Sunday, June 28, 2009

John Piper on TV and Movies

In a 'Taste and See Article' at the Desiring God website John Piper writes an article on "Why I Don't Have a Television and Rarely Go To Movies".

Here is an excerpt:

I think relevance in preaching hangs very little on watching movies, and I think that much exposure to sensuality, banality, and God-absent entertainment does more to deaden our capacities for joy in Jesus than it does to make us spiritually powerful in the lives of the living dead. Sources of spiritual power—which are what we desperately need—are not in the cinema. You will not want your biographer to write: Prick him and he bleeds movies.

He lists several reasons for not watching entertainment:
  • the prolific sex in entertainment
  • its addictive tendencies
  • its trivialization of life
  • its deadening effects
  • its colossal waste of time
It is hard to argue with a quote like this:

All Christ-exalting transformation comes from “beholding the glory of Christ.” “Beholding the glory of the Lord, [we] are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another” (2 Corinthians 3:18). Whatever dulls the eyes of our mind from seeing Christ powerfully and purely is destroying us. There is not one man in a thousand whose spiritual eyes are more readily moved by the beauty of Christ because he has just seen a bare breast with his buddies.


  1. One comment I would make is about 'the trivialization of life'. This may be true of action movies and others, but the few movies that I watch are those that do the opposite. For example "Slumdog Millionaire", "Pan's Labyrinth" and "The Shawshank Redemption" all contain 'adult content' but inspire me to live a more meaningful life more than many sermons I have heard.

  2. Abe,

    I'm guessing you could get Piper to agree with you that many Hollywood movies are not as trivial as what passes for sermons in North America these days.

    To use a word you have an affinity for, I think we should be more intentional about our entertainment viewing. I know I certainly need to be.