Where Has Oprah Taken Us? by author Stephen Mansfield presents an inside look at the life and career of media icon Oprah Winfrey from a uncommon perspective. This New York Times best-selling author begins the book with Oprah’s rising from a poverty stricken town in Mississippi to a famous woman in the world. After this thoroughly researched and highly interesting chapter, Mansfield then superbly uncovers in the rest of the book the reasons for Oprah’s values, morals, and spiritual beliefs, the Oprah you see and know today.
(On a personal note, I have often wondered how Oprah rose to fame and what influenced her to be the woman she is today.)
He clearly shows how Oprah has become a product of the popular culture of her time. In this cultural journey he explains how Oprah’s everyday exposure to things such as music (i.e. The Beatles), current events (i.e. JFK’s assassination), books (i.e. The Secret), personalities (i.e. Anton LeVey) and friends (i.e. Marianne Williamson) greatly shaped her secular and religious worldview. In other words, other than the first chapter, this book isn’t about Oprah Winfrey, it’s about the culture of Oprah Winfrey and how it can shape and influence someone who is searching for something meaningful to believe it.
(As a Pastor, it is my duty and privilege to teach other Christians how to view the secular world through the lens of Scripture and to help them maintain a biblical worldview. This book proves the fact that pop-culture can greatly shape and manipulate your morals and beliefs if you don’t establish and maintain a biblical worldview.)
At the end of each chapter and occasionally in the middle of a chapter Mansfield would interject his own thoughts and perspective. This not only gave the reader a personal connection with the author, but also served as a helpful instructor with the topic at hand.
(Personally, as a firm believer in Jesus Christ, I greatly appreciate Mansfield’s testimony of Christianity and his apologetic questions he presents along the way. Very helpful!)
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