Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Now, for the real issue

Wes Roth points out this USA Today article: "'Rolling Stone' reverses, will accept Bible ad."

The ad, which will run unchanged in mid-February, doesn't mention God. But it describes the Bible as "real truth" and carries the new translation's slogan: "Timeless truth: Today's language."

Later, this quotation from Zondervan's president of Bible publishing:

"We believe that the Bible is relevant for Rolling Stone readers," Caminiti said. "We've always believed they were a cornerstone in our campaign to squarely market to spiritually intrigued 18- to 34-year-old young people, many of whom live outside the embrace of the church."

Good call by Rolling Stone to run the ad.

On the more important issue: Caminiti just pointed out the real problem - no one should ever be "outside the embrace of the church."

The key to turning 18 to 34 year olds on to the gospel is building relationships that show them just how radical Jesus is - not by dumbing down and sterilizing His message, as many people claim the TNIV does.

I think the TNIV folks are going about this the wrong way. I want to be challenged, not pandered to with a politically correct, pansy version of the Bible. I'm more interested in learning to read the Bible in its original language and understanding the context in which it was written than in relying on some PhDs to put it in "Today's language" for easier consumption.

Jesus' words are already easy to understand, and they should be the first thing new believers are reading anyway. As Caedmon's Call so eloquently put it in their song Beautiful Mystery, "The truth is a river where the strong can swim down deep; the weak and the broken can walk across so easily."

4 Comments:

Blogger haydesigner in SD said...

The magazine rejected Zondervan's Bible ad just weeks before its scheduled run date, citing an unwritten policy against accepting ads containing religious messages.Remember, the policy is against religious messages, not just anti-Christian, as you stated in an earlier post. Do not fall into the self-persecution/justification trap of confusing the two.

Caminiti just pointed out the real problem - no one should ever be "outside the embrace of the church."And those of us who do not want to be embraced, do we have no choice in the matter?

5:03 AM  
Blogger ~rich said...

yes, the "unwritten policy" is against religious messages, not christian messages in particular. I am not attacking the magazine, as I believe they should have full freedom to ban any ads they do not want.

My point was to point out that Christians are to expect persecution, and realize that Jesus was persecuted, along with many of his followers throughout history, so we should not be surprised to see it.

as for outside the embrace of the church, I'm sorry, but we're going to love you whether you like it or not...that doesn't mean pushing religion on anyone (that's not the way to achieve real change anyway), but just being a friend and good neighbor, even if there's never a chance to "share the gospel." Jesus loved people and asked them to come as they were, and we strive to do likewise (though that doesn't mean condoning immoral behavior, but that's another topic).

6:19 AM  
Blogger Gunston said...

Good comments, both by Haydesigner and your response, Rich.

Regarding the issue of new, "pansy" versions of the Bible, I agree. As I read through scripture, I am repeatedly amazed at the sheer beauty of the language, which, of course, is magnified by the truth of its message. I have been disappointed by a number of the newer versions, which I have found choppy, inferior and unimaginative.

I recommend the New King James Version. It retains the flow and majesty of the King James, but without the distractions of the "Olde" English. An appropriate analogy, perhaps, might be the difference in being served a sumptuous feast on exquisite bone china with crystal glasses and sterling silver, compared to the same meal plopped down in front of you on paper plates with plastic ware and styrofoam cups. The food is the same, and can be just as nourishing, yet much is lost in the beauty of the event; and one's imagination is not evoked as, I believe, the Author intends.

3:26 PM  
Blogger Eliz said...

I agree, Gunston, you have a good picture about the feast being served on boring, everyday disposable dishes. I think it goes further than that, too. In my experience, I have been disappointed in the wording (or lack there of) of the passages. When the Bible is paraphrased, I think it loses a lot of the intended meaning. Also, I think that reading those versions trains our brains to be lazy..I mean, hearing or reading the Bible in modern, everyday language has little or no challenge as to what each verse means.

3:40 PM  

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