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Eyes Wide Open: Looking for God in Popular Culture

1 rating: 1.0
A book by William D. Romanowski

Calvin College professor Romanowski writes for the millions of "Christians who drink beer" those who, in tension with evangelical mores, partake of the fruits of popular culture, from Titanic to Bruce Springsteen to ER. His scope is ambitious, … see full wiki

Tags: Books
Author: William D. Romanowski
Publisher: Brazos Press
1 review about Eyes Wide Open: Looking for God in Popular...

Learning to Live in the World.

  • Sep 9, 2006
The basic premise of EYES WIDE OPEN is that in the realm of culture, Christians have been too complacent for far too long. Romanowski begins the book with an introduction illustrating why Christians should become involved in culture, specifically pop culture. In the following chapters the author gives a detailed description of what culture is, the "difference" between high culture and low culture (as well as an explanation of why there really isn't a difference), what often is associated with being "faith" friendly in popular art nowadays, what makes up a Christian worldview, the typical Hollywood cultural landscape, the importance of Christian criticism, etc. Towards the end of the book the author makes some very general suggestions about how Christians can become involved in pop culture and the last section of the book (appendix two) is a review of the movie TITANIC from a Christian perspective.

The book raises many salient points that Christians should be aware off. Culture is a part of our lives and as believers in Christ, we are called to be involved in the world. For someone who has never seriously considered these issues, EYES WIDE OPEN might serve as a wake-up call. Also, even though the book is directed towards the lay person, the book is written in such a way it could confuse someone who has never had a beyond-high-school-education. I was able to follow the book's over-arching structure and pattern but there were several times I found myself thinking, "If I hadn't heard any of this before, this would be really confusing." The other criticism I have of the book is that the book is marketed as an "easy-to-read guide for interpreting and evaluating popular culture as a Christian." The author appears to be at least an amateur critic of film and movies. In fact, the book was filled with references to films. However, there is a lack of references to television, music, the Internet, mainstream novels, etc: there is a section where the author talks about Bruce Springsteen and another section where he discusses the television show E.R. However, that's about it. It would have been nice to have another few appendixes at the end of the book where the author reviews a television show, an album, and perhaps a popular website or work of fiction. Also, since the author chose to review TITANIC instead of a more worthwhile film (just because it's the #1 grossing movie of all time is besides the point--just about every movie from 1933-1959 had a higher attendance than any film released since then) or instead of reviewing another movie, too, it dropped a notch in my estimation.

Overall, this is a decent book for a Christian lay person who is interested in becoming engaged in popular culture but has no idea how to go about that. It should provide a good foundation. For a more indepth approach check out ROARING LAMBS by Bob Briner or ADDICTED TO MEDIOCRITY by Franky Schaeffer.

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