Rooted Recommends: The Wisdom Pyramid
At Rooted, we love equipping youth pastors and parents with meaningful resources that help your students engage with technology. For that reason, we are so excited to recommend Brett McCracken’s new book, The Wisdom Pyramid.
For those not familiar with Brett’s previous work, Brett is a Senior Editor for The Gospel Coalition who writes regularly on the intersection between faith and media, film, and art. McCracken is also the author of Uncomfortable: The Awkward and Essential Challenge of Christian Community, Gray Matters: Navigating the Space Between Legalism and Liberty, and Hipster Christianity: When Church and Cool Collide.
In this concise, timely book, McCracken warns readers that we are in a time of information overload where we are constantly taking in information as we drive to work, walk our dogs, and eat our meals. Whether it’s through our TVs, phones, or computers, we are everywhere at once yet not truly present anywhere.
The aim of The Wisdom Pyramid is to prescribe Christians with a healthy diet for information consumption. Due to the pandemic, the relationship between technology and the rest of life has experienced a colossal shift. From church services to kindergarten classrooms, our screens have become an essential part of everyday life. Christians would be wise to examine how our information intake has changed.
McCracken’s model, based off of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 1992 Food Pyramid graphic which helped people understand the importance of a balanced diet, is designed to help people understand the foolishness of taking in too much information, taking in information too fast, and only taking in information that we like. Like the food pyramid, the wisdom pyramid places the most important source at the bottom and then goes up from there.
From bottom to top, the food pyramid features bread and grains, fruits and vegetables, meat and dairy, and fats and sweets. Similarly, the wisdom pyramid compares the Bible to the bread as the foundational source needed for life followed by the local church, nature, books, beauty, and topped off by the internet and social media.
By placing it at the bottom of the “wisdom pyramid,” McCracken argues that the Bible is the foundation of a Christian’s life and should be the primary place for receiving wisdom from God. On the flip side, the information we receive through social media should be consumed sparingly. Overall, this book is a simple, well-thought-out way to communicate the importance of being aware of what kinds of information you are consuming. In the same way that it is important to be selective in what kind of food you consume, it is important to be selective in what kind of information you consume.
If you are a parent or youth pastor looking for resources on media consumption for you, your students, or your family, this is a great place to start. For more on the subject, McCracken has written several articles including Apple’s Logo and Eden’s Forbidden Fruit, 2020 Proves We Don’t Need More Information. (We Need Something Else.), and Drained and Depressed by the Internet? Go Outside.