Arthur W. Hunt III says that technological innovations in media, coupled with the rejection of biblical truth, are pulling us back to a pagan past.

The Vanishing Word: The Veneration of Visual Imagery in the Postmodern World
Arthur W. Hunt III
272 pages, $14.99

"It does not take a social scientist to tell us that our culture has an insatiable appetite for visual stimulation," he writes.

Hunt contrasts the Judeo-Christian heritage ("word-dependent") with paganism ("image-dependent"). As electronic media evolve, Hunt believes text will continue to be de-emphasized.

"This is altogether frightening," he writes. "For if it was a logos-centered culture that helped to produce our Protestant heritage, as well as American democracy itself, what will be the birth child of the continuing devaluation of the written word?"

Hunt examines the reasons behind "the church's assimilation of pagan forms and Europe's subsequent plunge into the night." He also explores politics and image-based celebrity candidates. At times his tone becomes strident, though, when he discusses issues such as music, worship styles, and church service dress.

Cindy Crosby is the author of By Willoway Brook: Exploring the Landscape of Prayer (Paraclete, 2003).

Related Elsewhere:

The Vanishing Word is available from and other book retailers.

More information is available from the publisher.

More book reviews, news, and interviews are available from our books page.

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.