Shane Hipps: The Power of Electronic Culture

Book Review: The Hidden Power of Electronic Culture: How Media shapes faith, the Gospel, and Church, by Shane Hipps

51Rpw1Hzjql. Aa240 I read this book a while ago and, initially, i was not impressed – thus my delay in talking about it. I guess i was expecting more insights on new media. I had already used McLuhan’s Laws of Media, which make a strong appearance in Shane’s book, to examine new media and blogging in particular. I have a STACK of books on this subject and was hoping Shane would add something unique.

Six months went by and i decided to read the book again but from an emerging church angle instead of new media. And to my surprise, I really liked the book. His observation that an image-based focus gives the emerging church some common ground with the iconography of the Eastern Orthodox Church was very insightful. And best of all was his summary of the impact of print media on the Reformaton. His chapter entitled “Printing: The Architect of the Modern Church” is fantastic and it sheds light on the current upheaval of hierarchies through new media.

The emerging church has developed during the wild days of new media and the web. This fact is often overlooked and there are not many books about it. Plenty of blogs and seminars, but not books. And this is one worth buying.

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Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.

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