Redeeming Technology

There are many great things that I learned from my undergraduate degree in business, but there is one class project that stands out above the rest when I think back on my time in the Baylor Business School. It was the summer before my last semester at Baylor and I was taking a class with a visiting professor from DBU. In this class, this professor made us get into groups and pick different forms of technology and study three things: what it was intended for, how it has “fallen,” and how it can be redeemed. Our group picked video games, which oddly enough could have classified as my major. As we studied all of the different things that game consoles can do, and how bad some of the violence, profanity and sexual content had gotten in recent years (think Grand Theft Auto but worse), my mind was opened up to all of technology that God can use for His glory. I remember working through how video games can be redeemed and used for greater purposes and presenting on how they can rehabilitate people (think Wii more than Xbox 360), teach young kids difficult concepts such as math, and help connect people relationally when used in an effective manner.

On Sunday I said that technology provides an incredible opportunity when it comes to studying Scripture, but you must change some habits on how you use it. We have an incredible capacity as human beings to remember and recall all types of information. But in order to commit information to memory, you’ve got to have at least two elements: desire and effective training methods. Think about how many telephone numbers, song lyrics, quotes from movies, addresses, shortcuts on your computer, bank account numbers, social security numbers, sports stats, and historical facts you have committed to memory. I would be willing to bet that you memorized and learned these complex things based on either a desire or out of necessity. You needed to remember your wife’s telephone number one time that you didn’t have your cell phone, and you suddenly now have a desire to learn a new telephone number. You were at the doctor office for the tenth time and had to write down your social security number, and now you have a desire to commit another nine-digit number to memory.

Now compare all of the random facts, numbers and quotes you can recall to how much Scripture you have committed to memory. Even further, compare your ability to share the entire plot line of your favorite TV show to your ability to share then entire plot line of Scripture. Are you able to tell the entire story of Scripture from start to finish by tying in the major themes? Do you know who comes first between Noah and Jonah? Do you know which of the four Gospels is different from the other three and why? Do you know why the exiles happened in Israel’s history (and did you know that there were multiple exiles)? I don’t say these things to make you feel bad, I really don’t. In fact, I know that most people I run into have the desire to learn more, but rarely know how to put that desire into effective strategies that will translate into long-term Scripture memory and recall.

So what are some effective ways you can use your technology to learn more about Scripture than the “shifting sands” of sports, politics and local news? Here are just a few practical suggestions, but is by no means an exhaustive list:

  • iPhone: The first step would be to download a few apps. I got this suggestion about a month ago from a blog that I thought was extremely helpful. Here’s the advice on that blog: “Download the app called Push My Reminders. Yes, you should pay the $1.99. Add a reminder, pasting in a Bible verse from your ESV Bible app (surely you’ve downloaded it by now). Give the reminder a time of day and set it to repeat daily. Add two more reminders with the same verse giving all three a category of ‘Week 1.’”
  • Computer: There are a ton of great blogs and websites when it comes to really processing Scripture. There are some I read more than others, but it is always important to remember that reading Scripture is more important than reading other people’s take on Scripture. Bible Gateway has a lot of different English translations of the Bible and has a “Verse of the Day” on its homepage.
  • Facebook: There are plenty of “Bible” boxes that you can add to your profile page that will allow you to have a “Verse of the Day.” Facebook is also a great way to share Scripture with others randomly. What Christian wouldn’t like to receive a message that a particular Scripture verse made you think of them?
  • TV/DVD: One of my favorite things to use as far as DVDs go are called “Nooma” videos put out by Rob Bell. They are a series of short films (each about 12 minutes long) that are artistically creative and extremely thought provoking. This is just one way to engage Scripture using your television.
  • CD/MP3 Players: You can download books at a time from the New Testament and listen to them while you run or on your way to work. Some people are far better learners when they hear something as opposed to learning visually. I suggest “The Bible Experience” on iTunes when it comes to vivid readings that are really well done.

As I said, this is not an exhaustive list, but these are just a few tips that might help you get started. Feel free to share anything that you’ve found beneficial when it comes to “hearing God’s Word” in your own life.

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