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Technology vs. the Pulpit

By January 29, 2023Devotional

I am not naturally a technology guy. Back in the 1980’s I took the position that if I didn’t worry about technology, it would somehow go away and I would never have to worry about it again. But that was only after I spent $10,000 on a 10 meg hard drive that was a real clunker, $3,200 on a Diablo printer that was incredibly heavy and somewhere around $1,200 for a keyboard for the whole package. I can’t even remember what we spent on the screen, which only showed the characters in green. I do recall that the by the time it was all done, the whole set-up was around $20,000 and we even needed to build a small room in the office that wouldn’t conduct static electricity. It was actually a “technology room” with glass windows and a long counter top to lay out our work as we were doing invoices, printing monthly financial statements or entering payables to print checks when we were ready to pay the bills.

It was different back then. Technology was just coming to small businesses, and it wasn’t even that affordable. Twenty thousand back then was an huge amount of money now, let alone then! And our iPhones today have many times the computing power that was used in all the computers to land Armstrong and Aldrin on the moon in the summer of 1969. By the way, some of the first IBM computers filled an entire room – now they fit conveniently on a desk.

Eventually, I had to get on the technology bandwagon. But, I never fully embraced it and looked at computers as a means to an end – a tool of productivity. Conversely, I know people who can’t wait to get the latest and greatest computer or technology aid – even gaming has been taken to a new level with virtual reality and absolutely surreal graphics. I guess that I should note that I have never loaded a game, to the best of my recollection, on a phone, computer, tablet or iPad. As I said, technology is a tool – not used for entertainment.

When it comes to reading, particularly the Bible, I like the feel of the pages of a book. All the way through seminary, I used a King James Version and even when it came to Greek and Hebrew, I didn’t use any online Bibles. I could just never get used to them. I still use the books in my theological library that I have amassed throughout the years.

When I started to write my dissertations, I ended up with a program that allowed me to cut and paste passages of Scripture into my document. It was a timesaver, even though I didn’t like it. I guess you could say that I sold out.

I have also noticed that more and more pastors are using iPads to deliver their messages on Sunday mornings or at conferences where they are asked to speak. Of course, I much prefer paper notes even though it takes much longer to type them out and print them. There is something that just doesn’t resonate with me when it comes to delivering God’s word from some sort of electronic device.

But the times, they are a changin’… I use computers for my business and to teach teams organizational dynamics. I have even succumbed to using Accordance Bible software, designed for the Mac and Apple platforms, when searching for verses when I write my weekly posts here on TBTB.

But tonight, I am doing something different from the 1800+ posts I have written during the last 12 years. Yep… I am writing tonight’s post on an iPad with a keyboard. Even I can’t believe it! I feel like a traitor. But the truth of the matter is that I am finding it much easier to do than I thought it would be. In fact, when our son, Andrew, suggested a new iPad and the Magic Keyboard, I never imagined that it would be as stellar as it is. My, my, my… technology keeps getting better and better.

Now, I am faced with the decision as to whether or not I will be using my new found technology from the pulpit when I fill in for my friend, Dr. Steve Smith, at his church during the month of March. Something tells me I may try it… I’m confessing that up front.

So… I am coming to the conclusion, after many years, that as long as I am faithfully delivering the word of God, it doesn’t matter if I am using paper or some technological aid. The truth is that I would rather memorize my message than read it – in any form…

Our verse for tonight is a simple one that comes from the apostle Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. Paul tells his church, and us, in 1 Corinthians 9:16, “Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!” For me, that pretty much sums it up. Paul lets us know that the means of preaching isn’t important – the authenticity of the word of God is. My encouragement this evening is that God wants each of to teach or preach His word – truthfully. My prayer is that the words of  our mouths and the meditations of all of our hearts will be pleasing to God – our strength and our Redeemer. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…

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