Published by Tyndale and Zondervan, The Life Application Bible (LAB) was originally published only in the Living Bible "translation," but is now available in the KJV, NIV, and NASB. Therefore, this is not a controversy over one's translation preference. It is instead a matter of a false psychological gospel of self that is taught throughout the LAB's study notes. If there were ever a study Bible that Christians should avoid like the plague, this would be it!
- The publisher/editor of The Life Application Bible makes the following "claims":
(a) "Its notes explain difficult passages and give background information about Bible life and times, but they go a step further -- they also show how God's Word speaks to every situation and circumstance of your life." (Emphasis added.)
(b) "The most extensive resource Bible ever published."
(c) "The notes illuminate the meaning of the Bible and then apply Scriptures to life."
(d) "Nearly 100 contributors and several renowned scholars from a variety of denominations assisted in the preparation and review of the study helps, ensuring accuracy and integrity of the Bible text."
- The contributors to/theological reviewers of The Life Application Bible could make up a Who's Who in neo-evangelicalism and liberalism/modernism:
(a) Trinity Evangelical Divinity School faculty members: Kenneth S. Kantzer, Barry Beitzel, and Grant Osborne.
(b) Christianity Today: V. Gilbert Beers.
(c) Fuller Theological Seminary: Geoffrey W. Bromiley
(d) Wheaton College & Graduate School: Walter A. Elwell
(e) Dallas Seminary: Howard Hendricks
- The editor of The Life Application Bible also states: "A special thanks to the nationwide staff of Youth for Christ USA for their suggestions and field-testing." (Emphasis added.) (Youth for Christ is a neo-evangelical organization that places special emphasis on the "need" for one to love himself -- and this group is qualified to "field-test" the Word of God?)
- Robert Schuller has given us the Possibility Thinkers Bible, Robert S. McGee and the "codependency" crowd have given us the Serenity Bible, and now Tyndale and Zondervan have given us the "Self-Love" Bible. In the Index under "Self-Esteem," we find the following Bible verse references that supposedly teach self-esteem:
Rom. 13:9 -- "Comes from focusing on others rather than yourself"
Rom. 12:3 -- "How to honestly evaluate yourself"
Gen. 1:1ff -- "God's love the basis for"
Gen. 1:26,31 -- "Found in knowing we are in God's image"
Gen. 2:7 -- "Comes from the breadth of God"
Psa. 8:3-5 -- "You have great value to God"
Matt. 10:29-31 -- "You have great value to God"
- The following study notes* are found when one looks up the above listed verses (yet there is no reference nor study note for one of the most obvious anti-self-love verses in the entire Bible -- 2 Tim. 3:2):
Rom. 13:9 -- "Somehow many of us have gotten the idea that self-love is wrong. But if this were the case, it would be pointless to love our neighbors as ourselves."
Rom. 12:3 -- "Healthy self-esteem is important because some of us think too little of ourselves ... the key to an honest and accurate evaluation is knowing the basis of our self-worth -- our identity in Christ ... in Him we are valuable and capable of worthy service."
Gen. 1:26 -- "Knowing that we are made in God's image, and thus share many of His characteristics, provides a solid basis for self-worth ... Because we bear God's image, we can feel positive about ourselves ... Knowing you are a person of worth helps you love God ..."
Gen 1:31 -- "If at times you feel worthless or of little value, remember that God made you for a good reason. You are valuable to Him."
Gen. 2:7 -- "... our life and worth come from God's Spirit."
Psa. 8:3-5 -- "The next time you question your worth as a person, remember that God considers you highly valuable. We have great worth because we bear the stamp of the Creator. Because God has already declared how valuable we are to Him, we can be set free from feelings of worthlessness."
Matt. 10:29-31 -- "You are so valuable that God sent His only Son to die for you."
- The following are endorsements of the Life Application Bible by four of neo-evangelicalism's staunchest religious humanists and supporters of the "selfism gospel":
(a) Billy Graham -- "The Life Application Bible is a great step forward in helping Christians apply the Bible's life-changing message in their lives."
(b) Howard Hendricks -- "I am bullish on the Life Application Bible because it is a serious attempt to relate truth to life, to transform belief into practice."
(c) Charles Stanley -- "The Life Application Bible is a concrete step toward allowing the Spirit to transform the reader into a modern-day living epistle."
(d) D. James Kennedy -- "Much Bible reading is like squirting gasoline at the opening of the fuel tank from ten feet away. Much of it ends up on the ground. The Life Application Bible will succeed in getting more gasoline in the tank."
*These examples epitomize the LAB's adherence to Josh McDowell's "shopping mall" theology:
"You are special also because you are of great value and worth to God. ... The value or worth of an object is usually determined by the price one is willing to pay to purchase or redeem it. It couldn't be more true for you and me ... I am worth the price God paid for me, which was 'Jesus' ... the real basis for a healthy self-image is to understand and accept the value God has placed on you. ... Christ's loving actions on your behalf have demonstrated and documented forever the great value you have to God" (The Secret of Loving, pp. 24-25). (First emphasis in original.)
This "shopping mall" theology -- that the value of an object is equal to the price paid for it -- has become quite a popular concept among the psychologizers in today's professing church. This "theology" goes something like this: "The death of Christ on the cross is God's price tag on the human soul; it means we really are somebodies, that we are of great value to God. After all, why would God pay such a great price if we're not worth it?" On the contrary, the Bible teaches that Christ didn't die for somebodies but for sinners . The price He paid on the cross does not establish my personal worth, but instead was required to meet the claims of divine justice. In fact, the greater the price the costlier my sin, not the greater my worth! That the sinless Son of God had to die upon the cross to redeem me is not anything that should make me feel good about myself, but instead humbled and ashamed, for it was my sins that nailed Him there. How could that fact possibly build up my self-esteem? (Adapted from Beyond Seduction.) [Back to Text]