Technology to the glory of God?

Technology for the glory of God

One of the rising trends in technology in the last few years is the dominance of the smartphone and the adoption of tablet computers. Increasingly, this means that many people have devices in their pockets or bags that are more powerful than computers were just a few years before. The incredible range of software applications that has mushroomed as part of this trend means that many of us can use phones and tablets for supporting our Christian growth in very accessible and exciting ways wherever we are and whatever we’re doing. As with anything, there’s some junk out there too but here are a few ‘apps’ that are worth installing from brothers and sisters in Christ who are serving us as software developers:

Bible – although there are plenty of Bible apps out there, for my money, the best remains ‘Bible’ by lifechurch.tv. Not only are all the main English translations available, but you can download them to use offline. A feature I’ve found very helpful is the availability of daily reading programmes – a whole host of Bible-in-a-year type schedules but also hundreds of shorter or longer schemes to try. It’s available for Apple, Android and even Blackberry which is not usually well-served. A must! Another helpful resource is the Explore app from The Good Book Company which will give you 30 days of free undated Bible Readings but also the option to buy their very good Bible reading notes and use on your device.

Prayer Mate – A friend of mine has been using and loving this app for a while on his Apple devices so I was delighted when the developer recently launched an Android version. It’s just a great way of organising and growing your prayer life and helping you just to get on with it! Again, there’s loads of prayer apps out there but this is terrific and I haven’t found any others I rate as highly.

Church Apps – A number of good churches (as well as some much less Biblically grounded ministries – so use discernment and ask other mature Christians for advice or recommendations!) have their own apps. Some of those that I’d recommend or have found useful are: Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York (Tim Keller); Solid Joys (John Piper) – devotionals; St Helens Bishopsgate in London; St Ebbes in Oxford; Truth for Life (Alistair Begg – a Scot in the USA).

Growth in knowledge and doctrine – some Bible Colleges have their own apps – again, many who want simply to gather a crowd for their own ends are early adopters of technology but there are some excellent resources out there. A good example is Reformed Theological Seminary, Florida who have put a remarkable number of their lecture courses online.

The bottom line is that for those who are already using tablets and smartphones, there are some very kind members of our wider family who have given time to serve us by developing apps that help us grow in our faith and that’s got to be cause for praising God (and trying a few out).

Alistair MacInnes, Wednesday 4 March 2014