Media Choices: Convictions or Compromise?
by Phillip Telfer (2015)
The digital age emerged suddenly on the world’s timeline and has drastically changed the shape of culture. Consequently, today’s entertainment has become one of the biggest stumbling blocks to spiritual growth and family health in our nation. Parenting teens was a noble challenge long before society became surrounded by captivating screens, and navigating life as a teen had plenty of difficulties and distractions long before the game changing technology of the smartphone. The bottom line is that parents and teens are both in need of help! Our generation is faced each day with an all-you-can-eat media buffet. It has a huge influence on how we think, how we spend our time, and how we relate to others. It can also affect our relationship with God. Christians have been eager to keep up with the sweeping changes but have fallen far behind in Biblical wisdom. There is a growing need for media discernment in the light of following Jesus.
Very few authors have broached the topic of media literacy from a Christian worldview. Phillip Telfer handles this challenging subject deftly with story-driven analogies that serve as a spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down. While this does not conclude with a call to be anti-media or anti-technology, it does raise concerns about the unchecked enthusiasm regarding media and entertainment, which are often consumed without discretion. This book will help you discover the Biblical principles that can inspire reasonable convictions. Learn how God’s word addresses the unique challenges we face today. This book can help parents and teens discover how and why to guard their hearts and find freedom in this media captive culture.
This book began in 2005 as a series of notes for a seminar that I was preparing to share in churches and other venues across the U.S.A. My plan was to edit the notes and publish them as a small booklet. I kept writing and the booklet kept growing until it had emerged as an actual book. That was ten years ago, and much has changed during this last decade. I realized that I needed to revise the book that was titled, “What Wouldn’t Jesus Do? Media Choices in the Light of Following Christ.” I spent more than a year re-editing the material and adding fourteen new chapters.
The original book was the catalyst for my introductory seminar which became known as “Media Choices: Convictions or Compromise?” Over the years, I continued to add new material to the presentation and tweak what was remaining. The new chapters that I have added to this book have come from the seminar. It seems as if the process has come full circle and I’ve adjusted the order of chapters to match as closely as possible.
My original target audience was teens, but I found that the book as well as the presentation struck a chord with all ages. I kept that in mind as I was working on this major revision.
It is very challenging to write a book knowing that the audience will be a mix between youth and adults. I have endeavored to write as broadly as possible, but it was inevitable to make distinct appeals to youth at times, and to parents at other times. I trust that the reader will be gracious to accommodate this approach since it breaks some standard rules about targeting a specific audience.
– Phillip Telfer
April 7, 2015