cover image Competing Spectacles: Treasuring Christ in the Media Age

Competing Spectacles: Treasuring Christ in the Media Age

Tony Reinke. Crossway, $14.99 trade paper (160p) ISBN 978-1-4335-6379-9

The quandary of how to “walk by faith and not by sight,” from 2 Corinthians 5:7, in the midst of a media-saturated culture is the focus of this erudite work of biblical ethics from journalist Reinke (12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You). Contrasting the draw of a constant news cycle, social media, online gaming, and TV with the spiritual spectacle of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection, Reinke argues that the former tends to leave today’s culture bored with the latter. Where once Christians were prone to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) while waiting in line or before getting out of bed each morning, now they’re more likely to check their phone and dawdle on social media. Instead of putting the blame on the digital distractions themselves, Reinke emphasizes that the problem lies within individuals. He admonishes readers to shift their attention from what’s worthless to what’s valuable to help reawaken a hunger for God. Readers who take to the message may be disappointed, however, that Reinke doesn’t offer any steps for embarking on a digital detox. Reinke’s stimulating treatise will appeal to distracted Christian readers looking for ways to refocus in an age of constant information inundation. (Apr.)