There was a surprise in a recent MB Herald (April 2012) in the form of a review of a new Bible version called The Voice New Testament (by Ecclesia Bible Society). The Crosscurrents crtique, called New Translation Hits Some High Notes, seemed to base its criteria on personal preference and layout more than on who the voices are behind this retelling of Scripture. Although there was some hesitancy to give The Voice a full stamp of approval, the reviewers pointed out its many positive points: it reads as a play, makes dialogue acceptable, simplifies stories, is helpful, gives the occasional “aha!” moment, and fills a niche (somewhere between the NLT and The Message). They then concluded that it is “certainly a useful translation for newcomers or alongside other more standard versions,” giving it 3 1/2 stars out of 5.
But here’s what the MB Herald has not told its readers about The Voice:
Unfortunately, the project turns out to be an emerging church creation, thus the foundation of it is marred from the beginning. Because mysticism, New Age ideology, and a return to Rome, are the building blocks of the emerging church, The Voice is going to be a spiritually dangerous conduit for adherents. Some of the emergent leaders involved in the project are Chris Seay (project founder), Brian McLaren, Lauren Winner, Leonard Sweet, and Blue Like Jazz author, Donald Miller.
Question to LT: What about the “Voice Bible”?
Of monumental concern is Brian McLaren’s contribution to The Voice and his work on improving the books of Luke and Acts. It’s not surprising that McLaren’s approach to God’s written Word is so lighthearted that he thinks it is a production of man and therefore is open for upgrading. As he wrote in one of his many controversial books:
“Scripture is something God had ‘let be,’ and so it is at once God’s creation and the creation of the dozens of people and communities and cultures who produced it.” (Brian McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy, p. 162)
On McLaren’s website is a video in which he names a few others working on The Voice, calling them “great writers” (find this video here: http://www.brianmclaren.net/archives/blog/the-voice.html). One of these men is Greg Garrett, the author of “The Other Jesus” (Westminster John Knox Press), and here’s what it’s about:
According to recent surveys, many Americans associate the label “Christian” with judgmental attitudes, hypocrisy, fear of hell, and a committment to right-wing politics. Author Greg Garrett suggests another way, arguing that a faith that focuses solely on personal morality and the afterlife misses much of the point of Jesus’ message.
The other way of following Christ is not concerned with an array of commandments or with holding the “right” beliefs. Rather it is centered on loving each other and loving God, or as Garrett puts it, “love, where the rubber meets the road, where faith meets the world.”
Garrett is also the author of “One Fine Potion: The Literary Magic of Harry Potter,” a book in which he thanks Rowling that “one of the most beloved stories in history” has made him a better person.
One could spend days researching all the contributors to The Voice, such as Phyllis Tickle (author of The Great Emergence), and even Phil Keaggy, who incidentally will be joining another contributor to The Voice, Lauren Winner, at an upcoming Contemplative Retreat at Laity Lodge.
These are only some of the voices behind The Voice, but this concerning aspect has not been touched on by the reviewers. Shouldn’t this sound an alarm for any discerning Christian? If they are aware of this conflict, the reviewers in the MB Herald have not revealed it, but rather seemed to infer that any possible theological squabbles are petty enough that they “would gladly use this translation as a resource for children’s ministry” and for newcomers.
What do you think? Should The Voice be given to the lambs?
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Matthew 7:15
Note: Also included in The Voice are readings for Lent and Easter (starting with Ash Wednesday).
Hear The Voice
New Bible Project for Young Generation
MAY 2012 CONFERENCE TO INDOCTRINATE CHILDREN INTO BRIAN MCLAREN MYTHOLOGY
Brian McLaren: A Prime Example Of Diaprax!
Brian McLaren Aligns Openly with New Age Leaders
Where Did the Emergent Church ‘Emerge’ From?