bible verse

Tom Amon, a 37-year-old atheist, opens his YouVersion app nightly to engage believers. RNS photo by Beatriz Wallace.

Like lots of college students, Lauren has a smartphone loaded with some of the most popular apps around — Facebook, Twitter, and eBay. And like a lot of unbelievers, she asked to not use her full name because her family doesn’t know about her closet atheism.

One of the apps she uses most regularly is YouVersion, a free Bible app that puts a library’s worth of translations — more than 700 — in the palm of her hand. Close to 115 million people have downloaded YouVersion, making it among the most popular apps of all time.

But Lauren, a 22-year-old chemistry major from Colorado, is not interested in the app’s mission to deepen faith and biblical literacy. A newly minted atheist, she uses her YouVersion Bible app to try to persuade people away from the Christianity she grew up in.

“I know of a lot of atheists who have come to their nonbelief by actually reading the Bible rather than just the fluffy stories they choose to tell you about in church,” she said. “Reading the full story with all its contradictions and violence and sexism, it should make you think, ‘Is this really what I believe in?’ At least it did for me.”

Lauren is not alone. No one knows how many atheists have downloaded YouVersion and other smartphone and tablet Bible apps, but it is enough that word of the phenomenon has reached the Edmond, Okla., headquarters of, the evangelical megachurch that created the app.

Shane Claiborne 08-30-2011

"Do you think God sent Hurricane Irene?" a young man asked me with a curious look in his eyes that was as innocent as it was pensive.

My mind flashed back to a headline I remembered reading yesterday about Glenn Beck pronouncing the hurricane as "a blessing" from God.

As I heard the kid's question, my heart sunk, as I thought of all the rhetoric that has made God out to be a monster, or at least a punitive judge on a throne ready to zap folks with lightening bolts or hurricanes

Phil Haslanger 07-05-2011

The email came just a few days before two Jewish rabbis and two Muslim friends joined two of us Christian ministers for a Sunday morning service. This service was part of a national event called Faith Shared.

Betsy Shirley 02-22-2011

A few weeks ago, I got a free sermon on the metro.

LaVonne Neff 04-05-2010

If you read only one book about the Sabbath, it should be Abraham Joshua Heschel's 1951 classic

Sondra Haaga 01-27-2010

America, dominating the global economy, imports more goods than it exports. What is less tangible, but possibly more important, is how America exports its values to a rapidly interconnecting global society.

Diana Butler Bass 11-17-2009
During the last few days, Psalm 109:8, a Bible verse in the form of a "prayer for Obama," has topped the Google trends chart: "May his days be few; may another take his office." Evidently, a bump