Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Book Review: Christianity Today Study Series: Faith and Pop Culture

Where is God in Entertainment?
By Lauren Yarger
Being in the world, but not of it. Christians have tried to balance the two existences for centuries and technology throws more balls up in the air than ever for today’s Christians. Christianity Today’s Study Series offers some help: Faith and Pop Culture (Thomas Nelson 2005).

This eight-week small group study offers a host of contributing writers in articles from Christianity Today at the beginning of the lessons focusing on different popular art forms (television, film, sports, literature) and challenges participants to look beyond the culture to find the creative God of scripture through discussion questions, activities and projects. The format is flexible and doesn’t feature a lot of “homework” (in fact, one assignment is to watch a movie).

How do Christians enjoy entertainment without compromising values on things like nudity, violence and other questionable content? How do we make the right choices and even influence society? Shouldn’t God be enough entertainment himself? The study urges discussion on such topics and would be appropriate not only as a church bible study, but as a small group study in a neighborhood or other setting that includes seekers and non-Christians.

While the study delves into some areas of pop culture, others are missing, most notably the theater, music and the internet, the last two being so complex on their own, that they probably would require their own study guides. Other books in the study series are Engaging the Culture, Islam, Politics, Faith and work, The Bible, The Future of the Church and Creation Care.
For more about the book, click here.

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Daily Inspiration

The Blind Side

Read about the real life mom from "The Blind Side."

Lifeway: http://www.lifeway.com/article/?id=169816

Guideposts: http://www.guideposts.com/story/sandra-bullock-blind-side-football?page=0,1

Read Matt Mungle's review of the movie at http://www.buddyhollywood.com/.

Lauren Yarger, Bio

Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences. She co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the 2000 Vermont Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.” She also has written two other dinner theaters, sketches for church services and devotions for Christian artists.

Yarger trained for three years in the Broadway League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Three-Day Training and produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that toured nationally and closed with an off-Broadway run.

In 2008 she was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She writes reviews of Broadway and off-Broadway theater with a Christian perspective for Reflections in the Light (http://reflectionsinthelight.blogspot.com/) and is editor of The Connecticut Arts Connection. She also is a contributing editor for BroadwayWorld.com

She also reviews books for Publisher's Weekly and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. She formerly was Connecticut theater editor for CurtainUp, a national theater web site bsed in New York and a reviewer for American Theater Web.

She also served as Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. and worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.

She is a freelance writer and member of the Drama Desk, The Outer Critics Circle, The American Theater Critics Association, The League of Professional Theatre Women and The CT Critics Circle.

A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Yarger lives with her husband in West Granby, CT and has two adult children.

Copyright Notice

All contents copyright © Lauren Yarger 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013. All rights reserved. For reprint permission, contact masterworkproductions@yahoo.com.

Scripture from THE MESSAGE Copyright 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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