Archive for the future of the Bible Category

A Gamer’s FAQ to Bible Navigator X

Posted in B&H Publishing Group, Bible Navigator X, future of the Bible, gaming, lifeway on November 12, 2009 by Aaron

On Tuesday, LifeWay announced the development of Bible Navigator X for the XBOX 360, via the Indie Games Channel and XNA.  In the next few weeks we’ll be talking more about the application on HCSB.org and BibleNavigatorX.com but, since a lot of the gaming sites have picked up the news, I wanted to be able to answer some questions specifically for you.

1) Why only the XBOX 360?

B&H is producing this via the XBOX Live Indie Games channel; the other consoles and handhelds don’t offer a similar toolset.  While we would be interested in developing for those platforms, the opportunities simply aren’t there right now for us.

2) What is the HCSB?

HCSB stands for the Holman Christian Standard Bible.  It’s one of the most modern transalations, and one of only two Bible translations (the other is the NET Bible) to have been done utilizing computers.  It’s a cross-denomination translation, with 17 denominations represented on its translation team.  You can learn more at HCSB.org.

3) What does the ‘X’ stand for?

B&H already has a product called Bible Navigator for the PC.  We wanted to keep the name of the product line and, since this is currently and XBOX-only project it seemed fairly obvious to call it Bible Navigator X.

4) Will I need a patch to read the text in SD?

Nope; we’ll let you control the font size on Day 1.  That’s a part of the nuts and bolts of our app.  😉

5) Will there be Achievements or DLC?

Sorry, but unfortunately no.  Those features aren’t available on Indie Games.

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Bible Navigator X: Fulfilling a Dream

Posted in B&H Publishing Group, Bible Navigator X, future of the Bible, gaming, life of linne, lifeway on November 10, 2009 by Aaron

As cheesy as it sounds: I love my job.

There are goals that you set for yourself in life that you hope to attain, and there are goals that you put before yourself that you place there for the sheer audicity of it all, knowing that it’s not something that will ever happen.  Like flying to the moon, adopting a pet dragon, or helping to put the very words of God into a medium that it’s never been in before.

Today my team announced that we will be bringing the HCSB translation of the Bible to the Xbox via Bible Navigator X.  This has been a dream of mine for since the XBOX 360 launched and they announced that there would be downloadable games.  Way back when it first came out, in 2005, I managed to actually get someone on the phone at Microsoft to see if we could partner with them to make something happen.  At the time, there was simply no way to make it work within their ecosystem… especially since it wouldn’t be a game.

So, fast forward 4 years, and God somehow places me in the book publishing division of LifeWay, where we publish the Bible.  And, not only that, but B&H is an honest-to-goodness inovator in the digital publishing space and, even in this economy, is willing to take financial risks if it means spreading the Good News of Christ.  So, when I asked if we could explore putting the Bible on the XBOX, my coworkers and boss actually said “yes.”

So, to begin my quest of making it happen, I posted out to a game developer’s forum asking how I might connect with someone to freelance a project.  Lo and behold, I was found by Andy Dunn – a fairly well known developer in the XBOX community.  Someone whose stuff I read back in the day when I was trying to code my own XBOX wares.

Andy and I struck up a conversation, outlined what the application would look like, and we went to town.  His wisdom was, quite honestly, astounding.  I’ve learned more about the game/app development process from him than I ever expected to know.  But there was still that nervousness… is this really going to work?

If you’ve got a dream, you’ll have spent hours thinking about it in your head, hoping that some day the reality might be even a sliver of that dream.  In these past few weeks, as Andy has dropped a build to me every few days, it has almost freaked me out.  This is the very first version of Bible Navigator X, our first go at putting this most sacred content onto a video game system… and it work with the medium so perfectly.  It feels natural and nice; like the XBOX was made to host the Bible.

In short, reality suprassed what I had dreamt up in my head.

I feel almost foolish and childlike, gushing about how exciting this is for me and how much I love my job that allows me to see dreams come true.  I have a renewed interest in spreading the Gospel of Christ, now that it’s in a medium that my peers can connect with.  I have a brand new level  of respect for the scholars and wise men who translated the Greek and Hebrew into what we call the HCSB translation… and the programmers and developers who translated that into XML and code.

And, I’m not trying to wax philosophically here… I’m just finally able to get out words that I’ve had to keep secret for so long, I feel like a huge burden has been lifted.  It’s not every day that you get to be aware of being a part of God’s plan.  It’s not every day that you know your actions could – litearlly – impact millions.  This is one of those things that I’ll tell my children about, and I will tell their grandchildren, and so on and – hopefully – so on.

Excited.  That’s how I feel.  I hope you didn’t mind my shoutting it from the internets.

The Near Future of the Bible: Collide Magazine Article

Posted in collide magazine, future of the Bible, life of linne, writing on August 17, 2009 by Aaron

Recently I had the chance to write an article for Collide Magazine that is the sum of my thoughts in the year 2008: The Near-Future of the Bible.  Through conversations with friends, attending and speaking at conferences, and spending time working on a yet-to-be-finished sci-fi novel, I began to craft a vision in my head of what the future of the Bible might look like.  Amazingly enough, Scott was kind enough to let me put some of those thoughts into a few words… and then thought they were worth printing.

Fast forward a few months, and the article is now available online for your reading pleasure by clicking this link.

If you’ve been around me the past few weeks, you know how important I think this kind of work is, and how happy I am to be working at a company who sees value in exploring these ideas and possibilities.  Check out the article and please, let me know your thoughts!

The Near Future of the Bible: Audio from BibleTech 2009 Now Available

Posted in bibletech, future of the Bible, future studies, futurist, next questions, of the spiritual on April 18, 2009 by Aaron

The good folks that run the BibleTech conference have made the MP3s of each of the sessions available for your listening pleasure!  If you care to hear my voice and ideas for 45 minutes or so, click on this link to get to my conference presentation.  Enjoy!

The Near-Future of the Bible (BibleTech:2009, Collide Magazine, and more)

Posted in bibletech, collide magazine, future of the Bible, future studies, life of linne with tags on February 3, 2009 by Aaron

At the end of March (the 27th and 28th, to be exact), Logos Bible Software will be hosting the BibleTech:2009 Conference.

I will be presenting at the conference on a subject that, I feel, is of the utmost importance: the Near-Future of the Bible.  You can check out my workshop’s description here.

Lately I have been doing a lot of thinking on the impact of the future on the Bible, and how the two will intersect.  As an introduction to my thoughts, I recently wrote an article for an upcoming issue of Collide Magazine.  I was able to interview a number of simply brilliant people for that article, and love the fact that my editor gave me a few (hundred) extra words to hash out my thoughts.

I’ve got a couple of other future-thinking things that I’m working on, but nothing to say about just yet.

On a personal note, getting these opportunities is – quite simply – a dream come true.  Anyone who knows me or follows this blog would know that I’ve taken classes on Futures Studies, that I’ve written pieces of fiction on the far-off future of the Bible (that I still need to complete…), and that I sometimes struggle with backtracking to the present when I see the implications of the future.  To have the trust of people not only here at LifeWay, but at Collide, Logos and elsewhere that my ideas have worth and merit is a blessing beyond my expectations.

The hardest part is moving ideas from percolating in my head to relevant concepts for consumption; please continue to pray for me that my words and energies might be constructive and provoking rather than meaningless dribble.

Somedays you just want to cheer and yell and be happy; some days you stand in amazement at the opportunities that lie before you.