It's possible for Christians to enjoy God through popular culture, and this course will show you how. We live in a popular culture world and this course will teach you how to live in this popular culture world for God's glory. You don't have to follow inconsistent boundaries or embrace popular culture as "mere entertainment." There is a more joyful way! Enjoy God through popular culture.
You will learn
The course is taught through lectures, along with engaging questions, and two popular culture test cases. The course concludes with application questions and a list of other recommended resources for further study.
Why wait? Let's learn to engage popular culture with the Bible and to enjoy God through popular culture.
Christians live in a popular culture world. After hearing this lecture, students will understand that the only option is to engage popular culture with Scripture, rather than attempting to escape this popular culture world. We must seek to live for God's glory in this popular culture world, not in a world that does not exist.
The problem at the heart of living in a popular culture world is that, like everything in life, popular culture is made up of truth and lies interwoven into a complicated web. All of life is a mixture of grace and idolatry. Christians often respond to this reality by either setting up boundaries (isolation) or by embracing popular culture as "mere entertainment" (independence). Although both approaches have their strengths, their weaknesses far outweigh them. After this lecture, students will be able to recognize the weaknesses of isolation and independence and will see that there is a third way, a more joyful approach--that is, to engage popular culture with Scripture.
Since God created all things, everything, including humanity and human purpose, can only be rightly understood in light of who He is. Once students understand who God is, they then will be able to engage popular culture in a way that brings God glory.
God made mankind, male and female, in His image for the purpose of reflecting and worshiping Him. After this lecture students will understand what it means to be created in God's image.
Since mankind is made in God's image, the purpose of engaging popular culture is to worship God. After all, worshiping God is the purpose of all of life for human beings. After this lecture, Christians will know how to recognize God's image in unbelievers. Then, they will be able to take this reflection of God in His fallen image-bearers and return it back to God in light of His creating, sustaining, and redeeming work.
From the beginning, mankind was meant to be dependent on God's word. Since the Fall of man into sin, mankind needs God's word even more. After this lecture, students will know how to enjoy God through popular culture as they engage popular culture with the Bible. They'll know how to accept what God accepts, reject what God rejects, and how to untangle the complicated web of grace-mixed idolatry in popular culture.
In order to enjoy God through popular culture, Christians must 1) Know what the Bible explicitly says and 2) Know what the Bible implicitly says.
In order to enjoy God through popular culture, Christians must understand what popular culture is saying: 1) The surface ideas, 2) The underlying ideas, and 3) Author's purpose.
In order to enjoy God through popular culture, Christians must understand the purpose of Scripture and rightly interpret Scripture. They must also actively apply Scripture to popular culture.
In order to enjoy God through popular culture, Christians must understand how the Bible answers mankind's basic worldview questions: 1) Creation: Where did we come from? 2) Fall: What's wrong with the world? 3) Redemption: How can the world be fixed?
Sometimes, in order to fully enjoy God through popular culture, Christians must possess a basic understanding of philosophy.
Like most forms of popular culture, there are elements in Harry Potter Christians must reject. We must be careful, however, not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Students will learn to reject these elements while holding onto the truths so that they can enjoy God through Harry Potter.
There are elements in Harry Potter that are true because God created them true. Christians will learn how to take these elements, extract them from Harry Potter, and connect them to God in light of His creating, sustaining, and redeeming work so that they may enjoy God through Harry Potter.
There are elements of The Walking Dead that Christians should reject in order to enjoy God. Christians also should never violate their consciences.
Christians will learn that The Walking Dead, like all forms of popular culture (and life for that matter), is grace-mixed idolatry.
Christians will learn how to enjoy God through The Walking Dead by rejecting the idolatry, extracting the grace and qualifying it with the truth of man's sinful condition and Christ's redeeming work to save sinners.
Here are several books that you will find beneficial as you seek to engage popular culture with Scripture and enjoy God through popular culture.
My name is Jared Moore. I was dead in my sin and God raised me to life in Christ Jesus. Because of Him, I will live forevermore. I've served in pastoral ministry since 2000. I currently pastor New Salem Baptist Church in Hustonville, KY. I've earned several degrees, and I'm still learning:
B.A. in Biblical Studies from Trinity College of the Bible in Newburgh, IN
M.A.R. in Biblical Studies from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary in Lynchburg, VA
Master of Divinity in Christian Ministry from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS) in Louisville, KY
Th.M. in Systematic Theology (ABT) from SBTS
Ph.D. Student in Systematic Theology at SBTS (Graduate in May 2017)
In addition to being a pastor, I'm also a teaching assistant for Dr. Bruce Ware at SBTS. My wife Amber and I reside in Hustonville, KY with our four children.