Renovare Spiritual Formation Bible with the Deuterocanonical Booksby Renovare, Richard J. Foster, Rebecca Gaudino, Dallas Willard
Many people are looking for a fresh way to read the Bible, not as a text to be mastered, but as a story to enter into and a lifestyle to pursue. In this unique Bible, the foremost names in Christian spirituality and biblical scholarship come together to provide a Bible that rediscovers Scripture as living text, rich with insights into how to live our lives more… See more details below
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Many people are looking for a fresh way to read the Bible, not as a text to be mastered, but as a story to enter into and a lifestyle to pursue. In this unique Bible, the foremost names in Christian spirituality and biblical scholarship come together to provide a Bible that rediscovers Scripture as living text, rich with insights into how to live our lives more intimately with God.
Spearheaded by bestselling authors Richard J. Foster (Celebration of Discipline) and Dallas Willard (The Divine Conspiracy), The Renovaré Spiritual Formation Bible introduces the concept of 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 Renovaré Spiritual Formation Bible will redefine what the Bible means for Christian discipleship.
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The Renovare Spiritual Formation Bible with the Deuterocanonical Books
By Lily Renovare
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.Copyright © 2006 Lily Renovare
All right reserved.
The People of God in Individual Communion
Scriptures: Genesis 1-11
The aim of God in history is the creation of an all-inclusive community of loving persons with God himself at the very center of this community as its prime Sustainer and most glorious Inhabitant (Eph 2:19-22; 3:10). The Bible traces the formation of this community from the creation in the Garden of Eden all the way to the new heaven and the new earth. Come, join us as we explore the many dimensions of this with-God history--from individual to family to tribe to people to nation to all humanity--and apply what we learn to our own spiritual formation.
The story of the Bible is best read by keeping in mind what is to come. We see in Genesis how God begins the process of forming an all-inclusive community with and through individuals.
"Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion" (Gen 1:26). God not only creates; he infuses creativity into the dynamic universe he creates. Human beings reflect that same creativity even as they still need to develop ever more into the image of the Creator. The divine intent was that human beings should take responsibility for the earth ("have dominion") in unionwith God, and that together they would progressively bring about the condition on earth that God had envisioned.
In the early chapters of Genesis, how God interacts with humanity--the with-God life--is expressed in three characteristic ways: it is conversational, direct, and intermittent.
Conversational. Perhaps the most striking feature of this stage is the conversational tone of all that occurs: God speaks to human beings and they speak back to God. The content of this two-way communication is specific, practical, and propositional (Gen 2:15-16). Human beings respond to God as to Someone with whom they are working. They are constantly interacting with God: obeying, disobeying, questioning, objecting, and rationalizing. The "garden" is not merely a human enterprise they are running alone; rather, it is a cooperative enterprise human beings engage in with God.
Even at this early stage God gives the members of the human family substantial room to work out for themselves what they are to do and to be. In fact, God limits them only in the negative: they are not to eat of a certain tree. Everything else is for their choosing. Clearly human freedom is of fundamental importance in God's plan, though Adam and Eve are not set free from the consequences of their choices. They are responsible for their choices.
However, it soon becomes clear that responsibility requires character, and that such character will come only through a process of formation. Formation, or more specific to our topic, spiritual formation, occurs in the dynamic exercise of human choice in response to divine purposes. We are formed by our reactions and choices to what God puts before us, which leaves open the possibility of hazardous results, as we will see throughout the Bible and human history. God alerts human beings to the dangers and tells them what they must do. "Sin is lurking at the door," Cain is told, "but you must master it" (Gen 4:7; cf. 3:3).
Direct. Being conversational, the interaction between God and human beings is direct and not through intermediaries. In fact, in the early parts of the Genesis narrative there are suggestions that God is somehow physically present to the very senses of Adam and Eve: "They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden" (Gen 3:8). Scripture seems to imply they even see God's face (1:28-29; 2:15, 22), something that would later be forbidden to humanity on pain of death (Exod 33:20-23; Deut 5:24; Judg 13:22).
As the members of the human race choose to act independently and contrary to God's purposes, there is a gradual distancing of God from them; but God's Spirit--that is, his nonphysical presence--continues to strive with them (Gen 6:3, kjv). Now the people begin to call upon the name of the Lord in a way that implies One who is absent (4:26). Yet some, like Enoch and Noah, still "walked with" God, and God with them. Thus, although the direct interaction of individuals with God is becoming less frequent in general, it does continue with individuals of singularly developed character, whose example becomes a beacon for the whole human family.
Intermittent. It is important to note that God is not constantly present with Adam and Eve or their immediate descendants. He did not "stand over them," but instead made room for them to obey or disobey. And God even allowed them to hide from him in their shame, though he still spoke to them as they hid (Gen 3:8-13). This space allowed by God's "absence" is necessary. In order to move beyond unknowing innocence, we must develop a character and an identity that freely seek harmony with God. Of course, God's "absence" allows for the opposite to happen. Whenever we turn away from God, we take on an identity that focuses exclusively on ourselves, and we then try to master our life and our world on our own. This is exactly what happens in the Garden of Eden, and the dreadful decline catalogued in Paul's Letter to the Romans begins: "For though they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their senseless minds were darkened" (1:21). The natural outcome is an earth "filled with violence," where "every inclination of the thoughts of their hearts [is] only evil continually" (Gen 6:11, 5).
In response to such an outcome, God judges. In the first general judgment of humanity after the fall of Adam and Eve, one person, Noah, is found . . .
Excerpted from The Renovare Spiritual Formation Bible with the Deuterocanonical Books by Lily Renovare Copyright © 2006 by Lily Renovare. Excerpted by permission.
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Meet the Author
Renovaré (from the Latin meaning "to renew") is an intrachurch movement committed to the renewal of the church of Jesus Christ in all its multifaceted manifestations. Founded by bestselling author and well-known speaker Richard J. Foster, Renovaré is Christian in commitment, international in scope, and ecumenical in breadth.
Richard J. Foster is the author of several bestselling books, including Celebration of Discipline, Streams of Living Water, Life with God, and Prayer, which was Christianity Today's Book of the Year and the winner of the Gold Medallion Award from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association. He is the founder of Renovaré, an organization and a movement committed to the renewal of the church of Jesus Christ in all its multifaceted expressions, and the editor of The Life with God Bible.
Dallas Willard was a professor at the University of Southern California's School of Philosophy until his death in 2013. His groundbreaking books The Divine Conspiracy, The Great Omission, Knowing Christ Today, Hearing God, and The Spirit of the Disciplines forever changed the way thousands of Christians experience their faith.
Eugene H. Peterson, author of The Message, a bestselling translation of the Bible, is professor emeritus of spiritual theology at Regent College, British Columbia, and the author of over thirty books. He and his wife, Jan, live in Montana.
Dr. Bruce Demarest is professor of theology and spiritual formation at Denver Seminary.
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This is an excellent companion for spiritual formation built around reflection on scripture. The editors represent broad interests and outlooks. The entire work comes from a team focused on Christian spiritual formation. The prevailing point-of-view incorporates a variety of outlooks in a way that fascinates me. The physical book is a tad heavy and bulky. The pleasure of reading pages thick enough to accommodate a reader who takes notes balances that bulkiness and heft. The use of the New Revised Standard Version translation is, in my opinion, helpful.