I’m writing this post to recommend some of my favorite smartphone apps. Anyone who knows me will recognize the momentous irony of that sentence. I’m the classic neo-luddite and it will always be a source of pride for me that I managed to hold out on getting a cell phone until I was 24. But, alas, the mighty have fallen and I too have joined the ranks of captive creatures softly submissive to the developing dictates of the technological age.
But as long as we’re here, we might as well make use of it. Technology of course is not a bad thing (kudos to the guy who invented the wheel – and indoor plumbing). There are always dangers with technology, but there are opportunities as well. One of the ways I’ve found myself blessed by the use of smartphone technology is the use of apps. Like many of you my phone is crowded with apps designed to do a whole range of things. I won’t be going through all of those in this post so I’ll restrict myself to mentioning a few free apps that might be helpful in your Christian walk specifically. I’m sure there are many more I’ve missed out on, so feel free to recommend some of your favorite Christian apps in the comments below!
ESV Bible: What more can I say about this? If you don’t have a good copy, of a good translation, of the Good Book, for easy access, then let me commend this app to you.
Christian Creeds & Reformed Confessions: Put out by Westminster Seminary in California, this app is a great reference tool. It contains the full text (with the option of showing full proof-texts) for the Apostles Creed, Nicene Creed, Athanasian Creed, Belgic Confession, Heidelberg Catechism, Canons of Dordt, the Westminster Confession of Faith, the Westminster Shorter Catechism, and the Westminster Larger Catechism.
1650 Scottish Psalter: If you’ve ever been interested in learning to sing Psalms but don’t know where to start this is it. Every Psalm is set to Common Meter (which means that you could literally pick any Psalm out of this Psalter and sing it to the tune of “Amazing Grace” or “O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing”). This was the standard for Scottish Presbyterians for years, and it’s still a very valuable thing to have handy for your own worship and praise.
Scripture Typer: Memorizing Scripture is one of the areas where having a smartphone really shines. Since you always have your phone with you (don’t pretend you don’t) you always have the opportunity to memorize and review God’s Word! This is the app I’ve been using for the past several months. It allows you to import verses from your favorite translation and then review them in different ways. It will track your errors and then schedule it to be reviewed periodically depending on how many mistakes you make. It’s a good app, but to have full control over the scheduling process and a few other features you’d really want to upgrade to the paid version.
Learn Scripture: Which leads me to my next app. A friend of mine recommended this one to me recently so I don’t have extensive experience with it. That said, I think I might recommend this one over Scripture Typer for a couple of reasons. First, I love the way they review the verses, second, it allows you to memorize the catechisms as well, and third, it’s completely free!
Ligonier Ministries: If you’re a podcast person then these next few apps are for you. This app gives you access to the teaching ministry of R.C. Sproul and others who partner with Ligonier. As the name suggests, this is basically Ligonier Ministries in app format. You can listen to radio broadcasts, sermons, or lectures. Read articles or Scripture (it even has a built-in Bible reading plan), or even listen to hymns! I get the sense I’ve still only scratched the surface of this one. Lots of good stuff.
RefNet: This is a similar app which allows you to listen to solid, Reformed content 24/7. If you’ve ever wished there was a radio station that had good Biblical preaching, and news from an intelligent Christian perspective then you’ve only got two wishes left because RefNet has filled the void.
Gospel Coalition: This app serves the same purpose as the Ligonier app only it provides easy access to all the content put out by the Gospel Coalition. Not much more to say about that really…except: check it out!
Reformed Theological Seminary: Finally, RTS has been at the lead in making their lectures accessible and this app takes that to another level. You can download and archive lectures, chapel messages, and special talks to listen to at your own convenience. Very handy.