Scott Hodge


Q: Shane Hipps | Downside of the Digital Age

Apr 11, 2008

Shane Hipps
Downside of Digital Age
Pastor of Trinity Mennonite Church, Author of The Hidden Power of Electronic Culture

Student of media and culture…Worked w/ Porsche…

"Gospel of Porsche"

“The medium is the message.”

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

The medium IS the message.

Christianity is FUNDAMENTALLY a communication event….God revealing himself to the world.

How you understand communication is how you understand God.

Printing Press – assembly line….from how we make cookies to build cars.

Affected everything that followed – including architecture.  Why pews were invented after printing press….

Didn’t just affect our physical space, radically altered our imagination.  Changed to a very simple linear sequential formula. 

Apologies for sin + Believe in Jesus = Go to heaven.

What is the impact of the DIGITAL AGE?  HUGE question….

Between 1840-1890 – slew of uninterrupted inventions that changed the communication structure of the west.  They all harnessed power of electricity.  Electronic age. 

Chief invention – photograph. Gave birth to image based culture in the west.

Image reduces our capacity for abstract thought.

“The boy is sad” – words on screen.  What is the affect?  Not much….

Image of little boy crying – what is the affect?  If you’re human, you’d say it makes me sad.

Same content – 2 different media.  Radically different influence.

Pictures worth a thousand words – problem w/ statement assumes that these two mediums are interchangeable.  They’re not – fundamentally different forms of discourse. 

“The boy is sad” – a sequential statement., rational, abstract, left-brain

Image – intuitive, concrete, right-brain

What happens if we move to image mode of communicating?  It begins to reshape consciousness of our civilization.  We become right-brained.  From left brain linear sequence to holistic intuitive experience.

CT asking…  “Is our gospel too small?”

That question would have been unthinkable in print age.  Is it too compressed?  Too small?  Now, we start using words like “holistic” “concrete incarnation”…..  All of this is a consequence of image based culture.

None of this is a surprise to God.

Reason God used so many creative medium to convey his revelation – Burning bush, donkey, etc…  Ultimate medium for God’s revelation found in the person of Jesus Christ.

In Jesus Christ, the medium and message are perfectly united.  If Christ is perfect medium and we are the body of Christ, what does that say about us?

It says that YOU are the message.  Not what you say, but who you are.

We are the gospel message.

This gospel, this message can reach through the darkest suffering to bring about infinite reconciliation and redemption.

5 Responses to “Q: Shane Hipps | Downside of the Digital Age”

  1. Eric Bryant says:

    Thanks for sharing your notes!

  2. mike foster says:

    hey scott…thanks for sharing all these thoughts and covering this stuff…i stopped taking notes because i knew i could go to your blog and get all the nuggets there :) …peace…mike.

  3. Marla says:

    Hey Scott, it was great to meet you at the 11th hour at Q! I, too, want to thank you for your detailed posts. I enjoyed them even after being in the sessions and blogging my own reactions. I was hoping to read your summary of Os Guiness! He was so amazing, and so detailed. I know my analysis is flawed and it is intimidating even to try to outline him!
    I took a few minutes (sitting at JFK in delay) to read up on your church and its story. I found your article about the transition and your dad’s role in it incredibly touching. My dad died after 6 weeks of illness at roughly the same time, and we, too, had to pick up a mantle when we were not expecting to do so for many years. I recognized so many of those emotions.
    Again, nice to meet you. I’ll be following the blog…

  4. M.joshua says:

    Awsome notetaking. It’s quite the help. As a church leader who works a day job in advertising, I’m finding Shane’s testimony quite compelling and what he has to say, another way of putting words on something that’s I’ve owned in some other medium up until late. ;)

  5. Mick says:

    Excellent points. We must do out best to be the light. Others will be drawn as they see something different about us Christians. This is one of the best ways to share the Love of God.

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