One point of clarification - the WRF has taken no official position regarding the issues raised by Steve Taylor and Phil. The matter of appropriate translation practices has never been formally addressed by the WRF. It may be addressed at some future point but, as of this date (April 5, 2012), the issue has not been officially addressed by any decision-making authority within the WRF. In fact, the only body within the WRF that can, according to our By-Laws, make formal doctrinal statements is the General Assembly of the WRF. The last such General Assembly met in 2010 and the next General Assembly is scheduled for 2014.
The reader may view the reference to the Mission Frontiers article at the end of Steve Taylor’s article as an endorsement of this article by the WRF. This is not the case, I am told. According to the editor of the website these are simply the words that Steve Taylor provided as a part of his submission. The interested reader will note that the comments posted to this Mission Frontiers article on their website indicate how controversial the article is. A more serious reader will wonder, and would begin to research where this ideology comes from and why the Muslim background church is so angry about it.
‘Does the WRF endorse removing “Son of God” from the text of Scripture?’ As a member organization of the WRF that keenly feels the impact of such translations of the Scriptures on our church planting work this is an important question for us.
The work of WRF member Bill Nikides is equally important and can be found in hot-off-the-press Chrislam – How Missionaries are Promoting an Islamized Gospel, available from i2ministries.org His work includes many articles in St. Francis Magazine such as “The Year of the Lab Rat” http://www.stfrancismagazine.info/ja/content/view/575/38/
Lest the reader imagine that Steve Taylor’s view of what is happening in Wycliffe is uncontested from within the organization, Matthew Carlton’s treatment of the issue is a vital read: “Jesus the Son of God: Biblical Meaning, Muslim Understanding, and Implications for Translation and Bible Literacy” http://www.stfrancismagazine.info/ja/content/view/569/38/