How we say it is at least as important as what we say. I think that statement captures what Shane Hipps (former advertizing guy for Porche, current Mennonite pastor, and author of Flicking Pixels: How Technology Shapes Your Faith), The Onion’s recent “story” (“Report: 90% of Waking Hours Spent Staring at Glowing Rectangles“), and an essay from last summer in The Atlantic that I originally linked here titled “Is Google Making Us Stupid?”
A new friend recently read Flickering Pixels and blogged some of the big points here, here, here, and here.
And here’s a short video of Rob Bell interviewing Shane Hipps at the National Pastor’s Convention.
For communicators of the gospel, this means that we need to work very hard at our preaching/teaching and invest what it takes to become very good. I think it is alright to utilize video, but we should exercise a lot of caution and be judicious in our frequency of use. Big, even oversized, props are better I think because of their ability to spur on imagination before, during, and after the message.
Another big take-away from all of this is: READ!
I’m glad I’ve become a reader as an adult (didn’t like it as much as a Jr High/HS student). Reading is better for our brains in lots of ways. One thing I’ve done to decrease my TV time (I still have a few shows I like) is not replace a show after the series finaly wraps it up.
2 thoughts on “tech, faith, and communication – shane hipps, the onion, the atlantic”
I loved the tent you used when preaching on “abide” or “dwell.” That image struck me as you suggested we might be dwelling on some things that really keep us stuck.
One time when I was at Barnes and Noble, there were a lot of cashiers available behind the counter but not anyone who was waiting in line. I took the opportunity to ask them who they read and who they knew that wrote lyrically. We don’t get really good writing on the web. We get pundits and shorts and bytes and flashing ads and all kinds of short-term memory vehicles.
The novelist Jamie Livingston Turner writes lyrically. Frederick Buechner is one of my writing idols, if you will take that with a grain of salt. I have a shelf of favorite novels: Hanta Yo, Theophilus North, The Evening Star. They take time to develop and they take you in so that you inhabit that world for awhile. The images are captivating and they train our eyes to see more than we saw before. I prefer reading and rereading the bite of Jane Austen to the video productions. My imagination expands with reading instead of being stunted by the spoonfeeding of movies. Sorry, you got me going! :)
Speaking of Jane Austen, I’ve only read Pride and Prejudice, but loved it. Her wit is fantastic and makes her social commentary that much more lively and playful yet biting.
There’s something of a paradox about the fact that the more a story (or author) captures your imagination, the more it releases your imagination. (Insert analogy to the biblical Story of God’s salvation in Jesus here…)