It seems obvious, but we need to be aware of the worldview(s) being presented in any work, and we need to instruct our children how to recognize how those worldviews are being used to influence our responses to a film. Leland Ryken, an English professor at Wheaton College, proposes in Windows to the World (104-105) that media can easily persuade an assuming or inattentive viewer or a reader to:
- Accept an erroneous viewpoint as truth.
- Move a person to detrimental emotions (hopelessness, despair, hatred, etc.).
- And influence a person to immoral behavior.
These potential negative influences are true of any form of media—print, cinema, and even music. This is where we, as parents/teachers, need to be extremely cautious not only about what our children are watching and reading, but also how they are interpreting what they are viewing.
Ryken expresses it this way, “Good readers are always active: interpreting, evaluating, and analyzing. They also are constantly aware of their own responses to what they read” (Ryken, Windows to the World, 111). We cannot afford to be lax or apathetic when it comes to instructing our children in movie viewing. Not to sound overly dramatic, but our children’s souls are at stake every time we allow them to watch a movie without talking with them about the worldview presented in the film.
So, what is a worldview? Hold that thought, and read our next article next week ….