Ruth Gledhill at The Times has written an interesting article called “Bang! Crash! Kill those Canaanites! The Bible on your X-Box”.
This got me thinking about how this fits into the emerging conversation. It is clear that the scriptures are of great importance to our faith. My experience over the last ten years is that people invariably have little or no contact with them. Even in churches they are becoming more and more difficult for people to engage with. Personally I love the feel of a book in my hand, the smell of the paper and ink. I love that slightly exhilarating feeling of being the first person to open a book. The first to cast my eyes upon its contents. I like it when someone (usually my wife) has to wait for me to pass it on to them. However, for many, reading a book is not a common activity.
This has led many to reimagine how people can engage with the text itself. I have previously blogged about “The Book”, a project that produced the New Testament in the format of a magazine complete with stunning photography. Instead, here we have the X-box being used as a vehicle for the text. To me it looks like “Study Bible +”. It seems to whiz around the text and give lots of aditional information if you want it. It looks like a very familiar modern world experience as one thing zooms off and another zooms on. The “reader” is bombarded with a stream of information. How very postmodern.
The real question I have is – is this new? No doubt there will be detractors who claim this is a sign of the end times. As we all know, God’s true intention in a restored kingdom is produced using the printing press and archaic language. Modern technology is no doubt corrupting our young, corrupting the text and warping our doctrine…
…or is it? Haven’t we been doing exactly this for years. I remember starting my undergraduate degree over a decade ago and buying the Zondervan Step Reader with access to all sorts of different translations of the bible, commentaries and maps. I remember whizzing from one part to the next, searching and comparing. Then of course there is my current concordance.
So now that wireless controller has a little joystick and button a, b and c…. not much is different to this wireless keyboard and mouse I am using to do this.
One more reason why my wife needs to let me buy an X-box =D