True, Don, it is most likely a preference rather than a question of
scholarship. Nevertheless, I do not think that the two can be so easily
divorced. For example, if one has the choice of reading the NASB or a comic
strip version of the Bible (which there actually are!!!)- it says a great
deal about ones level (or lack thereof) of academic training.
Likewise, I cast no aspersions of folk who listen to books on tape (though I
personally find the whole thing rather distasteful); but I do wonder about
the soul who will not read because listening is "easier". Note, I did not
say you were in that category- I simply said that I find it hard to accept
the notion that listening to a tape is better than reading a book.
Further, memory studies seem to indicate that we recall more of what we read
than what we hear. This means, doesn't it, that if we are genuinely
interested in engaging with an idea or a set of ideas, we should probably
read them rather than listen to them.
All in all, I still think, academic questions aside, that listening to tapes
is the easy, convenient, and lazy way to learn. But this is, honestly, to
be expected in a consumer driven society like America where everything must
be instant or "it ain't no good".
In short, the boom in books on tape says more about our culture than it says
about our interest in really learning something.
Jim West, ThD
Pastor, Petros Baptist Church
Adjunct Professor of Bible,
Quartz Hill School of Theology