Both Eyes Open: a review of “Flickering Pixels”





Several weeks ago, I was about to embark on an international trip and was given a copy of “Flickering Pixels” to review just before I left. So, with a two day travel schedule which included two flights of more than 8 hours – it seemed a perfect time to dig in and get some reading done between naps and watching movies. What I found is that I couldn’t put the book down! I read it cover to cover – underlining, taking notes, and writing things in the margins. It is a unique book that is intensely interesting, convicting, challenging, easy to read, and a true page turner. Shane Hipps blends personal experience with his exceptional handle on theology, history, and psychology to present a book that is very well written and compelling. This will be a book that come back to often in the next few months and continue to think through some things …

Keeping “both eyes open” is exactly what Hipps encourages as we interact with technology. He suggests that most of us either count technology as inherently bad (closing one eye) or rather harmless (closing the other eye). For example, one person might say that “television is bad” and another might say that “what matters is what you are watching.” Neither of these “one eye open” responses are helpful and they prevent us from seeing the full picture. He does an amazing job of drawing out the conclusion that the medium (technology) and the message are both important. He demonstrates that the technologies with which we interact shape our world views.

Each chapter is packed with insights and “aha” moments (there are way to many to list and then you wouldn’t buy this amazing book) but let me list a couple. First, Hipps exposes that “feelings” and intuition have been relegated to the caboose on the train, and he suggests that we need to reconsider how emotions/feelings interact with faith. Second, he examines the Biblical evidence for “coming to faith” as being a dimmer switch in many occasions rather than a Damascus Road moment. Ok, one more aha moment: on page 160, Hipps writes that “Certainty can be a great friend of arrogance.” Let that sink in for a moment … and then go get this book!!!

In each chapter, Hipps draws excellent conclusions but then asks questions. He doesn’t give the answers or the applications but asks the reader to think. As the book concludes, he draws out the truth that God created us to live in community and that this “technology”/medium is the central feature of communicating and living the gospel. S0, it makes perfect sense for this to be a book that is used in community – for study, reflection, and application.

What I love about this book is that it is not purely an academic reflection on how technology influences what we believe and how we interact with the world (although it is very well researced, supported, and written & will stand up to academic scrutiny), but a challenge to consider and reflect personally. This is absolutely a must read for anyone who desires to keep both eyes open as they interact with the world!


~ by Ted Wueste on April 7, 2009.

One Response to “Both Eyes Open: a review of “Flickering Pixels””

  1. […] Ted posts about Keeping Both Eyes Open. […]

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