How to Consume Media the Right Way According to Walt Mueller by Tyson Howells


Your students cannot avoid it. Everywhere they go there is going to be music, movies, and tv shows.  So what do you teach them about media?

The bible says to avoid and hide from everything unless it is from a Christian label, right?

Actually it doesn’t.  What the bible does do is talk a lot about discernment.  It teaches that we are to discern what we are supposed to consume and what we are not supposed to consume.

We tend to not teach about discernment because it is difficult. –Difficult to teach and difficult to do.  And we avoid things that are difficult.

No one I know of does a better job of helping us teach students about discernment better than Walt Mueller.  His website, www.cpyu.org is an amazing resource.

Walt starts off by asking a great question, do you mindlessly consume or do you mindfully critique?  Do your students just turn off their brains and consume.  Most do and this is dangerous.

The key we need to teach our students is to mindfully critique.  This is the process that Walt suggests.  He calls it the 3d’s.

 1. DISCOVER what is being said

Can we teach our students to ask lots of good questions about media before they consume it.  Questions like;

  • What is the main lesson?
  • What worldview is being promoted?
  • Would you consider what you just saw as “good”or “bad”

It is by asking good questions that students start to understand what that particular piece of media is teaching.

 2. DISCERN through the filter of Scripture

After the discover process there is now a lot of information.  That is good but you have to do something with it.  Our students need to take all of this information and push it through the filter of scripture.

The lesson being taught or the worldview being promoted, what does scripture say about them?

Is the song talking about a man’s love for his wife?  I think scripture would approve of this.  Is the song objectifying woman and about the singer having sex with as many woman as possible?  I think scripture would disapprove.

The key is that scripture is our measuring stick for what is good and bad.

 3.DECIDE what to do

Now the key is to have students decide if they should or should not consume the media.  Do they want to consume something that is bad.  This process helps them to see if something is good or bad and decide accordingly.

Teaching our students to discern is a life long skill that they must have.  Telling them to just avoid media is unrealistic and unhelpful.

If you want to see this process put into action here is Walt Mueller using the process on the Beyonce video “Pretty Hurts”.

I encourage you to look at what Walt has to say and comment below on if you think this is a realistic approach to teach our students.

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