Tag Archives: pop culture

Did Paul Use Pop Culture?

Did Paul Use Pop Culture?

Here is another example of what happens when you don’t sufficiently recognize what pop culture is and where and when it arose. Derek Brown claims that when Paul quoted Greek poets or playwrites, he “engaged popular culture so he could better communicate the gospel.” Ostensibly, this is the same thing as quoting Harry Potter or… Continue Reading

Roger Scruton: “The Tyranny of Pop”

Roger Scruton: “The Tyranny of Pop”

“Unless we teach children to judge, to discriminate, to recognize the difference between music of lasting value and mere ephemera, we give up on the task of education.” Source: BBC Radio 4 – A Point of View, Roger Scruton: The Tyranny of Pop Continue Reading

Is Pop Culture Bad?

Is Pop Culture Bad?

Of course it’s bad. It’s deplorable, an oppressive bore, and the very Lazarus of culture for, like Lazarus, it “stinketh.” Read more: First Principles – Is Pop Culture Bad?. Continue Reading

Article 11: On Popular Culture

Article 11: On Popular Culture

This entry is part 12 of 16 in the series A Conservative Christian Declaration You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

This is a series to further explain the articles of “A Conservative Christian Declaration.” . We affirm that much of popular culture is formulaic and sentimentalized, and that it tends toward banality and narcissism. We affirm that much popular music, through its stereotyped form, lacks the ability to communicate transcendent truth, virtue, and beauty, which are… Continue Reading

Rutgers plans Bruce Springsteen theology class

Rutgers plans Bruce Springsteen theology class

Anyone who has listened to much Bruce Springsteen has surely noticed the singer’s fondness for biblical allusions in his lyrics. Now Rutgers University is making a study of them. The college in New Brunswick, N.J., will be offering a freshman seminar examining the theology of Springsteen, according to a Q&A on the Rutgers Today PR… Continue Reading

“Brothers, we are not movie-hawkers…”

“Brothers, we are not movie-hawkers…”

“I hope there aren’t too many pastors who will be taken in by this. I couldn’t agree more with the line I saw in Jared Wilson’s twitter feed yesterday: Pastors, your desperation to be relevant is easily manipulated.’ Manipulation is exactly what is going on here, pastors, but the motivation is not the gospel. The… Continue Reading

What The Popular Arts Are Not

What The Popular Arts Are Not

This entry is part 2 of 8 in the series Cheap Thrills: Pop Art and Transcendence You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Kaplan begins by defining what he means by the popular arts. In his definition, popular arts does not refer to: 1) Pop art, the dadaistic art movement that emerged in the 1950s. 2) Bad art. A work of art might fail in what it attempts to do, it might not succeed in what it attempts… Continue Reading

Cheap Thrills – Pop Art and Transcendence

Cheap Thrills – Pop Art and Transcendence

This entry is part 1 of 8 in the series Cheap Thrills: Pop Art and Transcendence You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

In the land of TolerateAll, the outlaw is the realist critic. Civil order is maintained by quelling all disagreements over beauty with a few simple, and widely accepted, cultural manners. Should someone voice his view that a particular song, poem, book or other work of art is beautiful or ugly, better or worse, useful or… Continue Reading

From Palestrina to Pino

From Palestrina to Pino

I think you should watch these. Set aside a few hours, and enjoy. . If you hunt, you might find most or parts of the eight episodes online. Or you might simply splurge and give the BBC some more filthy lucre for the two series on DVD. You won’t be disappointed. If for no other… Continue Reading

Culture and Tradition

Culture and Tradition

This entry is part 5 of 8 in the series Preserving the Truth in our Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

I argued in the last post that all cultural forms are built upon something that came before, and we call this “tradition.” The implication of this is that all of the various cultural institutions, forms, artistic expressions, media, languages, and systems of thought are what they are today based on hundreds, and in some cases thousands, of… Continue Reading

Cultivated, Commercial, and Communal Music

Cultivated, Commercial, and Communal Music

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series 19th Century American Church Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Church music in nineteenth century America can be summarized very simply with one word: reform. In many ways, the influential writers and composers of the nineteenth century were bent upon rejecting the new music of eighteenth century American composers and returning to more established classical traditions. In order to understand their motivation, however, one must consider both the changes… Continue Reading

The importance of distinguishing between folk and pop culture

The importance of distinguishing between folk and pop culture

This entry is part of 6 in the series Vaughan Williams on Culture You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Recognition of a difference between folk and pop music may perhaps seem inconsequential, but for a composer like Ralph Vaughan Williams the distinction was at the heart of his life’s work. For Vaughan Williams and his mentor, Cecil Sharp, the commercial nature of music often rendered it banal and vulgar — it was music created… Continue Reading

The superiority of folk culture to pop culture

The superiority of folk culture to pop culture

This entry is part of 6 in the series Vaughan Williams on Culture You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

The motivations behind Vaughan Williams’s use of folk idioms in his music also clearly demonstrates the distinction between folk and pop music in his thinking. Clearly Vaughan Williams’s interest in folk music was connected to his desire for a distinctly English national music. Indeed, as the title of his work on folk music (National Music)… Continue Reading

Defining pop culture

Defining pop culture

This entry is part of 6 in the series Vaughan Williams on Culture You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Unfortunately, according to Cecil Sharp and Vaughan Williams, folk music as an art is largely dead, and this provides the first evidence of a distinction between folk and pop music in their thought. With a chain of events including the Industrial Revolution and the creation of mass media came the emergence of a new form… Continue Reading

Distinguishing high culture from folk culture

Distinguishing high culture from folk culture

This entry is part of 6 in the series Vaughan Williams on Culture You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

A primary goal of Vaughan Williams was, of course, to compose art music. His many hours finding and indexing folk tunes resulted in the use of many of those melodies in his own compositions. As such, a distinction between art and folk music in his understanding is self-evident. Cecil Sharp, however, makes this distinction more… Continue Reading

Vaughan William’s interest in English folk songs

Vaughan William’s interest in English folk songs

This entry is part of 6 in the series Vaughan Williams on Culture You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

An interest in English folk songs emerged in England toward the end of the nineteenth century. By 1898 the Folk Song Society was founded, and rising composer Ralph Vaughan Williams joined the Society in 1904.1 The Society had been perfectly comfortable simply discussing folk music in the abstract until an influential folk tune advocate named… Continue Reading

Distinguishing High, Folk, and Pop Culture

Distinguishing High, Folk, and Pop Culture

This entry is part of 6 in the series Vaughan Williams on Culture You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

A common error exists frequently in contemporary discussions of the use of folk idioms as a compositional element in art music. Many authors today equate folk music with popular forms such as jazz, rock, and blues. In fact, the terms “folk” and “popular” have unfortunately come to be synonymous in conventional speech. For instance, George… Continue Reading

Two Roads Diverged

This entry is part 12 of 14 in the series The Hymnody of the Christian Church You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

The dethroning of the Church by Reason and the creation of pop culture left the Church in an awkward position. Its cultural influence was non-existent. As the culture around it plunged into sanitized paganism, the Church’s traditional forms became foreign. The Church was in Babylon, yet it was free to worship as it pleased. So… Continue Reading