The Renovaré Spiritual Formation Bible |

TBC Staff

“Critical Praise” for Renovaré Bible not too critical

Considering that The Renovaré Spiritual Formation Study Biblemirrors“higher criticism” (a movement in which intellectuals question the authorship and authenticity of Scripture portions—particularly prophetic passages—akin to the ungodly “Jesus Seminar”) and incorporates New Age terminology and methodology (under the guise of “spiritual formation”) and then packages it with a problematic translation, one wonders just how closely other Christian endorsers have examined its contents—or the teachings of Renovaré. Below is the two-thirds-page ad, prominently featured next to the publisher’s box on page 6 of the July 2005 issue of Christianity Today. It is interesting to note that although the Renovaré logo appears at the bottom of the ad, the publisher (nowhere mentioned) is actually Harper Collins (which incidentally also publishes The Satanic Bible by Anton La Vey). Harper Collins owns Zondervan, the largest “Christian” publishing company, which recently formed a partnership with Youth Specialties to create materials for the Emerging Church movement—which is in turn a primary importer/exporter of Catholic mystic tradition, being marketed to evangelicals as “vintage” faith or “authentic” Christianity.

Endorsements of Renovaré Bible include Popular Christian Authors

“The Renovaré Spiritual Formation Bible…is unrivaled as a classic work of biblical theology suffused with a pastoral heart.

Brennan Manning, author of The Ragamuffin Gospel [endorsed by Eugene Peterson and Max Lucado; Manning is a former Franciscan priest]

“This Bible is greatly needed.”

Tony Campolo, author of Speaking My Mind... [embracing homosexual marriage, espousing a similar “soft” view of Romans as Eugene Peterson’s The Message]

“With great enthusiasm, I open The Renovaré Spiritual Formation Bible. One could not assemble a finer team to compile it.”

Max Lucado, [prolific author; pastor, Oak Hills Church, signer of Evangelicals & Catholics Together II]

“This Bible helps us desire intimacy with God, not just know the typical facts and knowledge.”

Dan Kimball, author of The Emerging Church [with contributions by Rick Warren and Brian McLaren], and Pastor of Vintage Faith Church

“…[T]he most spiritually-impactful Bible of our time.”

John Ortberg, Teaching Pastor, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, author of If You Want to Walk on Water... [endorsed by Dallas Willard; a former teaching pastor at Willow Creek, Ortberg holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Fuller]

“[An] outstanding resource . . . Christians of many different traditions will appreciate this ecumenical resource devoted to spiritual renewal.”

Publishers Weekly [this secular trade journal is politically–and religiously–“correct”]

A Look at the “Spiritual Formation” of the Renovaré Editing Team

Richard Foster[Excerpt from Ray Yungen’s letter, “Richard Foster: Promoting Eastern Mysticism by Proxy”]:  “Richard Foster advocates a prayer movement that indeed can be proven to have strong links to Eastern mysticism.... To proclaim to be evangelical in every aspect but to say, ‘Thomas Merton tried to awaken God’s people’ a contradiction of major proportions. It is an oxymoron to try to lump Biblical evangelicalism and Thomas Merton together.... The fact that Foster quotes Merton 13 times in the latest edition of Celebration of Discipline is just further proof that he does indeed adhere to Merton’s teachings.... Since Thomas Merton and Henri Nouwen mystically perceived the ‘divine’ in everyone this in effect made them New Agers.... Foster [is] promoting Eastern mysticism by way of proxy.”

Dallas Willard: During an instructional role-play, this question was posed to Willard. [Hypothetical Seeker:] “I still struggle with how I should view those who have other beliefs. I’m not sure I am ready to condemn them as wrong. I know some very good Buddhists. What is their destiny?” [Willard:] “I would take [you] to Romans:2:6-10: ‘God will give to each person according to what he has done. To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor, and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.’ What Paul is clearly saying is that if anyone is worthy of being saved, they will be saved.... I am not going to stand in the way of anyone whom God wants to save.... It is possible for someone who does not know Jesus to be saved.” [“A Conversation with Dallas Willard,” Cutting Edge, Winter 2001, Vol. 5 No. 1]

Eugene Peterson:  “The importance of poetry and novels is that the Christian life involves the use of the imagination, after all, we are dealing with the invisible. And, imagination is our training in dealing with the invisible, making connections.... I don’t want to do away with or denigrate theology or exegesis, but our primary allies in this business are the artists.... Why do people spend so much time studying the Bible? How much do you need to know? We invest all this time in understanding the text which has a separate life of it’s own and we think we’re being more pious and spiritual when we’re doing it.... [Christians] should be studying it less, not more. You just need enough to pay attention to God.... I’m just not at all pleased with all the emphasis on Bible study as if it’s some kind of special thing that Christians do, and the more they do the better.” [“A Conversation with Eugene Peterson,” Mars Hill Review, Fall 1995, Issue No. 3: pgs 73-90]