The folks at Thomas Nelson continue to put out resources designed to challenge and inspire people in their faith journey.
I've just finished making my way through their study on Faith and Pop Culture
As a small group study resource I was generally impressed.
The study is designed to examine the intersection between faith and the arts and or modern forms of entertainment. The first 4 chapters cover art or entertainment as it comes to us in the form of Movies, Literature, sports, and television. From there the study shifts to ask questions about the moral content contained in various forms, with a chapter devoted to violence. In the second to last week of the study your group can consider the potential of Christians to influence Hollywood. It’s not until the last week that your group asks what may be the defining question of the book; how does this culture of entertainment affects our inner lives.
I was impressed with the length of the studies. There are pages of questions that thoroughly interact with the article that the chapter is based on.
On the design / layout side of things, I think this book specifically, would have benefitted had it’s format reflected a more artistic look. Talk about art is insufficient. Why not design it as a magazine. Give examples of art, modern and historical or classical. Include pages of ads that demonstrate the positive and not so positive potential of visual advertising. Include a DVD or web links to various media clips.
It also bears saying that while this study seems to encourage the assembling of a small group of people to consider and discuss the affects of of various forms of art, media and entertainment on the individual, there wasn’t a great deal of time spent considering how these various forms of media affect us socially or relationally.
All in all it’s a study that my small group and I would probably enjoy and find stimulating.