THIS IS ME CHECKING IN.
I just finished and posted the map shown with this feature. It portrays the highlands of the Promised Land. I made it for Joshua 11, and the story of the Israelites wrapping up their conquest of the hills in their new homeland.
They didn’t push hard into the coastal area, where the formidable Philistines settled, with their iron weapons and chariots. The hills are where Israel’s lightly armed infantry enjoyed the military advantage.
I’ve been so focused on paraphrasing the Casual English Bible® that it’s hard to break away and do anything else. There’s a lot going on right now.
- The first Casual English Bible® printed book is coming soon: Casual English Bible New Testament Atlas.
- A new website is under construction now. The design looks brilliant. (I didn’t do it.) It will be much easier to use and to search the Bible and the archive of 3D Bible maps and leader’s guides.
- (This one is scary.) I’ll be starting a sponsorship program for people interested in helping me complete the Casual English Bible… a Bible written especially for Bible newcomers and for others curious about the Bible and Christianity.
- I’m hoping to hire some help because I always run out of daylight.
This mission effort is a huge investment in time and resources. But I’m all in. I’m more than halfway finished with the paraphrase, and I’m not going to stop until I’m dead, done, or done in and knocked out.
What I’m doing doesn’t seem to make sense to some folks I know. I get it. This endeavor I’ve taken on is consuming. It’s a black hole that eats money like peanuts and hours like seconds.
But, money has to go somewhere. And we’ve all got to spend time doing something.
If I want to spend my time and money creating a Bible especially for thinking people who aren’t Christians but who are curious about the Bible and Christianity, call me crazy.
Most just seem to think it.
Listen, it seems I’ve always been a fish swimming upstream. Maybe we’re all that way.
I’ve almost always had to push editors to let me address tough questions that upset people. Editors don’t often want to upset people. I don’t either. But non-Christians ask those questions. And we need to address them, even if it’s just to admit we don’t know the answer.
I’ve also had to push for the informal writing style I use. There’s nothing unique about it. It’s straight out of journalism school and the newspaper newsroom. But try writing a seminary research paper that way. Or an article for a denominational publishing outfit.
They often want a formal, stiff, and sturdy style.
The prof who read my first paper in seminary called me in and said, “We don’t write that way here. Don’t use active sentences. Use passive.”
So, change “Moses climbed the mountain” to “The mountain was climbed by Moses.” And discover why the mothers of biblical scholars don’t read them. They’re often exceptional thinkers. But when they write, they often bury the lead and sedate the reader.
I was worried seminary would infect my writing with English that would never go viral.
Once in a great while…
Here I am now, on the cusp of a new and expanded website for a Bible paraphrase still under construction, under the radar, and off the wall as far as some are concerned.
It’s okay. I feel the gentle resistance. And I know everything I’m doing could blow away in the wind. One kiss of COVID could do that, I suspect.
But I know, too, that once in a great while I get an email like the one I received some weeks ago from a lady who wanted me to know she found faith in Christ while reading the Casual English Bible.®
What I’m doing and how I’m doing it makes little sense. I see that.
Yet, if I believe what I say I do, what could be more important?