20 Quotes from Tony Reinke’s New Ebook on Treasuring Christ within the Media Age


The next quotes caught my consideration as I (Ivan Mesa) learn Tony Reinke’s incredible new guide, Competing Spectacles: Treasuring Christ in a Media Age (Crossway, 2019).

Visible photos awaken the motives in our hearts. Pictures tug the strings of our actions. Pictures need our celebration, our awe, our affection, our time, and our outrage. Pictures invoke our consensus, our approval, our buy-in, our respreading energy, and our wallets. . . . Why can we search spectacles? As a result of we’re human—hardwired with an unquenchable urge for food to see glory. (17–18)

We’re creatures formed by what grabs our consideration—and what we give our consideration to turns into our goal and subjective actuality. . . . We attend to what pursuits us. We turn into like what we watch. (19)

As we watch others watching us, we get caught up within the vitality of changing into the star. We turn into spectators of our digital selves. . . . We turn into actors earlier than our personal telephones and the telephones of our pals. We modify our self and filter our look. After which we turn into spectators of ourselves, as a result of “every selfie is a efficiency of an individual as they hope to be seen by others.” As blobs, we search an identification projection that others will have a good time. Our camera-ready tradition has modified us. . . . Picture is every little thing, and social media is the place we craft the spectacle of ourselves. . . . Our digital self is now editable by infinite filters and lenses and bitmojis—a novel plasticity for self- sculpting supplied to no different technology in human historical past. (23–24)

Within the tele-visual age, our eyes run backward and forward all through the entire earth in godlike omniscience, with infinite choices supplied to us in our handheld telephones. (32)

At any time when video expertise advances, the pornographer’s earnings spike. . . . With an infinite buffet of digital pornography for the spectacle-seeking eyes, sexual lust right now turns into chains of habit that can not be damaged, aside from resolute resistance and supernatural energy. The proverbial king on his rooftop, with unchecked lure of lustful eyes, has turn into each man and girl with a second of leisure and the unchecked curiosity for brand new pornography. The online affords ten thousand our bodies, able to digitally carry out, a harem of Solomonic proportion (occasions ten!). . . . The smutty pornographer, the risqué advert man, and the naive girl every wield wattage of lust-awakening energy with charged fallout that none of them totally perceive—grabbing eyes and a spotlight, sure, whereas additionally hardening hearts, eroding marriages, objectifying the feminine physique, and impeding the non-public sanctuary of sexuality crucial for marriages in any tradition to endure and thrive. (60, 61–62)

Into the spectacle-loving world, with all of its spectacle makers and spectacle-making industries, got here the grandest Spectacle ever devised within the thoughts of God and caused in world historical past—the cross of Christ. It’s the hinge of historical past, the purpose of contact between BC and AD, the place all time collides, the place all human spectacles meet one unsurpassed, cosmic, divine spectacle. . . . The supreme spectacle of the cross brings a cosmic collision with the spectacles of this world. And we’re within the center. I’ve now been crucified to the world, and the world has been crucified to me. Our response to the final word spectacle of the cross of Christ defines us. (77, 79–80)

Christ risen up at Calvary marked the top spectacle for which all different spectacles in world historical past won’t ever attain, the preeminent spectacle of divine life and divine love, freely supplied to the gawking world. . . . [The] wrath-bearing burden of Christ, invisible to the bare eye, is the truest Spectacle inside the Spectacle, a climactic second in triune historical past when the complete cup of God’s wrath was handed to the dear Son to drink right down to the dregs. (80–81)

[T]he cross is the pedagogy of religion, not of sight. At Calvary, “Devil triumphed visibly, however Christ triumphed invisibly.” That is why Bible motion pictures and cinematic recreations of the cross add nothing to the spectacle of the cross and too typically take away from it, leaving us with graphic imagery of a person’s defeat and bodily torture however deflating the spectacle of its most putting glories—unable to depict for the display screen Christ’s divinity or his distinctive work as atoning priest, wrath-bearing Savior, Passover lamb, crushed servant, Serpent smasher, cosmic warrior, forerunner of the second exodus, and alpha of the brand new creation. (84–85)

The crucifixion might have appeared like a horrific spectacle of a defrocked king, mocked as a powerless and kingdomless fraud. However the true spectacle of the cross and resurrection was a three-day conquest march of Devil and all his powers, a triumphal procession far past the scope of something Rome had ever seen. The cross was not Christ’s defeat however his triumph, his march of victory. (87)

The Christian’s nice drawback shouldn’t be Hollywood or Bollywood; it’s the unchecked earthly wishes that function inside our fallen selves. The earthly spectacles of lust and materials greed feed the earthly wishes inside us. The spectacle of the cross is an earthquake that reverberates by our lives and breaks the chains of our earthly spectacle addictions. (89)

The world watches the slandered church as one thing of a useless curiosity, however in actuality the church is a spectacle of her personal—a big solid collectively taking part in the starring position as bride within the human drama for which all of creation was made as a theater to show. (102)

We must always watch with awe, however we mustn’t ever watch naively. The Creator has carved out in each human soul an unlimited inside room for Christ’s ravishing glory, and we fill this storehouse with nugatory trinkets like a hoarder. Each spectacle of human glory attracts glory seekers who’re God rejecters, who discover in leisure a spectacle that drives their self-crafting and their self-ambition. The world’s spectacle trade is potent with allurements that may mesmerize the eyes and lead the guts towards a poisonous and soul-destroying grasp for fame and wealth. (111)

Idols are forbidden as a result of idols all the time demand one thing from us. . . . The expanse of our soul’s cavernous urge for food is opened and entered by new photos and spectacles that seize our hearts. The human coronary heart bends towards what the attention sees. At the moment’s picture makers fling into the world digital spectacles of intercourse, wealth, energy, and recognition. These photos get inside us, form us, and kind our lives in ways in which compete with God’s design for our focus and worship. (118)

Feeding on sinful media will annul your holy affections. Sure. However pampering your self with a glut of morally impartial media additionally pillages your affectional zeal. Every of us should study to protect larger pleasures by revolting towards lesser indulgences. (122)

Overconsuming on amusement drains our soul’s vigor. Simply as my time is a zero-sum sport, so is my “non secular vitality”—my affections and my bandwidth for awe. (123)

With a lot media in our lives, we’re perpetually moved by one spectacle, then one other, then one other. What was perhaps as soon as too shockingly conceited, or too intense for the eyes, is now made tolerable within the age of hyper-expiring spectacles. Pictures come and go in a sensation bathe that washes over us. What’s the issue, we would ask? It’s all so low cost. So fleeting. Nothing shocks us. A brand new module of lust or gore hits after which disappears. We don’t want spectacles to final past the surprising thrill. We don’t ask them to linger. New spectacles are absolutely headed our manner already. . . . [W]hen we ignore a spectacle, we unplug its energy. Digital spectacles share this trait with historical handheld collectible figurines of wooden and silver. In themselves, they’re powerless objects, void of that means—till their worshipers make investments them with redemptive hope, at which level they animate into an idol with demonic efficiency behind them and divine condemnation towards them. (125–26)

[I]n a tradition the place relevance is measured by well timed spectacle consumption, the spectacle of Christ’s demise has severed eternally our bondage to the world’s spectacle trade, this premier bondage of Devil. . . . Whereas Christ is the supreme Spectacle, and we discover a lifetime of his glory to be found in Scripture, he’s not the one divine spectacle. The native church is the place we go to search out the Lord’s Desk and baptism and the preaching of the Phrase, the place these repeated spectacles name us many times for a response of worship and repentance and pleasure. And we should always put ourselves typically earlier than God’s spectacles in creation. Creation spectacles additionally demand a response, for our worship and awe and gratitude to the Creator within the face of his superior energy and majesty. (133, 137)

We’re referred to as to acknowledge what’s nugatory and develop private disciplines to withstand the impulse to fill our lives with useless spectacles. In sum, all my issues are dwarfed by this one: boredom with Christ. Within the digital age, monotony with Christ is the chief warning sign to alert us that the spectacles of this world are suffocating our hearts from the supreme Spectacle of the universe. . . . [S]pectacles taken in unwisely will make our hearts chilly, sluggish, and uninteresting to unseen everlasting delights. (143)

The Christian’s excessive calling is to protect the guts and its loves and wishes. The worst commerce within the universe is taking part in within the shallow swimming pools of the world’s spectacles as an alternative of diving deep for the treasure of everlasting price. . . . The Christian’s battle on this media age might be gained solely by the expulsive energy of a superior Spectacle. Christ is our security and our information within the age of competing spectacles, the age of social media. He’s our solely hope in life and demise, within the age to come back, and on this media age. (145)

Once we flip our consideration to Christ—our final Spectacle—all of the flickering pixels of our tradition’s nugatory issues and beloved idols develop surprisingly dim. Wanting previous the scintillating sights that devour this ocularcentric world, we hope for the Spectacle that we now can solely see in glances and glimmers however at some point will see within the splendor of his totally transfigured kind, in full sight earlier than our eyes. (154)


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