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Weekly Ebook Specials: Reclaiming the Christian Intellectual Tradition Series

While it is hard to believe, the start of another academic year is upon us. To celebrate the great tradition of Christian thinking which continues in classrooms around the globe, we’ve discounted all published volumes in the Reclaiming the Christian Intellectual Tradition series.

This week, you can get the digital versions of each volume for $1.99 each.

More on the Series

The Reclaiming the Christian Intellectual Tradition series is designed to provide an overview of the distinctive way the church has read the Bible, formulated doctrine, provided education, and engaged the culture. The study guides in this series will enable us to see afresh how the Christian faith shapes how we live, how we think, how we write books, how we govern society, and how we relate to one another in our churches and social structures. The richness of the Christian intellectual tradition provides guidance for the complex challenges that believers face in this world.

Praise for the Series

“An exciting project that will freshly introduce readers to the riches of historic Christian thought and practice.”
—Thomas Kidd, Department of History, Baylor University

“This new series is exactly what Christian higher education needs to shore up its intellectual foundations for the challenges of the coming decades.”
—Carl E. Zylstra, President, Dordt College

To learn more about each title, click on the covers below. The print deals are only available on Crossway.org; the ebook deals are also available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Bookshout, Christianbook.com, eChristian, ibooks (apple), Vyrso, or your participating independent bookstore’s site. Discounted prices available through 8/26/2013.*

This Week’s Specials:

The Great Tradition of Christian Thinking

The Great Tradition of Christian Thinking: A Student’s Guide

 By David S. Dockery & Timothy George

$9.99 $1.99

A reader-friendly guidebook that will equip Christian students to apply their faith and intellect in various academic fields. Illustrations, reflection questions, and resource suggestions make this book a timely tool for Christian students.

“…biblical, seasoned, experienced, trustworthy, and encouraging. It is a book to enjoy both in itself and as a welcome guide to much, much more.”
Mark A. Noll, Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History, University of Notre Dame

Learn more | Buy now

 

The Liberal Arts: A Student's Guide

The Liberal Arts: A Student’s Guide

By Gene C. Fant Jr.

$9.99 $1.99

Looks at the liberal arts through a gospel-oriented lens, laying out a vision that carefully prepares students to pursue their calling with grace and excellence.

“Attention! The liberal arts are for everyone, especially Christians. They introduce us to all the personal dimensions that encompass our lives from beginning to end. But how is this so since so much of the liberal arts seem foreign to us as Christians? Begin with this book and find the answer. Then live out a rich life of knowledge and appreciation of what makes every life worth living.”
James W. Sire, Author, The Universe Next Door and A Little Primer on Humble Apologetics

Learn more | Buy now

 

 

Philosophy: A Student's Guide

Philosophy: A Student’s Guide

By David K. Naugle

$9.99 $1.99

Purposed to help students engage contemporary challenges within the study of philosophy, professor and philosopher David Naugle offers an understanding of the basic issues, thinkers, and sub-disciplines therein.

“Dr. Naugle has done a first-rate job of covering a wide range of issues in a responsible way, while keeping the level of discourse at a truly introductory level.”
J. P. Moreland, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Biola University; author, Love Your God with All Your Mind

“Dr. Naugle combines solid scholarship with a firm grasp of how a biblical worldview can help to reclaim a strong Christian intellectual tradition in these confusing—but exciting—times.”
Richard J. Mouw, President, Professor of Christian Philosophy, Fuller Theological Seminary

Learn more | Buy now

 

Political Thought: A Student's Guide

Political Thought: A Student’s Guide

By Hunter Baker

$9.99 $1.99

Award-winning professor Hunter Baker has written this guide to the essential issues inherent in politics as part of the Reclaiming the Christian Intellectual Tradition series, helping students find a solid footing in understanding basic political thought.

Political Thought is a wonderful introduction to the study of politics. Hunter Baker writes as a true teacher, offering not only rigor and clarity but also a personal touch.”
Francis J. Beckwith, Professor of Philosophy and Church-State Studies, Baylor University; author of Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case Against Abortion Choice

Learn more | Buy now

 

Literature: A Student's Guide

Literature: A Student’s Guide

By Louis Markos

$9.99 $1.99

A seasoned professor invites students into the great conversation of literature through the centuries and shows how the study of poetry draws us closer to God and his work in the world.

“Louis Markos not only possesses the wisdom of C. S. Lewis but also Lewis’s uncanny ability to put complex ideas into a succinct and simple language that is accessible to everyone.”
Joseph Pearce, Writer in Residence and Associate Professor of Literature, Ave Maria University; author, Through Shakespeare’s Eyes and Literary Converts

Learn more | Buy now

 

*Note: Some discounts may be unavailable outside the United States due to international rights agreements.

August 20, 2013 | Posted in: Arts & Literature,Ethics,Weekly Ebook Specials | Author: Ted Cockle @ 11:20 am | 0 Comments »

Interview: K. Scott Oliphint, Author of “Covenantal Apologetics,” Interviewed by Justin Taylor

In what Dr. Albert Mohler calls “an arsenal of apologetic insight”, Covenantal Apologetics (July 2013) offers an introduction to Reformed apologetics, explores foundational principles, and gives guidance for talking with unbelievers.

Learn more about Oliphant’s “principles and practice in defense of our faith” in this extended interview with Justin Taylor:

Watch video on vimeo.com

Video Time-stamp Index:

0:00 Why write an introduction to covenantal apologetics?
3:42 What are common missteps in evangelical approaches to apologetics?
7:31 What situations (if any) necessitate going on the offensive against unbelief?
12:52 What is the role of persuasion and argument in covenantal apologetics?
21:29 How can covenantal apologetics fight doubt within the hearts of Christians themselves?
24:41 Why did you include sample dialogues in the book, and how do you see these being helpful?
33:06 Closing Comments

Learn more | Preview an excerpt | Buy Now

The Third Dimension of Writing: Bret Lott on Saying Exactly What You Mean

Adapted from Letters and Life: On Being a Writer, On Being a Christian by Bret Lott Letters & Life Cover

At the beginning of every semester, I read out loud Richard Brautigan’s short story “1/3, 1/3, 1/3” to my students. I do this be­cause (1) it’s a terrific story; (2) when it comes to learning craft, I place a whole lot more stock in examining well-written work than in yammering on about the how-to of technique; and (3) this story has two of the best descriptive sentences I have ever read.

Brautigan’s writing is funny, beautiful, and strange. He was most famous for his novel Trout Fishing in America, published in 1967, for which he became a counterculture literary icon; he later committed suicide for the reasons people commit suicide: their own overruling of the gift of creation.

But this story and its remarkable voice and precision are still here and still alive.

After I read the story—it’s only four printed pages—I quiz my students, asking them which two sentences they believe are the ones I believe are among the most precise descriptions I have ever read; that is, as all good teachers are wont to do, I ask them to read my mind.

The first sentence is this:

My entrance into the thing came about this way: One day I was standing in front of my shack, eating an apple and staring at a black ragged toothache sky.

The second is,

The novelist was in his late forties, tall, reddish, and looked as if life had given him an endless stream of two-timing girlfriends, five-day drunks and cars with bad transmissions.

These are two of the most precise descriptive sentences I have ever encountered, not for the exactitude of their physical or tangible descriptions; in fact, you’ll find that the physical element of these descriptions may be merely and only serviceable, indeed might even be a bit vague. But I value these descriptions for their spiritual acu­ity. What happens in these descriptions is that a kind of descriptive triangulation occurs, and by triangulation I do not here mean the sort Bill Clinton made famous in his campaigns and subsequent presidency, that surveying of every possible side to be taken and managing somehow to support every one of them. Rather, by tri­angulation I mean the navigation technique that uses the trigono­metric properties of triangles to determine a location or course by means of compass bearings from two points a known distance apart.

First, Brautigan gives us descriptive elements that are a known distance apart; that is, we know what a “black” and “ragged” sky looks like (and if you don’t, you haven’t paid enough attention to the sky). But in giving us that next word, “toothache,” he allows us into the unseeable realm of description, the point to which we need to navigate; he gives us the spirit of the sky and so the spirit of the viewer, a young man eating an apple, the story tells us, who doesn’t know what he meant by living the way he did all those years ago. With this word “toothache,” we have been placed on a three-dimensional grid and know now not only exactly what the sky looks like but exactly the ache and trouble of mystery of a young man’s life.

The same quality of known distances apart holds for the first three descriptors of the novelist: “in his late forties, tall, and reddish.” The fact is that these words are, finally, quite dull, and quite vague. If you were a student of mine and used them in a story to describe a character, I would most likely write “ugh” in the margin, which is usually a sign that I think you’re not actually trying to write well. But if you were to append this last phrase—“and looked as if life had given him an endless stream of two-timing girlfriends, five-day drunks and cars with bad transmissions”—well, if you wrote that, I’d call you a genius.

Because, as with that toothache sky, we know not only what this guy looks like but also the spirit of this man. We could each of us go to a police lineup in which six tall, reddish men in the forties lined up against the wall, and we would know immediately the one with the endless stream of two-timing girlfriends, five-day drunks, and cars with bad transmissions. This is because the description we have been given transcends the physical and leads us into the third dimension of writing: that point when we leave simply seeing something and enter into knowing that something.

For further reflections on being Christian, on being a writer, learn more, download an excerpt, or buy now.

July 1, 2013 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Arts & Literature,Author,Books,Life & Doctrine,The Christian Life,Work & Vocation | Author: Ted Cockle @ 8:44 am | 0 Comments »

Bonhoeffer’s 7 Ministries of the Church

Adapted from Bonhoeffer on the Christian Life: From the Cross, for the World by Stephen J. Nichols.

“Lord, what would you have me to do?”

If Bonhoeffer were to meet a person with such questions he would say:

Do something. Serve somebody. That is ministry. That is God’s will.

Certainly there is legitimacy to taking stock and being strategic and asking soul-searching questions. There’s also a place for waiting on God, for times of withdrawal and personal meditation. But sometimes we overthink it, and sometimes we overindulge the self.

In Bonhoeffer’s thinking, every child of God is a minister; all Christians are called to ministry. Bonhoeffer sees our task of ministry in seven particular ministries in the church (listed in Life Together). All of us can do at least one of them well, many can do a few of them well, and even a few gifted individuals in the church can do them all well.

In other words, we can all do something. We are all called to ministry.

For Bonhoeffer, ministry is not about power and authority, but service. The word itself, diakonia, means service, a word held in high esteem by Bonhoeffer. His list of ministries, then, reflects this fundamental starting point of what ministry is about.

  1. The ministry of holding one’s tongue

    Bonhoeffer pegs silence as a self-discipline worthy of highest virtue. “Where the discipline of the tongue is practiced right from the beginning, each individual will make a matchless discovery. He will be able to cease from constantly scrutinizing the other person, judging him, condemning him, putting him in a particular place where he can gain ascendency over him.”

  2. The ministry of meekness

    “He who would learn to serve must first to learn to think little of himself.”

  3. The ministry of listening

    Listening—attentive, sympathetic listening—comes far too hard for us. Comparatively, talking comes far too easy. It’s the reason James the brother of Jesus had to warn us to be “quick to hear” and “slow to speak” (James 1:19) and not the other way around. As Bonhoeffer points out, “He who can no longer listen to his brother will soon be no longer listening to God either; he will be doing nothing but prattle in the presence of God too.”

  4. The ministry of helpfulness

    Bonhoeffer challenges us here to “be interrupted by God,” to put our plans on hold and to help those who come across our path and need help.

  5. The ministry of bearing

    Not only are we called to help, but we are also called to bear one another’s burdens (Gal. 6:2). Bonhoeffer speaks of it as our duty; in fact, he says, “It is the fellowship of the cross to bear the burden of the other. If one does not experience it, the fellowship he belongs to is not Christian. If any member refuses to bear that burden he denies the law of Christ.”

  6. The ministry of proclaiming

    Once these first five ministries and their respective obligations are in place, then Bonhoeffer turns to the “platform” ministries. Bonhoeffer stresses the need for authentic Christian living before the action of proclamation. To put this colloquially, one needs to “walk the walk.”

  7. The ministry of authority

    The exercise of pastoral authority—the second of the “platform” ministries. Bonhoeffer makes the case that without the first five ministries, the platform ministries, just like the preaching in the opening scene of his novel, become little more than the bellowing of hot air.

For a more in-depth look at these ministries and other reflections on Bonhoeffer’s understanding of the Christian life, learn more, download an excerpt, or buy now.

 

June 27, 2013 | Posted in: Books,Church and Ministry,Discipleship,History and Biography,Spiritual Growth | Author: Ted Cockle @ 9:38 am | (2) Comments »

Romans – Preaching the Word (ESV Edition)

Few Christians would dispute that the book of Romans is one of the most powerful and influential books ever written. After all, Paul’s Epistle has been the written force behind some of the most significant conversions of church history: St. Augustine was convicted of his sin after reading some verses from the thirteenth chapter; Martin Luther recovered the doctrine of salvation by faith from his study of Romans 1:17; John Wesley felt his heart “strangely warmed” and transformed while listening to the reading of Luther’s preface to the book of Romans; and John Bunyan was so inspired as he studied the great themes of Romans that he wrote the immortal Pilgrim’s Progress. There is no doubt about the power of the book of Romans.

In this recently updated edition of the Preaching the Word Commentary on Romans, Pastor Kent Hughes invites us to experience the same power that was exhibited in the lives of great church leaders such as Augustine, Luther, Wesley, and so many others. The fundamental truths expressed in Paul’s letter—the themes of justification by faith, abounding grace, and freedom from sin—come to life as we explore the book that has so challenged and nourished followers of Christ for centuries.

Learn more or preview an excerpt below.

Preview an excerpt from the book

Download a PDF of the book