Is the new Inspire Bible the latest innovation for ‘experience’ and ‘feelings’ based Christianity?
Without getting into the whole ‘adults and coloring books’ debate in this post (I do have my own opinion), I have to admit to feeling compelled to visit the Inspire Web site to find out their ‘sales pitch’. All new editions of Bibles have sales pitches. Here is what I found:
Inspire is called ‘The Bible for Coloring and Creative Journaling’ at the top of the homepage. There is also a description of the ‘coloring and creative journaling’ features available to the reader.
The pitch that I found most interesting was this:
“Inspire offers a new way to engage with, meditate on, and respond to Scripture—leading beginning colorers and experienced illustrators to the Prince of Peace.”
First of all it offers something ‘new’. We always like ‘new’. I’m just glad it didn’t also say ‘improved’. That would have been trying to say that Inspire was somehow ‘better’ that the other thousand or so niche Bibles that are already on the market.
Then we are told that it’s a ‘new way to engage with, meditate on, and respond to Scripture’. What does that mean? What’s different about this particular Bible? I suppose that’s the ‘coloring and creative journaling’ opportunities it affords, as opposed to ordinary coloring books and ‘uncreative’ journaling. That’s just a guess. Whatever it means, it’s significant to note that ‘beginning colorers and experienced illustrators’ can benefit from this new Bible.
And what is the ‘benefit’ you ask? Well, that’s also provided by the Web site. Inspire is a new way to “engage with, meditate on, and respond to Scripture” and in doing find the Prince of Peace.”
Here’s where this old guy is really confused, and here’s my twisted logic.
1. The ‘new’ manner to “engage with, meditate on, and respond to Scripture” is by coloring in the Inspire Bible.
2. The act of coloring, especially intricate drawings, requires careful attention and focus. There’s color selection, type of ‘strokes’ with the coloring implement(s), shading, staying between the lines, evaluating one’s work as it proceeds, etc., etc., etc..
3. The activities described in 2 above tend to redirect one’s attention and focus from the text of scripture itself to the ‘coloring’ activity, and even more so when one is evaluating one’s ‘creativity level’ while so engaged.
4. Therefore the ‘engaging with, meditating on, and responding to’ scripture means something other than merely studying the text of scripture itself; examining the several levels of inherent Biblical context, comparing translations, consulting dictionaries, concordances, commentaries, and the like, while allowing the indwelling Holy Spirit to guide us along. You can’t do all of the above and color at the same time.
5. If the ‘engagement while coloring’ reduces engagement with scripture itself, exactly what ‘spiritual’ engagement is taking place? If it’s not IN scripture it must be OUTSIDE of scripture.
6. If it’s spiritual engagement outside of scripture, what/who are we talking about? We’re talking about quieting yourself down in order to ‘hear’ the voice of Jesus/God speak in your mind and write down what you envision in your mind or hear. In other words, ‘feeling’ and ‘experiencing’ God.
Original question answered. I’m sure “beginning colorers and experienced illustrators” will be led to a ‘Prince’, but which one, the Prince of Peace and Light, or the Prince of Darkness wearing a clever disguise?