Guest / Limited Access /
Fifty Shades of the Good Book
Fifty Shades of the Good Book

The notorious erotica trilogy Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James, has sold more than 60 million copies worldwide since March. Of note: Digital versions are outselling print more than 2 to 1.

The discretion offered by digital content has boosted the erotica industry. For example, adult eBooks accounted for 57 percent of Kensington Books' sales in 2011, compared with 2 percent in 2008, according to The Telegraph.

However, this discretion has also been a boon to those seeking access to the Bible.

"There is no question: A lot more people have access now," said Grant Lovejoy, director of orality strategies for the International Mission Board. "Especially in places where it's impossible to get Bibles in, or [where] there is a stigma attached to going into a Christian bookstore."

The fastest-growing areas for digital Bible reading are where access is restricted, said Troy Carl, national director of Faith Comes by Hearing. The ministry's second-most popular audio Bible (after English) has become Arabic. On average, those in traditional Muslim countries listen three to four hours at a time—far more than the average three to four minutes of those in developed countries.

"We've been distributing the Bible in other mediums for 37 years, and we reached 50 million people," said Carl. "In two and a half years, we reached 95 million people. That's exponential."

...

Still, Russ Hersman, chief operations officer for Wycliffe Bible Translators, agrees that access is one of digital's biggest advantages. One Wycliffe organization has launched Operation Timothy, which aims to raise $100,000 to make digital Scriptures accessible worldwide.

And while some governments ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedWhy Muslims Are Becoming the Best Evangelists
Why Muslims Are Becoming the Best Evangelists
Missiologist Dave Garrison documents global surge in Muslims leading Muslims to Christ. He calls it, “Unprecedented.”
TrendingMark Driscoll Resigns from Mars Hill
Mark Driscoll Resigns from Mars Hill
"I do not want to be the source of anything that might detract from our church’s mission."
Editor's PickYou Need a More Ordinary Jesus
You Need a More Ordinary Jesus
We are united with a Christ who seems not to have done much of note for most of his life.
Comments
Christianity Today
Fifty Shades of the Good Book
hide thisJanuary/February January/February

In the Magazine

January/February 2013

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.