This is part two of an interview with Richard Foster and Dallas Willard. In part one, they talk about the difference between discipleship and spiritual formation.
Along with the other editors, you've decided to include the Apocrypha in The Renovaré Spiritual Formation Bible. Why?
Richard Foster: We discussed it a lot. Most of the church throughout most of her history has had those writings, and we felt we should follow that. The early church had the Septuagint, which had essentially the Apocrypha in it. The great Christian traditionsOrthodox, Catholic, Anglican, and many other groupshave used the Apocrypha. To describe it, we use the word deuterocanonical, which means "second canon."
None of these groups have ever accorded the Apocrypha or the deuterocanonicals the same authority as Scripture; neither do we. But they have viewed it as really good literature that fills an important historical gap from Malachi to Matthew. To understand how Jesus was speaking into his day, you have to understand the deuterocanonical literature. Even the Reformers like Luther said it was good to read.
How is The Renovaré Spiritual Formation Bible different from, say, a life application Bible?
Dallas Willard: Fundamentally, a different vision of the Christian life underlies them. Let me just speak positively in terms of The Renovaré Spiritual Formation Bible. Its vision of the Christian life looks at it developing historically and encourages people to engage in not just preaching the truths and doing the commands, but trying to identify with the actual life they see. So one of the main things that's different in this Bible is the attention to spiritual disciplines of all kinds that show up in the Bible. There's an appendix ...