MLJ On the Mind-Numbing Qualities of Television

On Friday I shared a quote about why Piper doesn’t own a TV. I can’t find any evidence to suggest that the Doctor also abstained from this modern form of entertainemnt. There are multiple references to the things “we watch on televion” in his sermons. However, Martyn Lloyd-Jones had serious reservations about TV, as this quote demonstrates. I wonder if the Internet is less mind-numbing? I suspect that if you read certain parts of the Net and engage with it, on the contrary, it could even be positive for one’s ability to think. I know that Piper does indeed own a computer—a Macbook, of course. If the Doctor lived today, I’d like to believe he might have spent more time in front of a computer screen than a television.

Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones“This generation that boasts so much about its intellect does not think. If it did, it would not believe all the advertisements on television. That is just psychology, subliminal thinking, and does not bring about active, conscious thinking. People are given information by constant repetition and absorb it without knowing it. This is probably the most drugged, deluded, controlled generation the world has ever known. This is the age of propaganda and of advertising—and of the negation of thinking. Obviously, not everything that is recommended is bad. No, but whether good or bad, people will buy something if they are told sufficiently frequently to do so. We had a second world war in the twentieth century largely because people would not think; they did not want to think. They said, “Two world wars in one century are impossible—it cannot happen.” They would not face the facts, and when one man warned them, they said, “This man is a warmonger.” They dismissed him out of prejudice—they would not think. He was trying to get them to think, but they would not. Here is the great message of the Gospel—you are called upon to think.

David Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Authentic Christianity, 1st U.S. ed., (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2000), 295.

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