Saturday, October 19, 2013

Updated: The Best (FREE) Christian Apps for Your Device

Any list like this is going to be controversial. Nevertheless, having been an iPhone owner now for a number of years, here is my list of the best (free!) applications that I have put on my device.

As a pastor, my list will probably error on the side of being useful to the minister. In any regard, here we go...

1. The ESV Bible. I praise God that the publishers of the ESV Bible at Crossway  want to give away the Word of God for free! Unlike some of the other major translations (ahem! NIV), the folks at Crossway will give away the ESV Bible app absolutely free for any device. Easily to use. Best Bible; best app. Great search and cross-reference features.  

2. Twitter. Of course, this is not a specifically Christian application. Yet the usefulness for me here is huge. I "follow" around 100 other reformed pastors and ministries that I am inclined to admire. By following someone on Twitter, I can read their newest blog posts and articles that are relevant to me and keep up to date on the great articles and debates of the day.

I can follow everyone from The Aquila Report, to R.C. Sproul, to John Piper, to Mark Driscoll. Twitter also helps me to distribute info on my own articles and books to those who "follow" me.

3. Kindle.  I've been a Kindle user for more than a year now and love it. There are literally thousands of free (or very cheap) books for Kindle devices but get this: you don't need a Kindle device to get them now! You can download the Kindle "app" (Kindle Reader) to your phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop and be reading Luther, Calvin, Bunyan and others for zero dollars! If you already own a Kindle, having the app will put all of your previously loaded content onto your phone too, so you can read your books on multiple devices. The Kindle App also syncs the page you are on to all your devices! By the way, you can get a couple of my books too (just saying!).

4. Reformed Forum. This app is really exciting for theology geeks! The Reformed Forum is a series of pod-cast radio shows that discuss very deep topics in theology and related fields.  Promulgated by two young Reformed pastors Camden Bucey (OPC) and Nick Batzig (PCA), the discussion centers around new and old works in theology, Biblical studies, and church history. I especially appreciate the show "East of Eden" which discusses the writings of Jonathan Edwards. 

5. Zite. This application is a personally tailored e-magazine based upon the topics you select. Each day, Zite searches the internet for articles, blogs, and pages devoted to the topics you customize. I have mine set to pick up articles on "world news," "theology," "Christianity," "health," and "social networking." I can even make it much more specific, such as "Olympic wrestling" (rather than just sports) if I want. Also, if I want it to pick up articles from any particular blog, I can have it do that too.

6. Christian Creeds and Reformed Confessions. This application has the full texts of all of the major creeds and confessions of Christian history. For me, having the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Heidelberg Catechism on my phone is a great luxury. But I can also compare them instantly to the other confessions of note such as: The Nicene Creed, Athanasian Creed, Belgic Confession, and the Canons of Dordt just to name a few. Devised by the kind folks at Westminster Theological Seminary. 

7. WSC in 90 Days. Speaking of the confessions, let me also mention the "Westminster Shorter Catechism in 90 Days" app. Learn Puritan theology a few minutes a day! This is especially helpful in those odd minutes that often go wasted: sitting in line to pick up children from school, for instance. Thanks to the guys at Reformed Theological Seminary for this one. Brilliant. 

8. Evernote. This is a simple note-taking and categorization application. It lets me file my random thoughts, sermon ideas, Scripture notes, and photographs. It helps me to sift them into topical "notebooks" (sermons, staff meetings, elders, strategic planning etc.). Especially helpful is the ability to use a photo as a note. Rather than jotting down a quotation or paragraph I want to use in a sermon or essay, I can simply take a picture of it and file the whole things as a note.

9. Mars Hill.  The Mars Hill app gives me immediate access to the worship music and remixed hymns created by the dozens of Mars Hill Church worship bands. Much of this music is to be commended highly for its originality and theological depth. In addition to this, I also get one-touch access to Pastor Mark Driscoll's stirring (and often controversial) sermons. If you don't like Driscoll, skip this one. 

10. The Gospel Coalition.  Readers of Kevin DeYoung, D.A. Carson and others in the Gospel Coalition will like to pick up this easy app. As one might guess, this application gives you push button access to the day's moving blog articles related to Christianity, theology, and local church ministry. A lot of good writers post here.  

11. RefNet. Reformation Network is a decent app. It is essentially "one touch" listening to streaming audio content. As an EPC pastor, I find the speakers on this super-easy application to be the main guys I want listen to anyways: Piper, Sproul, Mohler, etc. Perfect for the treadmill. I don't have to download anything or transfer files to a device. Just one touch, and I'm already listening. This is great for those moments you don't want to have to pick a specific podcast, you just flip it on to what is "on" at the moment. 

Matthew Everhard is the Senior Pastor of Faith Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Brooksville, Florida. Please consider following on Twitter @matt_everhard.

11 comments:

  1. If you need a number 12, I'd recommend the Ligonier App which provides streaming broadcasts, Daily Bible reading (print or audio) and access to a treasury of teachings and devotional indexed by topic or teacher.

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  2. Try Bible Proverbs by GamePlanet2000.com it is great!

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=GamePlanet2000&hl=en

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  3. I recommend ScriptureTyper.com for Bible Memory. Available on PC or iPhone or Android. The PC version is free.

    Yes, I know it is a lost art. I learned it as a child in the 1940s. For seniors it is recommended to begin now. It might even sharpen your mind so you can remember where your keys are. (There have been medical endorsements!)

    But spiritually, it is powerful. I download the church bulletin on Friday and try to take a first pass at the sermon text for both morning and evening services, and sometimes selected bits of the Psalm designated for responsive reading.

    Start with just a few verses if you are new to Scripture memory. I can take 16-32 verses through the first cycle of review before Sunday services, but I'm an old hand at it. Nothing could be more discouraging for the beginner. Begin with 3-4 verses.

    Of course, you don't have to use your church bulletin. Any verses God has laid on your heart will do. God will use this all week in your life, believe me.

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  4. Bible Gateway is available on PCs, not sure about other devices. It has the Scripture in about 50-60 English translations and more foreign languages than that. Talking to someone who does not speak English well? Select their language and type in the reference. Up it pops. They even have the NT in Hebrew!

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  5. I also like this one:

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.juiceglobal.cross

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great blog post, informative list. Thanks so much. I’m enjoying devouring your site!!

    Bible app for iPhone

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete