I have had this article about embodied cognition from Contents Magazine sitting in a tab or Evernote for the better part of two weeks. Each time I glance and reflect on it, I am left asking the question “why is the Bible I read on my digital devices so flat?” I have my own project (All Books) that in some ways seems to be addressing a temporal association to the text, but really, much of what we interact with in the Bible isn’t text, it’s emotion, space, activity.
There is a sense to find your imagination around you while reading the Scriptures, but very little that you can do until you read all of the associated historical, sociological, and theological commentary around it. In a real sense, you have to create the world around which you can view Scripture within its lens (that is, if you are event interested in hearing it in the voice that it was written in). But, isn’t that kind of looking at things the wrong way – fitting that world into your own? What if the engaging of a Bible on a digital device (a digital window if you will) were more like stepping in on a conversation happening, and your digital window wasn’t text at all, but a series of still and moving images, mono and stereo audio – where you were always coming into the middle of a moment, no merely being in the seat of the narrator?
I am thinking almost in the sense that each of characters or books in the Bible are a channel. Each of these channels plays content that maps directly to the written text, but loops mich like an audio playlist. You only get to choose the character or book though. As soon as you make that selection, you are locked into wherever that story is happening right at that moment. This would be something like the Bible Experience audio series, but instead of simply walking into something narrated, you would literally be coming into still images or a performed program.
If you will, recapturing some of the creative energies that are used to display and tell the events of Scripture in layers, leaving the text as perhaps a caption or linked reference (similar to the Info/Guide button on a cable TV station). Again looking at engaging the text not from the perspective of studying, but more from the attitude of tuning into see what this channel of life is up to.
I know, it sounds like basically taking TV/YouTube as just running it all the time. But, I am asking for a bit more. Where the viewer doesn’t have control of where they come into the scene. Where there is no rewind. What if when you took your mobile, while reading in your favorite bible app, from the position of having your head down, to picking your head and mobile up (similar to holding it for taking a picture) and then Scritpture that you were just reading started to play like a movie in front of you. That’s what I am thinking here.