Bible in Magazine Format Aims to Snare Teen Girls' Interest
- Wednesday, August 27, 2003
But while some applaud efforts to make the Bible more attractive to teenagers, others have voiced concerns that tailoring the Bible to appeal to a particular group might send the wrong message.
Russell Dalton, author of "Video, Kids and Christian Education" and director of the Religious Communications program at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, said he worried "niche Bibles like Revolve might encourage kids to look at the Bible in a myopic way.
While discussing issues like pregnancy, relationships and tattoos in the context of Christianity might be helpful for adolescents, sidebars such as "Are You Dating a Godly Guy?" might "make it seem as though the Bible is just talking about their concerns," Dalton said.
"The danger there is that they're not reading the Scripture for itself," he said. "Having those sort of statements next to the Scripture change the way they read the text and what they think they're reading it for."
Parents who ask their teenagers what part of the Bible engaged them most might be surprised to hear them cite the sections where "guys say what they like about girls." Would that be Peter's letter advising women not to braid their hair, decorate themselves with gold or wear expensive robes? No, it's "Guys Speak Out," a serial sidebar in Revolve featuring teenage boys' thoughts (alongside their handsome mugs) on how girls should dress and behave.
"As long as they're biblically based and not too frivolous, there's no harm in highlighting such issues," said Daniel Akin, dean of the School of Theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.
"If it addresses the issue of how a woman should dress modestly, I think that would be a good thing," Akin said. "If it has the potential to make teens look at the Bible in a frivolous way, then that's a bad thing."
© 2003 Religion News Service
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