Movies, music, TV, books, are all meant for our entertainment. Or are they? I would argue that while they may be entertaining, their primary purpose is to communicate. These are all means by which we as people communicate the stories of our lives.
When you sit down to read a book, listen to an album, watch a TV show, or watch a movie you are peering into the heart and soul of another person. You are hearing from them what they most deeply believe about life and truth. We as followers of Jesus must engage with this cultural activity critically.
We are a free people. We are also a called out and holy people.
Jesus sent us into the world to be as innocent as doves and as wise as serpents (Matthew 10:16). Sadly most followers of Jesus pick one or the other. We need to be both. To be both means that we must learn to think and engage the world critically. Many Jesus followers also miss the “sent” aspect of the statement. This necessarily means that we must engage the world.
Here are four questions that if we would apply them to the film, music, and books then we will be able to think critically:
- What does this communicate about God?
- What does this communicate about man?
- What does this communicate about man’s greatest problem?
- What is the proposed solution for man’s greatest problem?
These questions can be applied to religion, politics, and the arts. These are worldview questions. The answers give us insight into the worldview of the communicator. From there we begin to ask another set of questions:
- How is this view similar to and contrast with the Biblical view of God?
- How is this view similar to and contrast with the Biblical view of man?
- How is this view similar to and contrast with the Biblical view of man’s greatest problem?
- How is this view similar to and contrast with the Biblical view of the solution to man’s greatest problem?
As we take these handful of questions we can begin to understand the good and the bad of various cultural pieces of the pie. There is nothing that should be taken in without thinking critically. Just because song is called “Christian” does not make it so. Over the next few posts we will seek to apply these eight questions to a few songs, “Christian” and “Secular” and see how they stack up. We may also take a look at some G-rated films and compare them to R-rated films to see which are more detrimental from the Biblical worldview.
Let the discernment begin!