Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A Little Inspiration

I've had this idea in the back of my mind; a Bible Reading Plan that contains, with each day, some interesting video or artwork. For example, let's say you're reading about the Exodus. What would the parting of the Red Sea look like from Google Maps?

If a reading plan contained a handful of images like this in each entry (artistic re-imaginings, performing arts, images that connect the Scriptures with our daily living), then I would tune in to see what came next.

Let's say you have a few more minutes to spend and you're in John 1. Here is a video of a dance/spoken word piece that beautifully demonstrates the story of the Gospel. The tap dancer is Jesus, the rapper is John the Baptist, and the other dancers are us.

"Words and Pictures" - Urbana 09 from InterVarsity twentyonehundred on Vimeo.

I remember seeing this performance at the Urbana Conference in 2009. At the time it really helped me to appreciate John 1 (and Genesis 1) in a new way. Of course the art of this Bible Reading Plan would, hopefully, just add to the reader's excitement to discover the biblical text. The Bible is vibrant, thrilling, and can shape our daily lives because the Bible is the primary way God speaks into our lives.

What do you think? Would you spend a few minutes each day visiting a reading plan like that?

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Coding the Bible

This site takes the code of some of our favorite websites (Twitter, Google, Facebook) and creates some fun, new ways to explore the Bible:

*Take a "street view" tour of any place mentioned in Scripture.
*Customize your very own Bible translation.
*See a beautiful painting of each verse based upon tagged Flickr images.
*Find out how expensive Paul's missionary trips were (including such variables as wave heights!).
*Read in real-time what people are giving up for Lent.

I can't wait to see what new projects these guys come up with. The possibilities seem almost endless: Just imagine turning to your computer and saying, "I would like a 12-part Bible Study on the importance of prayer and please used a conservative, Reformed theology to inform the study." Beep-bop-boop and the computer writes you up a great Bible Study.

We live in an incredible time for Bible scholarship.

Just don't forget: Intellectual study by itself is worthless. The Bible becomes a flat text. Tedious. Boring. In which case, ugh, Bible study can feel like a chore. But if you ask God to help you understand the Bible then the Holy Spirit will illuminate the text, the Word will become living and active, and you will love reading your Bible.

Finally, if you're into computer coding then I wanted to share this video. It's about Stephen Wolfram's new programming language and essentially, it would completely democratize the process of coding new programs and mining data. Crazy stuff: