03 April, 2007

"The Puritan Message" to Hit Shelves Soon

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO

Leonard Harris loves the writings of the Puritans, but has little time these days to "hack through" the tough, theological language in which they are written.

"I really would love to read more of the writings of the Puritans, but I just hate having to hack through all of that complicated theological language." Says Harris. "Those guys were so deep and profound when they wrote, but sometimes sentences just go on and on, and there are sub-points to sub-points to sub-points. I just don't have time for all of that."

Harris' sentiment is not unique either. Many faithful believers avoid the Puritans simply because they find them too difficult to grasp and read.

"I know that [the Puritans] are saying things that are good and helpful spiritually." Said Erin Carnes, who attends a weekly devotional book study at her church in Colorado Springs. "But I just want something I can read, something in my language that communicates to me."

So what to do in this situation? Who can help? None other than Eugene Peterson. Peterson, who is best known for his popular contemporary paraphrase of the Bible, The Message, heard the cry for help and immediately set out to bring the Puritans into the modern age.

"Where else could I begin but with the writings of that Puritan giant, John Owen?" Commented Peterson. "So many people would benefit from his works, but many just can't understand them. He has sentences sometimes that go on for whole pages! Owen needs to be brought into the 21st century and put in the language of today. So I went about this by asking the question, 'How would John Owen have talked if he lived today?'"

Peterson's first edition of The Puritan Message: The Writings of John Owen is due to hit the shelves by mid-April. Samples are already available for viewing online where one can compare the original writings of John Owen with the new Puritan Message paraphrase.

Original:
"The effect, also, and actual product of the work itself, or what is accomplished and fulfilled by the death, blood-shedding, or oblation of Jesus Christ, is no less clearly manifested, but is as fully, and very often more distinctly, expressed; -- as, first, Reconciliation with God, by removing and slaying the enmity that was between him and us;"

The Puritan Message:
"Here's what's happening people. When Jesus died it really worked things out. Everything is totally cool between us and God now."

"I'm pumped!" Said Harris. "I've been waiting for something like this for a long time. I've already got my copy pre-ordered."

The Puritan Message: The Writings of John Owen is 250 pages long, condensing Owen's traditionally multi-volumed work into a single read. In addition to the "contemporary language" of the work, all point and sub-point numbers have been removed giving Owen's writings are more "personal feel." The cost will be $19.95 for hardback, $35.99 for bonded leather, or $59.99 for genuine leather.

12 comments:

Jeff said...

AWESOME! I'm ordering a case. Will it be available in Spanish so i can reach my Hispanic friends?

AJ said...

haha, wow, this post was hilarious, and of course, sad at the same time. I will leave you with a excerpt from the real message bible...

"Isn't it obvious that a potter has a perfect right to shape one lump of clay into a vase for holding flowers and another into a pot for cooking beans?" - Romans 9:21

oh goodness!

Chris said...

Oh man, this was definitely humorous, but it would have been more so if it weren't for the HUGE number of people who would think this was a stellar idea...

opinion-minion said...

Hey, why are you making fun of us Message lovers? I mean, I've been doing great word studies using this Bible! My friends are practically Message-onlyists!

Kidding. That IS funny. I loved the post on NASB onlyists---woot.

Sewing said...
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Sewing said...

"When Jesus died it really worked things out."

In the spirit of American Idol, quoth Randy Jackson: "Yo Jesus, y'know, you were a bit pitchy at the beginning and I was like, 'It's a'ight,' but yo, by the end of the song, you really worked it out, dawg!"

aj: Is that for real? Wow. Just wow.

pbandj7 said...

quite a humorous post, BUT

i think that there is value in being able to understand what was meant when something was written. in the case of the message, this pseudo-translation doesnt really replicate the hebrew and greek of the day. therefore, the message fails to do anything of significance except have some very poor english.

with that said, i think the KJV, NIV, NASB, ESV, etc, often miss the point, because the language doesnt translate very well into modern english.

so maybe literal isnt the way to go. maybe the message has a good concept, if not poor scholarship and english.

peter

Tominthebox News Network said...

Peter,

Thanks for your comments. Let me also point out that satire is just that-satire. It's not a full exposition of what is right and wrong about a certain subject. I'm not anti-The Message, but I'm not necessarily pro-The Message. All translations are interpretations. I think Peterson's "translation" has some good uses, but I also believe he takes serious liberties in many places. Peterson also places all portions of Scripture on the same level, as if every plenipetitiarian were "writing in the style and language of contemporary language" which is not true.

I suppose the main point I was getting at is that mainstream has lost its ability to think, work through and strive for understanding. The most common view of the day is that if we make things simpler then people will understand them. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich will fill you up and ease your hunger, but a big fat steak is definitely more enjoyable (in my opinion at least).

-Tom

Bryan C. McWhite said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bryan C. McWhite said...

Oh fun! Can I play?

Original:
"The mortification of indwelling sin remaining in our mortal bodies, that it may not have life and power to bring forth the works or deeds of the flesh, is the constant duty of believers. …The vigor, power, and comfort of our spiritual life depends on the mortification of the deeds of the flesh."

The Puritan Message:
"Seriously people, stop doing bad things or your life will suck."

AJ said...

I suppose the main point I was getting at is that mainstream has lost its ability to think, work through and strive for understanding. The most common view of the day is that if we make things simpler then people will understand them. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich will fill you up and ease your hunger, but a big fat steak is definitely more enjoyable (in my opinion at least).


Precisely the point. No one wants to put forth any effort anymore for anything (not just biblical matters). This is why we have so much bad interpreting of the harder truths of the Bible. It is because everyone wants to believe what they have been taught and no one wants to study to show themselves approved and compare scripture with scripture.

To me the Message is borderline blasphemous because it makes the Lord of heaven and earth, and the Lord Jesus Christ sound like the latest vege-tales episode, and promotes the ever so prevalent cosmic santa-claus jesus that is your little buddy instead of the Lord of your life.

Puritan Lad said...

AJ,

I thought you were kidding, but that is really what it says.

The Message

I'll bet Judas Iscariot is getting tired of beans :(