Book Review: Popologetics
by Dave Jenkins
Popologetics: Popular Culture in Christian Perspective, by Ted Turnau is a masterful, engaging, and very helpful examination into how Christians can take too seriously Jesus’ teaching to be “in the world but not of the world” (John 15:19; 17:14-16). The book contains three parts with twelve chapters. The author in part one grounds his teaching in the Word by explaining in chapter four what creation, the fall, and redemption have to teach Christians about popular culture. In taking this approach (creation, fall, and redemption) the author grounds his teaching in the Word of God in order to help Christians to rightly engage the culture with the Word of God.
In part two the author goes through five not so helpful responses to popular culture: the first is “the what, me worry?” approach, the second, the “Ew-yuck” response, the third, “We’re above all that” approach, fourth, “imagophobia”, and finally “cheerleaders of postmodernism”. In the final section the author seeks to help us “think critically about popular culture and its worldviews, we are given the opportunity to reflect on God’s grace, expose idolatry (which shows the excellence and power of the true God by contrast), and shows the relevance and beauty of the gospel” (214). In order to do this the author explores five questions: first, “What’s the story?”; second, “where am I (the world of the text)?” third, “what’s good and true and beautiful about it?”; fourth “what’s false and ugly and perverse about it?”, and finally “how does the gospel apply here?” (215).
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The approach of Popologetics will help Christians to “engage the broader culture conversations that involve you, your family, your friends, the folks you work with, and the folks you relax with. It will allow you to enter into dialogue with them and speak truth into their lives with sensitivity, insight, and grace. And maybe, just, maybe, it will help you love these people and be salt and light in the lives of those around you” (xix).
Understanding what apologetics is and what approach to take in apologetics is vital. In this helpful book the author points out weaknesses with other views of apologetics, and sets forth the following for engaging in apologetics…
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