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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Message 100: The Story of God in Sequence

Eugene Peterson was born in E. Stanwood, Washington and grew up in Montana.  He is married to Janice Stubbs and they have three adult children.

Peterson studied at Johns Hopkins University and taught biblical languages and English Bible at the New York Theological Seminary.  Currently, Peterson is a full time writer, poet and professor Emeritus of spiritual theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Eugene began work on The Message New Testament with only the Greek text before him.  The fresh insight and authenticity in The Message comes only from Peterson's intimate knowledge of the Greek and Hebrew languages and his own pastoral sensitivity.

In addition to The Message, Peterson is the author of:

  • Christian Basic Bible Studies Series
  • Answering God
  • Reversed Thunder
  • Sayings of Jesus
  • Subversive Spirituality
  • Where Your Treasure Is

The Message 100:  The Story Of God In Sequence

From Bono's Foreword to The Message 100:
"When the good book connects with our good lives, when the word sings in our hearts, there is a holy spirit busy in the translating. The most luminous of all translations of the word was the one into a single unizue life, that of Jesus of Nazareth. The poetic heart of The Message is that there is no dogma apart from the flesh becoming word...Peterson too has the heart of a musician, his intellectual rigor and humility saving him from the vicissitudes that have the rest of us banging tambourines as he lays out a feast on the altar.  While a lot of the time we're all still babbling in Babel, in The Message Peterson is often speaking in tongues - a language that decodes and deciphers us, the reader; a language to approach the very subject of God."

From Peterson's Preface To The Reader:
"If there is anything distinctive about The Message, perhaps is is because the text is shaped by the hand of a working pastor.  For most of my adult life I have been given a primary responsibility for getting the message of the Bible into the lives of the men and women with whom I worked.  I did it from pulpit and lectern, in home Bible studies and at mountain retreats, through conversations in hospitals and nursing homes, over coffee in kitchens and while strolling on an ocean beach.  The Message grew from the soil of forty years of pastoral work."

The Message 100 is organized into 100 readings designed to draw readers into "the unfolding story of God revealing Himself to the people He dearly loves".  This offering from Tyndale is organized chronologically so as to give readers God's grand redemption story to be experienced like a novel and not a textbook.  Peterson encourages readers to "read in an attentive, immersive way"... "A way that will allow you to be moved by the things that move God."

Each reading begins with some brief comments by Peterson to orient the reader to what they are about to read.  The portions are numbered in a bold 3 digit style (001, 002, 003, etc.) making it easy to keep up with where you stop and start as you read.  The text is not broken up into chapter and verse but more in a "passage" style with chapter and verse references to the side.

I love the organization and feel of The Message 100.  God's story, His "love letter" if you will is given to us to draw us to Him and His ways.  Peterson and Tyndale have given us a valuable and easy way to read His story with the hopes and prayers that His story will become our story.

*I received a complimentary copy of this resource for the purpose of providing this review.