Archive for February 2nd, 2015

Worldview dilemmas blog series veritas domain

Purpose: Workshop participants will consider entertainment from a biblically informed perspective with the specific application towards movies and videos, so that you may be equipped to respond to it properly in evangelism, edification and exalting God.


What this message is not going to say:

  • Throw away all TVs.
  • Movie is of the devil per se.
  • Everything we watch is permitted.


  1. Entertainment in the context of Leisure
    1. Towards a definition: Relationship of work, leisure and entertainment
      1. It is important to define our terms.
      2. It might be helpful to define our terms in light of the relationship of work, leisure and entertainment because they are inter-related.
  • Work seems easier to define than the other two: What we do to provide economically for our needs and wants, which result in the production of goods and services.
  1. Leisure is opposed to work, in that it is the time and activities which occur free from the obligation of providing for our economic necessity, and usually has the aspect of improving the quality, satisfaction and enrichment of our lives.[1]
  2. Entertainment
    1. Activities that occurs during our leisure.
    2. “Something that amuses, pleases, or diverts, especially a performance or show.”[2]
    3. As opposed to other leisurely activity, the participants usually believe that he or she is engaging in it for the purpose of amusement sake only.
  3. As a historical trend, we have more time for leisure—and more time for entertainment
    1. According to a 1964 study on leisure time available: “It is striking fact to note that the working man of a century ago spent some seventy hours per week on the job and lived about forty years. Today he spends some forty hours per week at work and expect to live about seventy years.  This adds something like twenty-two more years of leisure to his life, about 1,500 free hours each year, and a total of some 33,000 additional free hours that the man born today has to enjoy!”[3]
    2. “Over the past half-century, the increase in incomes and decline in hours worked have allowed American consumers to enjoy more leisure time and increase their spending on entertainment. In 2000, spending on entertainment by American consumers totaled approximately $203 billion, almost 3 times the amount that Americans spent on education.”[4]
  4. Videos (TV, movies, shows) occupy a large part of Americans’ entertainment
    1. According to a 2010 survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Watching TV was the leisure activity that occupied the most time (2.7 hours per day), accounting for about half of leisure time, on average, for those age 15 and over.”[5]
    2. According to a Nielsen study in 2011, they found that traditional TV viewing (still the primary vehicle for video consumption across all demographics) has increased by an average of 22 minutes per month per person from 2010, making that nearly 159 hours watching traditional TV monthly. In addition, an average of four hours and 20 minutes per month of video on the web was watched, increased by a full hour and 10 minutes above what the first quarter of 2010.  TV content that is recorded and watched later also continued to grow, as did mobile video viewing, up 43% (20%) from 2010.[6]
  • The most disturbing in perspective concern statistics of those who are young. Kaiser did their own research and found:

“Eight- to eighteen-year-olds spend more time with media than in any other activity besides (maybe) sleeping—an average of more than 7½ hours a day, seven days a week. The TV shows they watch, video games they play, songs they listen to, books they read and websites they visit are an enormous part of their lives, offering a constant stream of messages about families, peers, relationships, gender roles, sex, violence, food, values, clothes, and an abundance of other topics too long to list.”[7]

  1. Why focus on Videos (TV, movies, shows)
    1. Lordship of Christ means that every sphere of our lives need to be under Him—including movies.
    2. If we somehow identified by the forty hours of our lives, what about the rest of our lives?
    3. What we do with our leisure shows our identity.
    4. Videos do impact us, so we need to be discerning.
  • Concerns about video entertainment
    1. Videos do have an agenda
      1. By the very nature of film, it always shows us only an angle of the story, and someone made a decision of which angle.
      2. Everything we see has been edited: Some clips were chosen to be shown, some have been deleted.
    2. That agenda or message can be good or bad.
      1. Everyone has been impacted by sin (Romans 3:10, 3:23),
      2. Sin affects everything man does from church, government and even film!
  • Therefore, we need to be careful to discern the message or agenda of what we watch!
  1. The media form of videos can be powerfully persuasive.
    1. Film tells a story.
      1. Stories might even be more powerful way of conveying information than an article or book.
      2. Stories usually invite us into the person’s perspective, for the sake of the story and calls us to suspend doubt.
    2. The fast paced nature of moving pictures drop our guard even more.
  2. The Christian response
    1. Know that film in of itself is not evil.

Acting and seeing someone act is not a sin (Jeremiah 13:1-11).

  1. Watch with discernment.
    1. Look for the worldview
      1. What does the film say about the nature of man?
      2. What does the film communicate is important and valuable?
      3. What does the film say about God?
    2. Ask questions
  2. Christians do not have to watch everything.



  1. Talk about movies.


  1. Have the conversation be evangelistic.




  1. What does it teach about God?

[1] Paraphrase from Leland Ryken, Redeeming the Time (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1995), 28.

[2] The American Heritage Dictionary, accessed at http://www.thefreedictionary.com/entertainment.

[3] Robert Lee, Religion and Leisure in America: A Study in Four Dimensions (Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 1964), 37.  Cited in Tony Reinke, Lit!  A Christian Guide to Reading Books (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2011), 132-33.

[4] Neil Tseng, “Expenditures on Entertainment,” Bureau of Labor Statistics,  http://www.bls.gov/cex/anthology/csxanth10.pdf (accessed March 27, 2012).

[5] Burea of Labor Statistics, “Economic Press Release: American Time Use Survey Summary,” Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/atus.nr0.htm (accessed March 27, 2012).

[6] Summary of Neilsen Wire, “Cross Platform Report: Americans Watching More TV, Mobile and Web Video,” Nielsen Wire,  http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/cross-platform-report-americans-watching-more-tv-mobile-and-web-video/ (accessed March 27, 2012).

[7] Victoria J. Rideout, Ulla G. Foeher and Donald F. Roberts, Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8 to 18-Year-Olds; A Kaiser Family Foundation Study January 2010 (Menlo Park, CA: Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 2010), 1.  http://www.kff.org/entmedia/upload/8010.pdf (accessed March 27, 2012).

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