Takeaway: This is a book that should be read, because even if you really disagree with it, the ideas are important.
I have a tendency (probably bad) to read a lot of books at the same time. What that means is that I often will put something to the side for a while before coming back to it.
I recently came back to finish the last chapter of Flickering Pixels. I read it as part of a group blogging project hosted on ChurchChrunch. I have already posted three times about this book but I wanted to post one more time to wrap it up.
I am very conflicted about this book. Hipps really likes to make big statements to shock you into thinking about his ideas. It reminds me of the book “Malcolm and Martin and America” by James H Cone.” Cone suggested that MLK was able to make many of the strides he was able to make precisely because Malcolm X was even more strident.
Hipps in some ways does that same thing all by himself. I had some very strong reactions to the early chapters of the book. (See my post on Chapter 2 and the comments). He frequently make very strong statements about how our current culture and the ways that we are communicating the gospel are changing the very nature of the gospel. The summary of my issue with Hipps is not that we shouldn’t think about the how our communication methods and attempt to communicate the gospel clearly, but that Hipps seems to suggest that our current changes are somehow fundamentally different from the previous changes in the culture and gospel transmission.
Without faith in the Holy Spirit preserving the church and the gospel message then we might need to have more concern. I am not saying we shouldn’t be concerned but that our concern should be tempered with trust. Our trust is not in our own ability to make better decisions or be more introspective, but our trust is in the Holy Spirit’s ability to know better than us how to preserve the church..
The part that I think that Hipps get right is the last chapter that I just read. In it he finally asserts that his message and medium thesis is really about the medium being the Church (universal) and that the message is based around the medium of the church. I have nothing to really disagree with about the final chapter, other than it seems to contradict much of the controversy of the previous chapters.