If iPhone applications are becoming extensions of ourselves, augmenting our capabilities in ways both trivial and profound, then I suppose it should come as no surprise that there are now apps for atheism as well as for those who want a quick comeback at their fingertips about why God is real.

Paul Vitello highlights several such apps in You Say God is Dead?  There’s an App for That. My favorite quote:

For religious skeptics, the “BibleThumper” iPhone app boasts that it “allows the atheist to keep the most funny and irrational Bible verses right in their pocket” to be “always ready to confront fundamentalist Christians or have a little fun among friends.”

Similarly, those who wish to ardently defend the existence of God might opt for an equally pithy app by LifeWay Christian Resources, including “responses to 25 common challenges to the Christian Faith”.  (Wonder if v.4.1.2 will include any acknowledgment of arguments for the existence of God from Muslim or Jewish perspectives?)

In some ways, I really like the tongue-in-cheek feeling to these apps.  I like the challenge to any system of belief to create a killer app that can encapsulate all the essential stuff…but then again, we’ve seen where that’s gotten us in the past. 😉

All of this leaves me wondering: In the next decade, will we choose to “augment” ourselves in ways that strengthen our abilities to listen deeply, or that underscore the bad habit we humans have historically had of engaging with those with whom we disagree in polarizing ways?


Thanks to my colleague, Jason Tester for sending this article my way awhile back.


This article provides an interesting glimpse into some emerging pockets of Judaism, highlighting how groups within the continuum of the Jewish religion are re-appropriating Jewish rituals, stories, and symbols to speak to their needs today.

Though this is not a very systematic analysis of emerging Jewish identities, it provides some interesting signals of new cultural and religious mashups; a sense of the fragmentation of Jewish identity, echoed in other religions in the past decades.

In the US context, the “personalization” or “customization” of religion seems to be a trend that results as much from our cultural movements than from any phenomenon inherent in the underlying religion.  From Punk Torah to G-DCast, this article provides some interesting examples of new constructions of Jewish identity.


On May 1, 2009, JTA (self-described as “the Global News Service of the Jewish people”) published a list of the 100 Most Influential Jewish Twitterers.

Influence was measured by:

  • # followers & friends
  • ratio of friends: followers
  • most recent post
  • celebrities were eliminated
  • extreme twitterers whose # of tweets somewhat obscure dimensions of their Jewish identity

Almost all are from the US or Israel, and tweet a mixture of explicitly-Jewish and more secular tweets.  They also ranked the top 25 Most Influential Jewish Organizations and Newswires.  See the top 10 most influential, below:

Top 10