Monday, August 7

Where Is Thy Blush?

I did something that I only rarely do: I watched some network TV last night. My excuse was that the NFL season kicked off with the Hall of Fame Game--and I was more than a little ready for some football. But, I was shocked. I was stunned by the brazen commercials, the vile promos for new shows, and the defiling character of some of the sideline bantering.

The experience reminded me of Shakespeare's famous rebuke:

"Oh shame, where is thy blush?
If thou canst mutine in a matron’s bones,
To flaming youth, let virtue be as wax
And melt in her own fire. Proclaim no shame
When the compulsive ardor gives the charge,
Since for itself as actively doth burn,
And reason panders will."

It also reminded me of the quip of C.S. Lewis that, "The orgasm has now replaced the cross as the focus of longing and the image of fulfillment."

Somehow, we have forgotten G.K. Chesterton's sage observation that, "The moment sex ceases to be a servant it becomes a tyrant. There is something dangerous and disproportionate in its place in human nature, for whatever reason; and it does really need a special purification and dedication. The modern talk about sex being free like any other sense, about the body being beautiful like any tree or flower, is either a description of the Garden of Eden or a piece of thoroughly bad psychology, of which the world grew weary two thousand years ago." Or that of Robert Louis Stevenson, "Even the greatest of delights without the least of restrictions will quickly cease to satisfy. A pristine joy, like sex, made common and base is merely a defiled and repulsive thing."

I am going to have to be a lot more careful this season. We all are. After all, as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow has said, "Purity is the beginning of all passion and shame is the beginning of discernment."

7 comments:

David Ethell said...

Dr. Grant,

Thanks for your honesty in admitting how (nearly?) impossible it is to even turn on the tube at all. Unfortunately, (or perhaps fortunately), this is the very reason why the World Series or the Superbowl (not to mention any regular season action) is a thing of the past in our family. We might read about the scores or listen on the radio, but watching games on TV has become far too dangerous.

Lawrence Underwood said...

I, too, have been shocked at what passes for advertising and entertainment in most mass media. It is telling that most church goers, and yes even the Christians do not see that each season the situation becomes more and more vile. A few months ago we took a TV sabatical. We have always been very stringent what we watch. Or so I thought. The other day I was in a 'techie' store and they had on the tele display a show that I used to enjoy watching. I was shocked and shamed that I used to watch it. Desensitisation is a terrible thing. Thankfully meditaion upon the Word of God brings sensitivity back.

Thanks again, Dr. Grant.

Stephen said...

Dr. Grant, I've seen your name mentioned on several different websites that support Theonomy (like this one) and was curious as to your position on it. Do you agree with it?

Thank you.

George said...

Stephen: This past summer I was quoted or mentioned in Mother Jones, The New Republic, The Advocate, World, Table Talk, and The Washington Post. I guess when you write a great deal about a variety of subjects, you wind up being quoted in wildly varied places. It is interesting to me that when I get mentioned in the Post no one ever asks me what I think about its editorial policies.

OK. Enough with the rant. There is a chapter written by Tim Keller in the Westminster Seminary response to Theonomy. Tim did a good job of discerning the areas where most of us who are Reformed and Westminsterian would agree and disagree with the tenets of that system. Tim even has a great little section specifically on me and my work over the course of the last three decades.

Lawrence Underwood said...

For what it is worth, the tapes, God's Law and Society are excellent. One may not agree with every point mentioned but I believe that Eric did a very good job in interviewing and honing the views of not only the topics, but those interviewed.

George said...

Lawrence: Agreed. Of course, Eric Holmberg does a great job on all his films projects. His newest is on Dispensationalism. It will be released soon and is quite a doozey!

Lawrence Underwood said...

Yea, he threw a teaser at me some time ago about it. I can't wait.