I recall sitting with a group of pastors while ago having good conversation. One of them told me “you know...people have you pegged as a pretty liberal thinker. Perhaps even liberal in your theology.” I had to laugh because when you get to know me...I really am not all that liberal. In fact I take a bit of pride in my Sunday morning ritual. I wake up, read the Bible, spend time in prayer, get in my truck and of all the Sirius/XM stations I have, I end up on the Elvis channel...why? Because each and every Sunday morning is the Elvis gospel hour to which I sing along with EVERY song. This is just one of many ways I am quite old fashioned. My thing is that I enjoy letting people share their thoughts and opinions without telling them they are wrong. I simply like to hear other thoughts even in a Bible study setting. Who am I to tell someone they are wrong for what they believe or how God has moved in their life? The minute I do that is the minute I have created God in my own image.
One way I am quite a fuddy duddy is when it comes to scriptural knowledge. Now I am not even talking about memorizing scripture left and right. Fact is if you know all the scripture in the world and yet are a jerk....you have zero respect from me. Love really is the key. The scripture knowledge I am talking about is simply knowing how the Bible works. You know....the basics. How many books are in the Bible? How many in the old and new testament (easy math question)? Who wrote the books? Understanding how chapters and verses work. These are the things I am talking about. It really is foundational.
This evening at youth group I gave the teens their own new Bible. Some of them already have their own but welcomed a new one. I have done this before with other groups of teens but it seems more and more the Bible app is not helping to build a foundation. Now I am all for Bible apps but only after I have grasped the basics of the Bible that I mentioned above. Fact is I feel sorry for many church kids these days because they will never experience sword drills. I am really amazed at how many kids simply do not bring their Bible to church at all because it is not something we value these days. I am truly thankful my parents made sure my brother and I always had our Bibles when we went to church. Well that is legalistic isn’t it? Were we spiritually abused because of that? NO! As with anyone in formative years...I needed that to make me who I am today. It was a very positive thing.
You see Bible apps are like egos. Like Father Richard Rohr has taught, in order to lose your ego you first have to build one up. In other words growing up you must form an ego. This helps define who you are and provides much needed structure to form you into the the person you are today. There does come a point however where you are so secure in who you are that you can now lose your ego. You no longer have to feed this thing because you know who you are and remain secure in that. The same can be said for Bibles. I think a kid ought to learn the basics of a Bible. The stories are fabulous and the lessons are timeless. To learn the structure, the books, authors, etc. should be foundational. I am quite sure that by time a kid gets his first device where he can begin to download apps, he will have had a biblical foundation laid that will hold him where he know longer needs to carry the paper version around but rather the app.