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4 Responses to Bible or iPad in the pulpit?

  1. Even as I find myself reflexively agree with his sentiment, I must admit that my impulse is largely a result of my conditioning. Theologically, I must say that it is the Word itself–apart from the medium–that is effectual. The medium was bound books before it was digital; it was papyrus & scrolls before it was in books; it was on stone before it was in a scroll.

    Be that as it may, I’ve actually never really needed a hardcopy of the Scriptures in the pulpit–even before my iPad–because I type out every scripture I will refer to. Yet, I HAVE always carried one into the pulpit because of the non-verbal message the “relic” communicates.

  2. Thanks for your input, Jeremy. This is really interesting to me for many reasons.

    You’re right, though, even before I started using my tablet (Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0!) when I preach, my paper notes already contained the scripture; I rarely if ever actually read from a bound Bible.

    So on the one hand we have to acknowledge that the Bible in my tablet Logos app IS the Word of God.

    But on the other hand I resonate with much of what this author said about what holding a bound copy communicates, and I’m all about communication! :)

    I think your answer of using the tablet but also carrying a bound copy is wise advice.

  3. I agree with you, Jeremy and Scott. For the foreseeable future, our audiences/congregations will include people who use only the codex—or even for whom a tablet is a somewhat negative symbol of bling or the takeover of their beloved analog culture. I believe that my weekly congregation contains such people, so I prop the Bible up on my lectern where everyone can see it, but I often refer instead to my iPad.

    It never ceases to amaze me how members of older generations simply don’t think to look something up on the Internet until you remind them that they can. It’s a matter of deep cultural conditioning—likewise, I’m conditioned the other way, and I need to remember that.

  4. I’m thankful for the cautions of some on this, though. We must be willing to ask not just “Can we,” but also “Should we?” Changes in technology are not JUST changes: they always comes with gains and losses.

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