“We cannot suppress our souls’ appetite for what is awe-inspiring. The goal is not to mute all smartphone media but to feed ourselves on the right media. We were created to behold, see, taste, and delight in the richness of God’s glory…Our insatiable appetite for viral videos, memes, and tweets is the product of an appetite for glory that God gave us. And he created a delicious world of media marvels so that we may delight in, embrace, and cherish anything that is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, or worthy of praise. “ – Tony Reinke, 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You.
Smartphones create an interesting paradox. On one hand, people lament that smartphones make us more self-focused, short-tempered, less able to interact with real people, eager for the approval of others, and unable to read and communicate in-depth while, on the other hand, they believe they are essential: the smartphones are there to wake them in the morning, there to play their music library, there to keep their calendar, there to capture their life in pics and video, there for them to play games, and there as their ever-present portal to Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Smartphones are such a part of daily life, that people rarely think self-reflectively about them. The smartphone can be put to good use spiritually as well.
There are advantages to handwritten Bible notes, but there are also just as many, if not more, advantages to taking digital Bible notes. When it comes time to do some serious Bible study, digital technology gives you several significant advantages compared to the handwritten alternative. Almost every smartphone has a built-in app that lets you record audio. This can be a useful tool for helping you capture your thoughts about Scripture. For example, you could create a summary for each book of the Bible. It doesn’t have to be theologically detailed, just something that will aid your understanding.
You can also make audio recordings of your thoughts and insights after your daily Bible reading. By labeling and organizing them by chapter and verse, you can easily create commentaries and study tools to help you remember what you’ve learned. Attaching your notes to a book, chapter, or verse is great because it means your notes are visible to you as you read the Bible. In many ways, it’s like a study Bible where you can glance down at the bottom half of the page to read the commentator’s notes.
Another advantage of digital Bible notes is their ability to be searched in a matter of seconds. Just imagine the process if you were to do this with your written notes. First, you would need to have some method of cataloging your information so you can find it. You’d then have to find the notebook, flip to the section, scan, and find your reference. With digital notes, you can perform the same search with little to no effort, because the computer does all the work for you. You don’t have to remember where or how you organized that note. All you need to remember is a word, phrase, or passage from your note and you can perform a search.
Finally, you can backup and store digital Bible notes in multiple places. Why is this important? Because physical notebooks can be lost or ruined.
- Do you have a bible note-taking system that works for you? Have you tried to use a digital note-taking system? Why or why not?