My first experience with Accordance was as philosophically enlightening as it was informative.
As a new employee with Accordance, I had the opportunity to join the team in Atlanta for a training seminar of the application. In other words, they let loose a fire hose of information on me — in a good way.
The first thing that I noticed upon walking into the classroom was the wide spectrum of attenders. I saw women and men, pastors and scholars, plaid-donning seminary students with gauged earrings and some “seasoned” enough to be my grandparents — it was a full house. Well, I thought to myself, I suppose Accordance is for everyone.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise because the Scriptures are for everyone, and making the Word of God accessible and applicable to all is what Accordance does best. Mark, our teacher, was approachable yet intimidatingly knowledgeable, both in Bible study and Accordance use. He spared us not a moment as we got right down to the nitty gritty of Accordance use.
As we plowed down into the search commands, the keyboard shortcuts, and the modules, I began to understand the point of the application. A wise businessman once said that technology is best when you forget you’re using it. Meaning, a tool reaches the fullest realization of its purpose when it's not an obstruction to achieving a goal, but the unconscious means to do so.
Accordance does just that. It’s not meant to be a piece of showmanship--an app for app’s sake (though it is pretty)--it’s meant to be a lens by which the pastor, scholar, or layperson can gaze through to further experience the unfathomable fruits of the Bible. That’s what’s important to the users and that’s what’s important to Accordance.
As the day pressed on, we drilled down deeper and deeper into the immense power of the program. The amount of available texts and tools was staggering. I’m sure I had the geekiest grin on my face while watching Paul’s missionary journey animated on a 3D map in Atlas view, and by the time we got to the User Tools and Notes, my mind was reeling at the customization potential.
Though the theological portion of my brain was firing off synapses of nerdiness like nobody’s business, what really caught my attention was the underlying, vibrant passion of the developers.
When you read a historical literary work, any good English teacher will tell you the key to success is to understand the “author’s intent.” Well, as the day’s eight-hour training session waned to a close, I began to see the developers' intent in creating Accordance--put simply, a love for the Word of God and a desire to see others infected with the same passion.
On my lunch break, my fiancée back in my hometown of Orlando shot me a text to check up on me. I responded, rather cryptically (as is my tendency): “I think Accordance is going to help my walk.”
Is it odd to say that a computer application will make me a better student of the Scriptures? Maybe, but it’s absolutely true.