Week Six Giveaways for 10 Weeks of Free Books Contest

Book Giveaway for Thursday, August 26, 2010 GPH Product: HighPoint Vol. 28, Purity (It may not be suitable for younger kids.) Andy Crouch, Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling (IVP) Brian Godawa, Hollywood Worldviews: Watching Films with Wisdom and Discernment (IVP) John Mark Reynolds, When Athens Met Jerusalem: An Introduction to Classical and Christian Thought (IVP) Steve Wilkens and Mark L. Sanford, Hidden Worldviews: Eight Cultural Stories that Shape Our Lives (IVP) Contest Rules Eligibility: Contestants must be credentialed Assemblies of God ministers and subscribers to MinistryDirect.com. Subscription to MinistryDirect.com is free for all credentialed AG ministers. (If you have … Continue reading Week Six Giveaways for 10 Weeks of Free Books Contest


Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay (New York: Scholastic, 2010). $17.99, 400 pages. The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins comes to a bloody end with Mockingjay, the series’ final volumes. (I reviewed the first two volumes here and here.) The story takes place in North America, sometime in the future. A civil war between the Capitol and its thirteen districts resulted in the annihilation of District 13 and the imposition of the Hunger Games on the remaining twelve. For seventy-five years, each district has sent one girl and one boy between the ages of 12 and 18 to kill or be killed … Continue reading Mockingjay

Epilogue: God Is What Life Is All About

Over the past forty-two days, we have studied Jesus’ teaching on prayer in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6:5–15), focusing specifically on the six petitions of the Lord’s Prayer (verses 9–13). If we want to experience God through prayer, we must: make time and space for God (verses 5–9a), focus on God’s powerful love for us (verse 9b), prioritize God’s agenda for our lives (verse 10), ask God for whatever we need (verse 11), seek God’s forgiveness and send it to others (verse 12), and trust God in trying times (verse 13). In this epilogue, I want to conclude … Continue reading Epilogue: God Is What Life Is All About

Day 42: How to Be a Failure

One of my father’s best sermons is entitled, “How to Be a Failure.” It goes something like this… These days, we often hear messages about how to be a success. Rarely, however, do we hear a straightforward message about how to be a failure. And yet, the fear of failure drives people more than hope of success, so perhaps we ought to pay attention to what makes for a “successful” failure. The story of the feeding of the 5,000 (Luke 9:10–17) offers us three principles that, if followed, will help us fail every time. The first principle is this: Look … Continue reading Day 42: How to Be a Failure

The Best Kept Secret of Christian Mission

Many Christians think of evangelism as an act of proclamation. And that is certainly what it is. But because they don’t feel called or able to proclaim the gospel, they feel they cannot contribute at all to the church’s evangelistic task. In The Best Kept Secret of Christian Mission, John Dickson points out that Christians promote the gospel in many ways: through prayers, money, the works of the church, godly behavior, public worship services, and daily conversation. Pastors who want to lead evangelistic churches should read this book, and so should parishioners who may be skittish about proclaiming the gospel … Continue reading The Best Kept Secret of Christian Mission

Day 41: Arm Yourselves

In Ephesians 6:14–18, Paul describes “the full armor of God”: “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. … Continue reading Day 41: Arm Yourselves

Thursday Book Vlog for August 26

In this vlog, I… review The Heresy of Orthodoxy mention my interviews of Roger Patterson (Leading from the Second Chair) and Tony Morgan (Killing Cockroaches)–I’ll post the video when it becomes available showcase a bunch of books I’ve received in the mail and can’t wait to read, including: The Complete Christian Guide to Understanding Homosexuality, Naked Surrender, The Good and Beautiful Community, The Holiness Manifesto, Thinking in Tongues, and Justified in the Spirit highlight Bill Otley’s MinistryDirect.com review of Christians at the Border encourage AG pastors to enter Rich Earl’s contest to win a copy of his new devotional book, … Continue reading Thursday Book Vlog for August 26

Day 40: We Are at War

In Ephesians 6:10–13, Paul writes: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” … Continue reading Day 40: We Are at War

The Heresy of Orthodoxy

Andreas J. Köstenberger and Michael J. Kruger, The Heresy of Orthodoxy: How Contemporary Culture’s Fascination with Diversity Has Shaped Our Understanding of Early Christianity (Wheaton, IL: Crossway: 2010). $17.99, 256 pages. In 1934, Walter Bauer published Rechtsgläubigkeit und Ketzerei im Ältesten Christentum, translated into English in 1971 as Orthodoxy and Heresy in Earliest Christianity. Andreas J. Köstenberger and Michael J. Krueger summarize the argument of that book, the “Bauer thesis,” as follows: “close study of the major urban centers at the end of the first and early second centuries reveals that early Christianity was characterized by significant doctrinal diversity, so … Continue reading The Heresy of Orthodoxy