Q & A: THE BIBLES VRS. ELECTRIC DEVICES FOR PREACHING AND TEACHING?
Many pastors and teachers are now using iPads and laptop computers instead of Bibles while preaching and teaching. Recently, my thoughts concerning the advisability of this were stirred as I watched a pastor, iPad in hand, conducting an observance of the Lord’s Supper. Certainly there's a time and place for pastors to use electronic devises for study purposes and an occasional power point presentation. I use them myself in ministry work. But I'm convinced that it's best to keep these devices out of sight and the Bible in sight as much as possible during public ministry.
The growing trend among those who preach and teach to do so from an electronic devise is a practice that I suspect has not been sufficiently thought out in terms of immediate effect and overall outcome which I think isn't, and won't be, a good one. In my opinion, it is profoundly important that people, especially children, see a hard copy of the Bible in the preacher's or teacher's hand and open on people's laps when they go to church. Here's why:
The sight of a physical, hard copy of a Bible communicates a far different message to a person’s consciousness than is communicated by a laptop, iPad or iPhone. These devises are universally, instantly and always associated with social media, data sheets and online gaming, YouTube movies, etc. etc, etc. But the thoughts universally, instantly and always brought to mind by the presence of a Bible are restricted to thoughts of God and the things of God; thoughts are turned, upon sight of a Bible, to the Holy Scripture, to anticipation of worship services and the preaching of God's Word.
Among the books I'm reading now is one entitled Ideas Have Consequences, By Richard Weaver. Ideas do have consequences for good or bad, and I think it's a bad idea for preachers and teachers especially, to use one digitally recorded on an electronic device. Old fashioned printed and bound Bibles need to be given as prominent a place before the public eye as as possible.
"And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;)
and when he opened it, all the people stood up" (Neh. 8:5).