Tuesday, May 12, 2015

All You Want to Know About The Bible in Pop Culture by Kevin Harvey (book review)

I love pop culture. I grew up in the Saved by the Bell, N'Sync vs. BSB, Rugrats, Daria, MTV era. In my family, we watched tv all the time; I hardly remember it being turned off. Now, not saying that's right or wrong, but it's definitely influenced my life.

I've had many influences between childhood and college and adulthood, but pop culture really does intertwine still with my life. I love movies and watching tv, although I'm finding it harder to find things that I deem appropriate for me.
image via BookLook
The Bible and God have changed my life drastically, but I still enjoy pop culture. I enjoy watching the tv show Bones, Marvel and DC comic movies, reading to my kiddos about Star Wars. Of course, "The Bible in Pop Culture" by Kevin Harvey caught my attention. I've read books and articles about how Christ is reflected in Superman and Star Wars, so I thought I'd enjoy reading more about that phenomenon.

Turns out a lot more than superheroes are influenced by the Word of God. This book starts out talking about superheroes that (imperfectly) reflect Christ. He talks more about the movie-versions than comic book versions, but still applicable.

Harvey goes on to talk about finding snippets of Christ and God in imperfect movies like Bruce Almighty, The Book of Eli (one of my favorites), and Signs. I really like how he says that non-believers are seeing these movies and maybe want to have a dialogue about them, but if we as believers aren't seeing these movies, how can we have that dialogue? Not saying we need to see every single movie out there but we shouldn't be closed off to movies because they are Hollywood.

I really enjoyed the section of the book where Harvey talks about kid movies like The Lego Movie, Frozen, The Croods. I read some of these sections to my kids to open their eyes to the wonder that God is truly in everything. He permeates our world in ways unimaginable to us. Harvey writes about Despicable Me and how there are the true orphans in the movie but Gru is also an emotional orphan and God welcomes such orphans into His family, just like Gru eventually opens his heart to Agnes, Edith, and Margo. Small things I hadn't seen in these movies that my kids love that I can share with them about Christ and God's overarching plan of sacrifice and love.

Harvey goes on to write about The Mindy Project, Lost (which has a lot of Christ symbolism in it), The Big Bang Theory, the movie Saved!, The Kardashians, Duck Dynasty, and then songs about heaven and love. His basic point is that these are starting points where we can talk about Christ with others who may not know Him.

I really enjoyed the Bible quizzes and who said it first (there's a whole chapter on sayings that are popular today that originated in the Bible), and the mazes and puzzles at the end of the book.

This book is not for everyone. I live in an area where there's a group of people who don't watch any tv. Great for them. I limit and prohibit a lot from my children's lives, too, but they still watch some things. I want what they watch to nourish them in some way: educationally, spiritually. I love watching superhero things with them (NOT the grown up movies which are for GROWN UPS), but I love to point out how super so-and-so used his power to help others or this is what kindness looks like. Things like that than can be used by God to further their growth with Him.

Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for an honest review. Others may or may not share my opinions. 


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