MB Herald Gives Okay to Emergent Bible ‘The Voice’

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.”

SOURCE: http://www.thethoughtfulchristian.com/Products/0664234046/the-other-jesus.aspx

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 Generatio


Brian McLaren: A Prime Example Of Diaprax!

Brian McLaren Aligns Openly with New Age Leaders

Where Did the Emergent Church ‘Emerge’ From?


3 thoughts on “MB Herald Gives Okay to Emergent Bible ‘The Voice’

  1. I’m glad for new and better English translations of the Bible (which we have enough of now), but I’m curious as to whether or not this is (in ANY way) an actual English translation. I’d like to get my hands on this book and give it a quick look in a few important sections (i.e. John 1, Matt. 5-7, John 6, etc.) and see if it’s even trying to be a translation. I’m guessing it’s a Bananabaptist/emergent commentary disguised as a bible and given the commentators, it’s definitely not a book to give to new believers.

    The last thing I want to do with new believers is immediately associate them with people on the fringe of evangelicalism (or outright wolves like McLaren), before they’ve grown any sort of foundation to stand on.

    That’s just evidence of a theological lobotomy.

    Oh, and I just made up a new word – “Bananabaptist”. It’s an Anabaptist (not Mennonite, but Anabaptist…which includes the wannabes at Yale & Duke, and Phyllis “don’t use your logic on me!” Tickle) whose commitment to peacemaking and Jesus 71 (the Jesus whose teaching is summed up in Matthew 7:1) has become theologically tyrannical to the point of driving them bananas. They basically respond to theological challenges with either insults or feigning insult (i.e. they love pointing out how you’ve violated Matt. 7:1) and they never actually walk through the text of scripture and do exegesis…because they are bananas and simply cannot do exegesis.

    • Exactly. I like your new word. The banana bunch preaches that the entire sermon on the mount is “the” gospel, interpreting the words of Jesus out of context and into their own version without seriously considering the expressions and idioms he used in light of the only scripture his Jewish listeners had. Maybe they should consider calling theirs the Bananas Bible.

  2. McLaren and Garret must be the Mentors for James Penner and his Urban Pioneer ministry with youth across Canada. Youth are encouraged into Emergent Church Doctrine, Catholic mysticism, and Contemplative Prayer just to mame a few pursuites. 100 Huntley street seems just as fooled as the parents who encourage their youth to attend and participate.

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