See, I grew up under some legalistic preaching and remember well how evil The Living Bible was. It was as if a person reading that were doomed to eternal damnation because surely all good things had been removed.
Now, I don't have a problem with The Living Bible as a paraphrase. Use it to get someones personal interpretation of the Scriptures, or as a supplement to a real translation, no problem.
I feel the same way about The Message. It is Mr. Peterson's unique interpretation and paraphrase of God's Word. What I have trouble with is people referring to it as a translation. People also refer to Eugene Peterson as the author of The Message. How can it be the Bible if Eugene Peterson wrote it? If it's the Bible then God is the author. If Mr. Peterson is the author, then it isn't the Bible, right?
So, I am not against reading it or using it for study or reference. But I don't like the idea of it being used as one's sole "Bible." I also don't think doctrine should be determined by it.
But I believe that a person can still come to know God and accept Christ through reading this. God can use His truth and His words, even if they are re-interpreted.
But I would never give this book the standing of being infallible, inerrant, God-breathed Scripture.
I'm wanting to avoid that old legalism stance, but maintain foundational integrity at the same time. Does that make sense?
And what do you think?