My day usually ends with me lying in bed watching Netflix at around 9:30. Now there’s nothing wrong with watching some television after a long day, however starting tonight I’m going to start doing things much differently.
Instead of lying in bed and just watching a show I will watch it actively sitting in a chair or on the couch trying to discover the worldview it is teaching
This change in philosophy came from reading a book called “Meaning At The Movies” by Grant Horner.
What makes this book interesting is Mr. Horner doesn’t spend time focusing on the kind of movies we shouldn’t watch, but instead challenges individuals to discern what they are watching .
The point is that while half-asleep in my bed I’m definitey not actively discerning anything  instead I am just a passive consumer.
Mr. Horner points out that instead of being consumers Christians should be the best cultural critics…sadly most of (myself included) just crash in front of the tv.
”Christians should be the very best film viewers—the very best cultural critics, in fact—because we have the potential capability to discern truth from error and also to understand the real purpose of enjoyment of human creativity, which is to glorify God by practicing discernment ”
Okay so how can we become discerning viewers of television or movies? Here are a few ideas.
- Watch it in a place where you will not fall asleep 
- If possible watch it on a mobile device like a phone or tablet, since this allows you to focus directly on the program
- If you are watching it on a tv make sure mobile devices aren’t used during the program 
- Watching something that can be paused is useful because it allows you to stop and ask yourself questions.
- Watching a tv season from beginning to end helps because you see the complete storyline (the directors view of what the world should be like)
- And of course if something is teaching a wrong worldview then don’t watch it
It can be confusing trying to find a worldview in programs so let me share Horner’s definition of one.
“Who believes what about what and why?”
**Put another way; what do they believe about the world, and what is their reason for it?
*Of course this may not be incredibly clear, however the important thing is the we become a generation of people who think seriously about what the worldviews our minds consume.
- the subtitle is “becoming a discerning viewer” ↩
- asking what the media teaches me and why ↩
- Horner, Grant (2010–06–15). Meaning at the Movies: Becoming a Discerning Viewer (p. 64). Crossway. Kindle Edition. ↩
- sitting in a chair or around others ↩
- I’m very guilty of playing games on the iPad while the tv is on ↩
- Horner, Grant (2010–06–15). Meaning at the Movies: Becoming a Discerning Viewer (p. 61). Crossway. Kindle Edition. ↩