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You’ll never believe these new TV shows

Dr. Jim Denison is the CEO of Denison Forum.
His Daily Article and podcast globally reach over 160,000 subscribers. Dr. Denison guides readers to discern today’s news—biblically. He is the author of multiple books and has taught on the philosophy of religion and apologetics at several seminaries. Prior to launching Denison Forum in 2009, he pastored churches in Texas and Georgia. He holds a Ph.D and a Master of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Jim and his wife, Janet, live in Dallas, Texas. They have two sons and four grandchildren.

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“When it comes to clams, these two aren’t shucking around,” the announcer says.  “Clam Kings” tells the story of two clam diggers who compete with each other for beachfront access.  Or not.  The “Clam Kings” trailer is actually a spoof by Public Broadcasting Service stations, which says, “The fact you thought this was a real show says a lot about the state of TV.  Support quality programming.”

Other spoofs include “Long Island Landscapers,” which focuses on a team of yard guys who “are going over the hedge.”  And there’s “Meet the Tanners,” a sun-loving family with questionable priorities—”We have rules in this house,” says the mom.  “If you sass me, you go in the shade.”

Watching the trailers, I believed they were real shows.  That’s how bad television programming has gotten.  Here’s another example: a TV show that watches people watch TV.  Bravo network has just ordered a new series called The People’s Couch.  It sets up cameras in the same homes week to week and records reactions to the shows people watch.  A Bravo spokeswoman explained: “The People’s Couch is a funny, unfiltered comment on America’s current TV viewing habits.”  That’s a troubling thought.{source}
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Entertainment rules our culture today.  According to Nielsen, the average American will watch nine years of television in his or her lifetime.  When we’re not watching TV, we’re often watching something else—the more extravagant the venue, the better.

A new movie theater in our community offers dine-in service, a pizza and wine bar, and an exclusive area with a full bar for patrons over 21 years of age.  AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, consumes three times more electricity on game days than the West African nation of Liberia and its 3.7 million people.

How is all this entertainment working for us?  In a recent poll, 79 percent of American adults say it was better to be a child when they were growing up than it is now; 75 percent say it was better to be a parent then than today.  Nearly 30 years ago, Neil Postman warned that we were “amusing ourselves to death.”  What’s the solution for our passive, entertainment-enthralled, morally declining culture?  Worrying won’t help: as the saying goes, worry doesn’t take away tomorrow’s problems—it takes away today’s peace.  Nor will complaining about the culture change it.

Renewal starts with me.  Buddha was right: “All that we are is the result of what we have thought.  What we think we become.”  I’m responsible for how much and what kind of television I watch.  I’m responsible for how I feed and use my mind.  I’m responsible to “take captive every thought to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).  I’m the steward of my mind, as you are of yours.

What do you think about the state of television today?  What does it say about our culture?  What can Christians do to “be transformed by the renewal of your mind” (Romans 12:2)?  Please share your thoughts in our comments section.  And ask yourself: what I will do to love God with all my mind (Matthew 22:37), today?

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