metaphor

Cathleen Falsani 03-01-2012
Eugene Peterson. Photo by Cathleen Falsani/Sojourners.

Eugene Peterson at the Q Practices gathering in NYC this week. Photo by Cathleen Falsani/Sojourners.

Eugene Peterson has written more than 30 books on theology and the life of faith in his 80 years, but he is perhaps best known for the one book he didn’t write: The Bible.

Peterson’s “para-translation” of the Bible, The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language, was published over a span of nine years, from 1993 to 2002. And even a decade after its completion, critics still are debating the merits and missteps of his translation of Holy Writ into idiomatic, sometimes colloquial, modern English.  To date there are more than 15 million copies of The Message in print.

During the two-day Q Practices gathering in New York City this week, Peterson talked about the epic translation project he says he still can’t believe he actually managed to complete.

“I didn’t feel it was anything special when I was doing it,” Peterson said. “I can’t believe I did this. Reading it now I think, ‘How did I do this?’ It truly was a work of the Holy Spirit.”

Richard Schiffman 09-01-2011

Eschewing perfection, they knotted in a flaw,
the human signature and kink that made
the carpet whole -- not less perfect, but more
for the fraying edge, the bleeding dyes
that cloak their treasure in disguise,
an act of indirection modeled from on high:
as when the Deity said Be ...
and out crawled -- the twisted,
the crippled, the deformed.

Jim Rice 07-19-2011

Kindle 3photo © 2010 Zhao ! | more info (via: Wylio)Sales of printed books are down 9 percent this year, supplanted in part by digital versions on Kindles, Nooks, and even iPhone apps. But the real threat to long-form, hard-copy reading -- that is, paper books -- is inside our heads, according to Johann Hari, a columnist for the Independent in London.

"The mental space [books] occupied is being eroded by the thousand Weapons of Mass Distraction that surround us all," Hari told me last week. "It's hard to admit, but we all sense it: it is becoming almost physically harder to read books."

[Okay, I admit I didn't actually talk with Hari. The quote is from his newspaper column. But pop over to Twitter, and you can see how, in effect, he gave me permission to paraquote him at #interviewbyhari.]

Anyway, where was I? Oh, yeah, long-form reading. Hari quotes David Ulin, author of The Lost Art of Reading: Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time, who wrote that he "became aware, in an apartment full of books, that I could no longer find within myself the quiet necessary to read." Ulin wrote that he would sit down with a book, and find his mind wandering, enticing him to check his email, or Twitter, or Facebook. "What I'm struggling with," he writes, "is the encroachment of the buzz, the sense that there's something out there that merits my attention."

Julie Clawson 04-27-2011
Hollywood is generally fairly reluctant to produce films with strong feminist messages. It is far easier to sell women cast as the sexy sidekick or vapid damsel in distress.
Nadia Bolz-Weber 12-01-2010

In this season in which we find ourselves there is an anticipatory feeling in the air. A waiting, a longing, and yearning. This is a time filled with preparations and signs and symbols. Everything leads to this promised future. With our turkey stuffed bellies, we awaken from a tryptophan-induced coma of carbohydrates to the coming of what feels like the end time -- for there will be sales and rumors of sales. So stay awake my brothers and sisters because the doorbusting shopacalypse is upon us. Yet my heart was glad when they said to me, let us go at 5 a. m to the house of the Lord and Taylor. For on that holy mountain, people will stream from east and west, north and south, and all nations will come. They will turn plastic cards into shiny promises of love in the form of bigger plastic and cloth and metal and wire.  They will go down from this mountain to wrap their bits of plastic and cloth and metal and wire. They will wrap it all in paper, to wait for that day. The day of mythical, sentimentalized domesticity when the hopes and dreams of love and family and acceptance and perfect, perfect reciprocity will come to pass. And the children shall believe that they shall be always good and never bad for Santa will come like a thief in the night. No one knows the hour so you better be good for goodness sake.

Elizabeth Palmberg 08-25-2010
"You are the Potter, I am the clay." I grew up singing that in youth group at church -- but never with very much enthusiasm.
Elizabeth Palmberg 07-13-2010
Some authorities in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, are upset that they didn't get a permit to build rock dykes between barrier islands to keep the BP oil spill out of fragile estuaries.
Kate Henley Averett 06-08-2010
I've always longed to see the world through a poet's eyes -- to see the magical in the everyday and to be able to weave words in such a way as to convey that magic to others.
Jim Wallis 05-27-2010
The insurgent Tea Party and its Libertarian philosophy is a political phenomenon, not a religious one.
Gareth Higgins 02-22-2010
Joe Biden appeared on the Sunday morning talk shows last week to defend the Obama administration from Dick Cheney's disgraceful attacks, which appear to suggest his earlier bloodlust has not yet be
Multiple Authors 12-30-2009
On November 20, 2009, to considerable media fanfare, a group of 140 senior Christian leaders issued 'The Manhattan Declaration.' In brief, it calls fo
Becky Garrison 11-20-2009

While touring the press preview for the Tim Burton exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), I felt transported to a mythical land of whimsical horror and fantasy.

Mimi Haddad 11-18-2009
Have you ever visited your local Christian bookstore as an exercise in gender studies?
Gareth Higgins 10-30-2009

It's that time of year again -- you know, when Clint Eastwood releases a trailer for a movie that looks fascinating and completely different from the last thing he did, and your trio of reactions run something like this: 1) Hmmm, Clint's got a movie coming out -- didn't we just see 'Gran Torino' five minutes ago?

LaVonne Neff 09-04-2009

Last week a friend who knows my dogs sent me a link to Wendy Francisco's wildly popular new song, "God and Dog" (more than half a million views at time of writing). G-o-d and d-o-G--two words, one kind of love. "They would stay with me all day; / I'm the one who walks away.

Cesar Baldelomar 07-22-2009

Throughout history, individuals and institutions have cited the Bible to support injustices, such as "holy war" against infidels, the subjection of women, racism and slavery, and the abuse of homos

Vincent Harding 12-09-2008

I think it was sometime early in 2007 that I began to find myself almost possessed by a profound premonitory sense that the next year, this year, 2008, would be filled with a special power.

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