Published by Crossway Books on February 9, 2021
Genres: Non-Fiction, Christian Life, Theology
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We're facing an information overload.
With the quick tap of a finger we can access an endless stream of addictive information—sports scores, breaking news, political opinions, streaming TV, the latest Instagram posts, and much more. Accessing information has never been easier—but acquiring wisdom is increasingly difficult.
In an effort to help us consume a more balanced, healthy diet of information, Brett McCracken has created the “Wisdom Pyramid.” Inspired by the food pyramid model, the Wisdom Pyramid challenges us to increase our intake of enduring, trustworthy sources (like the Bible) while moderating our consumption of less reliable sources (like the Internet and social media). At a time when so much of our daily media diet is toxic and making us spiritually sick, The Wisdom Pyramid suggests that we become healthy and wise when we reorient our lives around God—the foundation of truth and the eternal source of wisdom.
This book is a perfect blend of Scriptural and social reflection, as Brett McCracken describes the world around us, explains how we got here, and provides insight for how Christians can make wise decisions in the midst of our chaotic, fractured, post-truth world. He keeps this imminently readable, connecting deep insights to the concrete realities that people are currently walking through, especially after 2020 and the complete chaos of everyone being able to find an expert to uphold their personal angle on the COVID-19 pandemic. More than before, people are realizing how fractured and divided various camps of society have become, as each one has their own version of truth.
The Wisdom Pyramid: Feeding Your Soul in a Post-Truth World is accessible and clear, and can appeal to both intellectuals and casual readers. McCracken conveys complex ideas concisely, and makes great suggestions for how Christians can manage their information diets to pursue holistic wisdom, instead of just clinging more tightly to their tribal identities. McCracken emphasizes the Bible as the ultimate source of wisdom, and as he identifies the church as our secondary resource, he carefully handles various objections to this, acknowledging the limitations and problems inherent within church communities while also upholding the importance of church tradition and of engaging in local congregations. He also points out that when people prioritize their sense of global citizenship to the expense of local concerns, they give up the opportunity to truly have an impact.
McCracken writes about nature, books, and beauty as our third, fourth, and fifth sources of wisdom, and concludes with advice about how wise use of digital media can also help us grow in wisdom and enrich our lives. In each chapter, he provides practical ideas for application, and offers insightful discussion questions for people to ponder or talk about with others. He is very wise and practical, and I especially love the chapter about books. I expected him to mostly focus on informational texts, but he gives equal attention to fiction and nonfiction, showing how good literature can expand our sympathy for others, model different life situations, teach us about the world, and give us deeper insight into life.
This book is a fantastic resource for anyone who is trying to reevaluate their social media intake. Instead of just offering life hacks or telling his readers to take a digital Sabbath, McCracken delves into the bigger picture, helping us understand our post-truth social environment, the cost of information overload, and the basic habits of wisdom that can help us diversify how we spend our time, direct our attention, and gain new ideas about life. Instead of just helping Christians manage digital behavior, McCracken provides holistic advice for how we can overall lead better, wiser, more balanced lives.