I have been skeptical about Bible study series that examines pop culture. Part of the reason is that my wife is a dancer and choreographer and through her I have met actors, directors, artists, musicians – all who make their living in the arts and all of whom are believers. Almost all the Bible study material I see about the arts or pop culture is shallow, and negative. Yet the people I know who are in the arts are passionate Jesus followers.
When I received this book for review I was not expecting much. However these eight, small group, studies on Pop Culture pleasantly surprised me.
Each study begins with an article written by one of the Christianity Today writers on the topic to be studied. Then you can follow one of two options to launch a group discussion. The come further discussion questions, reflections & passages from scripture – all helping you and the group explore the given topic.
The eight studies explore art, literature, sports, and television – should all entertainment be family friendly, violence in entertainment, Christians in Hollywood and is the cultures cry of entertainment compatible with a life of faith.
These are very deep subjects and are challenging to explore, especially in a group context. I especially liked session 5 – ‘Cover Your eyes’ – must all entertainment Christians enjoy be family friendly. Jeffery Overstreet’s excellent article will raise many questions and cause much for discussion, thought and prayer.
My only ‘criticism’ of these studies is that there is a LOT to do in the sessions. To keep a session to say an hour will need much discipline – partly because you want to tackle all the questions. Of course you can run one session over two weeks.
However, I think this is a very useful and well-done Bible Study resource. It will certainly be a change of departure for the normal small group study – and that for me is definitely a good thing!!