Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg are holding a Blog Tour on Religion and Media, in this post Mark Vitalis Hoffman (of Biblical Studies and Technological Tools) is replying to this question from me:
Mark, advances in electronic communications technologies and equipment (especially Internet and mobile phones) makes Scripture and the tools to understand it more easily and widely available than ever. Yet at the same time rates of engaged regular Scripture reading among Christians in the West since the reformation has hardly been lower.
Are there technologies or tools you think have the potential over the next few years to revitalize Scripture reading among Western Christians?
Thanks for this question, Tim. I know it’s a concern that is near to your heart!
Two or three decades ago, at least in the United States, it was not unusual to see Christians who would regularly carry their Bibles around with them and presumably read them. There was quite a market for Bible carrying cases. A quick check on Amazon shows that there still is a market for them (over 900 items under “bible carrying case”), but there in the fourth spot is a “Leather Christian iPad 2 Case.” My point? As you note, technology is providing more biblical resources than ever, and they are easier than ever to access. So why the decrease in Bible reading?
I am convinced that Christians, both consumers (readers) and producers of content, will eventually get in sync with the possibilities technology offers, but it also is probably going to require some revitalization of Christianity in general. I’m trying to say a few things with that sentence, so let me expand.
[I have been having real problems with WordPress today :( I hope I can post the expansion in another post.]