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    Entries in Stephen Proctor (2)

    Thursday
    May032012

    Stephen Proctor: "Why is the visual aspect of our worship experiences important?"

    My friend Stephen Proctor is one of the leading lights of the "visual worship" movement, an important theological discussion on the nature and place of technological innovation as it is applied to the gathering of the church for the purpose of corporate worship.  I refer to this first as a theological discussion, rather than as a gathering of practitioners, for it appears to me that Stephen and other worship leaders like himself are more concerned with the underlying ideas than they are with "the show"--they truly want their work to be an expression of worship that is faithful to the God revealed in Jesus Christ.  For this, Stephen and his friends are to be commended, as evangelicalism has long been guilty of being pragmatic before being reflective.  While "visual worship" does not reverse this course of action, it does take them as parallel.  Thinking is required while doing, and doing further stimulates theological thinking, discourse, and conversation.

    Stephen recently addressed attendees at the RECONNECT Conference.  Check out what he has to say in the video below.  Follow his blog, if you don't already.

    Thoughts on Visual Worship (Reconnect Conference) from worshipVJ on Vimeo.

    Sunday
    Apr012012

    Quick Review :: The Voice New Testament

    I have a deep love for the Bible.  From time to time, I am asked for my thoughts and opinions on various translations.  I often respond by asking what the reader is looking for.  Accessible language?  Scholarly precision?  Word-for-word translation?  Age specific?  Helpful notes and study helps?  Binding, aesthetics, layout, and feel?  Reputation?  Inclusive language?  Paraphrase?  The list goes on, and on, and on.

    There is no shortage of Bibles available for purchase, and in our family, we have a host of Bibles adorning our shelves.  The Voice New Testament: Revised & Updated, a fresh translation that has been produced by the Ecclesia Bible Society, came my way via Thomas Nelson publishers.  Claiming to be a blend of scholarly excellence and prosaic/poetic gloss, The Voice brings new life to old stories, invigorating the imagination through the combined use of the academic and the commonplace.

    I have been reading through this translation of the New Testament this year in addition to my regular readings in the NIV and NRSV.  I particularly enjoy the italicized poetic additions to the translations.  Due to the typesetting, these are easily distinguished as paraphrase or interpretive departures from the koine Greek.  I do find a few of the interpretative choices a little clunky (consistently replacing Messiah with "Anointed One", and references to Christ as "the liberating King").  But I acknowledge that this discomfort is due largely in part to my familiarity with other translations, and I am sympathetic to these choices, as the translation team surely deployed these phrases consistently to instill in the reader the importance of specific theological themes they feel have been neglected.

    In addition to the translation itself, the brief book introductions and the study notes are helpful, and are written in clear, accessible language.  

    I would recommend The Voice as an alternative translation for study and devotional reading.  Take a step back, read through it as though encountering the text for the first time, and fall in love with the story of the New Testament once again.

    Addendum

    I had a conversation with Stephen Proctor regarding The Voice last week.  Here is our exchange: