The Hidden Power of Electronic Culture: How Media Shapes Faith, the Gospel, and Church by Shane Hipps

09May06

When I was at Fuller I got to know an amazing guy named Shane Hipps. Shane and I became friends. We were workout partners… which lasted a short time (much to my alarm clocks dismay) and eventually ended up hiking together and going to ColdStone with our wives. Shane helped me process through a very difficult decision I had to make during the summer of 2003, for which I will always be grateful. My friendship with Shane was one of those odd things that happens every now and again…. a relationship of unequals (at least that is how I felt about it).

Shane is really really smart. Not smart in that brainiac, nerdy kinda way, though he certainly has book smarts, but smart in that his brain is working at a higher altitude than mine. He has a deep and profound awareness of culture. Not Pop-culture, the next-new-thing. But an intuition that I would categorize somewhere in the vicinity of genius (ie “someone who has exceptional intellectual ability and originality”). His genius is in taking somewhere in the “culturally-prophetic” camp. It is no accident that he now pastors a Mennonite church. The more I learn about that tradition, the more I see that same “culturally-prophetic” propensity. The ability to stand just enough outside (while living fruitfully in the midst of) a culture to see where Principalities and Powers are at work. They do this well. Shane does this really really well in the area of media, technology and its impact and influence on contemporary faith.

Shane and I have lost touch this past year. Our lives have moved on and I see from his website that he and Andrea now have a daughter! I look forward to getting his book. I’ve ordered it to use at school. One of my hopes in teaching at a K-12 Christian school is that students would graduate with the ability to discern well the use of technology in their lives. That they would be responsible and conscientious participants in this Electronic Culture. That they would learn how to make decisions about and have an awareness of the implicit as well as explicit message that is inherent in the media.

Here are some links about the book:
ShaneHipps.com
Book from Amazon (but you should buy it from Beanbooks)
Dan Kimball’s review
Byron Borger’s review
Adam Cleaveland’s review
Shane’s church

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