New Booklet Series — The Faithful Learning Series

The Faith­ful Learn­ing series invites Chris­t­ian stu­dents to dive deeper into a mod­ern aca­d­e­mic dis­ci­pline. The authors, schol­ars in their fields, believe that aca­d­e­mic dis­ci­plines are good gifts from God that, when under­stood rightly, will give stu­dents the poten­tial to cul­ti­vate a deeper love for God and neigh­bor. Each of these book­lets are $4.99.

   

1. Soci­ol­ogy by Matthew S. Vos
48 pages
Sum­mary: Christ asks us to be in the world but not of it. Matthew Vos shows us how soci­ol­ogy strength­ens our under­stand­ing of the world’s issues and our rela­tion­ships within it.
2. Phi­los­o­phy by James S. Spiegel
48 pages
Sum­mary: Does phi­los­o­phy have any value for our faith? James Spiegel insists that Chris­tians need phi­los­o­phy to dis­cern wrong ideas and shows us how it can enhance bib­li­cal faith and living.
3. An Invi­ta­tion to Aca­d­e­mic Stud­ies by Jay D. Green
40 pages
Sum­mary: Can aca­d­e­mic study cul­ti­vate and nour­ish our faith, as well as the other way around? Jay Green shows how to embrace aca­d­e­mic study for its poten­tial in study­ing God’s world.
4. Lit­er­a­ture by Clif­ford Foreman
48 pages
Sum­mary: Chris­tians don’t always trust lit­er­a­ture, but God used it to reveal him­self. This explo­ration of lit­er­a­ture and its forms, using respected authors’ exam­ples, shows us its beauty and scrip­tural value.

 

About the Authors:

Green_Jay Jay D. Green (MA, Trin­ity Evan­gel­i­cal Divin­ity School; PhD, Kent State Uni­ver­sity) has been pro­fes­sor of his­tory at Covenant Col­lege in Look­out Moun­tain, Geor­gia, since 1998. Jay is also the Faith­ful Learn­ing series editor.

 

 

Matthew S. Vos (MEd, Uni­ver­sity of Ten­nessee at Vos_MatthewChat­tanooga; PhD, Uni­ver­sity of Ten­nessee at Knoxville) is pro­fes­sor of soci­ol­ogy at Covenant Collge in Look­out Moun­tain, Georgia.

 

 

Spiegel_Jim James S. Spiegel (MA, Uni­ver­sity of South­ern Mis­sis­sippi; PhD, Michi­gan State Uni­ver­sity) is pro­fes­sor of phi­los­o­phy and reli­gion at Tay­lor Uni­ver­sity in Upland, Indiana.

 

 

 

Clif­ford W. Fore­man (MA, PhD, Boston Uni­ver­sity) is pro­Foreman_Cliffordfes­sor of Eng­lish and mod­er­a­tor of the fac­ulty at Covenant Col­lege in Look­out Moun­tain, Geor­gia, where he has taught since 1986.

 

Author Interview with Stanley Gale

This week’s author inter­view is with Stan­ley Gale, author of 3 P&R titles: The Prayer of Jehoshaphat: See­ing Beyond Life’s Storms, What is Spir­i­tual War­fare?, and Why Do We Pray?.

  • Ques­tion #1 — Tell us a lit­tle bit about yourself.

I am the hus­band of one wife (Linda), father of four chil­dren (Saman­tha, Luke, Sarah, Nathan), and grand­fa­ther of eight (Ruby, Isaac, Weston, Kaylie, Jasper, Asher, Gryphon, Pene­lope).  I hold Bach­e­lor of Arts and Mas­ter of Edu­ca­tion degrees from the Uni­ver­sity of Delaware, a Mas­ter of Divin­ity degree from West­min­ster The­o­log­i­cal Sem­i­nary in Philadel­phia, and a Doc­tor of Min­istry degree from Covenant The­o­log­i­cal Sem­i­nary in St. Louis. I am an ordained pas­tor in the Pres­by­ter­ian Church in Amer­ica and have served my cur­rent charge in West Chester, Penn­syl­va­nia, since 1988.  In my spare time I enjoy read­ing, writ­ing and play­ing tennis.

 

  • Ques­tion #2 — Did you always enjoy writing?

I’ve always been a reader and have had an inter­est in ver­bal expres­sion, helped in part by my Catholic school edu­ca­tion where I learned to dia­gram sen­tences and rules of gram­mar. It’s only in the last dozen years that I turned my atten­tion to writ­ing books and arti­cles. I’m part of a writ­ers’ group where five of us exchange the lat­est 5–10 pages of books we’re work­ing on. As the only reli­gious non­fic­tion writer in the group, I have the oppor­tu­nity to reach out through shar­ing bib­li­cal teach­ing and to encour­age them in their writ­ing. I write as a first stu­dent, where my study min­is­ters first to me and then to oth­ers. I con­sider writ­ing a king­dom exten­sion of my min­istry as a pastor-teacher.

 

  • Ques­tion #3 — Other than the Bible, do you have a favorite book?

It’s hard to nar­row it down to a sin­gle book, but cer­tainly Know­ing God by J. I. Packer is one of the most influ­en­tial books in my life, set­ting my tra­jec­tory of thought as a young Chris­t­ian. I’m also a big mys­tery reader.

 

  • Ques­tion #4 — Do you have a favorite quote?

Among my favorite is one I dis­cov­ered in research­ing spir­i­tual war­fare. It’s by John Bun­yan in his book, The Holy War and describes Lucifer’s strat­egy to neu­tral­ize the church (Man­soul). “Let those engaged in this busi­ness for us, and let Man­soul be taken with much busi­ness, and if pos­si­ble with much plea­sure and this is the way to get ground of them.  Let us but cum­ber and occupy and amuse Man­soul suf­fi­ciently, and they will make their cas­tle a ware­house for goods instead of a gar­ri­son for men of war.” Looks like Satan’s tac­tics have not changed much over the centuries.

 

  • Ques­tion #5 — Do you have a favorite book you have written?

P&R has pub­lished three of my books, The Prayer of Jehoshaphat, What is Spir­i­tual War­fare?, and Why Do We Pray?, the lat­ter two part of the Basics of the Faith Series. While I like The Prayer of Jehoshaphat to help believ­ers process their tri­als through the lens of God’s prov­i­dence and priv­i­lege of prayer, it is my con­tri­bu­tions to the BoF Series that are my favorite because I believe they bring impor­tant dimen­sions to bear for Chris­t­ian dis­ci­ple­ship. The per­spec­tive of spir­i­tual war­fare is foun­da­tional to a bib­li­cal world­view, some­thing for which God equips us in His Word and inte­gral to the believer’s walk and ser­vice. See­ing prayer as God’s means not only for com­mu­nion with Him but given us for the advance­ment of His king­dom is essen­tial to the walk of the Chris­t­ian and work of the church.

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Inter­ested in learn­ing more about Stan­ley and his work?

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NEW RELEASE — The Problem of Good edited by D. Marion Clark

The Prob­lem of Good: When the World Seems Fine with­out God
edited by D. Mar­ion Clark

208 Pages | $14.99 | Paper­back

Sum­mary: The prob­lem of evil is one we’re all famil­iar with, but what about the prob­lem of good? If Chris­tian­ity is true, why do many peo­ple seem to live moral, ful­fill­ing lives out­side the gospel? Will their good deeds save them? Is the tra­di­tional view of hell really jus­ti­fied? And if it is, how do we evan­ge­lize peo­ple who seem more upright than we are? Can we legit­i­mately ben­e­fit from their con­tri­bu­tions to cul­ture and society?

Authors from a vari­ety of back­grounds tackle these ques­tions and oth­ers in a dis­cus­sion of God’s com­mon grace and its daily implications.

Con­trib­u­tors: D. Mar­ion Clark, Paul David Tripp, Steven J. Law­son, Ruth Naomi Floyd, John Leonard, Sean Michael Lucas, Gene Edward Veith, and David Skeel.

Includes dis­cus­sion questions.

About the Editor:

D. Mar­ion Clark (MDiv, Gordon-Conwell The­o­log­i­cal Sem­i­nary) served as exec­u­tive min­is­ter of Tenth Pres­by­ter­ian Church in Philadel­phia for six­teen years and has edited two pre­vi­ous books.

 

 

What Others Are Saying About This Book:

We strug­gle to explain why good things hap­pen to bad peo­ple. . . . Why do so many sin­ners . . . receive so many divine bless­ings? And why does God allow so many good things to hap­pen in the world through the actions of peo­ple who do not serve him, as well as through peo­ple who do? . . . Pas­tor Clark has ded­i­cated his life to explain­ing bib­li­cal truth in clear, prac­ti­cal ways and to solv­ing spir­i­tual prob­lems in the life of the church. He does all of that here, in The Prob­lem of Good. There is no other book like it.”

Philip Gra­ham Ryken, Pres­i­dent, Wheaton Col­lege, Wheaton, Illinois

 

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Our mis­sion is to serve Christ and his church by pro­duc­ing clear, engag­ing, fresh, and insight­ful appli­ca­tions of Reformed theology.

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Author Interview with Kathleen Nielson

Learn more about Kath­leen Niel­son, author of 11 P&R titles, on this week’s author interview.

  • Ques­tion #1 — Tell us a lit­tle bit about your­self. . .

I’m a wife, mother, grand­mother, daugh­ter, sis­ter, aunt, cousin, friend, teacher, writer. . . I love think­ing about the blend of call­ings God gives us, grow­ing and enrich­ing all of them through all the rest as they mul­ti­ply through the years.

I’m the wife of a man who knows mul­ti­ple call­ings well, hav­ing worked as a col­lege pro­fes­sor, a trader in the finan­cial mar­kets, a pas­tor, a col­lege pres­i­dent, and now a direc­tor of mul­ti­ple projects in global Chris­t­ian edu­ca­tion. My hus­band Niel is obvi­ously impor­tant in my story: the adven­ture of life with him has played a huge part in shap­ing me—and he is my great­est earthly encour­ager in the work I’m priv­i­leged to do. He has shown me and pointed me to the love of Christ. We’ve been joy­fully mar­ried since 1977 and have three grown sons, two beau­ti­ful daughters-in-law, and four absolutely remark­able granddaughters.

For a num­ber of years (most of the years we were rais­ing our sons), I taught col­lege Eng­lish part-time (lit­er­a­ture and writ­ing), but Bible study teach­ing and writ­ing grad­u­ally took over my life! Those two kinds of teach­ing are not at all unre­lated, of course, as they both involve read­ing and ask­ing ques­tions of texts. Those are skills we’re not gen­er­ally so good at in our fast-moving world, and I am grate­ful for the train­ing in Eng­lish which laid an impor­tant foun­da­tion for my work in reading/studying/teaching the bib­li­cal text—and, by God’s grace, in encour­ag­ing oth­ers to do so.

I love teach­ing the Bible to women—both in the local church and in var­i­ous con­fer­ences and other set­tings. I presently serve as direc­tor of women’s ini­tia­tives for The Gospel Coali­tion, which involves con­nect­ing with women in many min­istry con­texts, over­see­ing TGC’s women’s con­fer­ences, and work­ing on var­i­ous pub­lish­ing projects. One of my favorite involve­ments is serv­ing on the board of direc­tors of The Charles Simeon Trust, a min­istry com­mit­ted to train­ing in bib­li­cal expo­si­tion through both work­shops and online courses.

Spare time? If I’m not writ­ing some­thing or speak­ing some­where, I’m prob­a­bly either trav­el­ing in Indone­sia with Niel, play­ing with grand­daugh­ters, doing Bible study or hav­ing cof­fee with a group of women, read­ing a book, or going for a walk—or some com­bi­na­tion of the above!

 

  • Ques­tion #2 — What inspired you to write your books?

I’ll give two dif­fer­ent answers, the first for the Bible stud­ies which I’ve been priv­i­leged to pub­lish with P&R. Those stud­ies were begun years ago as a project just for the women of my church, where I helped lead the women’s Bible study. We were look­ing for cur­ricu­lum that would lead us into the meat of the Word and teach us how to take it in, whole Bible books at a time—the way they are given to us in Scrip­ture. Finally, one of our lead­ers said, “Kathleen—how about if you just write it!” And so began one of the most joy­ful projects of my life.

The sec­ond answer relates to my book Bible Study: Fol­low­ing the Ways of the Word. My hus­band and I were for years blessed to be part of a church where the lead­ers were com­mit­ted to train­ing mem­bers in read­ing and study­ing the Scrip­tures. As I began trav­el­ing and speak­ing here and there, it became clear that many churches were not so involved with bib­li­cal train­ing. I devel­oped a series of talks on just what the Bible is, and what that means for how we should study it—and one of the places I gave these talks was Dubai, in the United Arab Emi­rates, at a women’s con­fer­ence for an inter­na­tional church. The wife of that church’s senior pas­tor (who has since become a good friend) urged me to put that mate­r­ial in a book. I’m thank­ful for her urging—and loved work­ing on that book about study­ing the Word.

 

  • Ques­tion #3 — Tell us about a few of your favorite books

C. S. Lewis’s Till We Have Faces is a favorite and much-read novel, one that delves deep into a story of learn­ing to see what is real and true. It seems to jolt me toward real­ity every time I read it. I’ll also often pull out some poetry—perhaps Ger­ard Man­ley Hop­kins if I’m wide awake, or Amy Carmichael if I’m need­ing encour­age­ment, or George Her­bert at any time. John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress comes off the shelf reg­u­larly. These writ­ers have helped shape my think­ing about God and what it means to fol­low him: they take the stuff of real life and, as they put that stuff into words, find every­where echoes of the story of redemp­tion in Christ.

Some greatly-appreciated bib­li­cal helps would include books by Graeme Goldswor­thy, Edmund Clowney, Derek Kid­ner, J. Alec Motyer, Dale Ralph Davis, D. A. Car­son, John Frame, Leland Ryken, and Kent Hughes (our pas­tor for many years).

 

Books by Kathleen Nielson:
1. Bible Study: Fol­low­ing the Ways of the Word
To read a sam­ple chap­ter of this book, click HERE
Liv­ing Word Bible Study series:
2. 1 & 2 Thes­sa­lo­ni­ans: Liv­ing the Gospel to the End
To read a sam­ple chap­ter of this book, click HERE
3. Colos­sians and Phile­mon: Con­tinue to Live in Him
To read a sam­ple chap­ter of this book, click HERE
4. Eccle­si­astes and Song of Songs: Wisdom’s Search­ing and Finding
To read a sam­ple chap­ter of this book, click HERE
5. Isa­iah: The Lord Saves
To read a sam­ple chap­ter of this book, click HERE
6. John: That You May Believe
To read a sam­ple chap­ter of this book, click HERE
7. Joshua: All God’s Good Promises
To read a sam­ple chap­ter of this book, click HERE
8. Nehemiah: Rebuilt and Rebuilding
To read a sam­ple chap­ter of this book, click HERE
9. Proverbs: The Ways of Wisdom
To read a sam­ple chap­ter of this book, click HERE
10. Psalms Vol­ume 1: Songs Along the Way
To read a sam­ple chap­ter of this book, click HERE
11. Psalms Vol­ume 2: Find­ing the Way to Prayer and Praise
To read a sam­ple chap­ter of this book, click HERE

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Inter­ested in learn­ing more about Kathleen?

Visit her web­site: www.kathleennielson.com ==========================================================================

Author Interview with Zack Eswine

This week’s author inter­view is with Zack Eswine, author of Recov­er­ing Eden: The Gospel Accord­ing to Eccle­si­astes. This is the 15th and most recent book in our Gospel Accord­ing to the Old Tes­ta­ment series.

  • Ques­tion #1 — Tell us a lit­tle bit about yourself

I was born and raised in South­ern Indi­ana. Hen­ryville is my child­hood home­town. But I’ve spent a great deal of time in “the Knobs” too. Now, I’m a pas­tor. With my fam­ily, I work and rest in Web­ster Groves, Missouri.

 

  • Ques­tion #2 — Did you always enjoy writing?

When I was younger I enjoyed the thought of writ­ing but not the work of it. I liked the sounds of words and I liked to con­nect them. I imag­ined with ambi­tion the enjoy­ment of hav­ing my own books that peo­ple read. But a funny thing hap­pens. When your first book releases, you still have to take out the trash or brush your teeth or buckle beneath a pain that undoes you that day. So, I sup­pose over time “enjoy­ment” in writ­ing has changed its qual­ity. I sup­pose I’ve had to learn the hard work war­ranted by the craft. Per­haps my early enjoy­ment more resem­bled the delight of tast­ing an apple-flavored candy. The candy col­ors the tongue green for a moment. We look in the mir­ror or make faces at friends. But now “enjoy­ment” in writ­ing feels more like bone and ache. The stiff back and body soak of sweat from dig­ging dirt with­out shade until finally the sun decides to back off. Evening breeze and cool water whis­per and wait until finally we get to ease deep into our favorite chair next to our favorite peo­ple and hear those invit­ing words. “Din­ner is ready. “

 

  • Ques­tion #3 — What inspired you to write this book?

Two rea­sons. Per­son­ally, I find great help and com­fort from the book of Eccle­si­astes. Pas­torally, I have found that Chris­tians unfa­mil­iar with this book are sorely dis­ad­van­taged in the way they try to approach God and to do life as a Chris­t­ian. I have also found that those who aren’t Chris­tians can find gen­uine help in this book.

 

  • Ques­tion #4 — Do you have a spe­cific spot and/or time that you enjoy writ­ing the most?

As a pas­tor and as a fam­ily man, I have to fol­low the sea­sons and find my times within them. Some­times this means I’m writ­ing late at night, or within a nook of after­noon. I rarely write early in the morn­ing, though I can if I need to. My favorite spot is out­side, near some trees, next to some kind of water, like a pond or lake. But on most occa­sions I’m in my upstairs hall­way next to a win­dow at a desk.

 

  • Ques­tion #5 — How do you deal with writer’s block?

Every­one is dif­fer­ent on this of course. For me, I’ve tried the wis­dom that says, “push through and write any­thing, don’t edit it, and see what you dis­cover.” Some­times I do this. But more often than not, I’m real­iz­ing that I need to stop. Get up, go for a walk in my lit­tle upstairs hall­way or step out­side, feel the wind, walk around the neigh­bor­hood or even take a shower. Often thoughts begin to flow again. If they don’t, I’m learn­ing to assume that I’m not ready to write that sec­tion. It isn’t well enough formed or under­stood within me yet. I have to sur­ren­der to the fact that I need to live a bit more of life than I want to in order to write about this sub­ject that stalls me. Until then, I will move on to a dif­fer­ent sub­ject or idea. I try to ride what­ever wave will let me catch hold for as long is it will take me. Even if it isn’t the wave I wanted to ride that day.

 

  • Ques­tion #6 — Which Writ­ers Inspire You?

Dif­fer­ent writ­ers for dif­fer­ent rea­sons dur­ing dif­fer­ent sea­sons of my life. Wen­dell Berry, Kath­leen Nor­ris, Don­ald Hall, Czes­law Milosz, and Mary Oliver have put places into poetry. Mar­i­lynne Robin­son has done this also with her nov­els. Eugene Peter­son has done the same for me in terms of think­ing about pas­toral min­istry with a local peo­ple and place. Pastor/Poet/Novelists like Georges Bernanos or Ger­ard Man­ley Hop­kins inspire me as a pas­tor who writes. Fran­cis Scha­ef­fer and Jer­ram Barrs help me think about the world. John Calvin, Mar­tyn Lloyd Jones, and Charles Spur­geon teach me prayer and Spirit depen­dence upon God. Leighton Ford helps me pay atten­tion to Christ moment by moment.

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Want to learn more about Zack Eswine?

Read his blog: http://preachingbarefoot.com/

Visit his web­site: http://www.zackeswine.com/

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