Justin Bieber’s faith goes under the microscope in new book
A new book will be released in September that takes a deeper look into the faith of teen icon Justin Bieber.
The book, Belieber! Faith, Fame and the Heart of Justin Bieber, is penned by Cathleen Falsani, an award-winning journalist with a specialty on the intersection of spirituality and pop culture. It is being published by Worthy Publishing.
Bieber’s cultural influence on today’s generation is seen to equal—if not exceed—that of the Beatles 50 years before. Despite his overwhelming success, he has remained consistent in his talk of his Christian faith.
Falsani covers Bieber’s story of fame from the time he was spotted on YouTube and also writes about behind-the-scenes observations she has had of the star.
Of her subject, Falsani says, “Justin has a message beyond what many critics quickly dismiss as ‘puppy love’. It is above love, God’s love for everyone. And his fans are listening.”
Bieber is consistent in interviews and TV shows in expressing his beliefs regarding his Christian faith, and talks of hope, gratitude and believing to his millions of fans, including some 11.6 million Twitter followers.
At the recent Teen Choice Awards, Bieber collected his trophy, then told the crowd, “I wanna say that anything is possible if you set your mind to it. You gotta keep God first and always remember to keep family first.” He then made a sweeping gesture to the audience and added, “Jesus loves every one of you!”
While it is not unusual for celebrities to mention God during award shows, it is rare that stars will specifically mention Jesus. This is because there is often a consciousness about image.
To mention God is considered to be more inclusive, and helpful to a celebrity’s image and career. To specifically mention Jesus means the risk of drawing a line.
Bieber, 17, has talked of his faith in Jesus with Rolling Stone, on television, on the red carpet. And it seems that as he matures, he becomes more confident of his own voice—beyond the singing voice, the voice that talks of what is on his mind and what he thinks.
This is a voice that is not worried about image, or about appealing to as wide an audience as he can. Bieber seems unworried about alienating his fans. Because of this, Falsani perceives Bieber to be a new breed in the celebrity world.
Falsani wrote in her RNS column that she perceives Bieber as someone who can express his faith in a way that does not offend others, and he is not defensive in doing so. He comes across as authentic and humble, and his millions of fans around the world are listening when he says, “Jesus loves every one of you.”
Pattie Mallette, Bieber’s mother, is a woman of deep faith who has said in interviews that she believes her son has been called to speak as a voice for this generation.
Falsani, who has done personal interview profiles of Barack Obama, Elie Wiesel, Anne Rice, and Studs Terkel among others, has written the critically acclaimed books The God Factor, The Dude Abides: The Gospel According to the Coen Brothers, and Sin Boldly.
Falsani said on the book website that in light of the fact that music and film remain the language of today’s generation, she is hopeful that faith leaders and parents will view popular culture with new insight and see it as a means to enhance communication with their children.