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September 20, 2006


Mark McAndrew

For me personally (and I have no idea if I'm right) I have been really convicted about most all of my TV watching because it tends to seem to be such a waste of time. I just have trouble seeing how watching Friends, or 24 or whatever, is going to help me say, better evangelize the kids sitting next to me in class at college.

R. Kent Hughes, in his book 'Disciplines of a Godly Man', when talking about avoiding lust, writes:

"Men, it is the 'legal' sensualities, the culturally acceptable indulgences, which will take us down. The long hours of indiscriminate TV watching, which is not only culturally cachet [acceptable] but is expected of the American male, is a massive culprit of desensitization."

Then a few chapters later mentions TV again, saying:

"It is impossible for any Christian who spends the bulk of his evenings, month after month, week upon week, day in day out watching the major TV networks or contemporary videos to have a Christian mind. This is Always true of All Christians in Every situation!"

Then he adds his own advice for how to 'have Christian minds':

"Stop watching television. I mean that sincerely! Not watching TV will liberate so much time, it will become virtually impossible not to become a deeper person and a better Christian."

Then he quotes Psalm 101:2-3,

"I will walk in my house with a blameless heart. I will set before my eyes no vile thing."

And for me his argument makes sense, but also I realize that we are to be 'culturally relevant' and all, but TV just seems like too big a commitment of time, too big a temptation to lust (and/or commit other sins), and too small a help in evangelizism for me to even want to mess with it much, if at all...

but I'm not sure.

[I also realize that Paul, in Acts 17, walked around the Areopagus, and in his words: 'I was passing through and Examining the objects of your worship' - so I know don't really know how that plays into TV watching and movies and stuff.]

d hunt

But Paul also knew enough Greek philosophy to bridge the gap between the Athenians' (mis)understanding of the world & the reality of the God-created and God-ruled world. Watching TV (not excessively or mindlessly) does provide some insight in the way our culture understand things or the way that media would want the culture to think. I think it's both/and not either/or. It's more of a symbiotic relationship.

Allison Carluccio

Speaking as one who went without TV for all of last year & now having it- and being a female (b/c i'm sure guys have different issues)- I think TV can be mastered for good- with the help of a little discipline & a lot of the Holy Spirit! Watching some shows at night has been a great bonding time for me & my new roomate- we gather to watch a show, but we end up talking all about our lives- granted she's a christian too, so we can hold each other accountable. Watching the Bacholerette (terrible show), however was a really natural bonding time with my nonchristian roomates in the past. but, it took hard work not to be pulled into the criticizing comments- & as women, I think we have to be careful not to covet beauty, etc. with shows like that. I do have to make goals not to turn it on in the afternoon when i'm by myself, or else i'll waste tons of time- I guess it all has to do with the intention behind it & the awareness of what you're watching.


And there is the whole artistic side of the argument. Art, and participating in art can be valuable. As Christians, recognizing the prominance of the medium in our culture and the artistic opportunity that the medium itself provides, we should be very ingtersted in how we can contribute quality art in the television format. Contrary to what some of my friends may think.

Matt Adair

Mark - One of the questions I'd have is whether our intake of culture exists solely for the purpose of evangelization/relevance or can it also exist simply to be enjoyed?

David - You used the word 'symbiotic.' You are an intelligent man.

Allison - Guys and girls have different issues? I've never noticed...

George - Dude, that exchange on your blog was crazy! I'm with you on this one.


Thanks, I was beginning to think I was on crazy pills after that one.

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