Archive for the ‘Christian Publishers/Bookstores’ Category

Who’s to Blame for Bookstore Closures?

photo: WND

By Jim Fletcher
Free-lance writer

News came this week that Family Christian Stores is finally shuttering all 240 locations. The 85-year-old chain filed for bankruptcy protection in 2015, and now the end has come for the Christian retail giant that employed 3,000 and stretched across 36 states.

As one writer put it, Amazon warlord Jeff Bezos deserves much of the credit for turning most independent bookstores into karate schools or bakeries. But there is another, more specific reason Family Christian Stores is gone.

They did it to themselves.

The explosion came from within, as decades of pandering to the lowest-common denominator within evangelicalism resulted in poorly educated Christians who have read more about Jesus in “Jesus Calling” than from the Bible.

And the “Jesus Calling” version of “Jesus” ain’t Him.

The erosion of Christian retail began before my entrance into the publishing industry in 1993, but that decade saw the worst kind of compromise with error in the Church. If one looks at the top 50 bestsellers from CBA (the Association for Christian Retail) currently, a Bible-believer couldn’t recommend more than a handful, at most. Family Christian Stores stocked them all. Click here to continue reading.

LTRP Note: Family Christian bookstores, along with LifeWay bookstores and Parable bookstores, deliberately never carried any Lighthouse Trails books in their stores because Lighthouse Trails criticized many of their top selling books.

 

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LifeWay Resources (SBC) Stops Selling Same-Sex Marriage Promoter Jen Hatmaker . . . But LifeWay Still Not Seeing the Big Picture

photo: Christianity Today

Jen Hatmaker; photo: Christianity Today

According to a Christianity Today article, LifeWay Resources (the Southern Baptist Convention resource arm) has stopped selling products by Jen Hatmaker because of her promotion of same-sex marriage. The CT article stated:

Jen Hatmaker posted a 650-word response on her Facebook page Monday, saying she “wrestled with and through Scripture, not around it” before coming to a decision to affirm same-sex relationships, which recently led to LifeWay Christian Resources pulling her books from its stores.

Hatmaker has been the topic of Lighthouse Trails articles and Cedric Fisher’s booklet called IF it is of God: Answering the Questions About IF: Gathering as she is part of the group of women who head up the women’s movement called IF: Gathering. You can read that booklet by Fisher by clicking here. In Fisher’s booklet, he says this about Jen Hatmaker:

In Jen Hatmaker’s book, Interrupted: When Jesus Wreck Your Comfortable Christianity, she makes it clear that she is influenced by a number of New Age/New Spirituality individuals. She quotes Catholic priest and contemplative activist Richard Rohr and emergent leader Shane Claiborne. On her blog, she promotes the book, The Circle Maker, by Mark Batterson, a book that encourages readers to draw circles around specific things in order to have more answered prayers. Batterson was inspired with this idea by an ancient sage.

In Hatmaker’s book, 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess, she reveals that her family takes part in a Roman Catholic ritual with mystical origins, the “Seven Sacred Pauses.” Hatmaker got her inspiration from Seven Sacred Pauses, a book by Macrina Wiederkehr who is a spiritual director in the contemplative prayer movement. In Wiederkehr’s retreats, seekers are guided through experiences of silence, contemplation and lectio divina (a contemplative practice where words and phrases from the Bible are repeated in mantra-like fashion). The “seven sacred pauses” are seven times a day to pause and pray, which Wiederkehr describes as “breathing spells for the soul.”

Consider Hatmaker’s statement concerning the preaching of God’s Word:

“I have spent half my life listening to someone else talk about God. Because of this history, I’ve developed something of an immunity to sermons.”

This is eerily similar to the sentiment of Sue Monk Kidd (author of The Secret Life of Bees), who once, as a conservative Southern Baptist Sunday school teacher, expressed her dissatisfaction (and eventual rejection) of the preaching of God’s Word. That led Monk Kidd down a path away from the Christian faith and straight into the New Age. Today, she worships the goddess Sophia.

This disgruntlement of God’s Word is so prevalent among leaders of the emerging New Spirituality church. If not preaching, then what? Is it emotionally charged conventions and books with flowering, poetic phrases that open up to spit out a toxic drop of heresy? If Hatmaker is immune to preaching, she has rejected God’s method in favor of her own. (source and footnotes)

While LifeWay did the right thing in dropping Hatmaker’s products, they still do not see the big picture as they keep a tight grasp on numerous problematic authors such as Sarah Young (and her cash-cow Jesus Calling books and Bibles), Richard Foster, Dallas Willard, Gary Thomas, Ruth Haley Barton, and many more contemplative, emergent authors.

The fact that LifeWay will remove books by someone promoting same-sex marriage but not remove books by authors who promote a mystical, panentheistic interspiritual prayer shows once again that Christian leaders and ministries just don’t get it. How is it that one is OK and the other is not? After all, they are both going in the same direction, and that is away from the Gospel and away from God’s Word. Where are the overseers of LifeWay and the Southern Baptist Convention? Surely, they are learned men who should be able to figure this out.

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InterVarsity Comes Under Heat for Trying to Make a Stand Against Same-Sex Marriage – But Straddling the Fence is Hard to Do

InterVarsity Christian Fellowship has come under public heat because it recently announced they were giving an ultimatum to employees who saw nothing wrong with same-sex (homosexual) marriage. In a Charisma magazine article (we are not endorsing Charisma), the author states:

InterVarsity Christian Fellowship is one of the leading campus ministries, and its publishing arm, InterVarsity Press, is one of the top Christian publishers. But this fine ministry is learning the hard way that, when it comes to homosexuality, you cannot straddle the fence.1

The reason the Charisma writer says “straddle the fence” is because InterVarsity Press has been publishing emergent, contemplative, New Age/New Spirituality authors for a long time, and mixing truth with error has finally caught up with them. The Charisma article reveals more:

As Jonathan Merritt reports on the Religion News Service, “40 authors in InterVarsity’s publishing house stable including Shane Claiborne, David Dark, Christena Cleveland, Ian Morgan Cron, and Chris Heuertz are calling on IVCF head Tom Lin to immediately replace the policy with one that makes space for opposing views. The letter indicates that the signers ‘do not all share the same theological or political views’ but ‘are united in our concern for the dignity and care of our fellow Christians whose jobs are threatened by your policy.'”

You may recall articles Lighthouse Trails has written about Shane Claiborne and Ian Morgan Cron. Both very emergent, to say the least. Just to give you a little sampling of the beliefs of authors InterVarsity has been publishing, read this quote by Ian Morgan Cron:

I grew up a Roman Catholic and later became an Anglican priest (it was the closest I could get to being a Catholic priest without having to “swim the Tiber”) so there’s definitely a weird brew of influences floating around the community. I’m presently studying spiritual direction and contemplative spirituality at the Shalem Institute and beginning next year in a doctoral program at Fordham University (The Jesuit University of New York) so the voices of Merton, Rahner, Ignatius, St Francis, Teresa of Avila, Evelyn Underhill and other contemplatives find their way into our ministries and preaching as well. (source)

If you have been reading Lighthouse Trails for any amount of time, you will probably be familiar with the interspiritual Shalem Institute and that list of names mentioned above by Morgan Cron. That quote by him was said in an online interview as you can read about in a Lighthouse Trails 2013 article where we discussed our concerns about Ian Morgan Cron speaking at a Nazarene university. We stated in that article:

Lest one think that the Nazarenes stand alone in embracing Cron, just take a look at Cron’s speaking schedule [link no longer available]. Places he will be speaking (or has spoken) at include: World Vision, Willow Creek, Denver Seminary, Family Fest with the Gaithers, the Dove Awards, Renovare, C3 Conference with Philip Yancey, the Calvinist Crossroads Community Church in MD, Texas Christian University,  Catalyst Conference with Andy Stanley, and Worship Leaders Conference with James McDonald and Saddleback pastor Buddy Owens.

Ian Morgan Cron is a New Age/New Spirituality “Christian” as his writings clearly prove. Shane Claiborne, mentored by socialist liberal evangelical Tony Campolo, is in the same camp. A few other InterVarsity New Spirituality (contemplative, interspiritual, ecumenical, and emergent) authors are Dan Allender (a favorite for Moody Radio), Fil Anderson (Running on Empty), Lynne Babb,  Ruth Haley Barton, Richard Foster’s colleague (part of Renovare) Gayle Beebe, Buddhist-sympathizer & Catholic Peter Kreeft, Calvin Miller (who admires Virgin-birth and Son of God denier Marcus Borg), Kenneth Boa, Gregory Boyd, and a name just as disconcerting as Ian Morgan Cron, Adele Ahlberg Calhoun (promotes all kinds of mystical practices and people in her book Spiritual Disciplines Handbook), and Julie Cameron (author of The Artist’s Way discussed in A Time of Departing by Ray Yungen because of her mystical propensities). Frankly, this list would have to go on for several more paragraphs just to name all the InterVarsity authors who fall in a similar category as Ian Morgan Cron.

No wonder so many within the ranks of the InterVarsity author-machine are speaking against their homosexual ultimatum. (For the purposes of this article, remember the connection there is between emergent/contemplative thinking and a laxed view on homosexuality.) The Trojan horse has entered Christian publishing, and the enemy is now within the walls. Maybe it’s time that InterVarsity wakes up, repents, and starts seeking after biblical integrity in what they are publishing and promoting. It’s a little ludicrous for them to think they can spend years publishing liberal, socialistic, New Age, mystical contemplative authors and then scratch their heads in wonder when these same authors challenge them for trying to be biblical when it comes to issues such as homosexuality. As we’ve said so many times before, straddling the fence is not an easy thing to do, and in today’s mixed up immoral society—a society which is going after Christians who try to stand for what is right—straddling the fence for Christians is almost impossible to maintain. Hopefully, InterVarsity Press will figure this out before they lose altogether under the pressure. It will be interesting to see what their next move is. One thing is for sure, they won’t be alone. Countless Christian publishers, ministries, churches, and leaders are straddling the same fence, and their day of reckoning is coming too.

Related Articles:
Bible society debates exhibit ban for InterVarsity Press

Top Evangelical College Group to Dismiss Employees Who Support Gay Marriage

 

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Fletcher: “Christian Publishing Full of Rotten Fruit”

lifewayBy Jim Fletcher
WorldNetDaily

Although few talk about it publicly, I continue to be astonished by the rotten fruit in the Christian book publishing industry. I feel almost forced to say this at the outset:

There are still good publishers. There are still good authors. There is still some good material being produced.

It’s just not mostly in the popular categories/circles (makers).

Checking out Christian retailing online the other day was a real downer. Among the top-selling books/authors making their rounds through evangelical circles: “Jesus Calling,” “The Power of I Am” (Joel Osteen), Thom Rainer, Rick Warren, Jen Hatmaker, Steven Furtick and “Half Truths” (Adam Hamilton).

Among the product created around the “Jesus Calling” publishing phenomenon: “Jesus Calling Deluxe Edition,” “Jesus Today,” “Jesus Calling Women’s Edition” and “Jesus Calling Large Print Deluxe Edition.” Click here to continue reading.

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The English Standard Version (ESV) Study Bible. “A Dream Come True”? – UPDATED

LTRP Note: Lighthouse Trails is not what some term “KJV Only.” However, we have come to trust the King James Bible more than other versions, and this is what we use for our articles and books. That said, we have strong concerns about many of the new modern translations (and paraphrases that are treated like translations). The ESV has been marketed as a very close translation to the KJV. But a close look, as is done by this Canadian Lighthouse Trails friend, Art K., reveals that the ESV differs from the KJV in many instances and should not be touted as very similar to the KJV. Please also read the article below by Warren B. Smith called “The Kindly Christian Widow.”

The following is an updated version of Art K.’s article with new references and information from an earlier version a few years ago.

The English Standard Version (ESV) Study Bible. “A Dream Come True”?

Written and compiled by Art K. (updated: April 2016)

Photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission.

Introduction to a Study on The English Standard Version

First, why I compared the KJV to the ESV is because the ESV study Bible has received such high praise for being an excellent literal translation.

Second, in the Preface under “Translation Legacy” page 19, we read “The English Standard Version (ESV)  stands in the classic mainstream of English Bible translations over the past half-millennium. The fountainhead of that stream was William Tyndale’s  New Testament of 1526; marking the course were King James Version of 1611…” I understood this to mean that there would be a great similarity between the KJV and the ESV. What I found however, is that the ESV, is in the majority of the  references, very similar or the same as the NIV. This I find difficult to reconcile with the statement made in reference to the KJV.

Third what motivated me to further compare the ESV to the KJV, was the very high praise that the ESV has received from so many people who are well versed in the field of bible translations. For example, John Piper calls it “a dream come true”? Please see  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlFsBdEkxMQ

Fourth  what  motivated me to examine the ESV Study Bible was what I  read  in the Introduction under the subtitle “Divine Words and Merely Human Words”, where it is written “The ESV Study Bible contains two kinds of words. The first kind is the actual of the Bible, which are the very words of God to us. These are printed in the larger font of each page. The second kind is the study notes, which are merely human words” page 9.

The problem is knowing which group of words to trust. The first group of words “the very words of God to us” in the ESV have so many omissions compared to the KJV that it creates serious doubt, not trust.  If there are so many omissions in “the very words of God” in the ESV, how can we have confidence in the ‘words of men, in the explanation?

Before we accept this translation as “a dream come true” we need to examine the ESV bible carefully and ponder the words of Jesus, “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you”.

Please Note.

1) The  following  examples are from the New Testament only.

2) This is not an exhaustive study.

Click here to read this entire document.

A Related Article by Warren B. Smith

The Kindly Christian Widow

Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. (Matthew 24:35)

When I was in the New Age and very involved with A Course in Miracles, I was working for a Northern California agency as a program coordinator serving the developmentally disabled. One day while I was visiting the elderly widowed mother of one of my clients the subject of religion came up. After asking me what I believed, she listened politely as I shared my enthusiasm for the New Age teachings of A Course in Miracles. As I described what I believed, she smiled sweetly but didn’t say much. When I finished talking, she excused herself for a moment and went into another room. When she returned she was holding a large, blue King James Bible. She wanted me to have it. Not wanting to offend her, and noting its color was a perfect match with my Course in Miracles books, I accepted her gift.

Several years later, as my wife and I were beginning to understand how deceived we had been by A Course in Miracles and our other New Age teachings, it was this kind woman’s King James Bible that we continually turned to for support and counsel. It sharply contrasted the differences between the New Age “gospel” and the Gospel of Jesus Christ and was instrumental in our ultimate conversion to the Christian faith. And we have continued to use the King James Bible for the last twenty years. It has been our guide in everything we do. We thought it was beautifully written, and we found it to be very readable. Occasional outdated words are often defined by their context or can be easily looked up in a matter of seconds. More than anything, though, the teachings and doctrine of the King James Bible have always rung true.

Bible versions only became an issue for us when my book The Light that was Dark was in the process of being published by Moody Press. Moody insisted on converting many of my King James quotes into a newer version. They said they had to make my book more “readable” and “seeker friendly,” so I reluctantly went along with their request. I would not do that today.

I have never understood why church leaders have felt it necessary to downplay and almost apologize for the King James translation. As “seekers,” the King James Bible had met us right where we were at. It might not have been “spiritually correct” for that kind woman to give an unbeliever a King James Bible instead of a newer version, but I will be forever grateful that she did. It helped to save our lives.

No Legitimate Reason?
Having only used one Bible all these years, I wanted to understand why Rick Warren felt the need to use fifteen different Bible versions and paraphrases in The Purpose-Driven Life. In the back of his book I found this explanation:

This book contains nearly a thousand quotations from Scripture. I have intentionally varied the Bible translations used for two important reasons. First, no matter how wonderful a translation is, it has limitations….
Second, and even more important, is the fact that we often miss the full impact of familiar Bible verses, not because of poor translating, but simply because they have become so familiar!….Therefore I have deliberately used paraphrases in order to help you see God’s truth in new, fresh ways. English-speaking people should thank God that we have so many different versions to use for devotional reading.1

I couldn’t really relate to what Rick Warren was saying about “limitations” and overly “familiar” verses. I had always had full confidence in the King James translation, and familiar verses became more and more precious as their truth continued to resound in our lives year after year.

Of the fifteen different versions he used, The Message was clearly Rick Warren’s favorite. In The Purpose-Driven Life he rarely referred to the King James Bible. I found his strange reason why in his 1995 book The Purpose-Driven Church:

Read Scripture from a newer translation. With all the wonderful translations and paraphrases available today, there is no legitimate reason for complicating the Good News with four-hundred-year-old English. Using the King James Version creates an unnecessary cultural barrier…. Clarity is more important than poetry.2

No “legitimate reason” to read the King James Bible? I remember reading that and being amazed. How could he possibly teach something that was so untrue? The King James Bible had not “complicated” the “Good News” for my wife and I when we were lost in the New Age—it had provided much needed clarity by exposing the deceptiveness of our New Age teachings. In The Light that was Dark I commented:

When we could finally see through the spiritual deception, most of the Scriptures that we had been reading clicked into place. It was as if scales had fallen from our eyes, and suddenly the New Testament was flooded with light. Though we had a lot to learn about other aspects of the faith, it was apparent that we were, by virtue of our having been so thoroughly deceived, already well-versed in the Bible’s description of deception.3

Sometimes we thought we were confusing everyone but ourselves. Disappointed but not disheartened by our friends, and discouraged but not disillusioned by some of the churches, we were nevertheless determined to tell our story of the reality of evil and of the power and majesty of the real Christ—how it was the Bible, not our alternative spiritual teachings, that read clearer and truer than the morning paper.4

God had used the King James Bible in a mighty way to reveal the truth. It had pulled us out of the New Age and put us on solid ground. Its straightforward warnings and teachings were clear and true. If we had been dependent on The Message, or some of the other Bible versions that Rick Warren uses, we might still be in the New Age today. It was the clarity and precision of our King James Bible that had exposed the deception behind our New Age teachings. And it is the clarity and precision of our King James Bible that continues to expose these same New Age teachings that are creeping into the Church today. I just thank God no one put something like The Message in my hands when I was in the New Age. And I thank God for kindly Christian widows. (an excerpt from chapter 4 of Deceived on Purpose by Warren B. Smith)

Endnotes:

1. Rick Warren, The Purpose-Driven Life  (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2002), p. 325.
2. Rick Warren, The Purpose-Driven Church (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1995), p. 297.
3. Warren Smith, The Light that was Dark (Chicago, IL: Moody Press: Northfield Publishing, 1992)p. 141. Note: this book is now published by Mountain Stream Press.
4. Ibid., p. 149.

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Lighthouse Trails Publishing to Make Contact with Over 100 Christian Leaders to Warn About Jesus Calling

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Isaiah 119:105)

For nearly 14 years, Lighthouse Trails has been trying to warn Christian leaders and the body of Christ of the spiritual deception that has entered the church. While thousands of Christians have responded favorably to the work we do, and we believe our material and the material of our authors has influenced, either directly or indirectly, tens of thousands of believers, the sad reality is tens of millions (if not hundreds of millions) of proclaiming Christians throughout the world are following leaders who will not warn them about spiritual deception, even when it is warned about in the Bible. In an ongoing effort to warn the church, Lighthouse Trails has put together a spreadsheet with the names of over 100 Christian leaders. We have now collected mailing addresses to all these names. While we have given away thousands of copies of books, booklets, and DVDs to leaders, professors, missionaries, pastors, and church members since 2002, we have never had a list with names and addresses so that we could send materials to a large number of leaders all at once. Now that we have this database, we are going to begin sending these 100+ leaders booklets on a regular basis with the hope of stirring them to discerning action.

Bible On PulpitWhile we realize our efforts in this mailing project to leaders may end up being futile, we are motivated by a sense of desperation as we witness the snowballing effect taking place in the church with regard to Christians becoming seriously deceived and deluded.

Because most Christian leaders are not even talking about Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling, the first booklet we are sending out to these leaders is Warren B. Smith’s new booklet, 10 Scriptural Reasons Why Jesus Calling is a Dangerous Book.

The following is a cover letter we will be including with the booklet. Below that, we have listed the 100+ leaders who will be getting this booklet and subsequent ones. As the Lord provides and leads, we will send out a new booklet to these men and women every two or three months. Please take a look at the names we have listed below, and if you know of a leader whom we have not listed and feel we should, please e-mail us at editors@lighthousetrails.com, and we will take your suggestion into serious consideration. Please include that person’s organization name and mailing address so we can include him or her on the list. Keep in mind, the names we have chosen are primarily considered influential leaders of the evangelical church.

We hope our efforts will encourage you to continue the good fight for the contending of the faith. For those who may be feeling dismayed at the struggle in their own efforts to contend for the faith, please read “The Unacknowledged War and the Wearing Down of the Saints” by Cedric Fisher.

OUR LETTER TO CHRISTIAN LEADERS

Dear Christian Leader:

Sarah Young’s perennial best-selling book, Jesus Calling, has sold over 15 million copies since it was first published in 2004. It continues to be enthusiastically read around the world and is available in over 20 different editions in English alone. With the book more popular than ever, there are entire Sarah Young’ sections in Christian bookstores that feature Jesus Calling and other related products. Sadly, most Christian leaders are either unaware of the book’s serious problems or are just choosing to stay away from the growing controversy surrounding Jesus Calling. Whatever the case, few, if any, warnings are being issued by those in Christian leadership.

In case you happened to be unaware of the problems involving Jesus Calling, we have enclosed our recently published Lighthouse Trails booklet titled 10 Scriptural Reasons Why Jesus Calling is a Dangerous Book. Hopefully, it will help you to understand why Sarah Young’s book is such a threat to the spiritual well-being of today’s church.

Sincerely in Christ,

The Editors at Lighthouse Trails Publishing

The List of Leaders We Are Reaching Out To
(Not all of the names below are those in deception. This list has a variety of persuasions within the evangelical camp. We are compelled to send each of these people specific information on various important issues that are basically not being addressed in the church today.)

First Name Last Name Organization
Randy Alcorn Eternal Perspective Ministries
John Ankerberg John Ankerberg   Ministries
Kay Arthur Precept Ministries International
Ted Baehr MovieGuide
Mark Bailey Dallas Theological Seminary
Jim Bakker Morningside Church
Gary Bauer American Values
Alistair Begg Truth for Life
Steve Berger Grace Chapel
John and Lisa Bevere Messenger International
Pat Boone Actor and Activist
Brian Broedersen Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa
Kirk Cameron c/o Liberty University
Pastor Tom Carter Dinuba First Baptist Church
Dan Cathy Chick-fil-A
Matt Chandler The Village Church
Gary Chapman
Bryan Chappell Grace Presbyterian Church
Roberta Combs Christian Coalition of America
Ray Comfort Living Waters
Jim Daly Focus on the Family
Mart DeHaan Our Daily Bread
Dr. James Dobson Family Talk
Joni Eareckson-Tada Joni and Friends
Jack Eggar Awana CEO President
Dr. Tony Evans Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship
Pastor Jonathan Falwell Thomas Road Baptist Church
Jerry Falwell Liberty University
Joseph Farah World News Daily
Dr. Ronnie Floyd Southern Baptist President Crosschurch
Jim Garlow Skyline Church (La Mesa, CA)
Norman Geisler Summit Ministries
Louie Giglio Passion City Church
Franklin Graham Samaritan’s Purse
Dr. Jack Graham Prestonwood Baptist Church
Anne Graham-Lotz AnGel Ministries
David Green Hobby Lobby Stores Inc
Pastor John Hagee Cornerstone Church
Ken Ham Answers in Genesis
Hank Hanegraaff Bible Answer Man
Jack Hayford The Church on the Way
Pastor Skip Heitzig The Connection
Hugh Hewitt The Hugh Hewitt Show
Pastor Jack Hibbs Real Life With Jack Hibbs
Pastor Dave Hocking Hope for Today
Dr. Michael Horton Westminster Seminary
Pastor Bill Hybels Willow Creek Community Church
Pastor Robert Jeffress First Baptist Church
Pastor David Jeremiah Shadow Mountain Community Church
Bill Johnson Bethel Church
Pastor Timothy Keller Redeemer Presbyterian Church
Pastor R T Kendall R T Kendall Ministries
The Kendrick Brothers Film makers
Dan Kimball Vintage Faith Church
Ben Kinchlow 700 Club
Dr Tim LaHaye Southern California Seminary
Dr. Richard Land President-Southern Evangelical Seminary
William Lane Craig Biola University
Pastor Greg Laurie Harvest America
Nancy Leigh DeMoss Revive Our Hearts
Mike LeMay Stand up for the Truth
Hal Lindsey Hal Lindsey Ministries
Pastor Max Lucado UpWords
Pastor Fred Luter Franklin Avenue Baptist Church
Dr. Erwin Lutzer Moody Church
Pastor John MacArthur Grace Community Church
Mike Macintosh Horizon Christian Fellowship (Calvary Chapel)
James McDonald Walk in the Word
Josh McDowell Josh McDowell Ministry
Janet Mefferd Janet Mefferd Today
CEO Santiago “Jimmy” Mellado Compassion International
Eric Metaxas The Eric Metaxas Show
Joyce Meyer Joyce Meyer Ministries
Chuck Missler Koinonia House
Albert Mohler Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Beth Moore Living Proof Ministries
Elisa Morgan Women of Faith
Dr Joel Mullinex Rejoice in the Lord
Pastor Joel Osteen Lakewood Church
Luis Palau Luis Palau Association
Sarah Palin
Tony Perkins Family Research Counsel
John Piper Bethlehem Baptist Church
Dennis Pollock Spirit of Grace Ministries
Thom Rainer LifeWay Resources
Dave Ramsey The Lampo Group
Dave Reagan Lamb and Lion Ministries
Ron Rhodes Ron Rhodes Ministries
Pastor Raul Ries Calvary Chapel Golden Springs
Pat Robertson 700 Club Christian Broadcasting Network
James & Betty Robison LIFE Outreach International: LIFE TODAY
Rev. Samuel Rodrigues New Season Christian Worship Church
Joel Rosenberg Trident Media Group
Dennis Rydberg Young Life Service Center
Philip Ryken Wheaton College
Pastor Tim Savage Camelback Bible Church
Mark Schoenwald HarperCollins Christian Publishing
Bobby Schuller Crystal Cathedral Church
Jay Sekulow American Center for Law and Justice
Gary Smalley Smalley Relationship Center
Larry Spargimino Southwest Radio Church Ministries
Dr Charles Stanley First Baptist Church
Brad Stine Christian Comedian
Cameron Strang Relevant Media Group
Steve Strang Charisma Magazine
Jimmy Swaggart Jimmy Swaggart Ministries
Leonard Sweet SpiritVenture Ministries
Chuck Swindoll Insight for Living Ministries
Tim Tebow Tim Tebow Foundation
Jack and Rexella Van Impe Jack Van Impe Ministries International
Pastor Joe Van Koevering Gateway Christian Center
Sheila Walsch musician
Pastor Rick Warren Saddleback Church
David A.R. White Founder Pure Flix Movies
Dr George Wood Assemblies of God president
Dr Rick Yohn Men of the Word
Dr Ed Young The Winning Walk
Pastor Michael Youssef Leading the Way
Ravi Zacharius International Ministries
Charisma magazine
Board of Director Bible Study Fellowship
 Aviel  Schneider  Israel Today
Kimm  Carr Community Bible Study
Michael Farris Home School Legal Defense Association
Marvin Olasky World Magazine
Dr. Jeff Meyers Summit Ministries
Dr. Jerry Nance Teen Challenge global president
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Letter to the Editor: What is LT’s Take on “The Voice” “Bible”?

To Lighthouse Trails:

What is “The Voice” translation of the Bible and what do you think of it?

Our Comments:

Our answer (from a 2007 LT article):

According to an article in Christian Today, “New Bible Project for Young Generation Launched”, Thomas Nelson’s 2006 “Bible” project called The Voice is going full speed ahead. The project, announced by TN last spring, is a “re-telling of the Bible that consists of creative voices from historians to poets, storytellers to songwriters,” and is for young people who are “searching for new ways to explore the Bible, or who are seeking to read it for the first time.” The project will be a combination of books, music CDs, artwork and an interactive website. With the largest Christian publisher backing the project, there is little doubt that The Voice will reach countless young people and have a significant impact in many lives.

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. In last year’s press release by Thomas Nelson, Erwin McManus was also listed.

This month’s new release (the third book in the project) is called The Voice of Matthew, written by emergent/contemplative Lauren Winner (Girl Meets God and Mudhouse Sabbath).

Chris Seay, the founder of The Voice, is pastor of Ecclesia Church in Houston, Texas. A mission statement on the website illustrates the theology of the emerging church:

We believe that the Gospel impacts every area of a person’s life and culture. We reject unfounded categories that divide the world into uniquely sacred or purely secular. God is redeeming all of creation through Jesus.

We believe that the church exists for the world and not for herself – she is to introduce and usher in the Kingdom of God into every part of this world.

Saying that all of creation (e.g., all humanity) is redeemed is in direct opposition of the teachings of Jesus who said “strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:14). And the belief that the church will usher in the Kingdom of God as opposed to Jesus Christ ushering it in with his literal return to the earth is indicative of the contemplative/emerging mindset. (It is also classic dominionism.)

The contemplative affinities of the contributors of The Voice will assure that mysticism will be an integral part of this project. This new version of the Bible has the potential to lead thousands, and possibly millions, of young people away from the words of Jesus Christ who said:

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. (John 10: 1-4)

We contend that The Voice is not the voice of the Good Shepherd, nor is it the Word of God that says:

He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” (I John 5:12-13)

To understand more about the emerging church and the new missiology, read Roger Oakland’s book Faith Undone.

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