Tuesday, 21 June 2011

The iPhone generation

Yes, I know it's been a while. Sorry for the wait. I understand, I missed my blog too. So, my laptop died on me is the reason I haven't been able to write in a while. Isn't it annoying when technology disappoints you? Speaking of technology, I was in a hip young church the other day and when it was time for the sermon, the preacher lady asked us to turn to a particular scripture in the Bible. I didn't have my Bible with me (I know, I know...) so I turned to share with my friend. She didn't have a Bible either, but she had her iPhone. She opened the Bible app thingy on her iPhone and we read together. It was cool. But then I turned to my right and I kid you not the four people sitting directly next to me all had iPhones and were reading from them too. I didn't want to keep turning around to check but I'm sure at least half the church were using the Bible on their iPhones.

The first time I noticed this phenomenon was in a church I used to go to a few months ago. At first I thought people were just being rude and not paying attention to the awesome stuff the pastor was saying but when I realised that more than a handful of people were staring at their phones, my somewhat slow brain quickly made the connection. I thought it was weird. What I found even more weird was the day I noticed the pastor tapping away on his iPad when someone else was preaching. From what I've written so far you'll probably have figured out that I'm really not the best person when it comes to technology. But I don't begrudge people that have all the latest gadgets and things. I'm even a teeny weeny bit jealous of them because I think their lives are probably a bit easier and more organised than mine thanks to their iPhones and what not.

But back to what got me writing in the first place. Are iPhones now taking the place of actual Bibles? Am I the only one that worries that a day might come when there won't be need for actual paperback Bibles any more? It's already happening with Kindle. Don't get me wrong, I think the idea of Kindle is fab. You can carry hundreds of books with you wherever you go and read any one of them at the tap of a button. Great idea. But I love my paperbacks. I love holding an actual book, and touching the pages. I love underlining stuff and making notes. Even more so with my Bible. My friend said you can do all that stuff with the iPhone, but to me, it's not the same!

When I was a kid, we used to play this game in church called 'draw your sword' (OK, I think that's what it was called but I don't know if that was the proper name). If you know a bit about the Bible you may know that the Bible is the 'sword' that Christians use for (spiritual) battle. Basically the game went like this; someone would ask the players (or warriors I guess) to 'draw your sword' and we'd hold out our Bibles. Then, the person would ask us to open to a particular scripture and the first person to do so and read it out loud would win. It was a great way to tell who knew their way around the Bible (yes, yes, this was the kind of game we played as kids in church but it was fun I promise). Anyway, my point is you can't play this game with your iPhone/iPad. OK maybe if you really wanted to you could, but it would have to be 'draw your iPhone, or Bible feature-containing piece of technology' which just sounds crazy.

Also, when Joel Osteen says 'take out your Bibles and say after me. This is my Bible. I am what it says I am. I can do what it says I can do...', you'd have to be saying 'This is my iPhone. I am what it says I am...' Get the picture? I say it's time we went back to actual paperback Bibles. In church at least. Or don't you agree?

p.s. Before anyone says it, I was in another church recently and the guy mentioned how underground pastors (you know like in places where you're not allowed to be Christian) have their Bibles on their iPads because nobody can arrest them for carrying an iPad. I think that's wonderful. But you're not an underground pastor are you? Get a real Bible.


  1. Renny:

    Yay! Glad to see you back here. I was wondering what had happened to you.

    I also tend to use BOTH my phone (I don't have an iPhone, but I have a smartphone, nonetheless) and physical bible to read scripture. But like you, I still prefer holding a physical book in my hands. Nothing beats that experience!

  2. kenneth Nnabuihe21 June 2011 at 23:00

    I think this is an agree/disagree situation. It can be argues that both materials both the book and the Ipad or Iphone have got pros and cons. The Iphone is easier to carry around and quicker to access. The book, on the other hand, doesn't need to be recharged or updated with new versions of software (No need to worry about Hacking. However, having said this, I still prefer the book. Call me old fashioned right now and you probably would be right. But I still wont rule out the possibility of using an Ipad in church whenever It suits my need and convenience.

  3. Hahaha, thats funny - the Joel Osteen "This is my iPhone. I am what it says I am" part. Now you got me forever thinking about this every time I watch Joel Osteen.

    But hey, remember when audio tape was the rave. Crazy thinking they were way better than LPs, yet they were fidgety. The tape would get chewed up in the deck, unless of course you used a pencil to fast-forward/rewind. CDs & MP3s have since been and gone or nearly are, and here we are on iPods and Pads, and each progressive step has made life way easier.

    Well, at least for me. I wouldnt want to still be rewinding tape with pencil!!

  4. @Relentless, yep, yep, physical Bible beats virtual any day for me! :)

    @Ken and Wendal, I agree that there are many pros to having an iPhone/iPad; usually advances in technology make life easier on the whole (and Wendal you make a good point with the tapes). I guess I'm not against the iPad/iPhone; I'm really just against them replacing the actual physical Bible. But thinking about it, that probably won't happen, and the most important thing is that people are reading the Bible, in whichever form they choose. Thanks for your comments!

  5. I'm in full support of traditional paper back Bibles. I just don't dig the idea of using an iPhone as a bible. It is a distraction, from bible app to FB by mistake, na so play dey start! I just believe that the Bible app on the phone is there so u can have the word of God with you wherever you go, on the fly. Coming to church is not an instantaneous act, you prepare for it, nice clothes et al, what stops you from bringing a bible then? You can't forget all the time! Anyway, that's my opinion, as long as the Word of God is being studied, I'm happy. Nice blog

  6. Anon, thank you!!! You're so on point! I especially like this:

    'the Bible app on the phone is there so u can have the word of God with you wherever you go, on the fly'

    It is so true; I think some people are forgetting this, and beginning to replace their Bibles with their phones. There really is no substitute for a physical Bible, in my opinion.

    lol at 'FB by mistake, na so play dey start!' Thanks for your comments!