Way back in the 1990s a conversation began, one driven by the mandate to reach what was described as a new postmodern generation in the West. Yet strangely, this twenty-year conversation has produced very few books which offer a genuine framework for sharing the gospel with actual postmodern people. This is what makes Ted Turnau's new book Popologetics: Popular Culture in Christian Perspective (P & R Publishing) such a unique and interesting work. Turnau writes from the fusion of Western liberalism and post-communist atheism that is the Czech Republic, where he teaches cultural studies at a liberal arts college in Prague. Daily immersion in one of the West's most secular cities has obviously given him a keen eye for exploring the cultural ground into which the gospel must be communicated.
An American apologist writing from the heart of Europe will no doubt invoke memories of Francis Schaeffer in the minds of many readers. Yet whereas Schaeffer addressed the commanding heights of the arts, philosophy, politics, and science, Turnau is concerned with the way that popular culture implicitly and explicitly molds our behavior and beliefs. While many Christians would question the worth of exploring the worldview implicit in, say, World Of Warcraft, Turnau reframes Schaeffer's quote about modern art for those wary of engaging popular culture: "Dare we laugh at such things?....Christians should stop laughing and take such men seriously. Then we shall have the right to speak again to our generation." Thus the impetus behind Popolgetics is a call for Christians to be serious about popular culture if we are to be serious about mission.
Turnau recognizes that part of the challenge ...