We live in a world full of shiny distractions, faced with an onslaught of viral media constantly competing for our attention and demanding our affections. These ever-present visual “spectacles” can quickly erode our hearts, making it more difficult than ever to walk through life actively treasuring that which is most important and yet invisible: Jesus Christ. In a journalistic style, Tony Reinke shows us just how distracting these spectacles in our lives have become and calls us to ask critical questions about what we’re focusing on. The book offers us practical steps to redirect our gaze away from the addictive eye candy of the world and onto the Ultimate Spectacle—leading to the joy and rest our souls crave.
“Thirty years after Neil Postman’sAmusing Ourselves to Death, Tony Reinke’sCompeting Spectaclestakes the impact-analysis of modern media to new levels: a new height and new depth. New height, because Christ crucified, risen, and reigning is brought into the discussion as the Spectacle above all spectacles. New depth, because the focus is not on what is happening to politics, but what is happening to the human soul. The conception of this book is not cavalier; it is rooted in the profound biblical strategy of sanctification by seeing (2 Cor. 3:18). The spectacle of Christ’s glory is ‘the central power plant of Christian sanctification.’ Ugly spectacles make us ugly. Beautiful spectacles make us beautiful. Reinke is a good guide in how to deflect the damaging effects of digital images ‘in anticipation of a greater Sight.’”
-- John Piper,Founder and Teacher, desiringGod.org; Chancellor, Bethlehem College & Seminary; author,Desiring God
“Tony Reinke has proven to be a wise guide for Christians through this era of technological whirl. Now with this accessible, sagacious book, he has done so again. This book shows us how to pull our eyes away from the latest viral video or our digital avatars of self and toward the ‘spectacle’ before which we often cringe and wince: the crucifixion of our Lord. That’s the spectacle we need.”
--- Russell D. Moore,President, The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention
“Tony Reinke has the prophetic knack of helping us see the truth about ourselves and our world. In these pages—as illuminating as they are disturbing and challenging—he stands in the tradition of the spiritual masters who have understood that the city of man’s—and woman’s—soul is often attacked and destroyed through eye-gate. ButCompeting Spectaclesnot only diagnoses our distorted vision; it prescribes spectacles that give us twenty-twenty spiritual vision. Essential reading.”
--- Sinclair B. Ferguson,Chancellor’s Professor of Systematic Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary; Teaching Fellow, Ligonier Ministries
“How to navigate the Christian life in a media-saturated culture feels more confusing than ever. Tony Reinke provides a dose of desperately needed clarity. Combining careful research with relevant application, this book is for anyone who wants to be more discerning and critically engaged in our culture—which should be every Christian!”
--- Jaquelle Crowe, author, This Changes Everything: How the Gospel Transforms the Teen Years
Table of Contents:
Part 1: The Age of the Spectacle
1: Life inside the Digital Environment
2: Spectacles Defined
3: Distracted Spectacle Seekers
4: Image Is Everything
5: The Spectacle of the Self in Social Media
6: The Spectacle of the Self in Gaming
7: Spectacles of Tele-Vision
8: Spectacles of Merchandise
9: Politics as Spectacle
10: Terror as Spectacle
11: Ancient Spectacles
12: Every Nine Seconds
13: The Spectacle of the Body
14: The Church in the Attention Market
Part 2: The Spectacle
15: Spectakils in Tension
16: Prynne’s Footnote
17: The World’s Greatest Spectacle
18: Is the Cross a Spectacle?
19: Two Competing Theaters
20: Spectators of Glory
21: The Church as Spectacle
22: The Church as Spectacle Maker?
23: A Day inside the Spectacle
24: Our Unique Spectacle Tensions
25: One Resolve, One Request
26: The Spectator before His Carving
27: A Movie So Good It Will Ruin You—Would You Watch It?
28: Resistible Spectacles
29: Summations and Applications
30: My Supreme Concern
31: A Beauty that Beautifies
32: The Visio Beatifica
33: Dis-Illusioned but Not Deprived
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