As you probably already know there is an ongoing anxiety that drives people to this blog – it’s the question of whether particular music is Christian or non-Christian and what it means to listen to it. The key posts that have generated interest and discussion are about Foo Fighters. I am intrigued by this debate and I wonder if it crosses into other media too.
I run an online web magazine for thinking Christian women called Ordinary Eve and recently I have been asked to review some books for a company called Alban Books. They are all very Christian focused and have reading notes at the end for reading groups or for personal reflection. Some of them are really great and some of them really aren’t (we have a policy on the site of recommending rather than reviewing so you will only get the good’uns from us and we won’t spill about the others).
It’s been interesting for me because, as a general rule, I don’t read specifically Christian fiction. This is partly because I think the quality may not be that good and partly because, as with music, I believe that popular culture is the culture we live in and there is nothing wrong with enjoying the pleasure of good writing whatever the religious or un-religious persuasion of the person writing. In fact GP Taylor when he talks to Christian writing audiences really tries to encourage them to aim for the popular market, not restrict themselves to the Christian agents and booksellers. And he’s topped the New York Times bestseller list so there must be something in his opinion, don’t you think?
So my question is – are there similar anxieties around reading as there are around music? Or is it just parental and priestly paranoia about “rock and roll lifestyles” that fuels a concern with modern music and no other media is perceived to be dangerous?