Monday, May 10, 2010

Using Technology to the Glory of God

I have been half tempted to start calling this blog "Bring the Kindles," but it just wouldn't have the same sort of ring. Also, I doubt that our democratic process of decision making here would pan out in my favor with said proposal. All that to say, I'm here to pitch to you that e-readers are awesome and that you all should get one. I want to run over some of my experience with using my own e-reader to the glory of God.
When I first purchased my Kindle, one of the first things I did was download the ESV Study Bible from Amazon's online store for $9.99. It takes some getting used to, but it's pretty cool being able to carry that big fat study Bible around in my lunchbox to work each day.
As Reformed thinkers, we're really pretty lucky. Most of the stuff that we have that's worth reading was written by dead guys whose descendants aren't exactly looking for royalties anymore. This means that while the Emergents (are there any left?) are out there buying Brian McLaren's not-so-generous piece of un-orthodoxy, we are in the blessed position of being able to get almost all of our food for free online.
The next thing I did was download lots and lots of Jonathan Edwards sermons, place them in a MS Word document, and convert them into a Kindle-friendly format (MOBI). I've done this with virtually every Jonathan Edwards book, since they're all available online. Then I did the same thing with John Owen. In fact, I'm 90% done with reading Mortification of Sin in Believers, and it has been life-changing. This book alone has made me so grateful for the Kindle.
The last and greatest feat was creating a readable version of Calvin's Institutes for my Kindle. I only have Volume 1 completed, but a book like that deserves tender loving care.
It's pretty incredible to be able to read these books that are usually so large and clumsy and difficult to hold and be able to walk around my house or even let the Kindle read them to me aloud if my hands are busy.
There are lots of possibilities. If you have the right program, you can convert the many books in PDF format that Desiring God gives away for download into Kindle format, as well. I've got God is the Gospel, Desiring God, and Don't Waste Your Life loaded up. Granted, converting some of these PDFs can be a pain, but most of them are very easy and quick to do.

Here are some of the best sources I've found for free online Reformed books:

Puritan Library
Desiring God
Christian Classics Ethereal Library
Monergism's Large Section of Free Books

Feel free to let me know about other good resources for free online books.


  1. What I have learned from this post is that I need to figure out how I am related to Jonathan Edwards and start collecting the royalties.

  2. Absolutely. And believe you me, we're all somehow distantly related to him.

  3. Adam,

    Does it have a clipboard so that quotes could be copied and then uploaded to a pc, and then hopefully converted into a Word document?

    That is why I like Amazon's books that I can read online. The simplicity of copying something and storing it.


  4. James,

    Yes. It keeps a txt file called "My Clippings" that includes all your highlights from all of your books—even after you have deleted the books from your Kindle.


    What are you using to convert pdfs? I would love to be able to do that! And thanks for the list of places to find free books. You might add both GoogleBooks and Internet Archive ( You need a better idea of what you're looking for, though, since both have such a broad range. Also, I wouldn't bother with the beta Kindle format on Internet Archive, because it doesn't recognize a lot of the characters, like old style s, so the old stuff is better off just read in pdf format.


  5. Tony, I'm using Mobipocket Creator. You can just google it, and it's available for free.


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