October 20, 2003
What's the big deal about media?
"Entertainment is discipleship."
Posted by apelles at October 20, 2003 11:52 AM
Someone just wanted to be nifty, sounds like to me.
"Discipleship is entertaining."
But I suppose if it were a mathmatical formula that'd have to be true...
so, dave. out with it. what're you getting at? :)
entertainment and discipleship are not mutually exclusive in every scenario, but i would say that Jesus' and Paul's and Piper's and Bonhoeffer's idea of discipleship (i.e., containing the elements of self-denial, cross-bearing and following without the guarantee of comfortable accoutrements like pillows and roofs and sandals and SUVs and yachts) would differ slightly from a view that equates and interchanges concepts like discipleship and entertainment.
i'm all for squeezing useful analogies and ultimately-profitable discussions from entertainment (even the lemons). it's possible in many cases for fun to turn into discipleship opportunities and vice versa. but let's watch our faulty and false syllogisms. one thing does not necessitate the other.
this perspective comes from a class dealing with contemporary issues. the topic was Christians and culture, specifically the entertainment industry. i realize the quote by itself isn't exactly clear. ok, it's not clear at all.
the idea was simply that we are being discipled every time we sit down in front of a TV, watch a movie, or read a book. far from being simply entertainment, so this perspective says, our media consumption is actually teaching, or calling for a following. perceptions, attitudes, and values are all a part of that discipleship, as well as actions.
it wasn't intendeded to say discipleship is entertainment, any more than stating "dogs are animals" attempts to prove that all animals are dogs, nor was it an attempt to find a more comfortable method to disciple. the concept is, "entertainment disciples," and in this context it's the popular media that provides the entertainment. and that's what i was looking for some input on.
the interesting thing is the perspective you brought to the statment, joy. you were thinking about whether we should use entertainment in proper discipleship, a concept i hadn't even considered since i knew the context of the quote. i think you're right, though. the nature of being a disciple of Christ runs against the comforts and pleasure of the things modern society identifies as "entertainment." we can't use entertainment to disciple very well, because the two concepts have much at odds with one another.
sorry for the confusion. i'll try to be more clear. live and learn...does that help at all?
your explanation sheds a lot of light. i do think the statement is faulty and/or could stand a lot of qualification in whatever context, 1) because it does seem to exclude other things by default and 2) because we as christians automatically associate the word with the biblical context of "discipleship" -- i.e., learning, yes, but learning discipline that is Christ-oriented: Christ-following, Christ-learning, Christ-living, etc.
that being said, it's true that what we set before our eyes teaches us SOMETHING, regardless of whether the something is inherently good. which is why psalm 101:3 talks about david pacting to not set any evil thing before his eyes.
some churches/ministry groups do encourage the use of current entertainment venues as springboards for conversations about biblical ethics, apologetics, life, happiness, the meaning of the universe and so on. for example, i know of groups who will meet once a month to watch a movie together (a movie such as The Matrix or The Green Mile or Sixth Sense) and discuss issues in it--usually issues that pertain to or lead to deeper issues that can be discussed profitably in light of a Christian worldview. one church i know of actually opened a small theater as a parachurch-ministry-supported-by-their-church and non-members of the church are welcome to attend showings and the discussion sessions that follow.
I noticed this discussion and I wanted to ask a question.
Do you think Jesus' use of parables provides us with an example of "entertainment is discipleship." I'm trying to be careful here, I don't want you to think I'm a heretic.
Something can be entertaining and be profitable (I guess that's the point of the discussion). As an adjective entertaining means "agreeably diverting or amusing." So it really depends on what one is diverting your attentions away from; even amusing can have a similar definition, it doesn't necessarily call for laughter.
The parables have many qualities that we admire in our "entertainment": creativity, imagination, life lessons, etc.
Jesus was teaching; I know. His goal was discipleship. It's His method, I was wondering about. Please tell me what you think...