Book Review: Competing Spectacles by Tony Reinke

upm5loqLast year Tony Reinke announced that he has a new book coming this 2019. What so sweet about it is that he needs folks for his book launch team. Knowing him from his articles on Desiring God and his books, I had to sign up. Come March I received an e-mail about the new book and then the following e-mail has an attached pre-released copy of his book. Competing Spectacles is the title and I immediately dive in to the book.

Competing Spectacles is “the lust of the eyes 2.0” book that really captures how we Christians live in this media age. Bombarded with distractions and gap fillers it seems that we have a never ending supply of digital candy that will not only compete with our attention but also erode our focus on God. Tony Reinke pour out his wisdom and insight on this new media age and offers biblical answer for the believers.

Reinke’s book tells how Christians spent their eyes on digitally and how it deteriorates our eternal perspective. Whether it our habit of binging over Netflix, mobile gaming or selfies, these earth bound spectacles takes over our unsatisfied cravings that the ultimate Spectacle (Jesus Christ) can only fulfill. Questions about how we Christians and the church should do with this spectacles are discussed superbly over the chapters in this short book.

The part that really got me is the chapter about how the church becomes a spectacle of the world. As Reinke traces the definition and history of this fleeting spectacles, he also did it on the church as she displays the everlasting Spectacle. This part of the book really captures the essence of being a Christian in this media age that sometimes we forget. I wish Reinke could put one more chapter about this because this is the game changer of the book.

The chapters are short that you’ll quickly read the next one and then the next. It’s a accessible and fast paced read that you’ll finish the book in no time completely blown away.  However, I suggest that you have to read it again because you might missed something in this book. Some chapters are solid and some are not that quite striking.  Nevertheless, this is a must read because of the brevity and spot on commentary on the digital media.

Competing Spectacles is a relevant book that will stand out this 2019. If you got tangled with this media jungle let this book guide you back to the ultimate Spectacle.

My verdict:

4.5 out of 5

 

The Quotable Round-Up #114

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Upon receiving my pre-release copy of the book Competing Spectacles by Tony Reinke, I immediately dive in to the book. The book is really good and fast paced to read and I want to share to you some of the great quotes from the book. Competing Spectacles will be released on April 30 but you can pre-order it on Amazon by clicking this link. While waiting for the release of the book, here are some great quotes from that book.

“Only the grand Spectacle of Jesus Christ can reach to the bottom of our loves and longings with power to shape us into something whole and beautiful.”

“The Christian’s great problem is not Hollywood or Bollywood; it’s the unchecked earthly desires that operate within our fallen selves.”

“…the greatest problem with video gaming is not that gaming is innately evil, but that it’s addictively good. Gaming taps our social competitiveness, our love of narrative, and our interest in problem solving. As gaming franchises grow, digital dreamscapes are becoming holistically immersive.”

“Our appetite for worldly spectacles gives us a sense of the expanse inside our hearts for divine spectacles. What we do with this gaze-lust of our eyes is another thing but to be fundamentally indifferent to all the visual glory of this world is not to be subhuman but to be unhuman.”

“The spectacle of the cross is an earthquake that reverberates through our lives and breaks the chains of our earthly spectacle addictions.”

The worst of our compulsive social media habits are filling our days and corroding our prayer lives.”

“The rarity of gold and silver once gave substance to the worth of cash. Today, the scarcity of human attention brings value to accrued likes and plays and shares. The ticks of human attention are the new social currency that determine the value of our media.”