Christian Culture

Evo X asks why Star Wars is more popular than God. I’ll answer.

My parents were really into the Christian culture thing (my mom even owned a small Christian bookstore home business for a couple years) and so was I until some time in my early 20’s. I watched Veggie Tales, McGee & Me, the Greatest Adventures, Gerbert, and the rest. I listened to the music of Carmen and DC Talk (but not the Newsboys), and tons of Christian metalcore, punk, and hardcore (FaceDown Records!). I read the Left Behind, Wally McDoogle, Baker Street Sports Club (and spin-off), and Lightning on Ice series, among many others. I owned the Picture Bible (the Bible in comic book format), many of the Archie Christian comics, and Heroes of the Faith bible comics (which I thought were pretty cool at the time, because look at that blood and brain matter. That series was surprisingly gory for the Christian culture industry).

So, you can believe me when I say I know that there are people who do (or at least did) try to keep their kids in the Christian culture industry. As far as I can tell, some people in my church still do. I’ve seen kids in my church carrying around their Action Bibles and Christian manga.

The problems are many. First, it doesn’t work unless you isolate your children from non-Christian children. I enjoyed Veggie Tales, but when your friends at school have no idea what “Whoa I ate the bunny” is and are instead referencing the Simpsons (which you’re not allowed to watch) then you want to watch the Simpsons, just so you can understand what “Hi diddly ho, neighbourino” refers to. When the secular culture is omnipresent, its very difficult to confine your kids to Christian culture.

(This can lead to some ridiculous situations. If you can only listen to Christian music or have Christian cultural products, it becomes tempting to try to define what is Christian as broadly as possible, so you can enjoy what your friends do. Every even quasi-spiritual band is scouted for how Christian they were. I’ve watched as young Christians argued that Linkin Park is Christian).

Second, it’s limited. Sure, there are some comics, some shows, and some movies, but there’s only some (and even fewer which are actually good). How many times can your kids watch Veggie Tales before he gets bored? How may times can you turn on the Greatest Adventure, until you get sick of hearing it in the background, much less your kid? There’s more books, but still it’s limited. There are only so many Christian products being produced, you’ll eventually run out. I like metal, there’s some, but not very many, Christian power metal bands. I couldn’t fill my desire for metal on them alone.

Third, it’s comparatively crappy. Everyone, including almost every Christian, knows that Christian cultural productions are not very good. This is especially so in the area of movies and TV. The only truly good Christian movie I can think of was Gibson’s Passion of the Christ, which was created apart from the Christian culture industry. Most of the rest range from crappy to mediocre. As someone in our sphere (I think, I can’t find the piece), wrote on somewhat recently, it takes the whole support system of Hollywood to make a believable movie, and Christians just don’t have that.

It’s somewhat better in books, because those don’t require as much support, but even so: Left Behind was the Christian cultural phenomenon, but the books were decent at best (I read most of them) and the movies (I haven’t seen) were supposedly terrible. Wright’s the best contemporary Christian fiction author I’ve read (by far) and he’s outside the Christian culture industry. TheChristian talent pool is also much smaller, so the likelihood of a spectacular Christian writer is lower. As well, the need many Christians have for works to have an explicit Christian message and to eliminate vice (no swears or drinking) makes subtler and/or realistic stories more difficult, while also severely limiting some genres such as fantasy (ironic, given the predominance of Tolkien and Lewis in the genre, I know) or SF.

Music is also somewhat better. There are some solid bands, but still, Christian music is generally inferior. Besides the talent pool issue, one problem is the Christian music industry attempts to be relevant, which generally ends up meaning they’re chasing whatever trend is popular at the time. So, by the time they actually get around to writing and producing the music, they’re already feeling like mediocre derivatives of trends from a few years ago. KJ-52 is an excellent example of this. He is (was?) the biggest name in Christian rap, but he put out his first CD a year after the Slim Shady LP, and was signed to a Christian label a couple years later. He sounded like an Eminem clone chasing the trend (and naming one of his main tracks Dear Slim didn’t really dispel this). Most Christian music is like this, copying what was popular years, sometimes decades, before. The only genre I can think of where Christians really lead the fore is metalcore (I don’t know how or why Christians became such a strong presence in metalcore, although it might have something with the influence of Living Sacrifice).

The Christian music industry also has the problem of mainstreaming. There’s a general trend that as a Christian band distinguishes themselves and becomes more popular, they begin to tone down the Christianity and lose their distinctiveness. For example, my two favourite bands a decade ago were Disciple and POD. In their early stages, Disciple had a heavy, distinct, and somewhat vicious rap-metal sound with a very strong Christian message (most of their early CD’s contained a sermon as a closing track), but as time went on, they became more popular and started getting some mainstream attention. The music became more generic, less heavy, and the rap-metal sound was replaced by grungy heavy rock. The Christian message was heavily muted. Same with POD, who got a lot of mainstream attention for a Christian band. A band that had a song called “Abortion is Murder” and explicitly named Jesus in their first album, eventually moved to esoteric talk of Zion and Jah, sounding more Rastafarian than Christian. They also moved from a distinct, heavy rap-metal sound to a reggae-infused generic nu-metal. This process has repeated among countless other bands.

That being said, given the nature of the music industry, there are some great Christian bands out there. In metal, Theocracy is one of the best power metal bands, period, while Tourniquet played unique progressive thrash I have yet to see matched. I’m sure most other genres have similar examples.

Finally, a major issue for individuals is cost and availability. Christian stuff simply costs more and is available in fewer places. A mainstream CD costs from $10-15 (CAD) from HMV, which can be found in any mall. A Christian CD from a Christian bookstore is generally $15-20 (or more, I remember one Disciple CD putting me out $28), and you have to drive out of your way to get there. Even buying from Amazon it costs more. I remember the books costing more and the movies costing more. Amazon may be leveling this out, but I remember the price differences being quite significant.

So, the Christian culture thing is possible and people do it, but there are a lot of factors that pull against it and make it difficult. Bu even if you do do it, in the end, it doesn’t really work. Even if you homeschool, eventually your kid will join the rest of the world (unless you do an Amish colony type thing) and secular culture will get him. There’s a huge trend of Christian kids losing their faith in college and the Christian cultural industry is one of the contributors to it. Antibodies to secular culture needs to be built up while young so the child has a hope to resist it. For example, I’m the only one of my siblings to remain a practicing Christian, despite our upbringing in the Christian cultural industry and my parents attempts to limit secular culture. I’ve seen a number fo other families whose Christian-culture raised kids have strayed upon leaving high school. Some come back, some don’t.

A Facebook Poll asked people to list their favorite books; while Harry Potter came in first, 7.2% of people listed the Bible.

Obviously this is not a good way of comparing affection for Star Wars to affection to the Bible, but having interacted with people, 7% feels rather close to the actual percentage of real Christians.

This one is interesting, because despite my regular quotations of the Bible around here, I would likely not list the Bible as being among my favourite books.

I’m not fully sure how to explain it, but there’s something separate between the sacred and the profane. Important sacred things are measured by different standards than mundane things. I wouldn’t read my Bible for fun and enjoyment and I know of few Christians who actually enjoy reading scripture, yet it’s the book I’ve spent the most time reading by far. I wouldn’t call it my favourite book, but it is definitely the most important and influential book in my life. It’s simply measured differently.

Maybe a more relatable example will help. Amazing Grace is simply the most beautiful, emotionally moving song I know. Yet, I have never listened to it for entertainment. It’s not and has never been in my iTunes or on my MP3 player. I would definitely not call it my favourite song. It’s in a separate category all its own, along with other hymns. It’s set apart.

Relatedly, however much I love heavy metal, I’d strongly object if we added heavy metal worship music to my church. It simply wouldn’t be right.

That might be the problem with the Christian cultural industry, particularly music. It is trying to make the sacred profane and bringing the profane into the sacred. Worship music is set apart; the old hymns have a power and meaning to them. Translating that power, that meaning, into popular music is difficult. The Bible has deep truths, translating those into mundane stories of popular fiction is difficult, something only the most skilled wordsmiths are capable of doing right, which is why so much popular Christian literature is so heavy-handedly clunky.  It takes a lot of skill to produce Narnia, very few writers have that skill. While trying to make a mass market thriller spiritually meaningful is a near hopeless task.

One example of the profane infecting the sacred that really rankles me is Grace Like Rain. It’s a “redone” Amazing Grace in contemporary style that adds a course. The song itself is okay if you like CCM, but churches have taken to adding this to the worship music repertoire. So, you’ll be singing along to Amazing Grace, then all of a sudden, out of nowhere, a pop music course of “Hallelujah, grace like rain…” will interject itself, completely ruining the power and atmosphere of the hymn. The sacred song is profaned by the injection of CCM.

The secular and the sacred are separate. Adding the sacred to the secular is difficult and the unskilled will ruin it. Adding the secular to the sacred ruins the sacred. (also, CCM should be kept out of the church).


  1. Interesting thoughts.
    I didn’t really mean to suggest that people ought to avoid some middle ground where they enjoy, say, hymns at church and secular music in the car. Like you say, you can’t cut yourself entirely off from mainstream culture, unless you’re Amish, and mainstream culture has plenty of perfectly nice things. Indeed, my experience with people who try to cut their kids off from everything secular is that it tends to go pretty badly.

    But it seems to me that there are a lot of people who call themselves Christian, but wouldn’t want a “Christian” item even if it were actually just as good and cheap as a similar secular item. Supply and demand work together, after all; if there were a public eager to buy Christian items, more would probably get produced and make their way into local shops.

    I passed a display of Little Golden Books featuring each of the first 4 Star Wars movies today. I really don’t think of Star Wars as aimed at the preschool market, but what do I know? I am slowly accepting the notion that Star Wars may be the common cultural currency of today, like the Iliad of yesteryear.

  2. Good post, but a bit too much cynicism.

    Star Wars is not more popular than God. John Lennon thought he was more popular than God. Then he died. And now no one cares about him.

    You’re right that trying to confine kids to “Christian culture” is a bad idea, full stop. I don’t know why anyone thinks otherwise. The larger problem is Christian parents who want to limit their kids’ exposure to “secular” culture without ever explaining WHY or what the REASONS for their beliefs are.

    You’re right that Christian kids are going to run into non-churched kids at school who have different cultural reference points. Well, that’s why it’s important to make sure our children have at least some other Christian friends. And yes, they are going to have to learn to navigate a world where some people are not going to “get” the Christian culture, but that’s part of growing up.

    Are you familiar with Rod Dreher (at The American Conservative), or his writings on what he’s calling the Benedict Option? He’s been having an ongoing discussion about the best way for Christians to develop their own sub-cultures and communities in an increasingly non-Christian society.

  3. In true worship, the focus is on praising God and exhorting one another. In popular media, the focus is on entertaining ourselves. No way to put the two together without losing one. And ironically, without gospel music, I don’t believe there would be rock and roll.

  4. A lot of this stems from the unnatural fear driven focus that ties up most of Christianity these days. It’s the idea of fear of the world literally causing parents to isolate the secular from their children rather than teach the children how to deal with it.

    There’s so much of it out there that people have sensed a market for it and capitalized upon it. It can be absolutely crappy crap crap, but they’ll buy it because it’s “Christian”. The problem is, as FN points out, that there’s really nothing much different between this stuff and the worldly stuff. South Park even references this in one of their episodes, which ultimately references the “Jesus is My Girlfriend” thing with Christian music, as most of the songs follow the Amy Grant Rule (take a “romantic” song and replace “baby” with “Jesus” or some such thing, and you got a CCM song).

    But to ultimately address the question of the referenced post, it’s a matter of the church not offering anything different than what the world does in terms of message. It does not seek for the holy but for the profane. Notably, much of the old culture was steeped in Christian things, to the point that you must understand Christian religion to understand it (coincidentally where most of the manosphere commentators fail with regards to understanding feminism fully), but as of the last 200-300 years, not so much.

  5. A great example of the difference actually is linked on that original post: Johnny Cash. Listen to some of the music artists of that era go “gospel”. So much better than what passes for “Christian” these days it’s unreal. Most of that is that they really believed it and was incredibly referential towards that material and performed it as intended. Or if they had fun, they were still faithful about it.

    An example of the latter:

  6. It’s weird how Protestants keep wanting some authority to put a label on things to tell them if they’re good and true and not in direct conflict with the Christian faith. One would think that Our Lord, being omniscient, would have realized we’d be in sore need of guidance from the Holy Spirit on these sorts of issues. If only He’d established some sort of institution here in the world, but not of the world, so as to provide a means of passing on His authority and His wisdom to us through the ages. If only that hypothetical institution, instituted by Our Lord during His time on earth, had maybe written down a number of the teachings of Our Lord in like, a book, or something…oh well.

    But if an anti-Christian atheist takes a photograph of a beautiful sunrise over the mountains, I’m supposed to not like it because of the beliefs of the artist? All things created in and of this world are made possible through the Word of Our Lord. Evil doesn’t create, it only corrupts. There are most certainly Christian themes throughout Star Wars and many other films and songs and books and artistic productions even though the artists never had any intention of introducing Christian themes into their work. Because that which is truly beautiful IS Christian. It can be no other. All that is good and beautiful comes from God Who is the Source of all good and beautiful things.

    That said there certainly are things that probably nobody should be watching, but this has nothing to do with their worldly provenance: we ought to avoid them because they are perverted. A movie depicting a married Christian couple engaged in a sweaty and vigorous example of the marital act: there’s nothing “un-Christian” about what they’re doing but the movie is still porn. It’s a perversion of something that is designed by our Creator to be shared between two people alone and not on film with the rest of teh interwebs.

    There are certainly many good, true, edifying and spiritually uplifting works of art which can serve to bring us closer to Our Lord but which shouldn’t be watched by everyone. The Passion is an excellent Christian movie. It’s still not appropriate for a six-year-old to watch it.

    The whole “Christian” entertainment industry is a cop-out by lazy moderns. Personally, I enjoyed the Kirk Cameron Left Behind movie. I mean, it’s B-roll film made on the cheap and the central premise is stupid and doesn’t have any basis in Christian theology (the Rapture: Not in the Bible.) But it’s a story about repenting of sin and turning to the Lord, and I can dig that.

    What makes something appropriate or not has nothing to do with the content. What matters is whether or not it brings us closer to Our Lord. If you’re listening to Underoath as a distraction from prayer, stop doing that. If you’re watching the Da Vinci Code because it’s a way to hang out on the couch for an evening with your family…get a new family. But seriously, the definition of whether something is Christian is if it brings you closer to Christ. Discipleship is something we all have to commit to – it’s not something you can purchase by picking up the right label at the store.

    Shout out to Facedown Records fans though.

  7. Based on your references, I think we might be contemporaries, and I’ve got some thoughts that may help. Apologize if I get long winded but I think it’s important.

    I was personally lucky in that I was raised primarily in the military chaplaincy (my father was career until I went to college), so I was raised Christian but in a way that wasn’t separate in the sense of isolated. There was no Christian bubble in the same way. From my earliest memories I learned how to be a Christian in not so much a hostile (although there was some hostility) as an indifferent world (at the time in England, Christianity seemed to be considered an odd thing to believe in but there wasn’t a lot of vitriol against it on the ground level).

    Combined with that, my father was a wise man. Christianity was something that was never forced on me, he was and is, a traditional Christian in that he believed Christianity had to be a real personal choice to be real. We had rules to live by and he exposed me to Christianity, but I never felt induced. When I became a practicing Christian at about 12, it felt like my choice from beginning to end. I believed in Jesus Christ in the back bedroom of an apartment in London after reading an evangelism comic book. I asked to be baptized, my dad talked to me, and we drove up to the navy chaplaincy at West Ruislip the next Sunday so he could interview me. I was baptized by pouring the Sunday after that.

    After I became a practicing Christian, my father then introduced me to apologetics which we then bonded over for the next six years until I went to college at Baylor. It was really only once we went back to the states that I entered the Christian bubble, which, to be fair wasn’t all bad, but I never really liked. It got I the way of my Christian development more often than not. It was fad prone and hostile to intellectual rigor or any commitment to orthodoxy that made people uncomfortable.

    When I got to college I had no real temptation to junk the faith like many of my contemporaries, because there was no independence to prove, Christianity was always my decision. The apologetics also inoculated me against the village atheist, or village heretic, sophistry pretty thoroughly ( don’t think Baylor is immune just because it’s baptist). I wish I could say it was just because I was awesome, but it really wasn’t. I’m not an example of anything but as insecure as I was I was never insecure about my faith and six years of rigorous doctrine and apologetics was enough that I could mop the floor with the more pernicious nonsense (again, not because I was some sort of awesome guy, but it’s like learning boxing for six years versus slap fighting, it would be weirder if you didn’t win).

    We don’t need Christian Rock, we need parents who are wise enough to let their children choose Heaven or Hell, which they were going to do anyway, and we need the same apologetics and doctrine we’ve developed over a thousand years. Doctrine was associated with “dead orthodoxy” at the time, but nothing could be further from the truth. Doctrine is alive and fearful. Ironically, it’s romantic because it’s demanding, and daring because it doesn’t care about how you feel it only cares about what is actually true.

  8. I agree, somewhat. Keep kids in Christian Schools helps some of that. I spend all of my young life in Christian schools. My education wasn’t worth a crap, as I have ADHD. But, I was spared the secular humanism of the public schools.

    The truth is though, that most kids that are raised in that environment, are raised in a bubble. It’s a double edged sword. It’s good on some points; but it’s bad, when you are having to read how to manuals about sex. (I never had that problem!)

    The difference with me was/is that my parents weren’t in that culture. They let me make my own decisions on music, friends, and so forth. So, I did listen to secular music. Jimi Hendrix was a favorite. As result, I turned out to be a pretty rounded out person. I love Jesus and all, but I didn’t grow up in a bubble.

    Anyhow, just my two cents.


  9. There’s actually a minimum amount of religious education that a gradeschool student requires in order to guarantee a good chance of them sticking to that religion. That’s all that can be “guaranteed” though, a higher percentage of loyalty in the future.


  10. Some observations I’ve made over the years about Christian media culture.

    Art is a reflection of values. Christian culture tries to do the inverse, take values and have it reflect art. This is called bad art and it’s why people disliked Thomas Kinkade’s paintings so much.

    Tolkein’s work, for example, definitely has religious elements to it, but he was adamant about being discreet as possible, which is why he gave C.S. Lewis a hard time about the overt allegorical themes in his Narnia series (albeit intended for children).

    Subtlety is a concept lost on a lot of Christian artists or at least Christian consumers. They think that unless you explicitly say it, you’re not saying it. I almost grimace when I hear lyrics or read lines in a book that were added not for the sake of art but to ensure it passed the “Christian kosher” test.

    Parents who keep their kids from consuming any art that isn’t explicitly Christian shield them from great artwork. This is about as foolish as insisting that Christians shouldn’t read the political works of Murray Rothbard or Ludwig Von Mises because they were secular Jews.

    Unlike artwork of the past regarding religion, they work hard to avoid anything controversial in a way that could make Christians “look bad.” The only the way they will allow violence into their work, for example, is if it concerns a war like World War II, the Civil War, or the Revolutionary War.

    Their art is often drenched in romance, but no nothing to infer they actually have sex, which leads kids to infer that romance is pure but sex is dirty. You can imagine why then kids will read the Bible and be shocked to discover the sex and gore contain in some books and question the double-standards.

    I’m an author and attended a Christian Publishers Conference in the Pacific Northwest and tried to peddle my stuff for a book deal. I was pitching one of my novels to a man who was the head of a major publishing company and he stopped me about ten seconds into the plot summary with this line I won’t forget. “It sounds like a great story but you’ve got two problems. You’re a man and you’re writing about men.”

    Which brings me to my next observations.

    In regards to most Christian art, it caters to two groups; children and women. As the publisher told me, women will go seek out a Christian version of some secular movie, book, or music group they like. Men, on the other hand, will not look for the “Christian” Tom Clancy. They just read Tom Clancy. Case in point: at the publishers conference someone talked about the need for a Christian Twilight/Harry Potter series or another version of The Shack at least a dozen times.

    The movies in particular are atrocious in how they deal with the real world and the solipsism they convey. Dalrock has shown repeatedly just how bad openly Christian films like Courageous and Fireproof are. Then there are the Hallmark Channel or “wholesome” movies that have the same plot; milquetoast nice guy involved in love triangle with a woman between 28-32 (on the cusp of entering her epiphany phase) who initially is head over heels with Harley McBadboy before realizing beta boy actually loves her and they live happily ever after. Half of them are set in the Old West or pioneer days or set in some clean-cut modern day rural town where everyone is morally upright and there are no meth labs inside an old RV parked in the unkempt lawn just off of Main and 5th.

  11. I think the only music genre where the quality of the sacred is on a par with the “profane” is traditional American Blue Grass. But that is because Blue Grass started out as largely sacred themed music.

  12. “Question”,

    Mr Tolkein’s writings don’t have religious themes, rather they seems to be more about revisiting ancient germanic and even celtic fictional themes…Developing sorcercy into complex civilisations is rather pagan as well. I don’t consider the Vatican religion to be valid Christianity, and this is, I believe, a pretty good example of what comes of that practice…

    Best regards,


  13. Interesting position from “Robert What?”, it’s probably a fine idea to take the mainstream culture from areas that are famous for their religiosity and carry them right into where one lives in an unfortunately more secular area…Doesn’t the bluegrass genre come from the area called the Bible Belt?

    Another thing that could be added is that this genre of music is basically folk music, and doesn’t have the chaotic and percussive quality that rock and roll, and others have. I saw once at I believe Unz, a comment quoting one line that said that basically that “civilisation can survive many things but it couldn’t survive rock ‘n roll”…So folk music, even before one checks the quality of the lyrics, is already miles away from any attempt at Christian “rock” music.

    There’s a little bit of Brit Pop in my music playlist, but it’s not much. The rest is folk, classical, opera, pops.

  14. We don’t need Hollywood to create a believable movie. Most of the time, with all their infrastructure, they can’t create a believable movie. What we need is for the low IQ people to start trusting their higher IQ brothers. The low reading comprehension crowd is who decides what is popularly ‘Christian’ in this country. If you put out something that doesn’t satisfy the happy, happy, joy, joy cult, you’ll just get branded as a heretic. There are a lot of mainstream artists who are lame too, but they can still be more sophisticated with their cultural products.

  15. There’s another problem with ‘Christian’ rock/metal. Many such acts have ‘feet of clay’; Stryper is one such infamous example – Christian in song lyrics and stage performance, backstage little different than other ‘hair metal’ acts of the 80’s (booze, sex, drugs, ect). Creed is another example, got huge from 2000-’05 then Scott Stapp ‘fell of the wagon’ very publicly. Today Scott is barely staying sane (and sometimes being committed – as in psych ward) no joke:
    When fans discover things like that it DOES impact them,

  16. @YIH This kind of stuff happening (along with all the known philandering, homosexuality, etc that gets widely accepted) lends a theory to my mind that it’s all (all being the churches at large which produced the people that consume this stuff) secular in the first place. The ones without the talent get shifted over to CCM, as a certain “message” gets prized over any degree of talent or witness (explaining the popularity of trash like Fireproof, Courageous, and War Room).

    “Do as I say, not as I do” doesn’t ever work.

  17. “It is trying to make the sacred profane and bringing the profane into the sacred.”

    Well said, sir. That distills all the frustrations I’ve had with the Christian counter-culture (which imitates in all things the culture it is allegedly trying to set itself against) for over a decade now.

  18. Excellent post & comments. I strongly recommend ballista74’s links since they make good companion pieces to the OP.

    I don’t really have much to add except I was always pretty turned off by the low quality and saccharine sentimentalism of overtly Christian cultural products, and I’m glad to learn all this detail about the underlying flaws in the systems that produce them. It seems like when good music/movies/books do come out with Christian themes, it’s because a skilled artist happens to have a firm foundation of faith that influences their work, not because they explicitly set out to create message fiction. I do find it a little funny that Hollywood, which HATED how successful The Passion was, tried to capture some of that market themselves with their big-budget Noah and Exodus movies, but failed spectacularly because they couldn’t bring themselves to hold their (((noses))) and make respectful, reverential takes on the material. Instead they were gay postmodern deconstructions, which deservedly underperformed.

    For the record (since someone claimed otherwise), Tolkien absolutely was influenced by Christianity. I’m amazed anyone could doubt this after even 10 seconds of reflection. In Tolkien’s world:

    – Christ is divided into 3 separate characters: a humble commoner with an extraordinary resistance to the temptation of evil, a noble prophesied king from an ancient line with miraculous healing powers who returns to the world to overthrow evil, and a semi-divine prophet who accepts a martyr’s death and is resurrected in an invincible, glorified new body.
    – Similarly, Morgoth, Sauron, and Saruman are obvious allegories of Satan, as they were all originally powerful, divine agents of good before their pride and selfishness corrupted them.
    – Evil cannot create, only corrupt. The supremacy of good is such that even these corruptions can be unwittingly turned to serve the good (e.g. Gollum)
    – The One Ring is the most obvious imaginable metaphor for temptation and sin. Men are portrayed as fallen creatures who are especially susceptible to its wiles. The task of mankind is not to kill the devil but to reject the sin by which he controls them.
    – Eternal life in paradise is the reward for those who persevere in the face of temptation

  19. @NZT Thanks for the vote of confidence. As far as the last link goes, if you want to read more, I only linked to Part Three of the article. Here’s Part 1 and Part 2.

    It seems like when good music/movies/books do come out with Christian themes, it’s because a skilled artist happens to have a firm foundation of faith that influences their work, not because they explicitly set out to create message fiction.

    As an example, if you look at my review of Old Fashioned, this is the biggest difference between it and the trash the Kendrick’s put out. The writer didn’t hit you over the head with anything, yet still communicated Christian themes. While nowhere near a masterpiece, it’s not trash specifically because of what was in the quote. I termed it “The Sledgehammer of Plot” there, which is a problem in most all writing, but especially pernicious in so called “Christian Culture”.

    If I had to guess though with these writers, most of the bad “Christian Culture” writers have backgrounds that are more conducive to speech writing and instruction (think sermons, writing instructional books, etc), and do the music/movies/books from that perspective. Instead of show/illustrate they tell and command.

  20. I think here you’ve put forward an excellent argument for the inferiority of much of evangelical-produced entertainment, but you haven’t directly addressed the reason for the popularity of Star Wars.

    And that is a different matter.

    In short: the nerds won. They now control the popular culture.

    That’s all.

  21. American Christian “culture” leaves much to be desired, but it’s at least a stepping-stone to a fuller understanding of and appreciation of Christendom. Too many erstwhile allies on Right attack each other instead of Leviathan and the Left. To appropriate a quote from Bolshevik Lenin, we should say: “No enemies on the Right” (he said Left). #UniteRight

Leave a Reply