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When’s the last time you were convicted by a book promo?

Well, my creative colleagues at Crossway have produced a brilliant little video to introduce Tony Reinke’s incredibly wise and perceptive new book, 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You.

But there is ample gospel-hope for us, too, as Reinke writes in the preface:

Self-doubt is a hallmark of wise creatures (Proverbs 3:5-8; 12:15; 26:12). . . . We all need healthy critique. But if you are only harsh with yourself, let me speak a word of caution. This book fails if, having read it, you only hate yourself more; it succeeds only if you enjoy Christ more. So if you are easily weighed down with conviction and self-doubt, I pray that this book educates and equips you to enjoy freedom in life to taste deeper the infinite joy we have in Christ, leaving mediocre indulgences behind for deeper and more satisfying pleasures ahead.

You can read online for free John Piper’s foreword, along with Tony’s preface and introduction.

Endorsements

“Are Christians using technology to transform the world or is technology transforming Christians in unhealthy ways? Especially since the era of Franklin and Jefferson, when inventing things and technological ways of organizing things became a way of life, Christians have needed to be alert to such questions. Tony Reinke’s reflections on the smartphone offer helpful advice as to how people today need to be vigilant regarding the impact of their favorite new technologies.”
George M. Marsden, Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History Emeritus, University of Notre Dame; author, The Outrageous Idea of Christian Scholarship

“12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You is an incredibly convicting and profoundly insightful read. Smartphones have become a part of our lives, but Tony explores the devastation to the human mind and soul due to devotion to technology. He calls us to examine not merely the use of our smartphones but the motives that inspire it. This is a necessary book for our generation, to remind us that our phone habits will either amplify or get in the way of our most important longing of all: the soul-satisfying glory of our Savior.”
Jackie Hill Perry, poet; writer; hip-hop artist

“In contrast to the television that dominates the modern living room, the smartphone is typically far less conspicuous in its presence. Perhaps on account of this subtle unobtrusiveness, surprisingly few have devoted sustained reflection to the effect this now ubiquitous technology is having on our lives. In this book, Tony Reinke plucks these devices from the penumbra of our critical awareness and subjects them to the searching light of Christian wisdom. The result is an often sobering assessment of the effect they are having on our lives, accompanied by much prudent and practical counsel for mastering them. This is a timely and thoughtful treatment of a profoundly important issue, a book that should be prescribed to every Christian smartphone owner for the sake of our spiritual health.”
Alastair Roberts, theologian; blogger

“Tony Reinke’s 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You is one of the most important little books a twenty-first-century Christian could read. Highly recommended.”
Bruce Riley Ashford, Provost and Associate Professor of Theology and Culture, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

“For many, the phone is an object of increasing anxiety, exhaustion, and dependency. The wise Tony Reinke leads us practically to find freedom from the phone without requiring us to huddle away in a monastery somewhere in the middle of Montana. If you want to know how to steward your technology and your life for Christ and his kingdom, read this.”
Russell D. Moore, president, The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention; author, Onward

“If you feel uneasy about your constant relationship with your phone (and even if you don’t, but wonder if you should), you will find Tony Reinke to be a reliable guide for how we should assess the impact of our phones on ourselves and our relationships. A marvelous book that tackles a massive subject in clear and compelling language!”
Trevin Wax, Managing Editor, The Gospel Project; author, Gospel-Centered Teaching, Counterfeit Gospels, and Holy Subversion

“Two things strike me about this book. First, Reinke writes with great humility, including himself in the narrative to help us see him not only as a teacher but also as a fellow struggler. Second, this is not a guilt-ridden slog through what not to do. Tony keeps pulling us up into the glories of Christ and even helps us to dream of new ways to glorify God through our digital technologies. Helpful, hopeful, humbling, and inspiring, 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You is a book for this age and wisdom for generations to follow.”
Trillia Newbell, author, Enjoy; Fear and Faith; and United

“Image is everything, and for a woman who has built her identity on the sands of how she’s embraced online, the eventual letdown will come like a crash. But there’s a better way forward, a way to use our phones in selfless service, to glorify God in our connectivity, and to image Christ by our phone behaviors. For this, we must evaluate our glowing screens and train our discernment to see the difference between the sight-driven habits of our age and the Scripture-lit pathway of faith. Every chapter of this book is like the right kind of push notification in our lives. Stop, read, process, and apply with care.”
Gloria Furman, author, The Pastor’s Wife; Missional Motherhood; and Alive in Him

“As a teenager and a smartphone user, I needed this book. Tony Reinke is compelling and convicting, yet continually meets us with grace. My generation needs this book, because we need to get technology right. If we don’t, the cost is great. 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You should be a must-read for every smartphone user, especially for us younger ones.”
Jaquelle Crowe, lead writer and Editor in Chief, TheRebelution.com; contributor, The Gospel Coalition; author, This Changes Everything

“It took more than a generation for the quaint ‘horseless carriage,’ with all its magic and horror, to become the ordinary, unexamined ‘car.’ But the device we once called a ‘smartphone’ has reached its status as ‘phone’—a common, everyday inevitability—with such breathtaking speed that it has left us little time for reflection on the true power it has in our lives. Tony offers us a distinctly Christian take on the little wonders in our pockets, seeing their goodness, beauty, and power, but also applying godly wisdom and well-researched cautions to help readers use their phones without being used by their phones.”
John Dyer, author, From the Garden to the City: The Redeeming and Corrupting Power of Technology

“Experience practical theology at its finest as Tony applies a thorough understanding of the Scriptures to a thorough understanding of our culture, resulting in a beautifully written and balanced guide to the dangers and opportunities in the palms of our hands. Yes, our phones have changed us for the worse, but this book will change us and our phone use for the better.”
David Murray, pastor; Professor of Old Testament and Practical Theology, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary; author, Jesus on Every Page and Reset

“The more widespread and influential something is, the more Christians should think carefully about it. In this wisdom-filled book, Tony Reinke helps us do just that with the smartphone. Without descending into technophobia or paranoia, he shows the various ways in which phones are changing our lives, highlighting both the problems with this and the solutions to it. A timely and thoughtful book.”
Andrew Wilson, pastor, Kings Church Eastbourne, East Sussex; author, If God, Then What? and Unbreakable

“Rarely is a book as practically impactful as it is theologically rich. In an age in which daily we are drawn into a digital vortex, Tony Reinke warns of the implications and challenges us to examine whether our phones have displaced our spiritual priorities in Christ. With unflinching honesty, Reinke shares his own technological struggles, and in so doing, moves us to a posture of reflection, prayer, and even repentance. Thoroughly engaging and immediately applicable, 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You is a must-read for our time.”
Kim Cash Tate, author, Cling: Choosing a Lifestyle of Intimacy with God

Table of Contents

Foreword by John Piper
Preface
Introduction: A Little Theology of Technology

1. We Are Addicted to Distraction
2. We Ignore Our Flesh and Blood
3. We Crave Immediate Approval
4. We Lose Our Literacy
5. We Feed on the Produced
6. We Become Like What We “Like”
7. We Get Lonely
8. We Get Comfortable in Secret Vices
9. We Lose Meaning
10. We Fear Missing Out
11. We Become Harsh to One Another
12. We Lose Our Place in Time

Conclusion: Living Smartphone Smart
Epilogue


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One thought on “12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You”

  1. Blake White says:

    Wrong link to book, boss.

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Justin Taylor, PhD


Justin Taylor is executive vice president of book publishing and book publisher for Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds. You can follow him on Twitter.

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