There has been huge controversy over inclusive language translations of the Bible, particularly in the States. Just Google the term and you can get embroiled in the arguments and conspiracy theories. The central issue for me is the language that is used by our culture. As I said here, the word 'man' used to mean 'people' as well as 'a male human being', but it doesn’t any longer.
Verses like this from Psalm 1 can leave women thinking ‘but what about me? ‘Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.’ Just read the psalm replacing the male terms with female ones and you’ll see what I mean. And it’s particularly important when you’re dealing with young people outside of the church who won’t have the background or knowledge of the jargon to include women as well.
A new version of the Bible can take some adjusting to when you know certain passages in the version you’re used to and not everyone will want to make the change, but if you want to explore an inclusive language version, compare Romans 12:6-8 in the NIV with the TNIV, CEV, and NCV to see the difference. The NRSV is also inclusive language but isn't available online.
UPDATE: The Committee on Bible Translation (CBT) announced at the beginning of September 09 that the NIV will be revised over the next couple of years with a new version being published in 2011. The TNIV will be phased out and no longer available. The NIV translators say they are 'committed to a complete review of every gender-related change that it has made since the publication of the1984 edition. They have broken up the entire Bible into 6 major chunks, each of which will be fully reconsidered by the committee taking all the major published comments on their approach into consideration. It is not possible at this stage, therefore, to give a definitive answer to the question about the use of gender inclusive language in the new NIV.' More info on the NIV Bible 2011 website.