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Pop Goes Religion: Faith in Popular Culture Paperback – November 13, 2005
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In Pop Goes Religion, we get a collection of columns Terry composed over the last several years on a wide range of topics, including music, musicians, movies, TV, books, personalities, etc. They are concise and make good points. Don't worry. He is not a boycott organizer or an inflammatory voice. He doesn't rant and rave against Hollywood. Nor does he hold back when illuminating the shortcomings of Christians when it comes to being good influences on culture. Why do most Christians sit on the sidelines and just complain?
His observations will be found interesting by Christians, people of other faiths and the non-religious (I think that is everyone). Some of these columns are a bit dated, having been written about events or movies that were current as many as 6 years ago, but I still found them interesting. The movies may not be playing, but the ideas are still quite pertinent.
BTW: All of these columns and more may be found in the archives on his website.
As Mattingly stood there, a vaguely familiar voice came from behind and asked, "Port Arthur Teen Club, right?" He turned around and there stood Rock and Roll Hall-of-Famer Billy J. Gibson, lead singer and guitarist for the trio ZZ Top. Mattingly met Gibson when he was a teenager in Texas in the early 1970s, hanging out at a local music club called the Port Arthur Teen Club and helping bands set up for their gigs. The hottest band in the area in those years was ZZ Top. Mattingly had used that connection a decade later to get past security and interview ZZ Top when they finally made it big. And though even more years had passed since then, Gibson remembered the erstwhile reporter.
At that moment, the elevator doors opened and two worlds collided.Read more ›
This "collection of snapshots from the front lines of the pop-culture wars" is divided into five areas of about 10 articles each: music, movies, TV, books, and church and family. Each article is about 2-pages and 5-minutes long. Voices of preachers, producers, writers, and others populate the page. Just right.
As to Mattingly's motive: perhaps it's found in his quote from a book by George Barna and Mark Hatch: "From commercials to sitcoms... to hit songs.... to talk shows, God's principles are challenged every moment of every day, in very entertaining, palatable and discreet ways. Few Christians currently have the intellectual and spiritual tools to identify and reject the garbage."
While Mattingly doesn't presume to equip everyone with the requisite tools, he does expose and comment on the issues in a meaningful way. For anyone looking for insight into popular culture through the lense of faith/Christianity, I recommend Pop Goes Religion. Sample more of Mattingly's writing in his weekly newspaper column, "On Religion", and at GetReligion.org.
The cover says it well graphically what the reader can expect to find within its pages: comments on how fims, books and music such as U2, Harry Potter, Simpsons, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, etc. engage the popular culture with religion, especially with author's interest in Christianity.
I found all this engaging, except that he doesnt' provide much in the way of supporting how a Christian can be faithful yet engage with pop culture so opposed to truth. His point however that the church should not abandon cultural areas of arts and music in film, books, TV, etc. is well taken. When the church as current evidence provides models the culture in this, it doesn't really contribute anything to the cultural tide. Take the history of church in these areas and great cultural contributors did their work from within, and went on to influence the culture somewhat, e.g. Bach.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
THE BOOK WAS IN GOOD SHAPE. THE SHIPPMENT WAS FAST AND FAIR. I WOULD BUY AGAIN. HAVE A NICE DAY IN YOUR WORLD.Published on June 3, 2012 by dave
this is a good book that tells the background on some of cultures most popular people and items. We can look for the spiritual in all things. Read morePublished on September 20, 2009 by 4fabfelines
Terry Mattingly is one of the best commentators on the point where the secular meets the sacred in the public square. Read morePublished on October 11, 2006 by Labarum