Today’s a bit of a crazy day because I get to sign my contract with Authentic Media for my book A Beautiful Day. Contracts freak me out at the best of times because they always have massive words in them that – and this contract is no exception! I’ve got 7 pages of ‘libelous’, ‘defamity’, ‘indemnified’, ’embellishments’, ‘solicitation’, ‘prejudicial’ and ‘purporting’ to get my aching noggin around! As I flicked through this contract it got me thinking about the Bible…
On Sunday one of the girls off the estate who has just become a Christian approached me after the service and asked me to explain to her a passage in the Bible that had been confusing her because of all the big words in it. It started me wondering if all the big words in the Bible might actually scare, or even intimidate people. The thing is I’m not arguing for simplistic translations of the Scriptures (I’m ESV all the way) as these are always fluffy in key areas. I’m all for accessible truth, but propitiation means propitiation and expiation means expiation! I guess what I’m saying is that we need to make sure that we help those who haven’t been raised with a Bible in their hands to understand the big words that they will encounter as they read it. Those with the gift of teaching have a massive responsibility in this area.
The thing is I signed this contract today without understanding all of the jargon and all of the implications in it! (Raz! I might have just signed away all the family silver!) The truth is that if I waited until I understood every last word I’d never sign it!
So why did I sign?
The reason that I signed was that I trust Jonathan my editor. I don’t know him super well, I just know that he’s a good Christian, an honourable bloke and that he wouldn’t encourage me to sign something illegal or unhelpful. Similarly, I think that we need to get to that place with the Bible too! We may not understand everything that’s written in it straight away, but we can know enough about the author (God the Holy Spirit) to know that we can trust every word and that we can subscribe to it with confidence!