Should Pastors (or any of us) Read the Word on an iPad?

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Should We Preach with iPads?

Christ and Pop Culture continues The Gospel Coalition’s thoughtful discussion on using iPad’s and other electronic devices in the pulpit.  Derek Rishmawy takes a look at both sides, and concludes with this excellent thought:

“Each pastor knows his congregations and their needs. In some places it might be a significant pastoral move to emphasize unplugging and focusing in on a simple printed page. In others, that might not be the issue but integrating the Word within the whole of life. I suspect that the way the Word is preached will have a greater impact on whether their people value and submit to the Word of God written than the print medium it’s being preached off.”

Here is the link to TGC’s oiginal post: Dear Pastor, Bring Your Bible To Church

I appreciate both of these articles and their commitment to thoughtfully reflecting on the value of bringing a physical Bible to the pulpit.  I have to admit I have used both a physical Bible and my Kindle Touch for preaching in the pulpit, and I am still a much bigger fan of a physical Bible.  I feel like, unlike an app or even an e-book, I can navigate faster and find my way around with much greater ease.  Also, there is no trepidation of an electronic failure or slow down that could cause some really awkward pauses and asides while you wait for something to load.  However, I found no moral or philosophical objection to preaching with an app, e-book, or software as opposed to a physical Bible.

If any one else can back me up, I find the same to be true when I study the Bible, as well.  I own Logos Bible Software, but find it to be cumbersome and extremely impersonal when I am interacting with the Word of God.  Feeling the weight, turning the thin pages, and writing in the margins or taking notes in my journal as I study seems a much better connection than typing in notes and burning my retinas out staring at a computer screen.  It might be nostalgia and my mind longing for that simpler time when I first became a follower of Christ and was using the free CRU bible I received in college to devour the Word, but maybe not.

What do you think?  Is there merit to this discussion?  Are we just being archaic?  Is it too backward and simplistic to expect preaching to come from a physical Bible as opposed to an app, software, or e-book?    What message do we send when we use electronics in place of a printed Bible?

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