Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date



Craig Detweiler and Barry Taylor. A Matrix of Meanings: Finding God in Pop Culture (Engaging Culture). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2013. 352 pages. ISBN-13 ‏: ‎978-0801024177

A quick yet alarming question will serve well as a good entry point for this review: “How many times throughout the week have you listened to pop music, gone to movies, watched television, read advertisements on the roadside billboards, thought about what to wear, and seen celebrities on various magazines at the grocery pay counters?” Our answers to this prolonged question may vary depending on each. But, when we are asked another parallel question, we may find it relatively easy to answer in unison, “How many times have you opened the Bible throughout the week and read it, a verse at least?” I do not ask these two questions simply for a rhetorical purpose, but to show the sheer reality of our everyday life. Each day and throughout the year, most of us spend a considerable (or more) amount of time on listening, watching, reading, practicing, and thinking about pop culture than we do on anything related to our faith and church. Here comes another important question. What if the pop cultural surroundings pertain to significant spiritual or religious impacts and ramifications that to a great extent mold the style and content of our Christian faith? If so, how? And also if so, what should be the critical response of the people of faith? The two authors, Craig Detweiler and Barry Taylor, both theologically trained pop cultural gurus, embark on a fascinating task of providing an answer to that “what if and if so” question.


Originally published in Homiletic, Winter 2015 (vol. 40 no. 2)

YANG, Sunggu. Craig Detweiler and Barry Taylor, A Matrix of Meanings: Finding God in Pop Culture (Engaging Culture).Homiletic, [S.l.], v. 40, n. 2, jan. 2016. ISSN 2152-6923. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 07 feb. 2018.