What matters for our purpose is television’s influence on American discourse and therefore its pressure on the Christian mind. However much television we watch—from little or none to too much—it is now so omnipresent in society that its biases need continued vigilance. Continue reading
The increasingly rapid pace of television’s images makes careful evaluation impossible and undesirable for the viewer, thus rendering determinations of truth and falsity difficult if not impossible.
— Douglas Groothuis, from Truth Decay, p. 290
TV manipulates viewers by its normal way of operating. Many viewers seem to assume that when they have seen something on TV, they have seen it with their own eyes…. Continue reading
The one thing that television can’t do is express ideas…. There is a danger in translating life into an image, and that is what television is doing. In doing it, it is falsifying life. Far from the camera’s being an accurate recorder of what is going on, it is the exact opposite. It cannot convey reality nor does it even want to.
— Malcolm Muggeridge, quoted in Truth Decay by Douglas Groothuis, p. 285
In his book Amusing Ourselves to Death, cultural critic Neil Postman notes that with the advent of television, America shifted from a word-based culture—characterized by a coherent, orderly arrangement of facts and ideas—to an image-based one obsessed with feeling, intuition, and pictures.
— Greg Koukl, from The Vanishing Pro-Life Apologist, an article on str.org under Commentaries on Abortion
If people are saturated by images, and images are limited in their ability to communicate truth, people are limited in their ability to know truth—we have to take this seriously. We are working against sensoria that are habituated to an image-based view of reality that is largely wrong— that is intellectually impatient, [that] does not brook fine distinctions, and often doesn’t even care about contradictions.
— Douglas Groothuis, from “Groothuis on Television”, at 9:48
We characteristically focus on the message rather than the medium. Evangelicals therefore view technology’s substance as malevolently evil (for example, television programming), but its form as benignly innocent because they are neutral (for example, television technology).
— Os Guinness, from Dining With the Devil: The Megachurch Movement Flirts with Modernity, p. 45
We are in the midst of a media revolution. Never before have so many entertainment alternatives been available to us—from motion pictures to television; from CDs to video games; from the Internet to DVDs. All are in tremendous competition not only for our time and money, but also for our affections. Continue reading
How does one explain or, perhaps more relevant, guard against the influence of an industry (television) which is on the verge of becoming a hallucinogenic barrage of images, whose only grammar is pacing, whose principal theme is energy? We are losing our ability to manage ideas; to contemplate, to think.
— Ted Koppel, quoted in Fit Bodies, Fat Minds by Os Guinness, p. 80