1. bainespal says:

    In essence, discernment not only involves what we do and don’t consume, but also with what we do take in, discernment acts as a filter.

    I’m glad you came to this conclusion. I was concerned for a moment that you were opening the door to the “see no evil, hear no evil” interpretation of Philippians 4:8. I think discernment is finding how grace and truth relate to whatever we encounter in life.

    I think there’s something wrong with the idea of entertainment as relaxation. Maybe this is part of your point in the last paragraph. However, I also don’t think entertainment is necessary for relaxation at all. In Jesus’ time — throughout history until recently — there was no electronic entertainment, and the arts were not consumer products. And yet, I think 2,000 years ago people knew how to relax a lot better than we do today.

    Part of the criticism of “gritty” content is that Christians who consume that kind of entertainment are just doing it to have a good time. I think this criticism is off-base, even if it may be accurate for some. Discernment means that you’re not just consuming entertainment to relax and to enjoy yourself. Getting a good night’s sleep is doubtlessly more relaxing than binge-watching Game of Thrones (not that binge-watching anything is often a good idea).

    • notleia says:

      I wonder about the “entertainment not being necessary” bit, because pretty much all cultures have stories and myths and stuff. It may not be physically necessary, but I wonder if it’s emotionally or psychologically necessary. Or at least riding the line between “beneficial” and “necessary.”

      • R. L. Copple says:

        There are studies showing the beneficial qualities of entertainment like reading. The home page of my website links to some of those. A balanced dose is good for one’s mental health.


        However, one can survive without entertainment for long periods of time, perhaps years, and not die. Not so with food. Go without food for a year and we’ll be giving your eulogy.

    • R. L. Copple says:

      Thanks for your thoughts, bainespal.


      I think “relax” wasn’t the best word I could have chosen. My thought is what one does to get away from the daily grind/responsibilities. Not relax as in physical rest, but mental release of pressure by participating in something one enjoys. For some that might be a crossword puzzle. For me, that wouldn’t be enjoyable.


      Entertainment can certainly have different goals, but in general it moves one from have-to-dos to get by, to want-to-dos because it is fun and enjoyable. If it stops being fun and enjoyable, it is no longer entertaining.


      That’s the idea I was trying to get across.


What do you think?