Matthew Barrett is the assistant professor of christian studies at California baptist university, the founder and executive editor at Credo Magazine has written a thoughtful post on the website yesterday. The whole idea is why have we thrown away our physical copy of the scripture. I had never thought about this topic with this amount of attention. Dr. Barrett brings some great points to our attention, in regards to having a physical copy of scripture. He has 5 major points, we will cover briefly.
1. Different Message,
2. Biblical Illiteracy in the Pew,
3. Flesh and Blood,
4. Visual Reminder,
5. Nonverbal Communication.
All five points that Dr. Barrett makes are really strong, but I think he two strongest points lay in 2 and 3. In point 2 he brings up the point that biblical literacy is going down, because the electronic text does not require people to know where the book is placed. Even more then not knowing where books of the bible are they don’t know the context of the chapter. This is a huge problem amongst many evangelicals today. I have noticed this as an increasing problem even at my own school. I address this topic earlier in the month in my post entitled The Fatality of “One-Text” Christinas How do we recalibrate the christian church in a “one-text christian” culture?
The next point he makes is an interesting one, but very thought provoking. Dr. Barrett sums up his brief thoughts on this point this way.
“as physical beings who gather together as an assembly in a tangible place. We see with our own eyes a standing, breathing minister preach about a God who is, yes, invisible, but is really with us as Lord of space and time. This God has made himself known by sending his own Son in flesh and blood.”
This applies with beautiful harmony to the Bible. Some people may criticize this position and label it as anachronistic, but i think there is a lot to be said about realizing the embodiment of all things. A visible copy of the scriptures can be more beneficial to the body of christ than we realize. There is no reason to become dogmatic on the position it is merely trying to be thoughtful in all areas. Dr. Barrett does a wonderful job of carrying that tone in his post. I would encourage any reader to go and check out his blog, it was very helpful.