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My phone is the worst in the world

Dr. Jim Denison is a cultural apologist who helps people respond biblically and redemptively to the vital issues of our day. He is also the co-founder and Chief Vision Officer of the Denison Forum, a Dallas-based nonprofit that comments on current issues through a biblical lens.

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Blackberry Bold 9780 (Credit: Viictor Morla via

It’s the season for end-of-the-year “top ten” lists. At Time magazine, for instance, you’ll find the top ten albums, best movies, worst movies, oddball stories, and people not running for president.

Here’s something you don’t want to see on a “top ten” list—your mobile phone is the worst smartphone of 2011. I had been an iPhone user for years, but have been overseas so much recently that I needed a phone with a global chip. RIM’s BlackBerry Bold was my answer. It has an international chip for overseas calls and data transmission; it tethers to my laptop for internet use anywhere; it has apps and functions to rival Apple or any other manufacturer.

Except that none of what I just listed really works the way it is supposed to. The processor is slower than my first computer; the screen is small and cramped; the apps have to be shut off lest they drain the battery. And through no fault of the phone itself, the international calling plan I purchased was a bait-and-switch. Costs for overseas calls tripled from the time I bought the phone to the time I used it internationally. When Apple came out with their iPhone 4S, complete with an international chip, I couldn’t switch fast enough.

Once again, function trumps form. The same is true spiritually. Jesus warned us about false prophets who “come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves” (Matthew 7:15). How do we tell good from bad? “By their fruit you will recognize them” (v. 16). What the tree produces is the best indication of its health.

Here’s a hard question: What fruit have I produced for the Kingdom today?