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Popologetics: Popular Culture in Christian Perspective Paperback – May 7, 2012
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"Ted Turnau does a great service toward helping Christians engage their culture with both conviction and open-mindedness . . . and offers excellent practical application for how to both appreciate pop culture and fairly critique it."
--Brian Godawa, Hollywood Screenwriter, Author of Hollywood Worldviews
"This is one of the freshest and most original books I have read in ages. . . . A fine blend of worldview apologetics and cutting-edge cultural analysis. . . . I thoroughly commend it."
--Richard M. Cunningham, CEO, Intervarsity UK
"A tour-de-force. Written incisively, with appropriate humor, and especially using up-to-date examples from the field of popular culture . . . there is nothing remotely like it in print today. I recommend it enthusiastically." --William Edgar, Professor of Apologetics, Westminster Theological Seminary
This is one of the freshest and most original books I have read in ages. . . . A fine blend of worldview apologetics and cutting-edge cultural analysis. . . . I thoroughly commend it. --Richard M. Cunningham, CEO, Intervarsity UK
A tour-de-force. Written incisively, with appropriate humor, and especially using up-to-date examples from the field of popular culture . . . there is nothing remotely like it in print today. I recommend it enthusiastically --William Edgar, Professor of Apologetics, Westminster Theological Seminary
About the Author
Ted Turnau is a teaching fellow at the International Institute for Christian Studies. He currently teaches cultural and religious studies at Anglo-American University and cultural studies at the Social Science Faculty of Charles University in Prague.
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His method or roadmap for engaging popular cultural texts should be very helpful for Christians who have no purposeful strategy when they encounter a culture that seems so overtly hostile to their values. He doesn’t use the phrase I don’t think in the book, but the explanatory power of the Biblical story makes mincemeat of the idols of culture who think they can play God.
I was so impressed by the book that I taught a class last night at my church about engaging popular culture and used the book as my text. I got some excellent reviews and hopefully helped sell a few more of Ted’s book.
I have one minor caveat from the lavish praise I heap upon this book, and it would not keep it from getting five stars. In the third chapter, “What is a worldview Apologetic?” I was reminded of my time at Westminster Seminary and the seemingly endless arguments about presuppositional vs. evidential vs. classical apologetics. It got to really annoy me because there is no one right way to defend the Christian faith. People the world over have come to faith in every way imaginable, and it’s all good.
In this chapter, Ted sets up a straw man and tries to knock him down. The straw man is that there are apologists who believe in neutral “facts,” and that if just presented clearly enough people will come to faith. He says the Christian worldview is so much more than a set of facts or propositions. Really? Who would disagree with that? The apologists he describes are coldly rational who believe in the autonomous power of reason don’t really exist. I’m not sure why he thinks they do.
I learned about Ted and his book from an interview he did with Brian Auten at Apologetics 315, I’ve probably listened to maybe 70 or 80 of those interviews of a variety of people involved in apologetics, and I doubt one of them would fit the straw man profile Ted puts up. My step brother-in-law is J.P. Moreland, and he’s written some amazingly complex and deep philosophy about the existence of God and morality and so on, and he would never say worldviews don’t matter, or presupposition don’t color a person’s interpretation of the arguments. But the arguments are relevant and need to be made, and some people will either come to faith because of them (by God’s grace and power; I am Reformed after all) or their faith will be strengthened.
That said, I hope this book has a big impact on the Church as it makes its way through an increasingly hostile culture.
This book has a lively tone to it's writing and is easy to read. After reading the book I felt that I now have better tools for reflecting and engaging popular culture. Still I'm left with yearn for deeper understanding.