Is image everything? For many people in our culture, image and images are everything. Americans spend hours watching television but rarely finish a good book. Words are quickly losing their appeal. Arthur Hunt sees this trend as a direct assault on Christianity. He warns that by exalting visual imagery we risk becoming mindless pagans. Our thirst for images has dulled our minds so that we lack the biblical and mental defenses we need to resist pagan influences. What about paganism? Hunt contends that it never died in modern western culture; image-based media just brought it to the surface again. Sex, violence, and celebrity worship abound in our culture, driving a mass-media frenzy reminiscent of pagan idolatry. This book is a clear warning that the church is being cut off from its word-based heritage. And that we are open to abuse by those who exploit the image but neglect the Word. Thoughtful readers will find this a challenging call to be critical about the images bombarding our senses and to affirm that "the Word is everything."
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Customer Reviews for The Vanishing Word
Review 1 for The Vanishing Word
Date:July 22, 2007
The author discusses the history of communication via the written and spoken word. He exposes the image based media as a replacement for not just books, but also for love of truth. In a post modern society, the image has become a guide by choice. We are also instructed in post modern values via the agenda of the media providers. The author warns of the insidious effect of today's media agenda as value destroying, yet almost universally embraced by families and churches. The TV is on, the books (and scriptures) are closed.God chose the written and spoken word (the Logos) to communicate to His creation, and we were created to hear and respond via those methods. These modes of human conversation are replaced with the more entertaining information-dump through the ears and eyes. We have become a lazy society (and church), swallowing it all. The main point throughout book is that technological innovations in communications media, coupled with a rejection of biblical truth, is ironically pulling us back to a pagan past. Believers are to turn away from sensual desires and resist the pull of Vanity Fair. Idolatry is predicated via the eye-gate. The pagan walks by sight, whereas the Christian is to walk by faith based on the Logos.After having read this book, this reviewer is troubled and even disgusted with images displayed to the assembly of believers, passing as humorous video during weekly church services. Unfortunately, we more Borg than church.