“R.C. Sproul does an outstanding job of presenting a very complex subject matter in a comprehensible manner for those new to the subject. Great book for Christians who want an introduction to the fascinating world of ideas. Highly recommended!” (A Customer)
“Writing as a committed Christian, he challenges Christians to not merely BELIEVE, but also to THINK.” (A Customer)
“Overall, this is a neat little book that is very informative and wonderful for the student who wants to gain a better understanding of the study of philosophy.” (DB Vick)
“I enjoyed every page of Sprouls’ treatise. If you want to really grasp ideas for the first time, I recommend this for you. If you are a homeschooler and into the classical approach to education you will be delighted by the conclusion of the book.” (Mark Armstrong)
“Sproul argues the case for their philosophy before giving a Christian response, which is something that we as Christians must be able to do.” (Bobby Bambino)
“This volume is a great help for saint, seeker, skeptic, sage to ‘love the Lord your God with all your mind.’ Highly recommended!” (BD)
Archive for August, 2009
Ligonier Ministries has released the Reformation Study Bible for the iPhone and iPod Touch, giving readers access to more than 20,000 study notes, book introductions with outlines, theological essays, and the text of the ESV Bible. It includes keyword and phrase searching, highlights for verses, and the ability to add notes and save work online for easy access. This app can be purchased now through iTunes for the introductory price of $11.99 for a limited time.
Q&A with Geoff Dennis, EVP of Sales, Marketing, and Digital Innovation
Crossway has launched a nationwide effort to provide churches with a creative and cost-effective way to reach one million homes this Christmas with the gospel. Crossway’s Share the Good News of Christmas gift bags include an ESV Outreach New Testament Christmas Edition, a Christmas tract written by Max Lucado, a gift card featuring 30 days of free access to the ESV Online Study Bible, and a customizable invitation to Christmas services or a special event at the participating church. The kits retail for $1 a piece, and are sold in case lots of 50 through Christian retail stores across the country.
Q. Where did the idea for the Share the Good New of Christmas initiative come from?
A. This initiative grew out of who we are as a company. It reflects our passion for the gospel, our passion for God’s Word, and our passion to reach people with the Gospel. We are hopeful that churches will enthusiastically embrace the program and that church members will be blessed as they give bags to the people they come in contact with in their communities. But mostly we are praying that the Lord will be pleased to make Share the Good New of Christmas fruitful in the lives of individuals this holiday season, as they are presented with the gospel message in the church or in the pages of the Bible.
Q. How does it work?
A. This is a very flexible program that can be used by individuals, para-church ministries, or individual ministries within a larger church. Ideally, a church will decide to adopt Share the Good News of Christmas as a way of reaching out to un-churched friends and neighbors at the time of the year when studies show that people are most open to visiting church—the Christmas season. A church purchases the boxes of 50gift bags and its contents from a local Christian retail store. They can then hand-write or print the invitations, inviting the recipient to a Christmas musical event at the church, a Christmas coffee in their home, a Christmas Eve service, or any event the church is hosting.
As we’ve given out sample bags to pastors at various pastor’s conference, we’ve been encouraged by how many have commented on the package quality, the attractive design, and the perceived value of the gift bag and its contents. They are amazed that it can be purchased for $1 each, which is less than what many churches spend on designing and mailing direct-mail pieces promoting their Christmas events.
We’re hearing about all kinds of creative ways churches around the country intend to utilize the Share the Good News of Christmas bags—including church choirs who will use them to invite people to their Christmas musical program, and large Sunday School classes who will host neighborhood Christmas parties and pass them out as they go caroling door-to-door.
Q. You mention door-to-door. Is it your intention that Share the Good News of Christmas bags would be left on doorknobs throughout neighborhoods?
A. We hope that people will give bags to people they are in relationship with—that they will give them to friends, co-workers, neighbors, saying something like, “We’re going to have a great Christmas program on such-and-such a night. We’re going ourselves, and we’d love for you to come with us.” All of us have circles of relationship that include people who don’t know the Lord—people we talk to at the gym, fellow parents at our child’s school, people who run businesses we frequent. Christmas provides an opportunity for natural interaction about Christ with those we come in contact with. It is also a time when we show that we care about people and their needs. And the gospel is the greatest answer to all of our needs.
I expect that some people will choose to place the bag on a neighbor’s doorknob, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that. For many people, Christmas is the one time of the year we make contact with our neighbors to bring them a small gift. Share the Good News of Christmas would be ideal for giving to neighbors along with that plate of Christmas cookies, and can, perhaps, set the stage for a conversation about the true meaning of Christmas and an invitation to church where the gospel will be presented.
Q. What went into determining what goes into the Share the Good News of Christmas bags?
A. I suppose it began with asking ourselves the question, What does God use to draw people to himself? And we know that God uses the preaching of his Word to bring people alive to Christ. So we wanted to create something that would serve as an invitation to un-churched people to hear the preaching of the Word in the context of a local church. But if the recipient won’t enter a church during the Christmas season, they still have an opportunity to be impacted by God’s Word through the New Testament that is included. And if even that is too much, there is the gospel tract. The tract, written by Max Lucado in his inimitable, inviting style, helps readers see that Jesus’ willingness to be born into the mess of a stable also means that he is willing to enter the messiness of our lives when we invite him in.
Even in homes where Jesus is not known, there is an openness to bring meaning into the celebration of Christmas. But for people who are unfamiliar with the Bible it can be intimidating to find the passage in Luke to read the Christmas story. So the ESV Outreach New Testament Christmas Edition includes brief “Readings and Reflections” for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in the very front. People can give this gift to their un-churched friends, neighbors, and co-workers saying, “Here’s a special Bible you can use to read the Christmas story with your family.”
The idea is to help people who are unfamiliar with the Bible to get engaged with the Bible, letting the power of God’s Word work in their lives. So we’ve also included a certificate for 30 days of free access to the ESV Online Study Bible which we hope will further equip people in our internet-oriented culture to engage with the Bible.
Q. Do you anticipate you and other people at Crossway will be giving out some Share the Good News of Christmas gift bags yourselves this Christmas?
A. Yes. Definitely. It looks like College Church in Wheaton, where several Crossway staff attend church, will use Share the Good News of Christmas gift bags to invite people to Christmas coffees that members hold in homes. They simply invite neighbors into their homes and share why Christmas is significant in their lives, and invite them to attend church at Christmas. My wife and I intend to share a bag with at least one of our neighbors—a woman going through a difficult time in her marriage. This will be a prime opportunity to invite her to our church and perhaps even read through the Christmas story with her and her family. This program has grown out of Crossway’s love and commitment to the local church and we anticipate many of our staff will be encouraging their own church to use Share the Good News of Christmas this year.
Maybe you’ve read books on this topic before—but not like this one. First published in 2004, Nine Marks of a Healthy Church isn’t an instruction manual for church growth. It’s a pastor’s model for how to assess the health of your church using nine crucial qualities that are too often neglected.
Here’s a reminder of how the contest part of Trackback Thursday works: Simply link to the blog post from your blog, leave a comment on Crossway’s Facebook Page, or re-tweet Trackback Thursday on Twitter @Crosswaybooks. There will be three winners picked on Friday morning.
Sample Chapter 1 and view the Table of Contents:
1. Expositional Preaching
2. Biblical Theology
3. The Gospel
4. A Biblical Understanding of Conversion
5. A Biblical Understanding of Evangelism
6. A Biblical Understanding of Church Membership
7. Biblical Church Discipline
8. A Concern for Discipleship and Growth
9. Biblical Church Leadership
We’re thrilled to announce Tullian Tchividjian’s next book, Surprised by Grace: God’s Relentless Pursuit of Rebels (May 2010). Here’s a brief description:
As Christians today keep struggling to fully grasp the gospel’s incredible breadth and power—both for themselves and for the changing world around them—Surprised by Grace carries a liberating message that forces us to come to grips with the shocking extent of God’s compassion and mercy.
This astounding truth is something God pressed into the epic life-story of a man who defiantly resisted it. His true story is retold in Surprised by Grace, a gripping presentation that will open your eyes wider than ever to God’s relentless and inexhaustible grace.
We’re looking forward to sharing with you more about this book and making it available next May. In the meantime, we’d like to get your input on the cover, so please vote and tell us what you think.