Facebook vs the Bible (via @JohnPiper & @ToddRhoades)

facebook vs the bibleJohn Piper blogged:

Why should we think of the Facebook app threatening the Bible app? Why not the Bible app threatening the Facebook app, and the email app, and the RSS feeder, and the news?

Resolve that today you will press the Bible app three times during the day. No five times. Ten times! Maybe you will lose control and become addicted to Bible! Again and again get a two-minute dose of life-giving Food. Man shall not live by Facebook alone.

John Piper’s blog Desiring God doesn’t allow comments, but Todd Rhoades got a discussion of Piper’s post going on his blog. Most of the comments there seem to be bashing people for using Facebook more than the Bible and bashing people for listening to John Piper more than the Bible.

I think the whole discussion is misplaced. Facebook and the Bible need not be opponents.

This is a false dichotomy based on the assumption that Facebook is bad, that it’s primarily a temptation for wasting time, gossiping, and inappropriate relationships.

Yes, those temptations exist, but the bigger picture is that Facebook is a tool that helps foster relationships and community. Facebook and the Bible don’t have to be in competition in our lives. They ought to be in cooperation.

Through Facebook we can:

  • Develop and strengthen friendships.
  • Encourage and pray for others.
  • Live out our faith and share the gospel with our non-Christian friends.
  • Receive wisdom and inspiration from other Christ-followers through whom the Holy Spirit speaks.
  • Provide wisdom and inspiration to other Christ-followers as the Holy Spirit speaks to us.

“Facebook vs the Bible” is like saying “Community vs the Bible.”

Instead of challenging people to choose one or the other, how about if we challenge each other to use both Facebook and the Bible for His glory?

How do you see Facebook and the Bible? As opponents? Partners? Why?

[see John Piper's post, Todd Rhoades post]

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, elder of CypressMeadows.org, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck and add him to your circles at Google+ as +Paul Steinbrueck.

10 Responses to “Facebook vs the Bible (via @JohnPiper & @ToddRhoades)”

  1. Definitely not opponents. If that were so, then anything that is a time-waster for us because we spend too much time with it would also be an opponent; TV and reading secular books are just two that come mind off the top of my head. I agree that it's so easy to become addicted to FB or the apps–like Farmville–but that's our fault, not the fault of Facebook. I have personally reconnected with lost relatives and friends through FB. My business is on FB. My lady's Sunday school class has a FB group. I think it can also be a great place so share your faith and receive support and prayers from others–and to make new friends. So I'd really have to say partners. But also, like anything else, we can start spending too much time there at the expense of others and other things. So praying for the wisdom to realize when you're on too much (or asking God to knock you in the head!) might be a good idea!

    • PaulSteinbrueck Jun 7, 2011 at 5:23 pm

      Hi Pam, well put. Anything can become an opponent to our relationship with God if we spend too much time on it. Sounds like you are doing a number of God-honoring things with Facebook. Way to go!

  2. The major premise of the "Bible vs FB" idea seems to me like saying, when you are on a car trip – "Be sure to look at the map at least twice as much as you engage the scenary and road signs" …or if you were studying architecture – "Be sure to keep your face buried in the textbooks and hang out with accomplished architects a lot more than you look at or experience buildings."

  3. Lyndie Blevins Jun 8, 2011 at 11:24 am

    I recently finished a 40 day group experiment on Facebook on living like Lazarus. We had an incredible experience where God was moving among us. I knew a few of the participants from a week long conference, but most of the people were strangers. As we began to share our life experiences through Lazarus eyes, honesty began to flow and we circled around each other. There were deaths and 46 hours births, new foster baby that had to be detoxed from the drugs her birth mother used during the pregnancy, divorce and the many little details of life that can bring you down. We also celebrated and praise the faithfulness of God in all seasons of our lives. It was a powerful experience and reminded me, God will use any time or way we can connect with other people.

    • PaulSteinbrueck Jun 9, 2011 at 4:59 pm

      Lyndie, wow, it sounds like God was really at work in that Facebook experiment! That's for sharing that. Is there a link you can share with more info? Or was the entire thing private?

  4. PaulSteinbrueck Jun 9, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    That's a good perspective, Chris.

  5. Paul, I really like your comment – “Facebook vs the Bible” is like saying “Community vs the Bible.”

    It is so true! Yes I think people still need their quiet time with God in his word, but there is so much social media can do to give God glory. I am currently an intern for a social media marketing company, Salty Waffle, and pray each day that my articles can give glory to God while telling others how they can utilize social media to spread the gospel. I enjoyed your article.

    • PaulSteinbrueck Jun 28, 2011 at 3:21 pm

      Hi Kayla, sorry I missed your comment earlier. It's great to see you trying to live out your faith in the work your doing with social media! Being in the "social media industry" I imagine you've got a different perspective than most Christians who are doing social media. You've probably learned quite a bit through your work that could help Christians who are trying to advance the kingdom of God personally or through a Christian organization they work with. Keep up the good work! I look forward to hearing more from you. :)

  6. Michael Rodriguez Jan 12, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    I agree that Facebook is a way to spread Gods word,but in reality what is the percentage of people talking about GOD on FB.I do not have a Facebook account and I do have my bible and I am doing excellent.

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  1. Would Jesus be on Facebook? | beyond the noise - Dec 14, 2011

    [...] Facebook vs. The Bible – Facebook vs. the Bible is like saying Community vs. the Bible. They don’t have to be at odds – in fact, they should be partners. [...]