David Taylor, the director of Brehm Texas, has written a prominent piece for Christianity Today on the role of television and film in shaping our imaginations, particularly our images of what marriage looks like in today’s culture. In the November 11 article, “Where Are All the Good Stories About Marriage?”, he suggests this:
"While movies and television cannot be blamed exclusively for our society’s rejection of theologically conservative ideas about marriage, they have certainly made it easier for our neighbors to imagine that such a marriage, especially its exclusive status, is impossible or undesirable. I also contend that we have not fully reckoned with the power of the artistic imagination."
Looking at contemporary examples from television like Modern Family and Friday Night Lights, Taylor argues that the images our culture displays on the screen can complicate our stereotypes and adjust our perception of what is real in the world. He cites Mae C. Jemison as an example: the first black woman to travel into space was inspired by Star Trek’s portrayal of a black astronaut. Jemison put it well: “Images show us possibilities.”
Taylor suggests that we are all in the same business of “word-smithing, story-telling, culture-shaping, ultimately heart-forming,” and one avenue to support and sustain marriage is by telling new stories that show us what is possible in longterm, loving relationships sustained by God. It’s not something that can happen overnight, and he says that the church must be a patient and supportive presence as we work toward a “winsome Christian presence” in the arts and entertainment industries.
To read the whole article, click here.
For more on Brehm Texas, click here.