Tag Archives: newspaper

“What’s A Newspaper?” And a little about Bible study…

newspaper“What’s a newspaper?” Those words may very well be spoken in just a generation or two. Fewer and fewer people are getting news from newspapers. In fact, even a major group that represents newspapers (Newspaper Association of America) reported this week that it is dropping the word “newspaper” from their title! They will now be known as the News Media Alliance.

The Internet has significantly changed the news industry. But even the Internet is changing rapidly. For example, just this week, a study showed that 60% of online time is now spent on apps (phone & tablet) rather than traditional websites. Where and how we get our news may soon be something that hasn’t even been invented yet!

Technology can be exciting. But there are downsides too. For example, Facebook created an algorithm to eliminate human editors and let computers determine the headlines. It ended poorly: a false story about Megyn Kelly getting fired from Fox for supporting Hillary Clinton, and an absurd and inappropriate story about a man and a McChicken sandwich were the stories it selected.

When it comes to Bibles, like newspapers, the old, paper Bibles seem to be on the way out too. People often ask what I think of the electronic versions. Here are a few things to consider:

1) Apps are great. And, I really like technology. But before you get rid of your paper Bible, just remember that a paper Bible never needs rebooted, never crashes, never needs plugged in, and never changes. There is some comfort in knowing it always works when needed!

2) Don’t let an app choose your study. Facebook’s algorithm chose ridiculous news stories because those were the ones that were receiving the most clicks on the web. “Most clicks” is just as bad a way to determine Bible study, as it is to determine relevant, meaningful headlines. No algorithm can ever supplant time in consistent, orderly Bible study.

3) Myths, lies, and scandal may get more clicks, but sound doctrine provides the words of life. Heed Paul’s warnings in 1 Timothy 4:3-4. “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.”

A Pharaoh in America or An American Pharoah?

american pharoah

I was a bit surprised when I read the headline. After all, it isn’t every day I am commanded on the front page of the paper to, “Hail, Pharoah!” Was there a major coup while I slept?

Of course, it wasn’t that kind of Pharaoh. And by now, you have probably heard about “American Pharoah,” the horse with the misspelled name. Pharoah pulled off a rare feat – a Triple Crown win. He is the 12th horse to accomplish this honor (the first was in 1919 and the most recent was 1978).

So the headline was about a horse, not a dictator. Whew! But here’s a thought, what if  “Hail, Pharaoh!” actually was the headline today?

You see, a few thousand years ago, back in Egypt, “Hail Pharaoh,” was a common headline. Tuesday’s paper read: “Hail, Pharaoh!” Wednesday’s? “Hail, Pharaoh!” Thursday’s…yeah, you get the point. Because, “Hail, Pharaoh” was the way of life.

And if you were an Israelite, you were a slave. You had no hope of a better life. Your parents and grandparents were slaves. Life was hostile. Egyptians even passed laws ordering the murder of babies in order to control the population.

But there was one hope to hold on to in that bleak world. God had made a promise to your ancestor, Abraham. He said that your people would be enslaved for a time in Egypt, but they would be delivered one day.

Of course, God fulfilled that promise through His servant Moses. But, sadly, many of the Israelites had given up hope. In fact, they had become so used to being slaves that some actually preferred slavery to God’s deliverance.

Fast-forward almost 1,500 years. God’s people were enslaved to sin, but He had promised to free them through a new covenant with an even greater deliverer.  And He fulfilled that promise in Jesus. All those who follow Christ will enter the Promised Land of Heaven.

Fast-forward almost 2,000 years. The headlines today proclaim, “Hail, Money,” “Hail, Politics,” and “Hail, Fame.” Is your trust in slavery to this life or eternal freedom with God in Heaven?

Consider this: Some people bet on “American Pharaoh,” the winner, and others chose the losing horses. Betting on the “wrong horse” has come to mean putting your trust in a losing ticket.

The Triple Crown is impressive, but there is a crown that is far more impressive. Won’t you “hail the power of Jesus’ Name” to which “angels prostrate fall?” As Perronet’s 1780 hymn says, “Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown Him Lord of all!” Trust in the Crown of Life, Christ Jesus.