I was pretty excited when I saw an article about how apps are bringing religion into the 21st century. I’m pretty familiar with the 21st century, so I imagined changes like
- abandoning belief in “infallibility” of centuries-old, mistranslated texts
- embracing equal rights for women
- accepting that evolution is the best paradigm for understanding biology
- eliminating barbaric practices like genital mutilation
- boring church services replaced with thrilling Words with Friends sessions
Unfortunately, I then read the article, at which point I discovered that the changes would be better described as “bringing the 21st century into religion”:
There was a time when Werle carried her leather-bound and dog-eared Bible everywhere she went, scribbling in the margins as she read. These days she accesses the Word and makes her notes on her iPod Touch.
It’s practically a new Reformation!
Twerski has apps that let him read the Torah, the Talmud and the Siddur, the book of daily prayers; recite the appropriate blessings for meals depending on the food that’s served; and vet the thousands of ingredients in his work inspecting Kosher food factories around the state.
“When I used paper … I could be sitting a long time. Now, it takes me just seconds to look for an ingredient,” he said.
So basically, it’s like the 20th-century religion (which was like the 19th-century religion, the 18th-century religion, and so on) but faster!
“It goes with me everywhere,” said Daniel Johnson, president of Wisconsin Lutheran College, who uses his iPhone to access the Bible, daily devotions, Christian music and sermons. “There’s not been a time in the history of man when it’s been as convenient to focus on one’s relationship with the Lord.”
There’s also never been a time in history when it’s been as convenient to focus on the merits of belief in the “Lord.” But to do that you’d have to, um, bring religion into the 21st century.