November 11, 2013

YouVersion double-edged sword?

Posted in better disciples at 1:00 PM by alexlozada

One of my most rewarding responsibilities at MCC is helping w/ the weekly YouVersion Live message notes. I’ve also used the YouVersion Bible reading plans, and the Bookmarks and the Notes Features, as well as the many different translations (mostly English, but also the Tagalog). This Washington Post article, “Atheists Use a Popular Bible App to evangelize about unbelief”, shows a radically different use:

“Young nonbelievers like to have those discussions,” said Hemant Mehta, a Chicago blogger and expert on young atheists. “They love to show the Bible can say anything you want it to say.” And Bible apps, he said, “make stronger atheists.” “Nothing makes you an atheist faster than reading the Bible,” he said. “It’s one of those beautiful side effects of having these Bibles free and easily accessible.”

But Elizabeth Drescher, a Santa Clara University lecturer who studies the nonreligious, is not as convinced. There is nothing new, she said, about atheists and believers using the latest technology — whether it is a leather-bound Bible, an online Bible or a Bible app — to engage and debate. “All of the kinds of things that people have always done in other ways they are now doing with digital technology to the extent that there are apps to support them,” she said. “So yes, people are using these apps in the context of those conversations, but I don’t think those conversations are any more active than they have been in the last decade.”

I think the assertion “nothing makes you an atheist faster than reading the Bible” is missing some important context — including testimonies from the many who became disciples of Jesus BECAUSE they read the Bible. “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12


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