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Flickering Pixels: How Technology Shapes Your Faith Hardcover – February 3, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (February 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310293219
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310293217
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #108,746 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“It’s a rare feat for a work to keep teaching and informing and blowing your mind, page after page after page. Shane Hipps has the extraordinary ability to articulate, explain, and educate as to why we should be very, very careful to uncritically embrace the latest offerings from the gods of technology.” -- Rob Bell

About the Author

Shane Hipps, teaching pastor at Mars Hill Bible Church, is a dynamic communicator and sought-after speaker. His previous career in advertising helped him gain expertise in understanding media and culture. Shane lives with his family in Grand Rapids, MI. For more information, visit www.shanehipps.com.

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Customer Reviews

My biggest criticism of the book is its size.
Marcus Goodyear
If our culture continues down this path, right thinking, in general, will no longer be judged according to its logic, it will be judged pragmatically.
Jeff Cook
An enjoyable read full of stories that illustrate the points that Hipps makes throughout this book.
Robert E. Yoder

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Michael Krahn on May 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Marshall McLuhan began his 1964 book Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, with the following:

"In a culture like ours, long accustomed to splitting and dividing all things as a means of control, it is sometimes a bit of a shock to be reminded that, in operational and practical fact, the medium is the message."

For nearly a half-century now, students of media have been contemplating the repercussions of McLuhan's statement.

In Flickering Pixels: How Technology Shapes Your Faith, Shane Hipps attempts to apply McLuhan's thinking to the realm of faith. Hipps seems doubly qualified to tackle the content - a former ad exec for Porsche, Hipps turned his back on the lucrative career, entered seminary, and became a Mennonite Pastor.

Hipps writes with excellent pacing, clear prose, and a good bit of humor. Unfortunately, in this book at least, his focus is lacking at times and nonexistent at others. Entire chapters (although they are short) are devoted to issues that have no relation to the topic of the book at all. The first ten chapters, in fact, are a fascinating application of McLuhan's ideas. After that, however, more chapters than not add nothing to the stated purpose of the book: awareness of the effects of technology on our faith.

In chapter 11 Hipps turns his focus to social media - in his terms "virtual community" - which he claims "inoculates people against the desire to be physically present with others in real social networks". It's at this point that Hipps loses me. He attacks everything from blogs to instant messaging to Facebook and relegates them to the status of cotton candy.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Cook on April 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Shane Hipps second book Flickering Pixels is not merely insightful, it is important. Hipps succeeds in taking some very complex topics--brain function, mass communication, the history of theology--and he packages them in an accessible, truly fresh study for everyone.

It is clear to many that our world has changed in the last few decades. All ages experience conflict and movement, but ours is an age in which fundamental assumptions about knowledge, ethics, and what it means to be human are being radically deconstructed and rebuilt. A primary reason may be that "images and icons are fast displacing words as the dominant communication system of our culture."

This has immediate relevance to a conversation taking place among younger Christians, some of whom push hard for a more empirical experience of their faith--doing radical charity work, creating environments that have mystical feel, emphasizing their body in worship through a primary focus on the sacraments, prayers, worship, and communal experiences with a lessening emphasis on teaching and left brain activities. The conversation in this camp seems to be, "How can we create environments in which our friends encounter and are made aware of Jesus?"

The other camp has becoming increasingly doctrinally focused. This camp emphasizes right thinking and even dogmatic specificity. I heard one such speaker boast on how many young people were coming to his events and leaving with his favorite book of systematic theology in their hands. For this man, this was a huge win. The conversation in this camp seems to be how do we get younger people to affirm a set of beliefs, to dig really deep, and perhaps begin to be interested in and engaging the theology of a Calvin, or Spurgeon, or Augustine.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A. J. Bennett on February 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Rare are the books that I read when I find myself saying "yes, that makes perfect sense!" or "my gosh, how have I missed that insight all this time?". This is one of those books.

In Flickering Pixels, Hipps' genius is derived in large part by his ability to contextualize and explain the deeper implications of the seemingly obvious technological realities of today, realities that are much more subversive than I previous understood them to be.

While this book is written primarily for Christian lay persons, I found this informal treatise to be so well rounded and so practically informative that I wouldn't be surprised if it is eventually held in the same high regard as Neil Postman's "Amusing Ourselves to Death."

This is a MUST READ for anyone who is seeking to better understand the "invisible" and prolific technological forces shaping the essential dynamics of daily living in Christendom in the 21st Century.

Enjoy this easy-to-read, relatively short, incredibly well-informed, at times humorous, and otherwise intensely practical book!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Chad Estes on April 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
How does technology shape our faith? It is a question posed and answered in Shane Hipps' book, Flickering Pixels. It seemed like a strong statement to me. I've considered technology to be a tool to support our faith, but I've never considered it as something that could actually shape it. I was happy for a chance to review the book and examine the author's findings.

This self-described "consumer anthropologist," has written a book to describe the hidden power of the media and technology. It is a fascinating subject, easy to read, with the right mix of history, stories and evaluation to keep his readers interested.

It may be important to note what this book isn't:
* It is not a book about how to harness the power of technology for evangelism.
* It is not a book that suggests that technology is of the devil.
* It is not a book that suggests that the liberals have taken over the media.
* It is not a book that has uncovered the secret plans of the Illuminati for world domination.

What the book is is a study about communication, recognizing that messages change with the method of delivery. For instance, think of the changes that took place in the church with the invention of the printing press. It wasn't just accessibility of the Bible that was the issue, it was also the way it was interpreted and used (oral tradition, passed on through stories, with a focus on the gospels). Linear reasoning not only helped shift the world from the middle ages into the enlightenment and modern era, it also moved the church into studying the meaning of words and phrases, the logic of the Apostle Paul's letters, and an attempt to quantify truth (systematic theology) as hadn't been done before.
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