Christianity and Popular Culture – Part 1

I want to start a series of posts in which we will look at the subject of Christianity and popular culture. When I refer to popular culture in this article, I am referring to means of communication such as music, art, literature, movies, and social media. These forms of media are related to culture in that they represent (and in some cases influence) the views of people in society. From my observation, there are a variety of relationships between Christianity and popular culture, and they are described below:

    Christian perspective on secular media

This involves analyzing secular media to compare the values promoted with Biblical principles. The idea is that, by approaching media this way, you protect yourself from unbiblical influences while using popular media to remind yourself of Biblical principles.

    Christianity in secular media

This involves media that is basically secular; however, it contains favorable references to elements of Christianity or the Bible. Sometimes, political speeches and talk shows exhibit this relationship.

    Reinterpreting themes of secular media

This involves taking common themes of secular media, and framing them so that they fit with Biblical principles. The resulting media is not always explicitly Christian, but it aims to be Biblically compatible nonetheless. Contemporary Christian music is often an example of this relationship.

    Christian subculture

This involves media that is primarily marketed to Christians, intending to serve as an alternative to secular pop culture. Media in this category often attempts straightforward reinforcement of Biblical principles. Stylistic elements of such Christian media may be influenced by the secular counterparts, but thematic aspects are meant to be distinct. Christian music and movies may fall in either this category or the previous one.

So, in subsequent posts, I am going to analyze each relationship above, and discuss the advantages of each one, as well as possible problems they could cause if over-relied on. As always, feel free to comment with your own experiences.

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