In-Sight: Take and Read

Have you ever checked the “I agree” box on an internet product order—and done so without actually reading the contract?  I have, and I do so because the contracts are usually long, full of legal-eze, and typed in fine print.

I read recently that this is all intentional.  The contracts are cumbersome precisely to discourage us from reading them.

This made me think about some criticisms of “the simple Gospel.”  While I do not favor  a”simplistic” Gospel, I wonder if God intentionally revealed the Gospel message as a simple message, so we would actually read it (e.g. John 3:16).

If product managers know that complexity reduces readership, maybe God knows that simplicity increases the likelihood that we will actually read the message.  That way, when we check the “I agree” box, we will know what it is we’re agreeing to.

“Take and read” was God’s invitation to Augustine, an invitation that changed his life.  It’s still God’s invitation today.

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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2 Responses to In-Sight: Take and Read

  1. Greg Burgner says:

    Dr. Steve,
    My wife tells the story of the child she was baby-sitting who was evidently struck by her anxiety over changing a diaper. “It’s not complicated!” But we do tend to make things so!

  2. Joyce Alexander says:

    I am reminded of a time when I worked with a hospital committee to revise the blood consent form to an 8th grade reading level, from a long legalistic document. The staff complained that it took longer to get the consent signed, because people were actually reading it and asking questions. This confirms the truth in what you are saying!

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