Monday, December 19, 2011

"What Would Buffy Do" by Jan Riess

This is one of several books released in the past decade that look to popular culture for insights into spiritual matters. Like most of them it is not a “Christian” book. It abounds with quotes and thoughts from many different religions. That being said it does have good, quality thoughts about what Whedon’s series has to say about life.

The fact that so many of these books exists is evidence of how preoccupied art is with the spiritual side of life, even these days. Or maybe more so these days. That is a good thing for people interested in sharing the truth of the Gospel with others. Interest is up and people are searching. Tom Wolf says that very culture has a mythos that is incomplete and wrong in some places but has some echoes of the truth. Every culture has people who have aspects of the truth in them. Pop culture does as well. These are points of contact.

The key is recognizing the glimpses of truth that are in the culture, not nitpicking the ways they have got it wrong. This book itself does a pretty good job of that. To take it one step further would be to show how the Truth is shown more precisely—how life is made that much clearer—through the story of the Bible. Riess does not take things that far.

Another helpful feature is the appendix in the back neatly summarizing each season and highlighting the spiritual message contained in each. It is much better than what has been done here and had I remembered that I might have saved myself the trouble of writing these posts!

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