Friday, June 04, 2004

Signs of the times?

The words "shocked beyond belief" doesn't even begin to describe what I felt before I started snickering. Others would probably pick up their torches and pitchforks before marching off to the site and burning it to the ground. But before anyone of them could do so, I checked out the ads in the site and here's what they came up with:
Revolve, NCV - In focus groups, online polling, and one-on-one discussion, it was learned that the number one reason teens don't read the Bible is that it is "too big and freaky looking." This fashion-magazine format for the New Testament is the perfect solution to that problem. Teen girls feel comfortable exploring the Scriptures and over 500 further-study notes because of the relevant format! A fun way to get your teen girl interested in the Word!

Refuel, NCV - This new teen-friendly "BibleMag" is a totally cool way to get teen guys into the Bible! Like the girls’ version ("Revolve," also in a glossy format) this full-color magazine-size New Testament includes articles related to sports & entertainment; two hot topics among teenage boys. Extremely practical and visually exciting, this uniquely packaged New Century Version translation comes to life with relevant application. Do you wish your son or grandson would read Scripture? Give him "Refuel" the BibleMag! (384 pages)

Being open-minded about all this, I have to agree that this would make a great first Bible for teenagers. There are copies of Revolve being sold in local bookstores and I got to scan an open copy (apparently the ploy worked since the salesladies placed it in the magazine section). The lay-out is definitely eyecatching. Very contemporary and teeny-bopper like. There are enumerated points and various FAQs regarding friendships and relationships written at the sides of some pages. The words of the Gospels and the epistles of Paul, Peter, John, James, Jude, etc. remain as is. Content-wise it's still the same. Like I said before I don't there's going to be any problem with it being a first Bible. Teenagers are quite a finicky group and I'm sure they'd move on to a more "serious" version once they start maturing in the faith.

But I don't think I agree with the BibleMag, Becoming, NCV. Here's part of the the site's write-up for the product:
Part Bible, part magazine – The Bible meets Oprah with a twist of InStyle! Becoming is the complete New Testament using the New Century Version, but it wouldn’t be a culture 'zine if it didn't address men, beauty, fitness and food! It's chock full of applicable ways to integrate faith into your daily life. Becoming gives advice on how to tackle some of life’s biggest concerns while taking on some of those not-so-easy-to-understand concepts in the Bible. By addressing issues from sexual abuse, rape, and divorce to encouraging relationships, hospitality, and Bible knowledge, this Bible magazine is perfect for adult women who are eager to learn more about the "faith thing."

Granted I haven't seen a copy much less scan the inside pages, I don't see the reason why the women in their 20s and above would need a BibleMag to interest them in the "faith thing." These are thinking, reasoning adults that don't shouldn't be taken for a ride. The Gospel's interesting enough as it is, mature Christians just need to be more engaging in their evangelizing. People nowadays look for testimonies in the lives of those who profess the faith. Like if the Gospels proclaim Jesus' promise of life (joyful, fulfilling "Zoe" as opposed to the ordinary, drab "Bios") here, now and everafter, His followers should manifest it in their daily walk. If they're interested enough in what they see, then I don't any reason why they won't be attracted to the real reason for your being. And if they're attracted to the real thing then they won't need to be pulled in by glittery "Oprah inspired" magazines. But that's just me.

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