The Bible in a digital age

Published on: 1 January 2018

Kevin Baldwin discusses how Life exhibition is using a different method of old and new media to share the Bible with thousands of children in a digital age.

I remember at Sunday school singing “the best book to read is the Bible”! How does this relate to the digital age in which we live? Doing a lot of traveling in my job, I spend a lot of time listening to audio books, the Bible being one of them. Although I still think nothing compares to turning a page and reading what comes next.

I had a revelation a few years ago while in Jerusalem on Temple Mount: I witnessed lots of small groups gathered around listening and then all speaking. It transpired they were learning the Quran, the traditional way. Jesus explained gospel truths in the oral tradition 2000 years ago. How did we lose a love for retelling stories? When did we lose a love for reading? Can we tell the story in a different way, or is it the story that we have to live out?

When I was a Counties evangelist in West Norfolk one of the things that I enjoyed was putting the stories I had grown up loving into interesting ways that children would enjoy. I used paint-boards, flannelgraphs, puppets and magic. These can seem old-fashioned for those who grew up with these but in a digital age they are a fresh revelation to many. My new job running the Life Exhibition uses a mixture of old and new media to speak out the Bible to thousands of children every year. If we can immerse ourselves in God’s word it won’t take much for it to seep out and affect the lives of those around us.

“66 books, 1089 chapters, 72 hours cover to cover”: that’s what it says on the label of my audio Bible. I try and read the Bible though every year and am thankful we have the freedom to read it but how does it affect my life, my daily walk, my family and friends?

How does all of this fit with my role as coordinator for the Life Exhibition? I am passionate about the Book and want to get it into as many hands as possible. Moving from local evangelist to national coordinator seemed a good step forward and with Life Expo being not “the Word made flesh” but the “word made tech” it was a good move. Life contains both Old and New Testaments, the life of Jesus, what he said and did, his death and resurrection, presented using a variety of media to pupils in primary schools (mainly in Y5 & Y6) on android tablets.

One thing I am often reminded of is the way God often unexpectedly reveals new things to me, things I’ve never seen but read a hundred times. “One generation shall tell another” and, as a new grandparent in an age of biblical illiteracy, “I need to become all things to all men” both ancient and modern.

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Articles in this issue...

Guardians of Ancora

The Revd Mark Capron reviews a children's online Bible game.


Parish Bibles

Parish Bibles can tell us something of the history of the church to which they belong through clues such as annotations and their general appearance.


Which Bible?

KJV? NIV? NLT? The Message? To the question, 'which is the best Bible?', the answer is, 'best for what?' Paul Overend explores the different translations of the Bible.


Walking through the Bible

Andy Jones runs Raise Kids Work and, among other activities, delivers Walk through the Bible Primary School lessons.


The Lectionary – not just for Sundays!

You might be used to looking on a list to see what the reading are for this Sunday if you are reading a lesson or perhaps preparing the prayers, and probably know that the church of England provides a list of readings for each Sunday (the Sunday lectionary). But Charles Read wonders if you know that it also provides readings for each day?


One Bible – many encounters

We each have our preferred ways of encountering God through the Bible. Some are avid readers; others prefer an audio experience; some find art or drama helpful; others prefer active approaches.


Bible Sunday – an opportunity to engage

Each year, churches the length and breadth of the country celebrate to Bible on a Sunday in late October - Richard Hooker describes how they used this opportunity at St Edmund's parish church in Taverham.


Praying with the Bible

Keith James shares a practical guide to two ways of praying – Imaginative Contemplation and Lectio Divina.


Bringing the Bible to life

The Rt Revd Alan Winton, Bishop of Thetford enthuses on the 'Open the Book' teams that bring Bible stories to life for children across the Diocese.


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