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Archive for October, 2008

The Sermon That Inspired Tim Keller’s Latest Book

Tim Keller’s latest book, The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith, is due to be published in a few weeks by Dutton. In the introduction he explains the inspiration for his book:

On the surface of it, the narrative is not all that gripping. I believe, however, that if the teaching of Jesus is likened to a lake, this famous Parable of the Prodigal Son would be one of the clearest spots where we can see all the way to the bottom. Many excellent studies have been written on this Biblical text over the last several years, but the foundation for my understanding of it was a sermon I heard preached over thirty years ago by Dr. Edmund P. Clowney. Listening to that sermon changed the way I understood Christianity. I almost felt I had discovered the secret heart of Christianity. Over the years I have often returned to teach and counsel from the parable. I have seen more people encouraged, enlightened, and helped by this passage, when I explained the true meaning of it, than by any other text (pp. xii-xiii).

Keller, who dedicates the book to Dr. Clowney (and his other mentors), explains more about that sermon and their relationship in a footnote:

The sermon has been published under the title “Sharing the Father’s Welcome” in [Clowney's] volume Preaching Christ from All of Scripture (Crossway, 2003). For three years I jointly taught a graduate course on preaching with Dr. Clowney. During that time I shared with him how I had built upon his foundation and what I believed were the radical implications of this parable of Jesus. He was highly affirming of the material which is now in this book (p. 137 n. 1).

To browse or buy Dr. Clowney’s book, which includes some of his best Christ-centered sermons, see the Crossway page for Preaching Christ from All of Scripture.  We are offering a 35% discount through the end of November 2008 for our blog readers.

We are also making available as a special preview the sermon that inspired Dr. Keller’s work, “Sharing the Father’s Welcome.”

A recording of the Clowney-Keller team-taught class is available for free at iTunes: “Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World“.

October 7, 2008 | Posted in: Uncategorized | Author: Crossway Staff @ 11:27 am | (7) Comments »

R. L. Allan ESVs

Mark at Bible Design & Binding has been following the recent release of two ESV Bibles by high-end Scottish Bible publisher R. L. Allan: the ESV1, with a black goatskin cover, and the ESV1T, with a tan goatskin cover. Mark shares unboxing photos and some additional detailed photos.

| Posted in: Uncategorized | Author: Crossway Staff @ 10:12 am | Comments Off »

Interview with Mark Bertrand, Author of “Rethinking Worldview”

Everybody has a worldview, a perspective on life, and sometimes we’re forced to re-think. The world can surprise and overwhelm us, and when that happens, it’s important to know how we’re thinking about reality, and if we’re thinking rightly.

Rethinking Worldview–published almost one year ago today–explores some essential questions from a Christian perspective, starting with what “worldviews” really are, how they are formed and how they change. It’s a chronicle of one man’s intellectual journey, written to encourage fellow travelers along the way.

The Center for Parent/Youth Understanding (CPYU) just posted an excellent interview with author Mark Bertrand. CYPU is a nonprofit organization committed to building strong families by serving to bridge the cultural-generational gap between parents and teenagers. At a time when an already confusing youth culture is changing quickly, CPYU helps parents, youth workers, educators, and others understand teenagers and their culture so that they will be better equipped to help children and teens navigate the challenging world of adolescence.

| Posted in: Uncategorized | Author: Crossway Staff @ 6:27 am | 1 Comment »

“God in the Dark”

C.J. Mahaney recently posted thoughts on faith, doubt, and unbelief, highlighting Os Guiness’ book, God in the Dark: The Assurance of Faith Beyond a Shadow of Doubt (originally published as In Two Minds: The Delimma of Doubt and How to Resolve It).

C.J. concludes:

I think pastors would be wise to assume that members of their churches are familiar with doubt in their thinking and personal experience. And I’m especially aware of this in the lives of high school and college students, and surprisingly even in new converts. Often these individuals wrongly associate doubt with unbelief, and therefore experience shame, embarrassment, and guilt over the very presence of doubts in their hearts.

In my perspective, it would be wise for pastors at some point to address this topic and provide excellent supplemental materials to address the topic of doubt.

You can read the full post here.

October 6, 2008 | Posted in: Uncategorized | Author: Crossway Staff @ 9:45 am | 0 Comments »

Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World

The tendency is to consider worldliness purely in terms of behavior. Is the TV show too violent, the dress too short, the car too flashy, or the language inappropriate? But the new book, Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World (September 2008),  contends that overtly worldly actions are merely symptomatic. Real worldliness lies within out hearts and then flows out through our actions.

The only antidote to this heart-level problem—the only reality big enough to crowd out the things of this world—is the cross of Christ.

For this reason, the contributors to Worldliness strive to turn readers’ hearts upward and not just inward as they examine issues like media, music, possessions, and clothing. Worldliness offers practical help for daily living, challenging believers to proactively and carefully make decisions about areas that many may not think twice about.

Worldliness is not a rule book, and the authors write humbly as fellow-strugglers growing in discernment. They ruthlessly resist any legalism, since averting worldly behavior is not the ultimate end of the book. Editor C. J. Mahaney explains, “While resisting worldliness is this book’s theme, exalting Christ is its aim.”

You can read a recent, more comprehensive review of Worldliness at DiscerningReader.com.

- About the Editor -

C. J. MAHANEY is the president of Sovereign Grace Ministries and serves on the Council of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, and on the boards of The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation. Mahaney is the author, editor, and co-editor of numerous books, including Sex, Romance, and the Glory of God.

| Posted in: Uncategorized | Author: Crossway Staff @ 8:03 am | 0 Comments »