Piper on TV

Posted: July 2, 2009 in Media, Theology

TV Set

I heard a crazy stat recently: The average American somehow finds time to watch 35 hours of tv per week.  That can’t be!  If that’s an average…somebody is not doing much else.

I’m not opposed to television or movies. I love stories! I think we all do. But I found Dr. Piper’s views interesting and challenging. I definitely agree about the danger of viewing sexually provocative material – especially for men who seem to be so visuallywired sexually.  One pushback is this:  Critiquing film is like critiquing talking or print – the message is the critical issue, not the medium.  With that in mind…

Give it a read and tell me what you think.

Here’s the link.

  1. Shawn says:

    First off I appreciate Pipers humility so much, it comes out so often in the way he responds to people. I think that there needs to be a balance between the two views. I agree that we need to be extremely careful about what we watch. But we also need to be aware of what is going on in the world around us. There’s a difference in watching a trashy comedy that makes crude references left and right and throws in a random nudity scene that adds nothing to the plot, and say a movie like Slumdog Millionaire. Now, Slumdog Millionaire didnt have any sex scenes or any nudity, but it did show the girl working in the brothel. But if it would have added a nude/sex scene in it, within the context of the story, it would have been somewhat justified. I’m glad that they didn’t, and it definitely did not take away from the story that something like that wasn’t included. I’m just saying that there is not a black and white rule you can apply to all movies. But we, as guys, do need to be extremely careful.
    I also liked his view on violence and language in movies.

  2. Jason says:

    I, too, appreciated Piper’s tone. Visual images are powerful for me, and I have to monitor them in a different kind of way than other forms of media. He especially notes the dangers for men, but I’ve wondered if TV programming and movies don’t present temptations of emotional escapism/adultery that are equally dangerous for women.

    I agree with Shawn that the context and intent of sexual scenes/nudity are important. For example, I’d suggest that in a movie like “Schindler’s List” there were both titillating sexuality and nudity that was designed to repulse–to show the horror, degredation and shame of Nazi oppression. It’s significant to me that what sticks in my head nearly 15 years after seeing the movie are the gratuitously titillating scenes rather than those that portrayed the horror.

    I’d raise a question for both Piper and Shawn regarding violence. I’ve been convicted in the last few years about being entertained by violence that in “real life” I’m repulsed by. A recent study found that some 60% of Christians in the South now believe that torture is sometimes or often morally justified. Does Piper share this belief?

    I wonder if shows like “24” are contributing to the desensitizing of society toward the willful breaking of the human spirit through violence. We know that the military uses first-person shooter games in training, and that at least one of the school shooters (Paducah, Ky) appears to have gained some real-life skill through these “imaginary” games.

    Jesus died for his enemies, and he must weep when they die without him. Yes, sex matters, but violence is another blindspot in the evangelical world.

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