By PAUL J. SCHARF, M.Div.
Editor in Chief
In attempting to to pursue excellence in my role as the editor in chief of Dispensational Publishing House, there are two subjects about which I must know all that I can: dispensationalism and publishing.
The former has been a pursuit of mine for the last 23 years. I have become conversant with the world of the latter over the past 17 years—perhaps only now fully understanding the Lord’s reason for leading me in that direction.
In my attempt to grow in each of these areas, I have recently ordered some new books. Going through their content would be a study in itself, and it is outside of the point I want to make here.
I want to talk about how one of them smelled.
Yes, some of you will think I am goofy, but fellow bibliophiles know exactly what I am talking about.
Different books have different smells or, in some cases, no smell at all. My least favorite is that old-time comic book smell which often accompanies more shadowy pages. But one book that I ordered recently has bright white pages—and out of the box those pages had a very distinct but pleasing smell.
In fact, the smell took me straight back in time. In my mind, I was suddenly standing at the beginning of a new semester of seminary classes, and I was glancing through some type of a Hebrew or Greek grammar, or perhaps a theology book. (They always smell the best!)
The incident reminded me of another time when my wife and I were touring the facilities of Regular Baptist Press. When I entered a room where a significant amount of Sunday School curriculum was housed, I blurted out, “It smells like the Faith Bookstore!” That store, of course, was also home to a sizeable quantity of the same material. And its smell is good—even comforting—to me.
Perhaps my fascination with a book’s scent is unusual, but I am in good company by making this analogy. The Apostle Paul wrote:
Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ. (2 Cor. 2:14-17)
This passage deals with our motives for ministry while reminding us of the unfathomable responsibility that we hold as we proclaim the message of Christ. That responsibility is not lost on me as I work on editing the very first books to be published through Dispensational Publishing House.
I thank the Lord for giving me a good sense of smell, and sometimes fond memories to go with it. Likewise, may the ministry of Dispensational Publishing House always bring “the fragrance of His knowledge” and “the aroma of life” to bear upon your mind.
Copyright © 2016 Dispensational Publishing House, Inc.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®.
Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.