Chris Brauns posted a blog on some questions not to ask before allowing something to shape one’s worldview. He was talking primarily about inspirational Christian books. But I think his point applies to books, movies, video games, magazines, radio shows and music. Here are the three questions to ask:
The question is not:
•Can the author construct a hypothetical scenario that seems compelling to me? For instance, if an author says, “If God sends x number of people to hell, then we have problems,” the author is not appealing to any biblical authority. Rather, he is appealing to what resonates with people’s culturally conditioned sensibilities.
•Do I like how the story makes me feel? All kinds of fiction make people feel good during the duration of a movie or a book. Audiences felt good when they watched the movie Pretty Woman. But do we really think that the way to redemption for a prostitute and a selfish materialist would be an extended business relationship?
•Does the story involve me? There are all sorts of stories that draw an audience in so that they want to know the outcome or resolution of the plot. However, this doesn’t mean that we should allow them to shape our worldview.
What question should we ask? “To what source of authority does this book appeal.”