Review: The Message 100

Just a few years ago, I was not a fan of The Message, Eugene Peterson’s translation of the Bible. I could never put my finger on it. Perhaps I found its vocabulary a bit too colorful. Perhaps I thought one man surely couldn’t “write the Bible.” I’m not sure. I just knew I didn’t like it. But then I met Eugene Peterson. I didn’t meet him in person. I met him watching an old pastor share stories in YouTube interviews. I met him at the gym on my iPod in seminary guest lectures. I met him on vacations and on cold, dark mornings in books on pastoral … Continue reading Review: The Message 100

Psalm 88: A Paraphrase

This Sunday I’m preaching from Psalm 88. Eugene Peterson’s The Message paraphrase of that chapter inspired me to take a deeper look and draw out some of the obscurities of this ancient Hebrew song. Here is my best Petersonian effort at my own paraphrase. Psalm 88 O Yahweh, you are my savior;    All day and night I’m praying to you. Please listen to me;    Don’t plug your ears! My life is a wreck,    And I’m standing in my grave. I might as well be in hell;    I am weak and helpless, like one freed to play on a dead-man’s playground, … Continue reading Psalm 88: A Paraphrase

Pastoral Ministry and the Practice of Prayer

“Lord, teach us to pray.” This request from the disciples (Luke 11:1) is quite puzzling. These were Jewish men–men who from the time they could speak were taught how to walk and talk with God. They knew the Psalms–the prayer book of Israel. Perhaps not all the disciples had them memorized like the religious leaders of the day. But they knew them. They loved them. They sang them. If anyone knew how to pray, it would be these Jewish men who were instructed in the way of the Hebrew scriptures. Because of this reality, the question is also quite humble, quite profound. It was a … Continue reading Pastoral Ministry and the Practice of Prayer