Thoughts on Reading

Stories shape us so chose your own enchantments wisely. Stories are powerful. They take us to other worlds and into other minds. They’re bigger on the inside, like the wardrobe to Narnia or Dr. Who’s police box. Time passes differently in stories like in Narnia and we can return from them having perhaps experienced years or lifetimes. A well told story can touch a heart, change a mind or maybe, redirect a life. So as Christians we should be thoughtful about what we chose to engage with and while it’s very easy to go to the end of extreme legalism where you can’t watch anything that’s more than a PG rating – Christians have complete freedom. We each need to apply wisdom knowing what impact the stories we engage with are having on our hearts. It’s not just looking at the content – something might be an R rating but it’s actually training and encouraging you to have a healthy attitude toward the maybe brutal realities that it is depicting. Or it might be a G or PG rating and it’s encouraging us to love really terrible things – think how much Disney catechizes us in the whole believe in yourself message. There are many ways they are encouraging a very self-centered attitude in stories that may otherwise seem rather innocuous. Of course we can’t cut ourselves off. Engaging with the stories of our culture is a way of loving our neighbors by listening to other voices. But we will want to have a healthy balance of good art. If we’re watching or reading some stories to engage with the culture, we’ll want to refresh ourselves with other stories that we know are training our hearts in helpful ways.

Caleb Woodbridge, “Imaginative Discipleship: How Imagination Reveals and Shapes our Hearts – English L’Abri Podcast
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