I used to think that when it came to Christians and culture, we had three choices:
1) Shun culture
2) Embrace culture
3) Change culture.
But after spending my morning reading a powerful new book based on the phenomenal television series, "Lost", I've concluded that we must first and foremost understand culture in order to know when to choose one of our other three options.
Now, I'm not a "Lost" fan by any means, but I am a fan of pop culture. And normally books such as this one don't grab me. They feel more gimmick driven that Spirit driven.
HOWEVER, John Ankerberg has a reputation as a man of God's Word and a resume longer than my right arm in dealing with culture vs. Christianity. So, I decided to take a peek at his new book, co-authored by "Lost" fan Dillon Burroughs (I'm not making that up; Dillon says so himself!)
Fair warning: get your highlighters out...this small book is jammed packed, and you'll want to highlight a lot of information to discuss around the proverbial water cooler!
In "What Can Be Found In 'Lost'", Mr. Ankerberg and Mr. Burroughs do a thorough analysis of every spiritual or Biblical reference that can be found in the first three seasons of the television show. (I'm so not a "Lost" fan...don't even know if it's been renewed or not:-).
The book is divided into two parts: The Themes of Lost and The Theories of Lost. Each chapter is filled with quotes from the series, and packed with Scripture.
In part one, "The Themes of Lost", John and Dillon write about themes such as "Lost on God", "Lost on Prayer", and "Lost on Miracles". Each theme is portrayed through direct quotes and scenes from the show, then juxtaposed with the truth of Scripture. Each section ends with discussion questions for the reader or small group to answer.
These two gentlemen were thorough. I never realized what a spiritual phenomenon "Lost" was until I read this book. I find myself not only wanting to watch the show now, but to find "Lost" fanatics to pick their brains and to discuss this book with them.
By far my favorite sections were "Lost on Good and Evil", a question I get asked so much as believer: "If God is real, then why does ______________ happen?" The analysis of this particular question is not only fascinating, it is so freeing! I also was intrigued by the section about "Lost and Redemption," among many others.
This was impossible to put down, and I loved the richness and the depth these two authors went to and the lengths they went to in researching these themes and theories.
But what proved to me that this wasn't just another Christian knee-jerk response to popular culture was the final chapter: "Lost--What To Do About It". These are two men of high thought and high integrity, and men who are passionate about reaching the lost, whether their readers are fans of the show of merely searching for God.
For fans of "Lost", there's loads of quotes and appendices about the show. Even better, this book is also jammed packed with Scripture, which some might be tempted to skip over. DO NOT DO THAT. Read and soak in every word. Let God's Word light your path instead of allowing popular culture to be your guide.
I'm giving "What Can Be Found In 'Lost'" six out of five bookmarks with a tiny remote control and a Bible as a charm. These days, a Christian can't be seen without the first, and needs to be armed with the second!
You can either read this book for yourself to be prepared to give an answer, or pass it on to a fan of the show. "Lost" fans are deep thinkers...they can handle Ankerberg and Burroughs!