Pokémon Go, Vanity Fair, and Novelty

 

1-bunyan-pilgrims-progress-granger

Novelty sells.

It makes apps go viral, and drives up stock prices.

Novelty is neutral.

It just means new, and though nothing is truly new (Ecclesiastes 1:9), some things are new enough to get attention.

Unfortunately novelty has an evil twin named Vanity. When he enters the picture something not only sells, but enslaves. John Bunyan, in The Pilgrim’s Progress depicts the dangers in a section about Vanity Fair.

Phillip Holmes, writing for Desiringgod.org appears to put entertainment like Pokémon Go in this category and calls it the evangelical drug of choice. I think he’s mostly right. When entertainment turns corrosive, and a person becomes trapped in a fantasy world, then there is no limit to the how bad things can get.

But…

The entertainment value will fade (remember Angry Birds?).

The stock will fall (it already is as I write this).

This fair will leave town.

The deeper issue is vanity, not necessarily novelty or even fantasy. Once vanity infects you, it’s very hard to overcome. It lays dormant until something new gives it opportunity to flare up again. We need to keep that in mind as we discuss this with others.

 

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