Did you hear the one about the atheist selling a Bible app?

(Logo image courtesy Biblica LA)

(Logo image courtesy Biblica LA)

International (MNN) — Once upon a time, an atheist needed to make some money to pay his bills. He noticed a dearth in high quality Spanish apps on I-Tunes and decided to make one of his own. His material? One of the best-selling books in the world: the Bible.

As the Huffington Post story goes, the man hired a Romanian programmer and released a Spanish Bible app. When he added audio, the sales took off to the tune of $100,000 a year. It’s kind of incredible, notes Carl Moeller, CEO of Biblica. “People have peddled the Word of God, so to speak, for thousands of years. Some do it from great motives, and some do it for purely business motives.”

But Moeller questioned the atheist’s assertion that there were no high-quality Spanish apps with the same (biblical) material available. He says, “Our Biblica LA app for Spanish speakers is incredibly comprehensive. It has not only the most readable Spanish translation: the NVI, it also has videos, and training materials; it has small group materials.”

(Screen shot courtesy Biblca LA, ITunes)

(Screen shot courtesy Biblca LA, ITunes)

However, the story does reveal a couple of good things. First, “The sad fact is there is still a crisis across much of the world of Bible ACCESS. People across the world still need for people to actually HAVE a Bible of their own in a language that they can actually understand.”

What’s good about that? Biblica is one of many ministries meeting that need.

The second good thing about this story: “God’s Word gets out, and it accomplishes its purposes that God intends for it, far beyond anything that we could do.” Moeller clarifies, “In many ways, I stand with the apostles and say, ‘Hey, this person is helping people get the Word.’ I’m not going to complain if someone reads the Word and finds Jesus there (at the app), that’s for sure.”

(Screen shot image courtesy Biblica LA, Google)

(Screen shot image courtesy Biblica LA, Google)

Why go to ministries offering biblical content if an atheist can offer the same thing? It’s more about what a ministry does with the profits, Moeller replies. “My point is: there are plenty of Christian organizations using these apps to further the Gospel ministry. I’m afraid this guy’s in it just for the money.”

Where can you find the Biblica LA app? “They can go to the App store, they can go to the Android Marketplace, they can download it offline: it’s Biblica LA, [which] stands for Latin America.”

And there’s one more thing to consider, Moeller says. As strange as an atheist selling the Bible is, it helps answer a question of access and availability. That’s the good news. “I’m encouraged in one interesting way: the Word of God is becoming more and more available online and available to people with everything from a mobile phone to an internet connection–or maybe not even an internet connection. This access is going to improve as we go further.”

Click the highlighted portions of this story for links (App Store, Android Marketplace), and check the Featured Links section for more.