I finally finished reading Shane Hipps‘ Flickering Pixels: How Technology Shapes Your Faith in one go. It is absolutely amazing and thought provoking at the same time. I read the book with a highlighter in my hand and guess what? Almost every page was highlighted of some great insight. Here are some great ones:
“Prioritizing those who are physically present can have a transforming effect on us when so many are digitally absent.” (108)
“That intimacy is preserved in that relationship as long as the information remains exclusive. The moment it is available to anyone and everyone is the moment intimacy begins to evaporate.” (113)
“Digital social networking inoculates people against the desire to be physically present with others in real social networks — networks like a church or a meal at someone’s home. Being together becomes nice but nonessential.” (115)
“Using email to mediate conflict is like baking a cake without a mixing bowl or an oven. The very ingredients that make reconciliation possible are absent.” (118)
“The church is a direct reflection of Jesus, God’s chosen medium sent to be — not just to proclaim — a message of healing and hope to the world.” (169)
“We are too eager to assign a value to things; we want to call something ‘good’ or ‘bad’ long before we understand what it can do and undo.” (183)
He is also able to craft some ingenious quotations:
“To condemn the paparazzi is like condemning the butcher while eating a steak.” (95)
“A televangelist can have millions of viewers and as many moral failings.” (99)
I think the last book I read with such excitement was Rob Bell‘s Velvet Elvis. It’s that good. In a nutshell, this book is a must read if you want to know how technology, especially TV and the Internet, subversively shapes our faith without us knowing. Hipps doesn’t provide a solid conclusion or a way forward, but at least he did want he set out to do, i.e. to raise our awareness first. I look forward to his next installment if he’s planning to write another book.
Highly recommended. I give it a 9/10.
Watch this interview of Shane Hipps by Rob Bell regarding this book: