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Archive for November, 2008

Chris Brauns on “Knowing the Truth” Radio

Chris Brauns

Chris Brauns

Author Chris Brauns recently joined Kevin Boling of Knowing the Truth in an on-air discussion of his new book, Unpacking Forgiveness. The book examines God’s Word to form a sound theology of forgiveness, helping readers move beyond the wounds and baggage of bitterness, disagreements, and broken relationships. Engaging and accessible, Unpacking Forgiveness is a helpful resource for pastors, Christian counselors, and anyone who struggles to extend forgiveness.

Click here to listen to the interview.

Chris Brauns is senior pastor at the Congregational Christian Church of Stillman Valley, Illinois. He earned his MBA from Northern Iowa University, MDiv from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, and DMin from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He has studied and spoken extensively on the topic of forgiveness.

Knowing The Truth with Pastor Kevin Boling is a live, call-in radio program and an outreach ministry of Mountain Bridge Bible Fellowship in the Greenville, South Carolina area.

November 12, 2008 | Posted in: Author,Forgiveness,Interviews | Author: Crossway Staff @ 7:56 am | 0 Comments »

Challenges Churches Face

In recent years, Crossway author Mark Dever has become a go-to guy for questions about church health. He is senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington DC and has written on the subject in Nine Marks of a Healthy Church and The Deliberate Church. 9Marks, a ministry organization which exists to help local churches establish biblical priorities, is further evidence of Mark’s heart to serve pastors and church leaders in this area.

In his latest book, Twelve Challenges Churches Face, Mark tackles twelve major challenges presented by Paul to the Corinthian church- challenges the church still faces today. In a recent interview with Chad Bresson, host of Front Page on CDR Radio Network, Mark zeroes in on the 2nd of the 12 challenges: division.

Mark points out how counter-intuitive Paul’s handling of division in the church really is. When he address the subject, the apostle begins by speaking about the unity of God. Mark comments:

Paul sees that in these very practical issues of church life, theology is at stake-our knowledge of God, our knowledge of what it means to be a Christian. So he connects the unity of God with the witness we as Christians are supposed to have in our churches. Our unity is significant because it reflects the unity of God.

Visit the CDR website to listen to the rest of the interview. Go to the bottom right hand section of the page where Front Page is archived and select “Listen.”

November 10, 2008 | Posted in: Author,Church and Ministry,Theology | Author: Crossway Staff @ 7:57 am | 1 Comment »

Interview with Author Colin Creel on Calling and Career

Graduating college. Landing that first job. Considering a job change—or even a career change. When we find ourselves at such crossroads, it’s important to stop and reflect before taking the next step.

In Crossroads, author and teacher Colin Creel gives help for navigating the murky waters of career and calling by looking at the biblical view of calling and offers practical guidelines on seizing career opportunities.

Crossway recently interviewed Colin about callings, career, and his most recent book:

What inspired you to write Crossroads? How does it relate to your first book, Perspectives?

Colin Creel: One of the sections in my first book, Perspectives, focused on career and many readers asked if I would elaborate on that section. In addition, like most young people in their thirties, I was re-thinking aspects of my career.

The words “calling” and “career” are sometimes used interchangeably. Can you help the audience to distinguish between the two?

Colin Creel: Each person has two callings. Our primary calling is as a child of God and our secondary callings (teacher, mom, coach, business person) only have meaning because we belong to God. There is no division between the secular and the sacred.

In the first part of the book, you boldly state that “work is a gift.” Many people might balk at this statement. Care to explain what you mean?

Colin Creel: Work is not a curse; rather it’s a gift from God in order for us, his children, to join Him in serving as stewards of His land. The fall tainted this wonderful gift. God placed Adam in the Garden to work it and take care of it (Gen 2:15). His first “work” was to name all of God’s creatures. Nowhere in Scripture does God curse work; rather He cursed the ground (Gen 17). It’s a small distinction, but a very important one. Work gives us meaning and helps us to restore the world the way God envisioned it.

Throughout Crossroads, you explicitly and implicitly assert that there are no accidental occupations. Share how you arrive at this conclusion.

Colin Creel: I have many friends who devalue their work because they believe the lie that if they are not in “full-time” ministry then they are not truly serving God. This is simply not true. God created each of us with a reason and a purpose. There are many roles to play, and each one must play his role in order for the body to function effectively.  Full-time ministry is much like marriage…if you can envision yourself doing anything else or marrying anyone else then you should probably not go down that road.

You emphasize the importance of mentoring. Some readers are not currently exploring their calling and career; they have found both! Can you explain to them a little bit about the importance of mentoring? How does one start?

Colin Creel: It’s hard to travel wherever you haven’t been. A mentor serves as a guide and a sounding board. Mentors have a vision for you. In my life there have been many people who believed in me. It’s amazing what we can do when someone says, “I know you can do it.” In order to choose a mentor, I would look for the following:
•    A natural rapport with the person
•    Someone who models well those characteristics you admire
•    A person who is willing to help
•    Someone who will provide opportunities and have benchmarks of success for you

You include bits of what you call “seasoned advice” throughout the book. Explain what these sections are. Is there a particular bit of advice that was most interesting or helpful to you, personally?

Seasoned advice is wisdom from discerning men and women who can look back on their lives honestly and share morsels of truth. The wisdom comes from a wide array of people, like Shaunti Feldhan, Josh McDowell, Max Lucado, and singer Tammy Trent. Each person’s story is unique and will hit people differently, but my wife’s favorite comes from Laurie Smith, the energetic red head from Trading Spaces. I appreciate the wonderful story of a friend of mine who decided to change his career in his 30s. He was a lawyer who decided to go back to medical school. In order to apply he needed to take some additional classes. One night he was sitting at his kitchen table trying to study for a test as well as take care of his two kids. His wife was at a church retreat and he hit the wall. He was exhausted and basically cried out to God, “God, if this is what you want me to do, I need a clear sign from you.” Biblically, he knew he shouldn’t ask for signs from God, but he was at his wits’ end. Moments later the phone rang. A voice said, “Bill, we’ve been praying about it and we believe you are going to make a fantastic doctor. We would like to give you $125,000 to pay for your medical school.”

We all know about the economic obstacles that face job seekers. What types of spiritual temptations may they also encounter?

Colin Creel: The obvious temptations are the desire for money, power, and influence, but the subtle ones are stewardship and maintaining your character and your integrity. Many people live in the gray, so it’s difficult at times to discern right from wrong. The Bible is our standard, not our peers.

What is one piece of advice you could offer this generation?

Colin Creel: Think soberly about how you define success. How we define success serves as a critical question in our journey. It drives many into careers they loathe while others meet life where it meets them…that place where their giftedness matches their vocation.

Colin Creel serves as dean of junior boys at Wesleyan School in Norcross, Georgia, where he also teaches Bible and coaches swimming. Previously he worked as assistant director of admissions at Wake Forest University, where he earned his Master’s degree in communications and worked extensively with various college ministries. Crossroads is a sequel to his book Perspectives: A Spiritual Life Guide for Twentysomethings.

November 7, 2008 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Author,Book News,Interviews,News & Announcements,Q&A,Vocation | Author: Crossway Staff @ 7:27 am | 0 Comments »

John MacArthur’s Sermon Archive is Now Free

Justin Taylor writes:

There’s some great news coming from Grace to You, the ministry of John MacArthur.

Starting Wednesday, November 5 (the day after the election), Grace to You will announce a new policy, effective immediately, that all of their mp3 downloads of John MacArthur’s sermons will be completely free.

That’s 3500 sermons for free–with no strings (like required registration) attached.

Hats off to Grace to You for this generous move!

Be sure to visit their sermon archive to see this deep repository of expository preaching.

We’ve got more good news for the fiscally conscious: several of MacArthur’s best-loved Crossway titles are being released in trade paperback next year. Stay tuned for details.

November 5, 2008 | Posted in: Giveaways,Preaching and Teaching | Author: Crossway Staff @ 9:06 am | (5) Comments »

ESV Literary Study Bible Wins Cover Award

Wheaton, IL– Crossway’s ESV Literary Study Bible, by Leland and Philip Graham Ryken, has received the 2008 Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA)/Dickinson Press Book Cover Award for best Bible cover. The 2008 awards, co-sponsored by ECPA and Dickinson Press, were presented at ECPA’s Publishing University, concluding today in Chicago. Two other Crossway titles, the ESV Urban Devotional Bible and Francis Schaeffer: An Authentic Life, were also selected as finalists.

The ESV Literary Study Bible’s hardback Bible cover was designed by Crossway’s Creative Director Josh Dennis, whose objective was to “create something beautiful that would communicate the content” of this unique Bible.

Thirteen publishers submitted 63 entries within four categories. A team of experts representing design, marketing, and reader preferences evaluated entries based on the appropriateness of the cover design for the book’s target audience. Design elements such as composition, graphics, fonts, color palette, and title were also considered.

“We are both grateful for and humbled by this award,” notes Dennis.

For those interested in learning more about the ESV Literary Study Bible, Tony Reinke has written this review.

November 4, 2008 | Posted in: Editions,ESV | Author: Crossway Staff @ 2:17 pm | 0 Comments »