I’m constantly looking for ways to relate to the children that I teach, so when I saw the book All You Want to Know About the Bible in Pop Culture: Finding Our Creator in Superheroes, Prince Charming, and Other Modern Marvels, I immediately requested it for review because I was hoping to find some great ideas for the future.
In this book, author Kevin Harvey, takes several examples of pop culture and uses them as avenues for exploring the Bible. This is a good thing. He also takes idioms and cultural references and pinpoints them in the Bible, and he also shows examples of Christian portrayal in popular shows and movies. He acknowledges at the forefront that no media is going to give a full portrayal of God and that the Bible is the only thing that can give that portrayal.
This work is slight, full of movie and television references, and is helpful if you’re looking for ideas to relate to young Christians or those who are not yet converted. As someone who uses these kind of pop culture references to plan family movie nights at our church, I feel that this is fun read. However, one of my main disappointments is that I felt like many of Harvey’s main examples of pop culture references, such as Bruce Almighty, Lost, The Book of Eli, and Firefly are ten years old or more. The others tended to be superhero movies or cartoons, both franchises often geared towards families. Sure, there is a chapter devoted to reality television and passing references to more modern movies and television shows, but given that they were not used as the primary examples of the Bible in pop culture, and we’re surrounded by entertainment media, I found myself wondering what the value is in the current media. I found myself wondering why there were no current examples of television shows that picture Christ. I found myself wondering if maybe that meant that there were currently no great shows that even partially reflect our Christian message–or at least none that don’t have superheroes or cartoon characters.
Perhaps there’s just as much relevance in the shows and examples that Harvey doesn’t include as those that he does. There would have been plenty of room for additional examples. The body of the book is less than 150 pages long and additional length is provided by cross-word puzzles, mazes and other games for increasing Biblical literacy. That makes this volume slight, and in many aspects already ten years behind the tide of primetime television and Hollywood blockbusters.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book through the BookLook Bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review and my opinions are my own.