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The Day Metallica Came to Church: Searching for the Everywhere God in Everything Paperback – August 10, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Square Inch (August 10, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592554954
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592554959
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.7 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #699,062 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

The idea that God can be found in all things is nothing new in Christianity. Still, some contemporary believers are reticent to search for God in popular culture, which is often dubbed a lower form of entertainment. Van Sloten, a pastor and former real estate developer, cannot help seeing God everywhere, and he goes to great lengths to help his congregation do the same. Whether heavy metal music, sports, or blockbuster films, the author mines a large swath of U.S. pop culture and adroitly connects people s desire to enjoy these entertainments with their desire to find God. All along he cautions against replacing or equating God with music and mass media, but he never dilutes the message about God s omnipresence in human life. Not all Christians will be comfortable with the author's suggestions, but many others will appreciate his ability to discern the holy in everyday life, especially in those areas too often considered secular. (Aug.) --Publishers Weekly

An artistic and playful reminder that, though the Church is God's primary instrument for changing the world, that doesn't mean God is limited to religious stuff. Scriptures are filled with God working in unlikely and scandalous ways, through brothel owners and adulterous kings and reborn terrorists. And just as the Scripture says the rocks can cry out, John Van Sloten reminds us that so can the rock stars. May we find something of God in these pages that can help us love better... and change the world. --Shane Claiborne

John Van Sloten finds divine revelation in a cup of cappuccino and at an NHL hockey game, but he's far from naive; indeed, his brand of faith is as deep and expansive as his joy is infectious. These are the profoundly humble, intelligent, yearning ramblings of a seeker with wide open eyes and the courage to shove aside conventions of church-culture to discover grace and goodness.

Van Sloten manages to turn everyday events such as getting on a plane, watching the Discovery Channel and listening to a Beatles' song into startling acts of love and hope. --Jacquie Moore, Senior Writer, Swerve magazine, The Calgary Herald

An artistic and playful reminder that, though the Church is God's primary instrument for changing the world, that doesn't mean God is limited to religious stuff. Scriptures are filled with God working in unlikely and scandalous ways, through brothel owners and adulterous kings and reborn terrorists. And just as the Scripture says the rocks can cry out, John Van Sloten reminds us that so can the rock stars. May we find something of God in these pages that can help us love better... and change the world. --Shane Claiborne

John Van Sloten finds divine revelation in a cup of cappuccino and at an NHL hockey game, but he's far from naive; indeed, his brand of faith is as deep and expansive as his joy is infectious. These are the profoundly humble, intelligent, yearning ramblings of a seeker with wide open eyes and the courage to shove aside conventions of church-culture to discover grace and goodness.

Van Sloten manages to turn everyday events such as getting on a plane, watching the Discovery Channel and listening to a Beatles' song into startling acts of love and hope. --Jacquie Moore, Senior Writer, Swerve magazine, The Calgary Herald

More About the Author

John Van Sloten is founding pastor of New Hope Church in Calgary, Alberta, a community committed to listening for the echo of God's voice in the most unexpected places.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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I also appreciated the author's personal accounts woven within.
JLK
The main thing, I suppose, is that upon reading this book you may see God in more places.
Ed
Written well, fully engaging, Van Sloten's book and life story will do you wonders.
Rodger Rice

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By terdsie on October 11, 2010
Format: Paperback
The Day Metallica Came To Church
John Van Sloten

Square Inch, Faith Alive Christian Resouces

What do the music of Metallica and Bach, the film Crash, and stories about Batman have in common?
According to author and pastor John Van Sloten, God can speak through all of them -- if we're listening. Out of his own startling and sometimes wrenching journey of discovery, Van Sloten shows how God can speak to us through anything and everything -- Heavy metal music, R-rated films, sports, and even the latest fashions. If you're listening, this book might change the way you hear God's voice -- and how you live in today's world.

I was intrigued by the premise of Metallica visiting a church where the pastor was planning on preaching using the lyrics and music of Metallica to bring out the truth of God. I had an opportunity to read the first chapter online before getting this book, and the actual story of Metallica (or their representatives, as the band was in another city) visiting the church piqued my interest. The online version of the story ended with the first chapter of the book and I was excited to find out more to the story. Unfortunately, that first chapter encompassed the entirety of Metallica's visit to church that one day. I read on, hoping that Van Sloten would come back to it and give more detail about the sermon, or the reaction by the congregation, of the community reaction of a pastor blasting Metallica through the church speakers. Sadly, that never happened. However, I was introduced to a concept I had never considered before: The concept that there are two different texts of scripture -- The Holy Bible, and the world itself.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By kristyq on August 16, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book explores the theology behind what Christian artists and masters in their field seem to intuit--God reveals himself and his love for his creation in many unexpected places. Christians who are searching to express beauty in their music, words, painting, and films often sense that they see God revealed in all sorts of creative work, even if the person doing the creating is not a Christian. It has a lot to do with common grace, a term many of us know but don't always think through. He says, "God's goodness surrounds all people. God's truthful light doesn't discriminate; it shines everywhere. And it's shining more brightly and consistently than we realize."
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13 of 19 people found the following review helpful By S. Peek VINE VOICE on November 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is a book with a catchy title and not much else of value.

It is full of subjective 'spiritual' observations that have little to do with Christianity as revealed in the Scriptures. The author, John Van Sloten, presents a picture of God that has much more in common with pantheistic thought than it does in anything from the New Testament. He seems to think that God is in everything, including his toaster and laundry basket no doubt.

The author likes to take various things from pop culture and elsewhere and try to relate them to the Christian message. That would be fine if done in an appropriate way, but it is not. For example, he discusses Van Gogh's painting, 'Still Life With An Open Bible' in relation to French writer Emile Zola's 'La Joie de Vivre'. Van Sloten seems to agree with another writer that both Zola's work and the Bible 'preach the same gospel. Same truth different story.' Perhaps he should read 2 Timothy 3:16: 'All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness.' Maybe Mr. Van Sloten thinks the Apostle Paul was not well enough informed in failing to mention various novels, rock songs, and paintings in this passage.

In another section he is discussing Van Gogh's parents' criticism of some things in 'Les Miserables'. Mr. Van Sloten mocks Van Gogh's parents and says, 'they could only go so far in experiencing God if they weren't fully engaging and reading all that God had written'. Apparently now Victor Hugo's great story should be considered part of sacred Scripture with divine authorship. I love Les Miserables myself, but come on, get real.

Another part that boggles the imagination is the author's discussion of 'tacit worship'.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Zaak Robichaud on August 17, 2010
Format: Paperback
"The Day Metallica Came to Church" explores the theological belief that God seeks to redeem all of creation, not just at the end of time, but now, with us, today. It affirms the Christian (and Jewish) belief that God created the world and that everything good and all truth is a direct consequence God's original creation and continued work. Jesus is alive and continues to speak to us in parables, except now (in our case) instead of speaking to agrarian 1st century Jews, He's speaking to urban, scientific, plugged in, entertainment focused, 21st century global community. This belief elevates Christ as Lord of all creation.

The author offers a way to live within this belief system through personal experience and how he is living it in his church community. He does this by both exploring creation for truths that he knows to be true biblically, but can more deeply understand through experience - through popular music (hence Metallica featuring prominently in this journey), world of finance, film, scientific discoveries, art, nature, sport and an ongoing examination of cultural phenomena.

It is not however solely focused on pop-culture and creation, but joins it with the Bible. We understand God's truth more deeply when we allow the Bible and pop-culture to speak to each other.

I highly recommend the book. It affirms much of what I already believed to be true and gives credence to this notion that we shouldn't be condemning everything for their brokenness, but rather joining with God in the good work of restoration and hearing what God's intentions are for us.
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