Flickering Pixels: The Way Technology Shapes Your Faith
by Shane Hipps
Previously on “Books You Should Read” I recommended a classic: Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton.
I cannot claim that Shane Hipps’ present work is a classic in any historic or modern sense. Truth be told, I just started it yesterday and finished it today. (Definitely one of the fastest books I’ve read in a while.) While I’m still digesting it, I want to recommend it, because it is certainly stretching and challenging, forcing the reader to consider the quiet and often dramatic ways technology has shaped culture (and, in the process, faith) throughout history right up to today.
Hipps has crafted an energetic, easy-to-read history of technology from the alphabet and wheel right through to printing press and into the modern era of iPhones and Facebook, always with an eye for how these technologies are quietly changing the way we not only function but also think. How have these changes in our thinking and perception changed not only the way that we communicate our faith but also nuanced our faith itself?
Obviously (I hope) we do not blindly or unquestioningly consume books, ideas, or anything else. Everything needs to be tested, probed, and weighed. You will likely disagree with Hipps in some places. I know I did. And this is frequently healthy and needed — a sign that we’re thinking critically and not merely coasting along.
The challenge which he presents to us is formidable, and we cannot afford to ignore the ways in which technology shapes us… and our faith. Plus it’s so darn interesting (and so readable!) that you’ll have trouble putting it down.