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All God's Children & Blue Suede Shoes (Turning Point Christian Worldview Series)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  364 ratings  ·  71 reviews

Every generation faces unique challenges.

The first-century Church had Caesar’s lions and the Colosseum. And, while it might seem like an unlikely comparison, the challenge of living with popular culture may well be as serious as persecution was for the saints of old.

Today we witness the tremendous power of pop culture to set the pace and priorities of our lives. We si

Kindle Edition, 226 pages
Published February 29th 2012 by Crossway (first published October 1st 1989)
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Joel Arnold
All God's Children and Blue Suede Shoes (1989) is another evangelical cultural critique somewhat along the lines of Why Johnny Can't Sing Hymns or The Closing of the American Mind. Kenneth Myers laments the church's lost influence within the culture as well as the broader disintegration of morals and intellectual depth in American culture. He attributes this to two major factors: rock music and television. His argument essentially runs:

-Our culture is headed downward and Christians have just acc
May 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Maxwell Kendall
Dec 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
Man, this was a fantastic book. Damning criticism of popular culture and the religious appropriation of it: "We've managed to be of the world but not in it." Very similar to T. David Gordon, Why Johnny Can't Preach/Sing Hymns.

Appraises pop culture as analogous in spiritual danger and temptation as the fires of persecution (!). While maintaining that Christians may participate in said culture so long as they are not moved by the idols which animate it (Citing 1 Corinthians 10).
Ryan Watkins
Great book for understanding pop culture, where it came from, it’s domination over folk and high culture, it’s impact on the church, and opens up self reflection on how it’s impacted us personally.
Peter Jones
May 31, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was very different from what I expected. The pragamatist that I am, I expected an practical dissection of popular culture. Instead what I got was a more philosophical exploration of the origins and effects of popular culture. Of course, the book is dated in it's illustrations. References to Miami Vice, Alf, and the Ramones are in the book. But the central ideas are not dated.

Several items of note: His chapter on the restlessness of pop culture was excellent and even more timely now th
Ashley Cobb
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is engaging and exciting to read at first, and then as it goes on I realize how much I have given in to the idols of popular culture. By the end of it I am very wary of my own taste in the cultural artefacts I consume all too quickly without reflecting on what idol I might be worshiping.

I wish I had read this book third years ago. Better late than never, though, right?
Dec 27, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Myers best points are made by C.S. Lewis and Neil Postman. I highly recommend both of their works, but not this one.
The author’s conclusion that it’s okay to enjoy some pop culture as long as it doesn’t become an idol could be said of anything or anyone other than God - so there simply isn’t anything groundbreaking here.
What there is instead is a steady worship of high culture (i.e. that which we received from Western Europe) over and against anything perceived as less worthy (especially if it c
Josh Shelton
Aug 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
Really good insights, but lacking critical analysis of high culture. Dangers of television are rightly noted, but its glories are overlooked. Taking dominion, done properly, will result in television at some point.

Just one example of a flaw I saw.
Leah Douglas
Aug 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some very very strong chapters and some equally weak ones. Overall though it has influenced my thinking in an edifying way and I’m glad to have read it.
Rick Davis
Aug 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
His examples are dated, but his ideas are not. This book is a grand slam.
Brian Collins
Jan 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book could be summed up in this phrase: Christians must evaluate culture not only by its content but also by the sensibilities that it fosters. Though simply stated, this is a profound insight. It changes the question that Christians should be asking about their daily activities. The question is not merely, “is this permissible?” but “is this good and wise?” Watching a television show is permissible. But is watching one or two every night wise? What sensibilities are fostered by that habit? ...more
Chris Griffith
Although originally published in 1989 before the days of Email, Facebook, YouTube, etc. the principles found in this well-written book are still just as relevant today as they were 25, 30, or even 50 years ago. Myers taught me an important lesson in this book and he learned in from C.S. Lewis' An Experiment in Criticism. There are two different ways to approach art, 1. as a user. 2. as a receiver. "Users" are mindless consumers and use art to amuse themselves. In other words, it is background ch ...more
Mar 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
This is the best and most practical book on Christianity and culture that I've read. Myers takes a practical, biblically informed perspective on culture--particularly popular culture. He differentiates high culture, folk culture, and popular culture and argues that Christians may partake in pop culture provided "you are not dominated by the sensibility of popular culture, as long as you are not captivated by its idols." To me this seems like a sensible and wise pronouncement.

He also adds Paul's
Aug 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ken Myers encourages us to find other forms of entertainment and cultural habits besides our daily diet of "immediate gratification" (also called pop culture). This book helped me understand what popular culture is, how it came about, and why I don't want to be steeped nor have my children steeped in it. I particularly liked the comparison between high culture, traditional culture and poplular culture. Mr. Myers is an intellectual, and there are some passages that require some heavy thinking, bu ...more
Dianne Oliver
Mar 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
Extremely good information. I only wish I had read this long ago, and now I wish it were updated to help untangle the current situation in social media, internet, gaming, etc. As a child of tv, parent, and victim of the new media in church mentality this book overwhelms one with regret, frankly. I think a look back over the decades to see how pop culture has evolved and the insipid way it affects all aspects of our thinking is wise. It is good to remain aware and to be reminded of the value of p ...more
Megan Miller
If I was rating on mere enjoyment of the book, it would be two stars. However, I have to give credit for it being thought-provoking and generally pushing me to want to make better choices in my listening, watching, and reading. Although, taking that out of it instead of being annoyed by it took a conscious effort.
If that makes sense.
Anyway, I can't say I recommend it, but I do appreciate the heart of it. Read, watch, and listen to things that will bring you closer to God and the person He's call
Apr 23, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christianity
The best, most interesting parts are basically paraphrases of CS Lewis' "An Experiment in Criticism." I'd recommend just reading "An Experiment in Criticism," which is an easy-to-read and inspiring book. ...more
Upon a second read through, my suspicions have been confirmed: Ken Myers is one of my heroes.
Oct 19, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
2.5 stars. Probably because my mind has been desensitized by culture to just appreciate entertainment and things that are not deep. ;) :p
But this book was deep and, well, boring.
Aug 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
"It is possible to develop a taste for instant everything. One could eat instant, drink instant, read instant, think instant, hear instant, love instant, and pray instant. One of the concerns of this book is that popular culture encourages a mood of expecting everything to be immediate, a mood that deters greater depth and breadth in other areas of our lives, including our understanding of Christianity and our experience of obedient faith." This is one the main ideas I gleaned from this book. He ...more
Dan Montgomery
On the fence between 2 and 3 stars. There are a number of high points, but it has some real valleys too. The 2012 introduction is rich (mostly because of its Peter Leithart quotes). His basic premise that pop culture is based on immediacy and therefore is inherently stifling to deep Christian growth needs to be heard. Unfortunately, he needs a new editor. The flow of the book didn’t work. Some minor points received major attention and the main point often got buried.

Also, the High/Folk/Pop cult
Spaz tastic!!
Apr 02, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-reviewed
Here, allow me to dump all this garbage on you!
A total listening time of 6 hrs and 55 mins but after 2 hrs and 30 mins that was all I needed, nothing more, no thanks. There was nothing that I wasn't already aware of, nothing new at all, no new information. Myers does well in pointing out in how our culture and society has deteriorated over time and what we've done to cause it to be this way, BUT, there's no solution(s) that are given whatsoever. It became depressing after awhile and I was like,
Aug 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gap-year
I LOVED this book. It was one of my resources for my senior thesis last year. I only read a couple chapters of it at the time, but it was so interesting I decided to read the whole thing this summer. Even if you aren't a Christian, this book will be so informative to you. Chapters 4-6 specifically focus on just pop culture. Ken Meyers gives comprehensive view of popular culture: where it came from, how it evolved, what it is today. SO interesting.

Meyers' book suggests that rather than a) avoid
Andrew Montgomery
May 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Helpfully insightful

We’ve often heard the importance of staying separate from the world, but identifying what the world actually is is very difficult. What is it and how does it affect my worldview? Myers takes us through the history of culture and thought, and I find it extremely helpful as I evaluate my own heart and the flaws that Christians are falling into. If you’re seeking Godly insight and wisdom on how to think about culture, music, TV, and other forms of popular culture, this book will
Robbie Burns
Mar 07, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good book. He meanders at times and his style sometimes means that finding his argument and thread of thought is tricky. How are, where style might be lacking, his substance is great.

I have come away thinking harder about pop-culture and I’m thankful for that.

I think I have also come away more sympathetic but not necessarily convinced by his practical guidance.

Something worth reading, despite it being dated.
Justin Dillehay
Nov 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After reading about this book for 15 years, I finally read it. I'm glad I did. I'm also glad I read it when I did. Had I read it when I was younger, I would have dismissed it as elitist. Read it with an open mind. ...more
Jan 31, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Read for school. Some interesting analysis, but I came away feeling like it was just a lot of words. Christian, be wise in regards to how popular culture influences your thoughts and actions. There's the book! ...more
May 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent critique of pop culture. A must read for every Christian concerned about the influence of pop culture (and for those not concerned).
Jacob Van Sickle
Dec 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Still chewing on this one. Might come back and give it 5 stars. Thought provoking to say the least.
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He is the director of Mars Hill Audio, an organization devoted to helping Christians think wisely about modern culture through a variety of audio resources. He was a producer and editor for National Public Radio and is the author of All God's Children and Blue Suede Shoes. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland and of Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. He is married and has ...more

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