Saturday, October 17, 2009
Wooten & Writer's block
I'm finding that the vaguer my outline is, the easier it is for me to write. ("Vaguer"? Sure, why not...) So when I'm given a topic and train of thought to follow, it's exceedingly difficult to make my mind cooperate and not just sit around having something remind me of something else, etc...
So I decided to listen to some sweet bass and read some Spurgeon. He spoke a great deal of obeying and valuing the Word and the restfulness of humility, far sweeter than the recklessness of pride. It's best summed up in his closing lines: "The ungodly may ridicule our deep reverence for the Word of God; but what of that? The prize of our high calling is a sufficient consolation for us. The rewards of obedience make us scorn the scorning of the scorner."
I appreciate these lines particularly because a few days ago I was involved in a heated discussion about "relevance" and the Word that seemed to end with my friend thinking that all translations of the Bible are valid; clearly the only reason that I had to protest for staying as close to the original Hebrew and Greek as possible was because I was an English major who would choose that for all original documents. For everyone else, an "easier Bible" (i.e. TNIV, NRSV, The Message, etc.) was perfectly acceptable and recommended; "the other translations are too hard to read and understand". It's an argument from laziness, not to mention illogical! It's saying, "My vocabulary isn't up to 3rd grade standards, and I'm not willing to make an effort to read the inerrant word of God on my own or recognize it as the blessing it is. I'd rather be spoonfed a paraphrased version with a shiny cover." Besides that, unlike any other primary document that's been handed down, this book was inspired by God. Yes, it needs to be translated to be intelligible to those of us who can't read ancient languages. No, there is not one magical formula for presenting the Gospel to all nations and peoples through all history. But it's very dangerous to attempt to "reinterpret" truth, and I fear we don't err on the side of caution as often as we should (not that I have an opinion or anything).