So, one of the things I like to do on a weekly basis is to check out sites like christianbook.com to see if any new Bibles are forthcoming. This past week I discovered that Christian author Richard Foster, via HarperCollins, will be publishing a new NRSV Bible edition called The Life with God Bible in July 2009. Although I have not read any of Foster's books, I am somewhat familiar the Renovare Spiritual Formation Bible that came out a few years back. I never purchased it, simply because I thought it was just too big to be useful. However, I appreciated the fact that they produced an edition with the Deuterocanonicals.
So, what is up with this new The Life with God Bible? I haven't been able to find all that much info on it yet, but it appears that it will come in editions with and without the Deuterocanonical books. My first thought is whether this is simply a re-visioning of the Renovare Bible, but in a smaller, more compact edition. Below is a short description:
The Life with God Bible combines the depth of a study Bible with the warmth of a devotional Bible, offering a new way to discover the full riches of the Scriptures. According to Richard Foster, bestselling author and the project’s editor, the Bible is all about human life “with God.” As we read Scripture, we should consider how God is with us in each story and allow ourselves to be spiritually transformed.
Many people are looking for a new way to read the Bible, not as a text to be mastered. but as a story to enter into and a lifestyle to pursue. This unique Bible, previously published as The Renovare Spiritual Formation Bible, spearheaded by bestselling authors Foster (Celebration of Discipline) and Dallas Willard (The Divine Conspiracy), introduces the concept of life with God - or the “with-God life” - a model for seeing the whole of Scripture as the unfolding story of God’s plan for our loving relationship with the Creator. This central theme weaves throughout the essays, introductions, notes, and exercises, powerfully revealing how God is present to his people today and throughout history.
Yet our relationship with God should not be passive. Concrete practices - Spiritual Disciplines - have been used throughout church history to guide disciples of Jesus. This Bible integrates the Spiritual Disciplines into the Christian life by showing how they are central to the Bible’s teachings and stories. Abraham and Ruth, Moses and Deborah, Jesus and the disciples all provide amazing examples of the life-changing power of prayer, worship, fasting, celebration, and many other Spiritual Disciplines. Scripture thus becomes a primary means for the discovery, instruction, and practice of these disciplines as well as a tool for spiritual formation.
Combining the highest possible biblical scholarship with the deepest possible heart devotion, this new Bible project seeks to nourish inner transformation by unlocking and revealing the profound resources within Scripture for changing our hearts and characters and bringing them in line with what God wants for our lives. The Life with God Bible will redefine what the Bible means for Christian discipleship.
This unique study Bible will include several distinctive features:
An introductory essay explaining the paradigm of “The With-God Life”
A series of fifteen “With God” essays sprinkled throughout the Bible laying out the progression of the biblical story
Introduction and notes for each book of the Bible
50+ character sketches giving a sense of the ways key Biblical figures lived with-God
Profiles of key biblical characters
A “Spiritual Disciplines Index” and glossary
Includes a concordance
Italian leather-like material with a sewn-binding, gilded edges and a ribbon marker
Compact size - portable for travel and Bible study groups.
At this point, I am more interested in seeing how the Bible looks, since it appears that it will closely resemble the Renovare edition. It would be nice to have a compact sized NRSV with all the extras that this edition appears to provide. We shall see.....