Have you ever notice how many television commercials say nothing about the products they advertise? The typical jeans commercial shows a painful drama about the woes of adolescence but never mentions jeans. A perfume ad is a collage of sensuous images with no reference to the product. Beer commercials contain some of the funniest material on television but say very little about beer.
Amusing Ourselves To Death, is the name of a perceptive but disquieting book by Neil Postman, a professor at New York University. The book argues powerfully that television has crippled our ability to think and reduced our aptitude for real communication. Postman says television has not made us the best informed and most literate generation in history, it has flooded our minds with irrelevant and meaningless information.
By far the books' most trenchant message is in a chapter on modern religion. Postman, not a Christian in the strictest [i.e.., Scriptural – ELP] sense of the word, nevertheless writes with piercing insight about the decline of preaching. He contrasts the ministries of Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, and Charles Finney with the preaching of today. Those men relied on depth of content, profundity, logic and knowledge of Scripture. Preaching today is superficial by comparison, with the emphasis on style and emotion. "Good" preaching by the modern-
Most churches typically feature a half-
There is an obvious parallel between that kind of preaching and those trendy jeans-
If the dilemma of modern preaching is to be changed, Christians must insist on biblical preaching and be supportive of men who are committed to it. How does a preacher of integrity reach people who may be unwilling to listen to carefully-
Douglas Parsons, Christian Light, 1989