Archives For Western Culture

 

Daniel Headrick - Power Over PeoplesWhen Technologies Take on a Life of Their Own.

A Featured Review of

Power over Peoples:  Technology, Environments, and Western Imperialism, 1400 to the Present

Daniel Headrick.

Paperback: Princeton UP, 2011.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]

Reviewed by Myles Werntz.

In an age of iPads, digital uploads, drone surveillance, and debates over the limits of the Internet, the question of whether or not “technology” is an unlimited good remains an open question. Proponents of the most recent iteration of the technology revolution will decry the naysayers as “Luddites”, while the inheritors of  Wendell Berry and Jacques Ellul will continue to remain suspicious of technology’s pervasive effects within society, and (more perniciously) over against society. As Wendell Berry has argued, technology may be an aid to communal life, or it can destroy it; the latter use of technological advances–the use of arrows in Genghis Kahn’s conquest of Asia, or the use of gunpowder to colonize Africa–remains the dark side of technological advances.

This last point–the relationship between technology and the subjugation of people is the subject of Daniel Headrick’s Power over Peoples: Technology, Environments, and Western Imperialism, 1400 to the Present, in which we are presented with an account of western imperialism, and its relationship to technology. Headrick notes that the common assumption is that imperialist cultures flourish because they are able to make use of superior technology. Such a narrative is too facile, Headrick argues, for it assumes that superior manipulation of natural elements (technology) always results in a successful conquest.

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424591: Zombie Church Breathing Life Back into the Body of Christ

A Brief Review of

Zombie Church:
Breathing Life Back into the Body of Christ

By Tyler Edwards
Paperback: Kregel Publications, 2011.

Buy now: 
[ ChristianBook.com ] [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Brian Johnson.

Have you ever been to or been part of a church that seemed alive but yet something of life was missing? Welcome to Zombie church.  The author contends, and rightly so, that many of our churches today are ‘Zombie’ churches, i.e., churches that have the resemblance of life but are actually dead. From a distance they look as though they are alive, but upon closer inspection they have lost their connection to life: Jesus Christ.

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“In Search of … The Devil

A Review of
The Devil Wears Nada:
Satan Exposed!

By Tripp York.

Review by Justin Bronson Barringer.

THE DEVIL WEARS NADA - Tripp YorkThe Devil Wears Nada:
Satan Exposed!

Tripp York.
Paperback: Cascade Books, 2011.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]

Years ago I attended a strange event put on by xxxchurch. It brought together three things red-blooded American men are supposed to love most: pro-wrestling, rock music and sex talk. It was at there that I was first introduced to the less-than-legendary, yet somehow infamous 1980’s Christian hair metal band, Stryper. In more recent weeks as I have been reading Tripp York’s The Devil Wears Nada, which itself is as strange as the aforementioned xxxchurch event, I couldn’t help but have Stryper’s  most (unfortunately) unforgettable song, “To Hell With the Devil,” playing in my mind as the soundtrack behind York’s words. Not to mention recurring mental pictures of men in yellow and black spandex.

York’s premise seems even more bizarre than my first encounter with Stryper. And that event also featured WWF superstar “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase and sexual icon Ron Jeremy. I mean, who the hell (sorry, couldn’t help myself) goes looking for the Devil? Well, in short, Tripp York. But, what would prompt an upstanding theologian, and a Mennonite no less, to go in search of the Evil One? It all started with a wager. Which may be enough reason to believe Satan was involved from the beginning of this venture. Could one prove the existence of God if one was able to find, and therefore prove, the existence of Satan? York decided to try.

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