Pastor Creates Interactive Electronic Bible Study
by Jeff Boyd
By AT News Team, October 1, 2014
Enter the Deep, an interactive electronic baptismal study guide, is now available on iTunes. Seventh-day Adventist Pastor Roy Ice designed the six-part iBook to aid young adults who are making the decision to commit their lives to Jesus. Enter the Deep, which is intended to be used by both Adventists and people with other backgrounds, is the first in a series of electronic resources to be released at GenU.TV, a website hosted by the Loma Linda University Church (https://www.genu.tv/). Future iBooks will cover topics such as the fundamentals of Adventist theology and following Jesus. Additionally, Enter the Deep will be released in Spanish in February of 2015.
Enter the Deep includes videos, interactive photo galleries and graphics, quizzes, discussion questions, and the ability to add personal notes. All iBooks are automatically updated, meaning readers do not need to purchase subsequent editions to access revised materials. Ice told Adventist Today that a seventh section is being developed for Enter the Deep. This expansion will appear in every previously purchased iBook once the update is completed.
Ice designed the series to be engaging for a wide audience of young people. “It's geared to help anybody from any background walk through six steps into having a committed relationship with Jesus Christ, up to the level that they're ready to get baptized. Is Jesus truly the God that I want to commit my entire life to?” Ice clarifies that this “is not an 'Adventist Belief' class. That's one of our follow-up books.”
The idea for developing Enter the Deep was sparked when Ice attended an Apple computer training event. “When I saw the Apple keynote address at the developers' conference a couple years ago on this new iBook technology, I was really inspired. With young adults, they map out with MRIs how the brain comes alive with interactive technology,” Ice told Adventist Today. “The moment I saw that, I knew I had to find a way to incorporate that into the resources I produce.” The technology was still fresh in his mind when Ice began leading baptismal studies with young adults at the Loma Linda University Church, and he saw this as an activity that could be supported by the Apple iBook technology. Rather than require a pastor to lead the studies, the iBook gave people “every single thing they needed, making it simple for anyone to walk people through the steps of making a commitment to Jesus through baptism,” said Ice.
After experiencing the interactive studies, Ice hopes Adventist young adults will be able to say, “My church is leading at the forefront of technologies in ways that no other denominations are doing.” Ice shares that his “over-arching goal is to use the creative innovations that God has given us to truly be at the forefront as Adventists, producing resources that young adults are drawn to.”
Roy Ice is currently the young adult pastor at the Loma Linda University Church. Previously he was the executive pastor at the Napa Church and the chaplain at Pacific Union College.
Currently, Enter the Deep is only available on Apple devices, such as a Mac or iPad. Ice would like to produce materials as apps that are compatible with both Android and Apple platforms; however, the cost of developing apps is significantly more expensive than producing iBooks. Ice is currently seeking creative evangelism funds for future app development.
An introduction to Enter the Deep can be viewed on YouTube  and purchased at iTunes for $9.99.