Flickering Pixels Review

September 23, 2009 at 2:58 pm (Uncategorized)

Flickering Pixels

by Shane Hipps

©2009 Zondervan

Back Cover Description:

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.


I was scared when I first began reading this because I assumed it would be another “Technology is the root of all evil! Run like the wind!” book. But I found it to be a very intelligent read with an expansive view and look at technology and not just present technology. It looked in depth at the effects of technology throughout the ages, including letters, writing, the printing press and telegraph. As I finished reading Flickering Pixels, I was not alarmed at the possible danger, but felt empowered to wield it usefully. Technology, though a powerful force to change who we are, is not so impacting when we are aware of its power. This was a brilliant read I would highly recommend to all.


  • We see certain elements of our culture, but we have great difficulty perceiving their real importance.” pg.17

  • Technology both gives and takes away, and each new medium introduced into our live must be evaluated.” pg 21

  • When we fail to perceive that the things we create are extensions of ourselves, the created things take on god-like characteristics and we become their servants.” pg 35

  • Our thinking patterns actually mirror the things we use to think with.” pg 43

  • Community in the print age has been understood primarily as a collection of discrete individuals working concurrently on their personal relationship with Jesus. The church has become a thousand points of light and lost sight of itself as the body of Christ– a living, breathing entity whose power is derived from the whole, not the sum of its parts.” pg 57

  • In the Internet age “there is no single editor who determines what stays and what goes, only the ‘wisdom’ and morality of the anonymous digital mob.” pg 69

  • A picture is actually worth a thousand feelings” pg 76

  • The mind was made to generate, create, and imagine…Image culture is eroding and undermining imaginative creativity.” pg 80

  • The printed word creates fissures in the mind. It makes us prefer distinctions between things. Printing breeds a strong preference for categories.” pg 88

  • Most of the time images direct us to the surface of things.” pg 99

  • Maybe God was onto something when He commanded His people not to make graven images.” BAM! Pg 100

  • Cell phones often put artificial barriers between us and our loved ones. They separate us.” pg 106

  • If oral culture is intensely connected or empathetic and print culture is distant or detached, then our electronic experience creates a kind of empathy at a distance…The human psyche isn’t designed to withstand the full gravity of human suffering.” pg 108-109

  • Electronic media can fragment us even as we pursue connection.” pg 124

  • This shift” [teens with a better technological grasp than parents] “marks the first time in the history of the world that parents have limited access to the world of teens and children.” pg 134

  • Our age has seen the disappearance of childhood.” pg 135

  • In a culture that worships youth, what incentive do our kids have to ever grow up?” pg 139

  • Our intellects are spread a mile wide and an inch deep…The internet makes a flat stone of the mind and skips it across the surface of the world’s information ocean.” pg 146

  • It’s not that we can’t know anything, just that we can’t know everything.” pg 160

  • In Jesus Christ, God’s medium and message are perfectly united…The medium is the message.” pg 166-7

  • The message of the gospel is conveyed by the medium of the church’s life in the world….We are the message.” pg168-9 (dang)

  • It turns out that the Bible was not written to individuals for their personal faith journeys. It was written to groups of people hoping to live as communities of faith.” pg 176

  • Paul assumes that our personal faith journey is bound up and rooted in a larger community of people who serve together, not individually, as God’s medium.” pg 177

  • The way we interact as communities of faith is the very thing that amplifies, inhibits, or obscures the gospel message itself.” pg 180

  • Instead of simply resisting or caving in to cultural forces, we are invited to study and understand them. Only then will we lean to use them rather than be used by them.” pg 182

So, have you read it?  Like it/hate it?  Reaction to any quotes?  Any other book recommends for me?


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