Whenever I’m reading a book and the author quotes from the Message to prove his point I close the book, punch it in the face and throw it in a creek. Not really, but that always kills me. I like the message as a fun, kind of loosely flavored interpretation of the Bible but whenever someone leans really hard on it to prove an argument I always get a little concerned. (For those that don’t know, the Message is Eugene Peterson’s common language modern version of the Bible.) I just think it’s easy to find a verse that backs you up in the Message. Here’s what I don’t like:
In Isaiah 30:15, the NIV says:
“In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength,
But here’s what the message says:
“Your salvation requires you to turn back to me
and stop your silly efforts to save yourselves.
So what happens is some minister or author writes a book called “Don’t be silly” and quotes that verse. Only it was different in the NIV. It was beautiful and simple and poetic. And it didn’t say, “Stop your silly efforts.”
The Message is good for some things, but I promise I will never quote it in the books I write.