I have an Iphone and an Ipad. It goes without saying that these are enormously convenient tools of technology. There is, however, one thing that I have found that Iphones and Ipads can’t do. They can’t sanctify my example and they can’t sanctify space.
On both devices I have downloaded the ESV Bible. Having the Bible at my fingertips, being able to scroll through the books with ease, and looking at footnotes quickly is amazingly helpful. Their are some definitive advantages that I can’t argue with.
However, the downside to studying and reading the Bible from these devices out weighs the good. The downside is my children. When I am reading the Bible on my Ipad in the morning at our kitchen counter and one of my children walks in, what do they see? They see Dad on his Ipad. They see Dad scrolling through his Iphone. What they don’t see is a man wanting to be devoted to the Word of God trying to spending his first moments of the day engulfed in the revealed word of God. The example is lost if I am on my Ipad. Whose to say I wasn’t checking Twitter, Facebook, or looking at my email? How are they to know that the glow coming from that screen isn’t malcontent fowl out to harm some pigs, but the retelling of a rooster crowing after a betrayal? What they lose is the example that they may carry with them when they are young adult men and women. The remembrance of their father devoted daily to the Bible for devotion and study. But if they only see an Ipad, I haven’t sanctified that time or space. I have muddied the waters. The holy has joined with the minutia of the day. In this case, it doesn’t matter what is actually true, but what my children perceive to be true: Dad reading on his Ipad or Dad reading from the Bible. The Ipad veils the latter.
Now it is certainly no sin to read the Bible from a device like these, Iphone, Ipad, e-reader. And many times it can be helpful. But for myself, my temptation to be distracted, and for the example I want to show my children, I prefer that ancient method of reading straight from the book.