01: The New New Testament is a novel attempt by liberal Protestant scholars to integrate extra-canonical texts, such as the Gospel of Mary, into the traditional biblical text.
This expanded version of the Christian Bible is the brain child of United Church of Christ pastor and biblical scholar Hal Taussig, along with the work of a self-appointed council of 19 scholars and spiritual leaders. Taussig’s version of the Bible, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, includes 37 works of scripture, including 10 books or texts not found in the traditional New Testament. Taussig argues against the view the books and letters included in the traditional New Testament were more genuine and divinely inspired than later texts that were excluded.
The New New Testament is written for a general audience and is designed to be used in settings of worship, prayer, and contemplation.
(Source: Spirituality & Health, Jan. 23).
02: Trail Life USA, viewing itself as a Christian alternative to the Boy Scouts of America recently launched with close to 500 troops nationwide.
The organization was started in the wake of the Boy Scouts’ policy change last spring that permitted gay members, although not gay adult leaders. Mark Hancock, the head of Trail Life USA, said many participants are evangelical Christian, with a number of Catholic troops starting as well. Those that have signed up include churches and other organizations with a Christian statement of faith, such as Christian Home Schooling organizations and Christian camps.
Its values statement includes a section on purity that calls for sex to remain within the bounds of heterosexual marriage. Religious groups sponsor about 70 percent of Boy Scouts of America’s 100,000 troops. A Boy Scouts spokesman said that he has only heard from a handful of troops that have not renewed their membership.
(Source: National Catholic Reporter, Jan. 17).