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Digital Roundup – 4/11/14

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1. Social e-reading app Readmill acquired by Dropbox, being discontinued.

Readmill, one of the e-reader apps we like to recommend, recently announced its discontinuation. Read their epilogue here. We plan to provide an updated list of recommended e-reader apps soon!

2. Barnes and Noble Nook update available.

Barnes and Noble released a firmware update for the Nook Glowlight. They also announced plans to release a new tablet later this year. Good news Nook users: you can purchase e-books from Crossway and download them from your virtual bookshelf and upload them onto your device.

3. E-readers make increased reading easier, study shows.

Are you an avid reader? According to a recent study, owners of e-readers are more likely to read than the average person. For an easy way to keep up with daily Bible reading, check out our ESV Daily Reading Bible e-book that portions the text into 365 daily readings.

4. Mentors for your Christian life can be found on your (virtual) bookshelf.

In this article, the Village Church offers 3 tips on how to transform reading into a deeply personal experience to aid in your spiritual formation. One great place to start would be Crossway’s Theologians on the Christian Life series, which explores the lives, writings, and theology of the great teachers of the Christian faith. Pick up your tablet and begin a conversation in the margins with wise saints such as John CalvinFrancis SchaefferDietrich BonhoefferJohn Wesley, & B.B. Warfield.

For more digital and tech updates, follow us on Twitter (@CrosswayDigital).

April 11, 2014 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Apps,Books,Digital,Digital,E-Books,News & Announcements | Author: Matt Tully @ 3:49 pm | 0 Comments »

Making Disciples Like a Soldier, Athlete, Farmer . . . Mom

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This is a guest post by Gloria Furman. Her newest book is Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full: Gospel Meditations for Busy Moms.


Vomit and Verses

“Why do they always come to my side of the bed when they need to throw up?” I asked my husband an honest question.

One of our kids was sick that day, so it was time to put on the Nurse Mommy hat (and poncho). I changed cold compresses on her head, rinsed out her vomit bucket, held a drinking straw to her lips, kept the healthy kids under control, and made a mental note to call my own mom and thank her for all the times she did this for me.

Somewhere in the middle of laundering soiled bed sheets, I read that day’s Scripture reading: 2 Timothy 2. In this chapter, Paul tells Timothy that he must rely on God’s grace to fulfill his calling as a disciple-maker. And here I was up to my elbows with a very tangible illustration of my own need for grace to do what God has called me to do.

The daily (and nightly) disciple-making work of mothering makes us increasingly aware of our need to be “strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:1).

Disciple-Making Mothers

Even though the metaphors Paul uses in this particular passage aren’t your typical descriptions of motherhood, it’s not hard to catch a glimpse of disciple-making motherhood through the eyes of a soldier, athlete, and farmer (2 Timothy 2:1-7).

A mother participates in making disciples of Jesus as she invests her life in the work of evangelizing and discipling her children in every day life. It has been said that moms lead more people to Jesus than do evangelistic events and outreach programs. Consider the examples that Paul uses to encourage Timothy in his calling and see how they relate to motherhood. Like faithful soldiers, we are diligent even with the small things because we aim to please the Lord. Like persistent athletes who compete with integrity, we aim to stay focused on what the Lord has given us to do. Like hard-working farmers, we invest our everyday lives into our children and pray expectantly that God would produce fruit that will last.

You may have read on a greeting card somewhere that motherhood is not for the faint of heart. But I don’t buy it; motherhood must be for the faint of heart. Disciple-making like a soldier/athlete/farmer-mom means that we need to be strengthened by God’s grace to do the routine, hard work that moves the gospel forward.

Mary Had a Little Lamb

Bringing order out of kitchen chaos and subduing the algebra homework with your kids sounds like a demeaning job description to the world. But the disciple-making work of motherhood is part of something bigger than simply keeping the dust bunnies at bay.

We nurture life in light of the long-view of motherhood. When we look out and see the effects of the Fall “as sin reigned in death,” we don’t despair. We look to the cross and remember that, because of Jesus’ substitutionary death, “grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 5:21).

We nurture life in the face of death to the praise of God’s glory in all of our work. Being “pro” life means you are for that person’s life (especially their spiritual life) in every way and at all times. And there’s no way a busy mom can love like that unless she sees how she has been loved like that.

We are loved by God in ways that our sin-besotted hearts cannot comprehend. Even after our first parents sinned in the Garden and God justly pronounced a curse, a blessing for mankind could still be heard. God promised a Rescuer. “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise our head, and you shall bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15).

Thousands of years later, a virgin gave birth to a son. His tiny little feet would ultimately turn into serpent-crushing feet. God sent his Son, Jesus, to do the work of subduing his enemy and rescuing his children by dying on the cross and rising from the dead. The long-view of motherhood looks way past potty training and high school graduation to scan the horizon of eternity, where the incarnate Son of God is risen and reigning.

Making Disciples in the Living Room

Our children are included in panta ta ethne (“all the nations”) of the Great Commission. Jesus’s assurances that he has been given “all authority in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18) and that he is with us always “to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20) are ours for the keeping and believing in our everyday disciple-making.

The world isn’t going to give you a medal for wiping vomit off the floor. Paparazzi aren’t waiting in the bushes outside your house trying to snap a photo of you praying for your kids. But your prayer-full, hope-filled work of evangelism and discipleship—done through the strengthening grace of Jesus—gives him praise that echoes in eternity.

And that moves all of heaven to rejoice.


Gloria Furman is a wife, mother of four young children, doula, and blogger. In 2008 her family moved to the Middle East to plant Redeemer Church of Dubai where her husband, Dave, serves as the pastor. She is the author of Glimpses of Grace and Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full, and she blogs regularly at Desiring God, The Gospel Coalition, and GloriaFurman.com.

| Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Books,Children & Parenting,Life & Doctrine,Marriage & Family,Women | Author: Crossway Author @ 8:30 am | 0 Comments »

Bill Pollard and The Tides of Life

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“Bill has done a masterful job of translating the lessons he has learned in a lifetime of leadership in a manner that is easily understood and is actionable by any reader.”

Don Soderquist, Former COO and Senior Vice Chairman, Walmart Stores, Inc.


Life is full of choices.

In The Tides of Life, Bill Pollard, former CEO of the ServiceMaster Company and best-selling author, shares lessons he’s learned as a husband, father, and  businessman.

Reflecting on his own choices and life-changing encounters with influential figures such as Peter Drucker, Billy Graham, and Warren Buffet, Pollard invites us to learn from his successes and mistakes—lessons for navigating the choices in our own lives.

In the video below, Pollard encourages us to think carefully about who we are, who we want to become, and God’s role in the decisions that we make every day.

 

 

 

Tides of Life from Crossway on Vimeo.

 

April 9, 2014 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Book News,Books,News & Announcements,Video | Author: Matt Tully @ 8:45 am | 0 Comments »

Learning Evangelism from G. K. Chesterton and C. S. Lewis

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This is a guest post by Dan DeWitt, dean of Boyce College at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. His newest book is Jesus or Nothing.


Two Unlikely Friends

H. G. Wells and G. K. Chesterton were dear friends despite their categorically different worldviews. After Chesterton’s death, Wells said, “From first to last he and I were very close friends . . . I never knew anyone so steadily true to form as G. K. C.” They maintained a love and respect for one another even as they often challenged one another in print.

In fact, Chesterton’s famous work, The Everlasting Man, was a response to Wells’s naturalistic summary of humanity in An Outline of History. The two books share a surprising influence in the life of young girl in the Bronx; one directly and one indirectly. As a prodigious eight year old, Joy Davidman, at her father’s request, read Wells’s work in its entirety. Upon completion she announced that she had adopted an atheistic worldview following in the footsteps of her skeptic father.

Back in Britain, C. S. Lewis considered Chesterton’s rebuttal to Wells a significant contribution in his own conversion to Christianity. And the later influence of Lewis’s writings would also cross the Atlantic and eventually impact the same home in the Bronx. Lewis’s simple presentation of the Christian faith helped to lead Joy on her journey to faith. The two later met and were eventually married, bringing the literary influence of worldviews full circle. And, as they say, the rest is truly history.

It could be easy to miss some evangelistic principles from this story because of the larger-than-life intellects and international platforms of the personalities previously mentioned. But there is much to learn and apply.

1. Relationships

Chesterton and Lewis were both known for not only befriending skeptics, but for actually delighting in these relationships. They committed their lives to genuine and caring relationships with people who held contrary truth claims. By the way, Jesus was kind of known for doing the same thing. All three model a way forward for sharing the gospel with people who think our beliefs are delusional.

The way is love. As the Apostle Paul said, we can have the tongue of angels but if we don’t have charity our words are meaningless. It is really impossible to say we love skeptics if we don’t actually know any. And I think this entails much more than the normal “drive by evangelism” approaches of previous generations. Until we really love unbelievers, all of our quick gimmicks will likely fall short.

If your relationship with a skeptic is contingent upon them accepting the gospel then you are starting in the wrong place. Your love for them must transcend these fundamental differences. This is not to imply compromise, but rather a life-long commitment that is motivated by biblical compassion.

2. Revelation

In a letter Lewis once penned to a friend who was drifting from orthodoxy, he said, “We have no abiding city even in philosophy: all passes except the Word.” As a public intellect, Lewis understood where his ultimate authority was found. “Art consists of limitation,” Chesterton once said, “The most beautiful part of every picture is the frame.” The biblical framework provides the necessary, and according to Chesterton, beautiful, limitation of our apologetics.

In this way, apologetics is really applied theology. It is the application of Scriptural principles to contemporary questions. And evangelists are never less effective than when they depart from the bedrock of biblical truth. All passes except the Word. That’s why one of the best things you can do if you want to share the gospel with skeptics is to read, understand, and apply the Bible every day.

3. Reason

Perhaps this is why many consider the careful Christian thought and writings of C. S. Lewis to make it possible for them to be “intellectually satisfied” as believers. Lewis helped many understand Mere Christianity as it relates to all of life, including the doubts we often face. This reminds me of the Apostle Peter’s charge to be prepared to give a reason for our hope with humility. If we are to love our neighbor as ourselves we will be compelled to search diligently for the answers they are seeking.

Sadly, sometimes believers treat the gospel as if it is a fragile heirloom to be carefully protected and preserved for future generations. This should not be so. The gospel is neither intimidated nor overshadowed by rival truth claims. With Scripture as our foundation, we are to reason with those who ask about the hope we have found in the gospel. A love for God and neighbor compels us to listen and respond.

4. Rhetoric

The Apostle Paul said that we are to “season our words with salt” so that we can make the most of our opportunities with “outsiders” (Colossians 4:4-6). Like salt, our words are to draw attention to the natural qualities of the gospel content. We don’t contribute to the gospel message. We invite people to “taste and see that the Lord is good.”

I think we can find a better way to do evangelism with “outsiders” if we begin by discarding the kind of monologue approaches that have typified evangelistic programs of the past and search for inroads into meaningful dialogue. In a progressively post-Christian culture, we no longer enjoy a biblically literate audience ready to listen to our ready-made outlines. But in the context authentic relationships we can find an “evangelistic sweet spot” in the overlap of revelation, reason, and rhetoric.

Though we will likely never establish the sort of platform of Chesterton or Lewis, through their examples we may find the kind of confidence that compels us to cross our yard and begin a friendship with that neighbor who has made it clear that they don’t believe in God. You’ll probably encounter a lot of questions about your faith in the process, but don’t fear. The gospel is the power of God unto salvation for all who believe: of this we need not be ashamed.


Dan DeWitt (PhD, Southern Seminary) is the dean of Boyce College, the undergraduate school of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he teaches courses on worldview, philosophy, apologetics, and C. S. Lewis. He is the author of Jesus or Nothing.

April 8, 2014 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Apologetics,Books,Church History,Evangelism & Missions,Life & Doctrine,Ministry,Theology | Author: Crossway Author @ 8:30 am | 0 Comments »

Weekly Specials – 4/7/14

Crossway’s weekly specials are available to members of Crossway Impact. You can also find this week’s featured resources with participating online retailers such as AmazonBarnes & NobleBookshoutChristianbook.comeChristianiBooks (Apple)Vyrso (at each individual retailer’s discretion). Discounted prices available through 4/13/14.


Proclaiming a Cross-centered Theology

By Mark Dever, J. Ligon Duncan, R. Albert Mohler Jr., C. J. Mahaney

E-book: $14.99 $4.99

Developing and preaching a cross-centered theology is critical, for by Christ’s atonement the church lives or dies. Leading voices in evangelical Christianity elaborate on the church’s need for a fully biblical theology.

Contributions by John Piper, R. C. Sproul, John MacArthur, Thabiti M. Anyabwile

Buy: E-book

 

Biblical Foundations for Manhood and Womanhood

Edited by Wayne Grudem

E-book: $13.99 $1.99

Sixteen respected men and women of God apply the biblical view of manhood and womanhood in areas that concern pastors–from the personal to the practical.

Contributions by Wayne Grudem, Bruce A. Ware, John Piper, Dan Doriani, Peter R. Jones, Daniel R. Heimbach

Buy: E-book

 

The Message of the New Testament: Promises Kept

By Mark Dever, Foreword by John MacArthur

E-book: $19.99 $4.99

Mark Dever surveys the historical context, organization, and theology of each New Testament book in light of God’s Old Testament promises. His message is that of the New Testament itself, one of hope fulfilled.

“Dever’s approach is thematic without ignoring the literary and theological structure of the books. A stimulus to doctrinal preaching.”
Graeme Goldsworthy, Former Lecturer in Old Testament, Biblical Theology, and Hermeneutics, Moore Theological College

Buy: E-book

 

Stand: A Call for the Endurance of the Saints

Edited by John Piper, Justin Taylor

E-book: $12.99 $1.99

These calls to godly endurance uphold its value and beauty while bearing personal witness to its power. Stand will solidify rugged, Christ-exalting perseverance in everyone who is weary in this vacillating generation and who dreams of a culture-shift toward lifelong faithfulness.

Contributions by Jerry Bridges, Randy Alcorn, Helen Roseveare, John Piper, John MacArthur

Buy: E-book

 

April 7, 2014 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Book Deals,Books,Impact Specials,Weekly Specials | Author: Matt Tully @ 8:30 am | 0 Comments »