Dying to Speak by Anthony J. Carter & Lee Fowler

Table of Contents

  1. Be Forgiven—“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
  2. Be Saved—“Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
  3. Be Loved—“Woman, here is your son.”
  4. Be Reconciled—“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
  5. Be Refreshed—“I thirst.”
  6. Be Complete—“It is finished.”
  7. Be Satisfied—“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!”

The following is an excerpt taken from the Introduction of Dying to Speak: Meditations from the Cross.

LAST WORDS, LASTING IMPRESSIONS

The preacher reminds us in Ecclesiastes 3:1–2, “For everything there is a season . . . a time to be born, and a time to die.” Death is the inevitable consequence of being alive in this world. In fact, the Bible tells us that death is an appointment we all must keep sooner or later (see Heb. 9:27). As true as this is for each of us, it was never truer than in the life of Jesus Christ. Literally and thankfully, Jesus was born to die.

During the years for which we have an account of Jesus’s life, we see that everything he did and everywhere he went pointed to his death on the cross. Ironically, the agony and shame of the cross was the culmination of a life well lived, a life in submission and obedience to the will of God. Gloriously, the life of Christ was for the dying.

There were no random events or incidental conversations or accidental encounters. The deliberate way in which Christ lived his life was amazing. His purpose was clear. His vision focused. His mind singularly consumed. From the cradle he was heading to the cross. The path was already set before him. There was no doubt; he was going to walk the road ordained for him even though it was the path marked with the severity of sin—sin not his own, but ours. Amazingly, he willingly and joyfully walked it (see Heb. 12:2).

Every step was one step closer to the hour of agony, the moment of consequence. Every step increased the intensity. Every encounter with the religious authorities heightened their animosity and resolve to see Jesus discredited and put to death. Increasingly his conversations with his disciples anticipated the hour of his suffering and crucifixion. Nothing and no time was wasted. From his last meal with his disciples to his agonizing prayers in Gethsemane to the cries due to the penetrating nails, every word and action was purposeful in revealing who Christ is and what he came to do. Even on the cross, as he hung in rejection and shame, his words were not wasted. Instead, each was calculated to press upon the world the meaning of his life and the consequence of his death.

No one was ever more conscious of his death than Jesus was. Unlike any other person, from the beginning Jesus acutely knew he was born to die. He knew when he would die. He knew how he would die. He knew what his death would accomplish, and he knew why and how he would accomplish it. With the nature and time of his death so eminently on his mind, we can be assured that every aspect of it was in accord with God’s will and that Jesus knew it. Therefore, when we read the words of Christ on the cross, we can be assured that his last words, like his life, were full of meaning. They were not accidental, casual, or arbitrary. Rather, his words were intentional and had redemptive significance.

His final words made a lasting and far-reaching impression.

Click HERE to learn more about Dying to Speak.

First Two New Releases of 2021

We released two new titles this month.


Dying to Speak: Meditations from the Cross by Anthony J. Carter & Lee Fowler

88 pages | Hardcover | $15.99 $12.00

About

Jesus’s last words reveal who he is: the Son of God, Messiah, Shepherd of our souls, Savior of the world. They also tell us what we are to be because of him: forgiven, saved, loved, reconciled, refreshed, complete, and satisfied. With pastoral care, Anthony Carter and Lee Fowler remind us of the implications of Christ’s words for our lives today.

Endorsements

“Good for the soul, reminding us of Christ’s character and instructing us to live out the gospel truths that are infused in Jesus’s last words.”

—Kristie Anyabwile, Bible Teacher; Editor, His Testimonies, My Heritage: Women of Color on the Word of God 

“Offers devotional encouragement and combines it with a pastoral challenge to remember that who we are in Christ is grounded in what he has done for us on the cross.”

—Guy M. Richard, Executive Director and Associate Professor of Systematic Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary, Atlanta 

“Beautifully expounds the final words of Christ and makes thoughtful, tender, and challenging gospel application to the mind and heart.”

—Aaron Messner, Senior Pastor, Westminster Presbyterian Church, Atlanta 

“A powerful and poignant work that draws out the power and purpose of Jesus’s final declarations.”

—Anthony T. Pelt, Senior Pastor, Radiant Living Worship Center, Deerfield Beach, Florida


Left: 1959 edition
Right: 2021 edition which also includes Rev. Oliver’s 1964 paper “The Church and Social Change”

No Flesh Shall Glory (New and Expanded): How the Bible Destroys the Foundations of Racism by C. Herbert Oliver

144 pages | Paperback | $14.99 $11.25

About

C. Herbert Oliver, a Black civil rights leader from Birmingham, Alabama, spent thirteen years rethinking the racial ideologies of his day before writing No Flesh Shall Glory in the late 1950s. In clear, biblical, and unflinching language, he dismantles the dogmas of race superiority, the doctrine of racial solidarity, and the whitewashing of history and Scripture. His book is a gracious challenge to break free from oppressive ways of thinking and to see humanity as God sees us.

This new edition of Rev. Oliver’s 1959 work includes his paper on the church, social change, identity, and protest, originally delivered as two lectures at Westminster Theological Seminary in 1964.

Endorsements

“Riveting and relevant. . . . Writing with theological precision, Oliver delivers a passionate plea for Christians to embrace the biblical doctrines of race. . . . Specifically, he connects the wisdom of God in creating diverse ethnicities to the power of God in unifying all peoples in one family. This good news is as timeless as it is timely!”

—Doug Logan Jr. 

“For Rev. Oliver, remaining separate and segregated in the church is anti-Christian. . . . He calls us to embrace the truth that our God is a God of variety and to rejoice in the limitless display of God’s creative genius in that variety. . . . This work is part of the necessary antidote to our ongoing fractures and polarization within the body of Christ.”

—Irwyn L. Ince

“With the heart of a pastor and the careful exegesis of a scholar, Pastor Oliver pushes against historic presuppositions for interpreting race and offers sound scriptural argument, exposing the heart of God. . . . I can’t recommend this book enough!”

—Vanessa K. Hawkins

“Makes a clear biblical case for the beauty of kingdom diversity and the absolute unity of the human race created in the image of God. . . . Both the man and this book are anti-racist for the simple reason that racism is anti-Christian.”

—Philip Ryken

“Leads readers to Scripture and demonstrates that prevailing concepts of race and practices of segregation are deeply inconsistent with God’s creation of all mankind in His image. . . . I am grateful that Oliver’s prophetic ministry speaks again in these troubled times.”

—Peter A. Lillback


No Flesh Shall Glory

Left: 1959 edition
Right: 2021 edition which also includes Rev. Oliver’s 1964 paper “The Church and Social Change”

EDITOR’S NOTE

You are holding a piece of history—a book written more than sixty years ago by a man who had a passion to see justice done in the world, and particularly in the United States of America. At that time, many white Christians promoted the separation of the races and tried to defend it as compatible with Christian ethics. Interracial marriage was viewed as a sin. For some, even the casual or friendly association of Black and white people was suspect. A grievous embrace of worldly racial ideology made this book necessary, and Rev. C. Herbert Oliver, with bold commitment to biblical truth, rose to meet that need. He did more than write. In 1959, the year this book was originally published, he moved from Maine back to his hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, to participate as an activist in the civil rights movement.

Is there need for this book today? We believe that there is. Rev. Oliver’s reliance on the Word of God fills his writing with enduring wisdom as he speaks of the complex nature of humankind. He writes as one of God’s champions of truth, graciously and firmly, and so we can learn from both his message and the way in which he conveys it.

The need for this book, however, goes deeper than this. When truths about human beings are exchanged for lies, the damage is profound. Worldly racial ideologies remain with us to this day, often in new forms. As the world and the church continue to grapple with racism and related issues, we would do well to listen to the insights of a man who took up the fight in decades past. We are grateful to Rev. Oliver for his bold commitment to this cause.

We are also grateful to Mr. Charles H. Craig, who in the 1950s helped to promote a message so controversial in its day. Mr. Craig had headed Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company for only two years when he published No Flesh Shall Glory. He had an interest in social causes—having formerly been involved with Big Brothers of New York City—and a desire to promote biblical understanding on a wide range of issues.

Rev. Oliver writes as a graduate of Wheaton College and Westminster Theological Seminary and as a pastor in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church—in a style both pastoral and academic. Thus, although No Flesh Shall Glory has some technical elements, it is broadly accessible. We have made very few changes to the text. His 1964 paper “The Church and Social Change” has immediate application for discussions today and is a good starting point for those getting acquainted with his work. We are delighted to be able to include it in this volume as well.


Click HERE to buy a copy from Westminster Bookstore for only $8.99 (40% off).


Author Interview with Michael Graham

Today’s author interview is with Michael Graham. He is the author of our new release, Cheer Up! The Life and Ministry of Jack Miller.

  • Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I grew up in Bayou La Batre—a coastal fishing village in southwest Alabama. From the age of six, I worked in the net shop of the family seafood business threading needles with twine for the workers who repaired the nets on a fleet of shrimp boats in between their trips. We really didn’t have spare time to speak of, and I still struggle with understanding that concept as an adult. Every summer, holiday, and school break (including college), my siblings and I would work in some capacity for my father’s business. My favorite job was the three summers I spent as a teenager on the Silver King III—a charter fishing boat that took parties from around the southeast to the Chandeleur Islands to fish for three- and four-day trips.

  • When did you first want to write a book?

Actually, I stumbled into writing a book. It was not something I ever dreamed of doing. As I look back, I learned to write after I graduated from college. I was supposed to work for the family seafood business developing the international side of things—or at least that was the plan. Dad, however, did not have an assistant of his own, and since he was the boss, in reality I became his personal assistant—which mainly involved writing all of his correspondence. Though I chafed against this work, which was outside the scope of my assignment, it was in the school of writing and editing my father’s letters, projects, brochures, and specifications that I actually learned how to write.

  • Which writers inspire you?

My wife, Vicki, is the one who really got me into reading. Until I met her, I didn’t have the time or patience to be a reader. Now I am reading, and thinking about what I’ve read, all the time. Easily, my favorite writer is Mark Twain. I simply love the way he turns a phrase and makes me laugh so often. Among Christian writers, I greatly enjoy C. S. Lewis, Tim Keller, John Piper, J. R. R. Tolkien, Paul Miller, and of course Jack and Rose Marie Miller. 

  • What inspired you to write this book, about this topic?

In 2015, I had gotten permission to access the Jack Miller archives at the PCA Historical Center in order to research a paper on corporate prayer and leadership. After I finished the research and wrote the paper, I emailed the Miller family to thank them for granting me access and strongly suggested that they engage someone to write Jack’s biography. When I wrote that email, I had never considered in a million years that I would be the one to write Cheer Up! Fast forward six months, to a doctoral seminar I had with Danny Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, which was when he first learned about Jack Miller and recommended that I write a biography on his life and ministry while so many people Jack had influenced were still alive. I knew that Jack’s biography needed writing, but I also assumed I would be the very last person in the world to write it. I’m still amazed at how the sovereign Lord brought together such a team of people to make Cheer Up! a reality. 

  • Do you have a specific spot where you enjoy writing most?

I am intense and often find it hard to relax and focus. When I worked on the Silver King III, I would haul my mattress from the forepeak down in the bow of the boat and place it on the deck next to the anchor bit. I loved falling asleep listening to the waves pat against the boat’s hull at night. The same sense of calmness comes when I am on a balcony of our vacation rental in Panama City Beach listening to the waves break against the shore, which is where I wrote almost all of Cheer Up!

  • Other than the Bible, do you have a favorite book? 

J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy.

  • Favorite sport to watch?

College football; Alabama Crimson Tide. I had the privilege of playing for several years before being injured.

  • Favorite food? 

A toss-up between New Orleans shrimp boil and South Indian dhaba (roadside) food.

  • Tea or coffee?

Definitely coffee brewed in a Swedish Moccamaster coffee maker.

  • What famous person (living or dead) would you like to meet, and why?

Jack Miller—so I could talk to him about Cheer Up!, everything I learned from him, and especially all the important things I missed.


ORDER Cheer Up! The Life and Ministry of Jack Miller

WTS Books: $14.61

CVBBS: $16.50

PCA Bookstore: as low as $16.74

Christianbook: $20.99

Amazon: $21.97


Excerpt taken from The Christ of Christmas by James Montgomery Boice


Here is a short excerpt taken from pages 81-83 of The Christ of Christmas by James Montgomery Boice.


The King in a Manger

Every person has a birthday, and most birthdays are remembered at least by the person himself and usually by his immediate family. But no birthday has ever been remembered so widely as the birthday of the Lord Jesus Christ.

We know that there is no real evidence that He was born on December 25. In fact, the one small bit of evidence we do have goes against that date. We are told that an announcement of His birth was made to shepherds when they were in the fields with their sheep, and that is normally true only during the spring and summer months, between late March and September. Actually, we observe the birth of Jesus on the day we do because this date was established by consensus during the first Christian centuries and has been preserved by tradition. But that is relatively unimportant. The important thing is that Jesus was born, and the interesting fact is that so many remember His birth.

Why is this? It is true that many remember the birth of Christ because they are Christians and therefore love and cherish Him. But millions of others are not Christians and yet also celebrate Christmas. Why has the birth of this one man so seized upon the minds and imaginations of men and women?

Christmas Paradoxes

Answers to that question are found in the paradoxes of the Christmas story, one of which we want to look at in detail.

One obvious paradox is of purity in the account of the birth of a child to an unwed mother. The birth of a child to a girl who is not married is not surprising or even remarkable, though it is tragic. It is a story known to any preacher—the girl, quite often deeply distressed; the parents, frantic with grief and indecision. But the tone of distress and grief we know is not the tone of this story. Rather, there is purity: the purity of Mary who, we are told, was troubled by the angel’s announcement and asked in innocence, “How will this be . . . since I am a virgin?” (Luke 1:34); and the purity of Joseph, who was not the father but who believed the announcement of the angel and so shielded Mary by marrying her, though he did not have intercourse with her until after Jesus was born.

A second paradox follows that one. It is also a story of joy in what would normally be a tragedy. Under normal circumstances Mary would have been in danger of vicious public exposure and even death, for stoning was the penalty prescribed for fornication in Israel. She would have been distraught and in anguish. Yet when Mary came to her cousin Elizabeth, to whom she had gone to share her unbelievable news, Elizabeth at once broke forth in praise to God and in ascriptions of blessings on Mary, and Mary responded with that great hymn of praise known as the Magnificat.

There are other contrasts in this story. There is the announcement of the birth of the baby to shepherds, those from the lowest levels of ancient Jewish society, by angels who are certainly figures of great stature and glory. There is the neglect of Jesus by His own people, while Gentile wise men came to worship Him. Even the baby is a paradox. For unlike other babies, who are born to live, this child was born to die.

And yet, in this great story so filled with paradoxes, there is one paradox that stands out above the rest, and perhaps more than any other commends the account to many people. It is that the one born in such lowly surroundings—in a stable, of poor parents, laid in an animal’s manger—was nevertheless the God of glory, whose splendor before the incarnation surpassed that even of those heavenly beings who announced His birth to the shepherds. Here is a baby. But He is the King of kings and Lord of lords. He is God in a stable. He is the supreme potentate of the universe among His own lowly cattle.

That is the paradox of the incarnation: Immanuel!