The New Roman Roads: Technology and Bible Reading

Robert C. Crosby, D.Min.: The New Roman Roads: Technology and Bible Reading.

This interesting online article (which has appeared in several different places) was written by the professor of Practical Theology at Southeastern University, and relates to the new “Roman roads” that are advancing the Bible and other Christian literature, namely,  all the latest digital technology. The Bible “app” (YouVersion) Crosby refers to was one that I used for a time when I had a work smartphone and found very handy. As you probably know (or can guess), I have several Bible study tools (all free) on my Kindle and use these nearly every Sunday during the worship service. With more and more people using this digital technology there has been an explosion of means to make the Bible and other Christian literature available.

And the Reformed folk are not far behind. I read in the latest Tabletalk that Ligonier has just started a new digital “channel” where one can listen to many contemporary Reformed/Calvinistic teachers, as well as good music and other programming 24/7 for free. Check that out at this link (I just discovered there have been a few delays, but it is still set to be launched this month. You may sign up via email to be notified.). Maybe it is time for the PRC to develop such an “app” – a tool that brings together our radio program and all our available preaching/teaching in one handy place. Technology gurus among us, get your minds engaged!

In any case, here is a portion of the article for your reading; find the rest at the link above.

The “Roman roads” of today are the Internet, the smartphone and social media. The famed Roman Roads of the Ancient Empire were among the foremost technological advances that helped Christianity spread so rapidly. Their construction was strategically well-timed to the Incarnation of Christ and the subsequent missionary journeys of the Apostle Paul. The building of these continent-connecting arteries started in 500 B.C. and ultimately spanned over 250,000 miles. They not only enabled the Roman Empire to grow, but also propelled the Gospel forward. The new roads are having a similar effect.

Some Christians, churches and Bible agencies have caught on to the fact that someone else has already paid for these new roads to be built. These electronic avenues are open and ready for a million journeys of faith and witness. One group of techno-evangelists have caught one and already made remarkable advances is the team behind the “Bible App” (aka YouVersion.com) and their founder, Bobby Gruenewald.

…The immediacy of technology has changed the game of Bible reading. Printed Bibles have to be duplicated, bound, packaged, shipped, displayed, sold, taken home and then opened and read. Digital Bibles, however, begin as electronic bytes on a server and can become a thousand or a million (or more) copies on the faces of smartphones in just a matter of seconds. That’s a game changer. Several Bible publishers and license holders, however, have allowed sites such as YouVersion and BibleGateway to publish their versions digitally since they have found it has not hindered print sales, but has actually increased them and provided broad network of promotion.

Gruenewald says, “I believe that this generation could become the most biblically engaged one in history.” Five hundred years ago the prime technologies of Bible advancement were not Gruenewald, but Gutenberg, the developer of the earliest European printing press. For Martin Luther, this new technology was something truly glorious. He praised its timeliness and encouraged its potential. Luther had recognized a new “road.” Now, another one has arrived.

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Have you seen the university reformed church app? It would be a good place to start.

    Like

  2. Thanks, Josh – great idea!

    Like


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