Preaching to Programmed People

By Timothy A. Turner
Grand Rapids : Kregel (1995). 150 Pages.

Reviewed by Dr. Alex Montoya
7.1 (Spring 1996) : 142-143

Preachers today must strive to be relevant, and relevance is often set by the media, or more specifically television. Preaching to Programmed People is a book about a generation of Americans raised on television. The author Timothy A. Turner is both a pastor and a lecturer on the media, the family, and preaching. The book contains two sections:

First, "What Has T.V. Done to Preaching?" including five chapters:

  1. T.V. Has "Captured" Your Congregation
  2. The T.V.-Conditioned Mentality
  3. T.V. Refashions People
  4. Seven New Kinds of Listeners
  5. The T.V. Pulpit and the Electronic Pew

Second, "What Should Preachers Do About T.V.?" which provides answers to questions in the first section:

  1. Capitalize on T.V.
  2. T.V.'s Achilles' Heel and Preaching's Power
  3. Purge Boredom Factors
  4. Preaching to Programmed People
  5. Media-Relevant Preaching
  6. Media-Proof Your Message
  7. Media-Proof Your Church

Turner offers a refreshing alternative to those who advocate sermons short on time and short on content. His premise is that preaching today has an articulate and sophisticated competitor, and that preachers must understand it and use it to the gospel's advantage. Preachers who wish to minister to a contemporary generation will find help in these insights.