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    Bible: Pop Culture

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    The Reformers claimed to unleash and unchain the Bible, to shine the light of the Bible into the darkness.  How well do Protestants keep this legacy?

    Not so well, judging from the surveys that inform us of the shocking ignorance of the Bible among Bible-believers.

    Not so well, judging from the weightlessness of the Bible has in the “pop culture” of many churches.  I have often told students that for Catholic monks the Bible was pop culture.  They heard the Bible constantly, sang the Psalter each week, spent hours a week poring over its pages.  What the Reformers aimed for was a “monaticization of believers” – the spread of the Bible as the popular culture of the whole church, not of a religious elite.

    Christian imaginations are today shaped as much by popular music, films, TV shows as they are by the Bible.  Such imaginations have nothing to offer the world beyond lightly Christianized versions of what the world already has.  Only a church with a Bible-saturated imagination will offer a genuine alternative to worldly art, poetry, fiction and film.

    posted by Peter J. Leithart on Sunday, October 28, 2012 at 2:59 pm