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All God's Children and Blue Suede Shoes (With a New Introduction / Redesign): Christians and Popular Culture (Turning Point Christian Worldview) Paperback – February 29, 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

In All God's Children and Blue Suede Shoes Ken Myers looks at the entire phenomenon of popular culture--its roots, assumptions, practices, and effects. The result is a provocative book that shows how our thought, communication, and living have all been affected by popular culture's omnipresence. It should make us take a hard look at what we've accepted as harmless entertainment. --Ted Prescott, sculptor, past president of Christians in the Visual Arts

Ken Myers has made an excellent contribution here, dealing not only with the roots of popular culture in social history and philosophy but also with its ultimate impact on character. --Dick Keyes, L'Abri Fellowship

A magnificent and timely book. Fresh, witty, informative, trenchant, and eminently sane, Ken Myers's book is a must for thoughtful evangelicals. . . . I only hope there are enough of them left to read it. --Os Guinness --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.

Review

“A magnificent and timely book. Fresh, witty, informative, trenchant, and eminently sane, Ken Myers's book is a must for thoughtful evangelicals... I only hope there are enough of them left to read it.”
Os Guinness, cofounder, The Trinity Forum; author, The Call

“In All God's Children and Blue Suede Shoes Ken Myers looks at the entire phenomenon of popular culture–its roots, assumptions, practices, and effects. The result is a provocative book that shows how our thought, communication, and living have all been affected by popular culture's omnipresence. It should make us take a hard look at what we've accepted as harmless entertainment.”
Ted Prescott, Sculptor, former president of Christians in the Visual Arts

“Ken Myers has made an excellent contribution here, dealing not only with the roots of popular culture in social history and philosophy but also with its ultimate impact on character.”
Dick Keyes, L'Abri Fellowship

“This book is a modern classic on discerning culture from a Christian perspective. Because of its interdisciplinary range, engaging style, and sophisticated analysis, All God's Children and Blue Suede Shoes is a needed antidote to worldliness, especially in its less detectable and socially acceptable forms. It makes a fine text for sociology, aesthetics, and evangelism courses at the college and graduate levels.”
Doug Groothuis, Professor of Philosophy, Denver Seminary; author, Christian Apologetics

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Product Details

  • Series: Turning Point Christian Worldview (Book 7)
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway; With a New Introduction / Redesign edition (February 29, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433528223
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433528224
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #222,107 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is one terrific book. Ken Myers delves deeply into popular culture. He does a great job of grounding his research and findings in a theological framework. He cites everyone from C.S. Lewis to Bob Dylan to G.K. Chesterton to Bo Diddley.
This book is so needed today. So much of pop evangelicalism and even the mainline churches have unwisely and unthinkingly schmaltzed the Church's glorious message into a dumbed-down, styrofoam, homogenized pop culture framework and are submerging the Church's heritage into it. (See Marva Dawn's book "Reaching Out Without Dumbing Down"). I refuse to listen to my local Christian radio station because they've pretty much pancaked their format to just watered-down pop Christian music, pretty much devoid of hymnody or anything with any history to it. What if the World War II generation had demanded that the Church's glorious history and hymnody be replaced by Lawrence Welk-style tunes? That's exactly what's happening today.
Read Myers' book to find out the values of popular culture and how they compare to high and folk cultures. This book will provide you with much great background, and, most importantly, helps you to think Christianly. It's creative, intelligent and a very enjoyable read.
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For several years I have enjoyed Ken Meyers Mars Hill Audio Journal periodically as he brings together people from all fields and disciplines to teach people the importance of thinking religiously from an interdisciplinary place of depth and meaning.

This book is a serious and stern critique of popular culture and it's main medium: television. Although some reviewers of this book have considered it a little highbrow, if not extreme, to be useful, I would wholeheartedly disagree. If you feel that way by the end of chapter two simply read it like you would Kierkegaard- "don't be put off by the hyperbole or generalizations, he's making an important point so don't miss it."

Meyers main thrust in the book is that post 60's there is a firmly established thing called popular culture mediated to us in images and that this cultural medium is making us dumber. He argues popular culture, in distinction to folk culture and high culture, does not do what the great artists of the past did, and that this is often true because it is the product of jaded marketers instead of real artists. The artists of high and folk culture tended to draw us into human universals. They stretched us, and experiencing their art was a human exercise of the mind and affections. We had to work at it to understand and we experienced either a clarification, a deepening appreciation, or a revelation of something we somehow didn't know but knew we should have known. The artist helped us become more human by drawing us into a more developed experience with a human universal.

Contrary to this, popular art does not do this with nearly the same frequency or depth.
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Format: Paperback
Ken Myers explores what popular culture really promotes. This is not a book for those who are seeking reasons to put down secular rock n' roll and replace it with Christian rock n' roll. The discussion focuses mainly upon the medium of information, not just the content. The book is documented thoroughly and he strongly supports each of his points. He examines what values/aesthetics popular culture rallies around, and what values/aesthetics Christian should support. Is there something about TV, rock music, MTV, etc that is against Christian values? Do they support instant gratification and lower disciplie? Ken Myers offers something everyone needs to see.
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Still a classic after all these years, Blue Suede Shoes provides lots of food for thought for Christians but also for those outside the faith who have concerns regarding the shallow thinking that many popular cultural trends encourage. "The aesthetic of immediate and constant entertainment does not prepare the human consciousness well for recognition of a holy, transcendent, omnipotent and eternal God, or to responding to His demands of repentance and obedience." (page 132)

As valuable as this text is, however, the huge cultural changes that have continued since the book was written in 1989, especially the impact of the Internet, iPods, etc., call out for a much-needed update. In addition, the book's arguments are sometimes weakened by Myers' tendency to equate "culture" (versus "pop culture" which he generally pans) with only "classical," European and American music, painting and sculpture. Nonetheless, this remains essential reading for anyone interested in popular culture and its influence on thought and behavior in today's society.

With the need for updating and the less than expected acceptance of culture from other backgrounds, this very good text only earns 3 stars.
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Format: Paperback
From telling us what culture is and the various levels of it to what it means to be "in the world but not of it," Myers delivers the best to date analysis of culture and Christianity. Of the numerous insights he gives, one of the favorites is: schools do not just give knowledge, they do cultural assimilation. And we wonder why our schools are letting us down! This is a must read for Christians and those into popular culture!
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