There is a another world out there. It is a world that, honestly, I have never entered. I have a Wii and play it with my kids. I see all the commercials for much more interactive games than my Wii Bowling, but they might as well be commercials for woman's clothing. They mean very little to me because I am not in that world.
But, this is a big world. For example, the first-person shooter video game, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, currently holds the record for the largest entertainment launch ever, bringing in over $550 Million in 5 days, outpacing the films "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," "The Dark Knight," and any music album for a release.
More money was spent in Europe on video games than trips to the movie theater and home movie purchases combined.
With all of the growth in this world, it was inevitable that someone who try to break into the world with a Christian presence. And, technologically, it is possible to create an eReader and put books onto one of the home game consoles connected to the big HDTV in your living room.
And the first book for the XBOX 360... drum roll please... is the Bible.
"Bible Navigator X: HCSB" is an eReader of the Bible on the XBOX Live Indie Games channel. What that means is you can turn on the XBOX, go to the Games Marketplace, and purchase a digital version of the Bible.
The reaction to the availability of the Bible by the gamer community has caused quite the conversation. The guy behind the Bible Navigator X, Aaron Linne, is a gamer himself - he tells me he has a Halo helmet, which sounds a little frightening to me, but I am guessing makes sense if you are a gamer.
Why make the Bible available on a gaming system? The idea of making the Scripture readily available for the people in a language they understand and a format they can interact with has long been the desire of the church. In this case, the ability for small groups to easily gather around the TV to read a passage together opens the Bible to a more social experience. B&H has said that they hope youth ministers are open to using it, and have included bookmarks in it so teachers can jump right to the passages they've prepared.
What do you think? Is this a good or bad idea? Is it at least a good experiment? Would you use something like this in your small group?
Ed Stetzer, Ph.D., is President of LifeWay Research and LifeWay’s Missiologist in Residence. Ed is a contributing editor for Christianity Today, a columnist for Outreach Magazine and Catalyst Monthly, serves on the advisory council of Sermon Central and Christianity Today's Building Church Leaders, and is frequently cited or interviewed in news outlets such as USA Today and CNN. Ed is Visiting Professor of Research and Missiology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, and Visiting Research Professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. Ed blogs daily at EdStetzer.com.