Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Another take on the TNIV

Dr. John Mark Reynolds has some good observations about the TNIV, as well as about Zondervan's promotion of it. Wouldn't it be better in the long run to teach the younger generation how to read, instead of coddling them with some translation that's going to show its age within a year or two?

I see the TNIV, and Zondervan's promotion of it, as indicative of the "emergent church" philosophy. Among those that buy into this philosophy, it is axiomatic (and therefore unquestionable!) that, since the culture has moved on to postmodernism, the church needs to follow suit. Never mind Paul's admonition to "not be conformed to this world" (Romans 12:2). Never mind that Jesus said we are not of this world (John 15:19). "I want my MTV - er, TNIV! That other stuff is just too hard to understand, and I sure don't want to spend any time thinking about it. It just doesn't speak to my generation, so it's up to you to make it relevant to me. Otherwise, I'm just not gonna play ball with you." Wah, wah, wah. Somehow, I suspect that any reluctance to read the Bible has far more to do with the Bible's message and the reader's heart than it does with linguistic style or generational insensitivity.

Keeping up with the Jones's is an enslaving philosophy, for it dooms one to a perpetual race. Technology (and worldly philosophy) always promises that something newer, bigger, and better is coming down the pike. What's "in" today will be an embarrassment tomorrow - think leisure suits and Boy George. "Today's NIV" will become "Yesterday's NIV" a lot quicker than Zondervan would care to admit. (But that's okay - newer Bible translations help keep the cash flow positive.)

The church is in danger of losing sight of its mission, its raison d'ĂȘtre, when it focuses on being relevant and hip, rather than focusing on the timelessness of God's truth.

The church that marries the spirit of the age will become a widow in the next.

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