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Are App Developers Persecuting Christians?

The iPad Mini

I love my iPad!

Here's a list of things I do with my iPad: prepare my sermon, write my sermon, deliver my sermon, waste time, return parishioner emails, waste time, chat with ministerial colleagues, complete seminary assignments, run a Facebook page dedicated to expressing United Methodism through the meme, and waste a little time.

With all the things I get accomplished on my iPad – including, admittedly, wasting just a smidgen of time – I completely forgot that Satan was also working on my iPad.

I forgot, that is, until Tim Challies reminded me. Mr. Challies is a Christian apologist in the reformed tradition. I am familiar with his work from the time I spent listening to something called Wretched Radio. This radio show – hosted by someone called Todd Friel – is also commanded by an understanding of God in the reformed tradition.

The show grew out of a ministry headed by Kirk Cameron (yes, that one) and a New Zeleander named Ray Comfort. Essentially, they believed it was their mission to seek out those who knew the least about their faith, and call them “lying, thieving, blasphemous adulterers at heart.” Di-rect quote. It also made nearly everyone look like a biblically illiterate nincompoop.

They are also big fans of Ken Ham – the Creation Museum guy. Which I hope, one day to visit – sarcastically, of course.

Essentially, for those not familiar with reformed theology and what it is, nothing has value if it didn't come directly from scripture.

And that's about it.

Anyway, Mr. Challies article got my attention. In his “Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Apps?,” Challies gives a short-if-unhelpful review of some of the most content-rich, premium apps for your moblie devices. Including The Elements: A Visual Exploration (a very visually and intellectually stimulating look at the Periodic Table of the Elements) and Poems by Heart (an app that helps you memorize poetry).

His argument goes like so many others who can't seem to find enough of their faith being mirrored back to them in the popular culture. First, God isn't given any credit in any of the more scientific apps. Second, Christian app developers aren't doing enough to honor God. His closing arguments go like this:

People are increasingly gravitating to their tablets to learn new things and to discover new experiences. Yet the best of the apps are not achieving the best of purposes in directing hearts and minds to the God who created and sustains it all. Christians should be the ones leading the way in exploring the planets and the atoms; Christians should be the ones exploring God's gift of music and language. I want this to be a call to Christian app developers to explore, exploit and master this new medium. Look at these apps, and see the possibilities!

He says this as if Christians are always ready and willing to explore science in the way God designed our brains to discover things we don't yet fully understand.

The most troubling aspect of Mr. Challies article is the fact that he believes that if it isn't directly attributed to God, it (whatever “it” might be) is automatically “the Devil.”

That's not how “it” works.

One of our most sacred duties is to praise God whenever we can. However, the fact that our iPad apps don't directly attribute anything and everything to God is no indication that “it” is of the Devil.

Personally, I believe we too often use the Devil as a crutch to excuse away our smaller or more incredible personal failings.

So, you might notice the title of this post has very little to do with the content of it. Essentially, Mr. Challies article does the same thing – which is why you're reading this article now.

And now you're done:)

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