith and Pop Culture: Christianity Today Study Series
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Date:May 22, 2009
Christianity Todays Study Series Faith and Pop Culture was my first introduction to this particular study series published by Thomas Nelson. It is divided into 8 Sessions, which can easily be completed in 8 weeks. The layout is nice and simple: Intro, Christianity Today article pertaining to Session subject matter, an opening exercise for groups to complete, a little more depth on the subject, and finally a study section. The media genres covered include art, movies, literature, sports, television, and so forth. On that note, and as a Book Review Blogger for Thomas Nelson (http://www.brb.thomasnelson.com), I must say that in reviewing this particular title (which was actually a quick read), I was left wanting. While I found the subject matter engaging, I simply felt it would have been better suited for a small book filled with editorials rather than segmented into an actual study. Again, it was very interesting, but I suppose I grow annoyed when every subject is packaged in a Bible study format. I would rather start with Gods Word, study it, then learn how to apply it to entertainment, rather than trying to apply entertainment to Gods Word. Of course, this is just my two cents! Its still an interesting read.
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Review 11 for Faith and Pop Culture: Christianity Today Study Series
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:May 19, 2009
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Kristi Stephens
I so appreciated what the editors attempted to do in this study. I found the articles at the beginning of each chapter to be thought provoking they are well written and not simplistic. That being said, it is pretty much a guarantee that they will spark discussion in any group of serious believers - some will heartily agree, some will vehemently disagree. The interesting thing about this study is that it does not seek to draw clear-cut lines on these matters of "gray area," but rather presents a topic in order to stimulate thoughtful discussion.After the article, each chapter then has ice-breaker type activities. I thought many of these seemed a bit too youth-group-esque for an adult group. I think we would normally skip them and do our own thing!My main objection to this study, being a person who deeply desires the Church to know the Word of God, is that the Scripture passages used in each session are not the primary focus. The primary focus is the article and people's reactions to it. I think for this study to be more complete, the leader would have to invest some time in actually studying the passage and not just reading it for a few shallow discussion questions that follow. But again, this is a discussion-based application-dense study... perhaps instead of a "Bible study" it should be called a "How-to-live-out-what-you-already-know discussion group." :)This would be a great launching point for discussion amongst grounded, serious believers. For "seeker" type groups or groups full of very young believers, this topic would probably be appealing but I think the treatment of Scripture is far insufficient to give them a proper Biblical base for what they are discussing together. The discussion would very easily boil down to my opinion against yours, rather than looking at how Biblical Truth intersects with our daily lives.
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Review 12 for Faith and Pop Culture: Christianity Today Study Series
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:May 12, 2009
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Sarah keery
Are you a couch potato? Love movies so much you have to go and see them the day they are released? Or do you not allow your children to watch TV and only have Christian books in the house? No matter who you are or what your views are on media, this study is for your small group. Posing easy ice-breakers based on your favorite films, books, etc, and having a pre-session reader written by a variety of Christian writers, this resource is not biased for or against todays modern media. The book is biblically based, using Scripture to create discussion rather than prove a point. With space to write your answers, this book invites you to think carefully about your choices without casting aspersions. With clear guidelines and rules set out at the front of the book, groups should feel comfortable in expressing their opinions without feeling their opinions are right or wrong.I read this book alone and plan to use it as a small group study for our ladies bible study group and also something for my husband and me to muse over now we are parents of two young children.
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Review 13 for Faith and Pop Culture: Christianity Today Study Series
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:May 12, 2009
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Teri Lynne Underwood
Christianity Today Study SeriesFaith and Pop CultureChristianity Today has produced an excellent tool for opening both discussion and the Bible and considering culture and its impact on our faith practices. Faith and Pop Culture is one of eight books in this series and offers a framework for addressing a Biblical response to many areas of todays world.Each of the eight sessions in this study provides the following segments: Before You Meet - an article to be read before the group meeting; Open Up - activities designed to give group members the opportunity to interact and consider the impact of the topic in their lives; The Issue - a discussion of the topic area and its impact in current culture; Reflect - selections from Scripture relating to the issue; Lets Explore - consideration of the Scriptures read and their application to daily life choices; and Going Forward - opportunity to discuss application.Faith and Pop Culture provides an excellent tool for engaging individuals in a serious discourse about how faith and culture interact in our lives. By discussing topics including Art, Literature, Sports, Television, and Movies, this is a relevant and compelling study of Scripture and how we, as believers, function within this modern world.I highly recommend this study and believe it would be especially useful with older teens and young adults. Finding quality material for leading Bible studies for these age groups is an increasingly difficult task. Material such as Faith and Pop Culture gives me great hope that we can effectively reach this very tough crowd. Kudos to Christianity Today for creating such meaningful and relevant material! Faith and Pop Culture was received through the Book Review Blogger program at Thomas Nelson, Inc. For more information about this opportunity, see www.brb.thomasnelson.com.
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Review 14 for Faith and Pop Culture: Christianity Today Study Series
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:March 31, 2009
In this new study series from the magazine Christianity Today, Faith and Pop Culture challenges our beliefs. Whether or not we like it, movies, TV, the internet is all here to stay. As believers, we need to know how to live in this culture and still be relevant. We also need to have discernment in what we watch.The study looks at the following areas and how they fit into our belief system:1. Movies2. Books3. Sports4. TV5. EntertainmentI err on the side of avoiding media that might be questionable, but I have learned not be judgemental if others. Everyone has their own struggles, and it's not up to me to decide what people should or shouldn't do. This study is a good springboard toward a discussion on the influence of media and how to deal with it. This is definitely best for a small group study.
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Review 15 for Faith and Pop Culture: Christianity Today Study Series
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:March 18, 2009
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Bill Colburn
Christianity Today has published eight books in this study series. This most current study is a timely and very useful study asking the question of how Christianity and culture can best interact. There are eight session dealing with movies, literature, sports, television, whether or not Christians should only engage family friendly entertainment, watch programs with gratuitous violence, reasonably expect to work in and be a Christian influence in Hollywood, and whether or not a life of faith is compatible with our cultures obsession with being entertained.Each lesson begins with recommended scripture references, followed by a thought provoking article, a couple of activities designed to open up discussion, presentation of the issue, exploration through a number of discussion questions, ending with application questions. Honestly, the more I read through this particular study guide, the more impressed I was. So many guides ask relatively useless questions that are not inviting or engaging in the least. This was certainly not the case in this guide. The authors did not dumb it down, rather each article and question was clearly well thought through, making the whole guide a spiritually challenging guide.For those who might expect a discussion on this particular topic by any Christian organization to be packed with bait and switch tactics i.e. appearing open-minded in the beginning, but then aggressively force-feeding the same old prohibitions and apocalyptic threats you will be pleasantly surprised. This study guide refreshingly elicits thinking without being a tell you book. I would highly recommend it for small group studies among teens or adults of any age. It is a must study for all Christians.
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