flickering pixels by shane hipps

Written by Dan King

Christ-follower. husband. father. author of the unlikely missionary: from pew-warmer to poverty-fighter. co-author of activist faith: from him and for him. school of ministry and missions instructor. president of fistbump media, llc.

April 13, 2009

Not long ago I shared the bibledude technology report based on a study from the Barna Group. In this report I asked how the church can engage the culture better through the use of technology. One of the interesting trends that is happening is regarding how people see themselves more as creators of rather than consumers of content. So our challenge as the church is to find ways to engage people in the conversation with the technologies that people are using.

Since then I have been asked to check out a new book called Flickering Pixels by Shane Hipps. In this book Hipps makes some interesting observations about how technology affects the way that we understand the messages that we receive. Check out this short interview with Rob Bell in which he lays out some of the key ideas in the book…

[youtube D6QiyElRG3c Video :: Rob Bell and Shane Hipps Interview]

Hipps raises some great questions, and brings some insight that all Christians need to keep in mind. This certainly is a book that will challenge the way that you think and will cause you to re-evaluate how you use technology to spread the Gospel of Jesus. This book is a must-read for anyone who is using (or planning to use) technology to fulfill the Great Commission. I don’t think that it should discourage you to use technology, but to be aware of how it affects the message. In order to be truly effective in living out our faith, then we must keep our tools in their proper place.

For me the bottom line is that technology does not (and cannot) replace relationships. Let me know what you think….

.

flickering_pixelsFlickering Pixels: How Technology Shapes Your Faith
By Shane Hipps

Product Description
“The methods change, but the message stays the same.” This saying is the guiding light for faithful Christians in a changing world. But author Shane Hipps reveals the error in this thinking. Instead he demonstrates how changing the methods always changes the message. He shows us the hidden power of technology to shape our faith in unexpected ways.

From the Back Cover
Flickering pixels are the tiny dots of light that make up the screens of life—from TVs to cell phones. They are nearly invisible, but they change us. In this provocative book, author Shane Hipps takes readers beneath the surface of things to see how the technologies we use end up using us.

Not all is dire, however, as Hipps shows us that hidden things have far less power to shape us when they aren’t hidden anymore. We are only puppets of our technology if we remain asleep. Flickering Pixels will wake us up—and nothing will look the same again.

About the Author
Shane Hipps, Lead Pastor of Trinity Mennonite 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 Phoenix, Arizona. For more information, visit www.shanehipps.com.

7 Comments

  1. dan ohlerking

    my first reaction to shane's perspective as i listened to the interview with rob bell was that he's missing the point. honestly i've not heard the statement “the methods change, but the message stays the same.” what i've heard and believe fully is this: “the message is sacred. the method is not.” a slight variance on it there – and as i listened through to the end of the video (while at the same time ordering the book) i found myself agreeing with shane somewhat. i believe that regardless of the medium we communicate through, we MUST protect the message. it isn't automatic that it will remain intact unless we fight to keep it that way. the Word of God is unchanging, but if we are not careful, our communication of it can dilute it. the message of the cross – that Jesus died for our sins, rose again, and if we'll believe in Him and let Him be in charge of our lives, we can have abundant and eternal life – that is the message we carry and cannot allow to be altered in the slightest iota. but we MUST be aggressive to find the tools available to us to communicate it.

    maybe the point is that we should not just find them, but learn to use them well, learn the risks of using them, learn how to overcome the challenges and how to use them fully to communicate the love of Jesus through them.

    we do indeed have the responsibility as shane says in the video to be the hands and feet of Jesus to a hurting world. and that is best done when we can physically go where people are. but to stick our heads in the sand and limit ourselves to reaching out to others ONLY when a physical encounter is possible would be ridiculous. i don't think that's what shane is saying – i certainly hope not… i just wanted to make that point.

    definitely looking forward to reading the book. it's a very HOT topic for me. i want to make sure that what i'm communicating is the love and grace and hope of Jesus Christ – nothing more and nothing less. and i want God to be able to use me to communicate that pure truth through whatever medium He chooses – including digital media.

    thanks for the heads up about this, dan. you rock.

    Reply
  2. dan ohlerking

    my first reaction to shane's perspective as i listened to the interview with rob bell was that he's missing the point. honestly i've not heard the statement “the methods change, but the message stays the same.” what i've heard and believe fully is this: “the message is sacred. the method is not.” a slight variance on it there – and as i listened through to the end of the video (while at the same time ordering the book) i found myself agreeing with shane somewhat. i believe that regardless of the medium we communicate through, we MUST protect the message. it isn't automatic that it will remain intact unless we fight to keep it that way. the Word of God is unchanging, but if we are not careful, our communication of it can dilute it. the message of the cross – that Jesus died for our sins, rose again, and if we'll believe in Him and let Him be in charge of our lives, we can have abundant and eternal life – that is the message we carry and cannot allow to be altered in the slightest iota. but we MUST be aggressive to find the tools available to us to communicate it.

    maybe the point is that we should not just find them, but learn to use them well, learn the risks of using them, learn how to overcome the challenges and how to use them fully to communicate the love of Jesus through them.

    we do indeed have the responsibility as shane says in the video to be the hands and feet of Jesus to a hurting world. and that is best done when we can physically go where people are. but to stick our heads in the sand and limit ourselves to reaching out to others ONLY when a physical encounter is possible would be ridiculous. i don't think that's what shane is saying – i certainly hope not… i just wanted to make that point.

    definitely looking forward to reading the book. it's a very HOT topic for me. i want to make sure that what i'm communicating is the love and grace and hope of Jesus Christ – nothing more and nothing less. and i want God to be able to use me to communicate that pure truth through whatever medium He chooses – including digital media.

    thanks for the heads up about this, dan. you rock.

    Reply
  3. dan ohlerking

    my first reaction to shane's perspective as i listened to the interview with rob bell was that he's missing the point. honestly i've not heard the statement “the methods change, but the message stays the same.” what i've heard and believe fully is this: “the message is sacred. the method is not.” a slight variance on it there – and as i listened through to the end of the video (while at the same time ordering the book) i found myself agreeing with shane somewhat. i believe that regardless of the medium we communicate through, we MUST protect the message. it isn't automatic that it will remain intact unless we fight to keep it that way. the Word of God is unchanging, but if we are not careful, our communication of it can dilute it. the message of the cross – that Jesus died for our sins, rose again, and if we'll believe in Him and let Him be in charge of our lives, we can have abundant and eternal life – that is the message we carry and cannot allow to be altered in the slightest iota. but we MUST be aggressive to find the tools available to us to communicate it.maybe the point is that we should not just find them, but learn to use them well, learn the risks of using them, learn how to overcome the challenges and how to use them fully to communicate the love of Jesus through them.we do indeed have the responsibility as shane says in the video to be the hands and feet of Jesus to a hurting world. and that is best done when we can physically go where people are. but to stick our heads in the sand and limit ourselves to reaching out to others ONLY when a physical encounter is possible would be ridiculous. i don't think that's what shane is saying – i certainly hope not… i just wanted to make that point.definitely looking forward to reading the book. it's a very HOT topic for me. i want to make sure that what i'm communicating is the love and grace and hope of Jesus Christ – nothing more and nothing less. and i want God to be able to use me to communicate that pure truth through whatever medium He chooses – including digital media.thanks for the heads up about this, dan. you rock.

    Reply
  4. BibleDude

    Thanks a bunch for stopping by and sharing your thoughts Dan! I think that we agree quite a bit on this stance. The concept is very challenging to anyone who uses technology as a ministry tool, and I agree completely that it is important for us to ensure that we maintain the integrity of the message. It is such a powerful message, and it shouldn't be watered down because we may not being as careful with it as we should be….

    Technology can be a very powerful too, and I think that it is important to make sure that we continue to build relationships with (and without) it in order for it to be effective at all.

    Reply
  5. BibleDude

    Thanks a bunch for stopping by and sharing your thoughts Dan! I think that we agree quite a bit on this stance. The concept is very challenging to anyone who uses technology as a ministry tool, and I agree completely that it is important for us to ensure that we maintain the integrity of the message. It is such a powerful message, and it shouldn't be watered down because we may not being as careful with it as we should be….

    Technology can be a very powerful too, and I think that it is important to make sure that we continue to build relationships with (and without) it in order for it to be effective at all.

    Reply
  6. BibleDude

    Thanks a bunch for stopping by and sharing your thoughts Dan! I think that we agree quite a bit on this stance. The concept is very challenging to anyone who uses technology as a ministry tool, and I agree completely that it is important for us to ensure that we maintain the integrity of the message. It is such a powerful message, and it shouldn't be watered down because we may not being as careful with it as we should be….Technology can be a very powerful too, and I think that it is important to make sure that we continue to build relationships with (and without) it in order for it to be effective at all.

    Reply
  7. BibleDude

    Thanks a bunch for stopping by and sharing your thoughts Dan! I think that we agree quite a bit on this stance. The concept is very challenging to anyone who uses technology as a ministry tool, and I agree completely that it is important for us to ensure that we maintain the integrity of the message. It is such a powerful message, and it shouldn't be watered down because we may not being as careful with it as we should be….

    Technology can be a very powerful too, and I think that it is important to make sure that we continue to build relationships with (and without) it in order for it to be effective at all.

    Reply

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flickering pixels by shane hipps

by Dan King time to read: 3 min
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