Book Review: The Hidden Power of Electronic Culture, by Shane Hipps

My friend, Bryan, recommended this book, The Hidden Power of Electronic Culture, by Shane Hipps and I picked it up from the library about a week ago. It was a phenomenal and very insightful read, which I’d highly recommend to anyone in church leadership or church anything.

The book basically talks about taking a step back from media (and it uses this term broadly) and considering the impact the media itself has on us, rather then just considering the message we communicate through it. For example, we tend to think of Television as evil when it promotes drugs and violence, but good when it promotes christian evangelism; but as for the television itself we tend to consider it a neutral entity. Hipps points out that no piece of media is neutral it all has an impact on us as individuals and as a culture. The advent of the printing press brought about the age of individualism, you need only look at the protestant reformation (sola scriptura) to get an historical understanding of that.

Hipps references a lot of Marshall McLuhan as the sort of resident expert on the subject, he’s the guy who said:

The Medium is the message.

McLuhan also said:

“The content or message of any particular medium has about as much importance as the stenciling on the casing of an atomic bomb.”

The point he was making is the the media we use has huge implications that we tend to ignore. The message is important, but if we aren’t aware of the impact of the medium it will have dangerous implications.

I’m going to begin writing and reflecting on quotes from books I’ve been reading in future blog posts, so stay tuned for a few from this book. And remember to pick up a copy from your local library some time.

You can read this article by Shane Hipps to get a taste for the book, or check out his website.

3 thoughts on “Book Review: The Hidden Power of Electronic Culture, by Shane Hipps”

  1. hey ariah. i read that book a while back, and i really really liked it. glad to see it going around.

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