Author Highlight — Edward T. Welch

Edward T. Welch (PhD, University of Utah) serves both the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF) and Westminster Theological Seminary. At CCEF, he is director of counseling and academic dean, as well as a counselor and faculty member. At Westminster, he is professor of practical theology. He is the author of 3 P&R books and 6 booklets.

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1. When People Are Big and God Is Small: Overcoming Peer Pressure, Codependency, and the Fear of Man

Overly concerned about what people think of you?

All experiences of the fear of man share at least one common feature: people are big. They have grown to idolatrous proportions in our lives. They control us. Since there is no room in our hearts to worship both God and people, whenever people are big, God is not. Therefore the first task in escaping the snare of the fear of man is to know that God is awesome and glorious, not other people.

Welch uncovers the spiritual dimension of people-pleasing and points the way through a true knowledge of God, ourselves, and others.

2. Blame It on the Brain?: Distinguishing Chemical Imbalances, Brain Disorders, and Disobedience

Depression. Attention deficit disorder. Alcoholism. Homosexuality.

Research suggests that more and more behaviors are caused by brain function or dysfunction. But is it ever legitimate to blame misbehavior on the brain? How can I know whether “My brain made me do it”?

Viewing brain problems through the lens of Scripture, Edward T. Welch distinguishes genuine brain disorders from problems rooted in the heart. Understanding that distinction will enable pastors, counselors, families, and friends to help others—or themselves—deal with personal struggles and responsibilities. While focusing on a few common disorders, Dr. Welch lays out a series of practical steps adaptable to a wide range of conditions, habits, or addictions.

3. Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave: Finding Hope in the Power of the Gospel

Addiction is a worship disorder. Will we worship ourselves and our own desires, or will we worship the true God?

Scripture reveals addicts’ true condition: like guests at a banquet thrown by “the woman Folly,” they are already in the grave. (Prov. 9:13–18) Can we not escape our addictions?

Ed Welch shows us that when we are following Jesus we have “immense hope that God can give power so that we are no longer mastered by the addiction.”

Resources for Changing Lives Booklets

4. ADD: Wandering Minds and Wired Bodies

Easy distractibility or forgetfulness. Mouths, arms, hands, and legs that run ahead of thinking. Impulsive decisions, chronic difficulties meeting deadlines, mistaken notions of one’s own abilities… behaviors often associated with Attention Deficit Disorder.

What is ADD? What are the strengths and weaknesses of ADD children? What can be done about this puzzling disorder? Noting both the challenges and responsibilities of ADD children, Edward T. Welch clarifies the physical and spiritual dimensions of ADD. He offers parents—as well as adults who fit the profile—help, encouragement, and biblical wisdom on how to handle this condition.

5. Depression: The Way Up When You Are Down

Lost ambition. Emotional numbness. Fear and withdrawal. Fatigue. Marks of what is commonly called depression.

If you are one of the many people suffering from depression, there is hope and there is help—a way up when you are down. Even if you don’t feel like doing anything, this booklet provides manageable steps for getting started on the path that leads out of depression.

Edward T. Welch helps us understand the spiritual issues involved, whether one’s depression is caused by physical problems or results in them. Getting to the heart of what depression says and means, Welch guides us through a process of dealing with depression biblically and effectively.

6. Homosexuality: Speaking the Truth in Love

“Homosexuality is the hot issue of the day,” says Edward T. Welch in this booklet. “Even more than abortion, it will confront the church throughout this generation, forcing us to listen, study, and respond wisely.”

How can we answer claims that the Bible does not prohibit committed homosexual relationships? Or that science proves that homosexuality is genetic, not a chosen lifestyle? Welch supplies us with timely biblical and biological insight into homosexuality. Just as importantly, he calls us to examine our attitudes in order to minister to homosexuals truthfully, compassionately, humbly, and persuasively.

7. Just One More: When Desires Don’t Take No for an Answer

I hate it. I love it.

Sometimes our desires can be cruel lovers. We think we should be rid of a particular desire, but we feel stuck. “What’s the use in trying to rid my life of this desire?” we ask ourselves. “I’ve tried, but there’s just no way out for me.”

Or is there?

The problem may be more complicated than just being stuck. Might there be a path to true change? (If so, would you want to take that path?) Edward T. Welch may surprise you with his answer. Along the way he will introduce you to someone with words of comfort and hope you may never have heard before.

8. Motives: Why Do I Do the Things I Do

People are complex. There is behavior that we see and motives that we don’t. Behind the “what we do” of our lives is the “why we do it.”

Edward T. Welch challenges us to peer more closely into the “why.” He insightfully reveals that, according to God’s Word, the heart is the source of all human motivation. Our hearts contain motives such as: Pleasure, Happiness, Meaning, Power, Comfort, Control, Success, Peace, Freedom, Reputation, Respect, Love/Intimacy

Welch encourages us to ask questions to discover some of our deeper motives:

  • What do we hope for, want, crave?
  • What do you fear? What do you worry about?
  • When do you say, “If only…”?

9. Self-Injury: When Pain Feels Good

If you have ever purposely injured yourself, it may seem normal, even right. But if you haven’t, it seems impossible to understand those who have. After all, don’t living creatures avoid pain?

Edward T. Welch writes this eye-opening and encouraging booklet assuming that you feel trapped in a cycle of self-injury or that you love someone who does. Welch helps loved ones to understand the selfinjurer’s world. And if you are the one who feels trapped by this behavior, he lovingly describes a cure that is more attractive than you think. If you want peace and rest, you must look away from yourself. Look to Jesus—the answers reside in him.


 

Table of Contents — Pride and Humility at War by J. Lanier Burns

Here is the table of contents to Pride and Humility at War: A Biblical Perspective by J. Lanier Burns.

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Contents

Foreword by Sinclair B. Ferguson

Acknowledgments

List of Abbreviations

1. Introduction

2. God-Centeredness or Self-Centeredness in the Pentateuch

  • The Human Condition from Adam through Abraham
  • Moses as an Example of Humility in Israel
  • Moses’ Prediction of Pride in Israel
  • The Foundational Conflict between God and Self

3. The Humiliation of Pride in the Wisdom Literature

  • Job: Popular Wisdom versus Godly Humility
  • Psalms: Ungodly Pride versus Humble Faith
  • Proverbs: Humiliation of Pride versus Exaltation of Humility

4. The Oracles against Pride in the Prophets

  • Ezekiel’s Oracle against Tyre
  • Isaiah’s Oracle against Babylon
  • Daniel’s Account of Nebuchadnezzar’s Humiliation
  • The Kings’ Lessons for Us

5. The Great Reversal in the Gospels

  • Being Willing to Become Childlike under God
  • Being Willing to Be Last for God
  • Being Willing to Serve All People for God
  • Being Willing to Follow Christ on the Road to Calvary

6. Humility like Christ in Paul’s Epistles

  • Pride as the Cause of Philippian Disunity
  • Humility as the Example of Christ
  • Humility as the Way of Biblical Greatness
  • Pride as the Cause of Corinthian Disunity
  • Humility as Paul’s Response to Corinthian Boasting

7. Conclusion

  • Summary of the Study
  • Lessons of the Study

Glossary

Select Bibliography

Index of Scripture

Index of Subjects and Names


 

Excerpt — Departing in Peace by Bill Davis

Here is an excerpt taken from Departing in Peace: Biblical Decision-Making at the End of Life by Bill Davis.


THE AUTHORITY TO MAKE CHOICES

Authority to Direct Our Own Lives

As image-bearers, we each have the authority to make the choices necessary to steward our own talents and opportunities. These choices are not made in isolation from our family and others, but we will be held ultimately responsible for serving Christ well. Our health affects our ability to use our time and talents, so the many choices we make about diet, sleep, exercise, and medical attention are a vital part of our stewardship task. Luke 12:35–48 recounts Jesus’ words about our obligations as servants awaiting his return. All our choices are included. The following biblical principle is foundational to end-of-life decision-making:

Servant Authority to Make Medical Choices: God’s Word teaches that every adult has the authority to accept or decline medical attention as part of his or her responsibility as an image-bearer of God. (The authority does not reside in each of us absolutely. The authority is delegated to us by God as his servants.)

This principle is foundational because it sets limits on the choices that we are authorized to make. We are not authorized to make choices that are contrary to God’s revealed will. Our choices are to serve God’s purposes in the world. Most of the time, our own health needs and God’s purposes overlap: we serve God faithfully by making choices that serve our own needs as well. Living according to God’s law is always what is best for us.*5 At times, though, we can ask questions that God’s Word does not answer with a simple yes or no. When that happens, we are still guided by what the Scriptures teach about God’s priorities for us. Living as faithful servants means eagerly seeking to understand what the Master loves and living to realize his purposes rather than living to please only ourselves.

Even when deciding about medical treatment for ourselves, our authority is not absolute. We have the authority to choose according to God’s values. We are stewards of the lives that he has given us. An important implication of seeing our authority this way is the limit that it places on those who make choices for us when we cannot. At some point in our lives, many of us will be too sick or confused to make choices about our own care. When that happens, someone else will have to step in and make choices for us. That person’s authority to make those choices comes from us, and our authority comes from God as his image-bearers. Using myself as an example, someone who speaks for me in making a medical decision is responsible for saying what I would say if I could understand the question and express an answer. This is what both God’s law and the states’ laws expect if someone is going to speak as a surrogate decision-maker or agent.

Extensive knowledge of what I value and what I hope to gain from medical attention will equip my surrogate decision-makers to choose for me. Years of conversations with me about my health challenges and the choices I have already made will also be helpful. Written instructions that anticipate decisions that are likely to arise will be golden. In order to prepare others to make decisions that carry on my effort to be a faithful steward of all I have, I have been thinking through the decisions that may be coming and have left instructions to inform my surrogates. The Bible teaches that we all have the authority to look ahead and anticipate choices in this way. This is implied in Paul’s instructions in his letters (see, e.g., Col. 4:10). Applied to medical treatment, this is the biblical principle:

Authority to Make Choices in Advance: God’s Word permits us to accept or decline medical treatment in advance, including leaving an advance directive or other instructions. These instructions are binding if they conform to God’s law.

As obvious as this authority may be, it is important to spell it out. Just as the authority to accept or decline treatment is only that of a servant’s authority to pursue his Master’s purposes, our surrogate’s authority is only that of a spokesperson seeking to pursue our purposes. If our values and desires are not known, our surrogates will find it difficult to make choices with confidence. They will have to guess what we would want, sometimes in the midst of a medical crisis when a quick decision is needed. No matter how much time they have, they will also have to wonder whether their own selfish desires and fears are the source of their guesses about what we would say. Genesis 50:25 reports that Joseph gave instructions about taking his bones back to the land of his fathers, and Exodus 13:19 tells us that his instructions were remembered. The value of decisions made in advance is another biblical principle:

Advance Directives Can Be a Blessing: God’s Word encourages us to take steps to remove unnecessary distress from those we love and ought to honor. Legally executed advance directives diminish the burdens of fear and indecision from all those who will have to make medical decisions for us if we cannot make them for ourselves. Advance directives clarify who is to decide if we cannot, and they reduce the need for anyone to guess about our wishes.

Just how great this blessing can be for our loved ones will be illustrated by the situations that are described in the next two chapters. Detailed instructions about completing an advance directive will be given in chapter 5.

As long as we are able to make decisions for ourselves, instructions for our loved ones and agents are not crucial. In the hospital, these instructions start to matter when a doctor or a nurse determines that we lack decisional capacity.


*5. David Clyde Jones, Biblical Christian Ethics (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1994); Cornelius Plantinga, Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995).

BOOK HIGHLIGHT — From Embers to a Flame How God Can Revitalize Your Church by Harry L. Reeder III with David Swavely

From Embers to a Flame How God Can Revitalize Your Church by Harry L. Reeder III with David Swavely

256 pages | $12.99 | Paperback | Kindle: $8.99 | iTunes: $8.99

About

Whether your church is healthy or struggling, the biblical principles in this book point the way to greater spiritual vitality. A pastor, seminary teacher, and conference speaker, Harry Reeder has long specialized in church revitalization. He deftly alerts us to potential problems in our churches, helps us to recognize our weaknesses and opportunities, and guides us in applying biblically based strategies for rekindling the flames of godly growth.

With upwards of 80 percent of American churches either in decline or at a plateau, many of our churches are ripe for renewal. Even thriving congregations can benefit from the insights, cautions, and recommendations packed into this concise volume.

Harry Reeder has for decades studied, taught on, and participated in church revitalization. One church in which he was pastor grew from 38 members to over 3000 in attendance. But the priorities and procedures that lead a church “from embers to a flame” are not about numbers. They are about the wise application of biblical principles that lead to congregational health and genuine growth.

God renews churches not through warmed-over secular methodologies but through time-honored truths that build on the past and prepare us for the future. Reeder’s insights concerning prayer, the Word, godly leadership, vision, outreach, and more, serve both as corrective measures for declining churches and as preventive measures to keep healthy congregations moving forward.

Endorsements

“Harry Reeder is more than a great preacher—he is gifted at spiritually revitalizing local congregations. And unless your church is a brand-new church plant, it needs some level of renewal! So we all can learn much from this volume.”

—Tim Keller

“Revitalizing churches is not easy, but Harry Reeder has done it and done it effectively more than once. He knows as much about it as anyone. If we hope to restore spiritual health to our churches, then this book deserves careful attention.”

—Luder G. Whitlock

“I highly recommend this book. Harry Reeder is well qualified to write on church revitalization. He has seen two churches dramatically revitalized under his leadership and has for years coached other churches in the principles through seminars and ongoing consultation. This is an extremely important area, and Harry is an expert in the field.”

—Frank M. Barker Jr.

About The Authors

Harry ReederHarry L. Reeder III (MDiv, DMin) is senior pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Alabama. He has written extensively on the topic of church revitalization, taught on the topic at the seminary level, and led conferences both nationally and internationally.

 Author

Dave Swavely

Dave SwavelyDavid Swavely (MDiv) was the founding pastor of Faith Church in Sonoma, California, and planted a church in the Malvern area near Philadelphia. He has also written Decisions, Decisions: How (and How Not) to Make Them and coauthored, with Wayne A. Mack, Life in the Father’s House: A Member’s Guide to the Local Church.

Swavely


 

The Making Him Known Series

The Making Him Known Series

Authors Sally Michael, Jill Nelson, and Gary Steward guide parents and their young children through the basics of the Bible, exploring even complex theological topics in easy-to-understand, kid-friendly language. The books includes additional questions for reflection and family activities at the end of each ready-made lesson that will help children to remember what they have learned. These full-color, illustrated books are the perfect devotional tools for families with young children.


MHK series


God’s Names

When you want to get to know someone, where do you start? How do you introduce yourself? Usually you start with someone’s name.

God knows this—and he doesn’t have just one name to share with us! The Bible gives us many names for God and tells us what they all mean. And when we learn a new name for God, we learn something new about him, too!

This book is for parents and children to read together. Every chapter includes questions for family discussion and an activity.

“The God Sally sees, savors, and sets forth here is unabashedly big. Not distant and uncaring. But great enough to make his caring count.”

—John Piper, Author, Pastor for Preaching and Vision, Bethlehem Baptist Church

“Sally Michael has done us a great service in writing God’s Names that we may tell our children not only that God is, but also who he is.”

—Tim Challies, Author, Blogger, Social Media Consultant

God’s Promise

You have probably seen your children’s eyes light up at receiving a present. How excited would they be to get a present directly from God? God already has a present to offer your children. And you can be the one who helps them discover it!

God has given all his children many promises through his Word as gifts that flow from his goodness and love. Each one is backed up by his power and trustworthy character, so we can be confident in them.

This book, for parents and children to read together, will help children learn these promises and put their own confidence in them. Each chapter looks at a new promise and explores it in the context of a Bible story.

God has left his promises with his people so they can trust him…and through these pages your children can trust him too.

“This engaging, attractively illustrated book teaches not only the promises of the Bible, but also the character of the God who makes and keeps his promises.”

—Tedd Tripp, President of Shepherding the Heart Ministries

“This book is clear, profound, helpful, and at every point grounded with faith and confidence in who God is. A tremendous resource!”

—Elizabeth Groves, Lecturer in Old Testament, Westminster Seminary

God’s Providence

All parents want their children to feel secure. How reassuring would it be for your child to know that nothing is outside God’s control?

Every person, every circumstance, and every action is part of God’s plan—a plan that works all things for the good of those who love him. This is God’s providence, a doctrine that brings us joy even as it staggers our understanding.

Can a child grasp this important, encouraging truth?

Sally Michael believes that a child who can embrace God’s providence can rest in God’s sovereign care, and she uses simple truths to help you explain God’s providence to your children. She moves on to show children how God’s providence applies to all of life and creation… including themselves.

How many fears, worries, frustrations, and tears would be spared if your children truly understood and rested in the providence of God?

“My heart soars with worship and joy and zeal as I page through Sally’s new book, God’s Providence. . . . Here is a foundation for life that is solid enough to sustain parents and children through the hardest times they will ever face. . . .And here is practical application for children and those who love them enough to teach them.”

—John Piper, Author; Associate Pastor for Preaching and Vision, Chancellor, Bethlehem Baptist Church

“Sally Michael has written a primer on God’s providence that is richly biblical and theological. This is a helpful resource for parents to introduce to their children God’s constant watching and working in our world, and one that provides numerous opportunities for reflection and discussion. I heartily commend it.”

—Brandon Crowe, Associate Professor of New Testament, Westminster Theological Seminary

God’s Wisdom

Every day our children are confronted with the call of wisdom and the call of foolishness.

Which call will they answer?

All of us, down to the youngest child, start out on the path of foolishness because we are born with foolishness in our hearts. Only God can incline your child’s heart toward the path of wisdom—and he can use your example and diligent instruction to do it.

Through these teachings and stories from the Bible, Sally Michael describes for parents and children the characteristics of the foolish and the wise, contrasts for them the way of wisdom with the way of foolishness, and shows them the end result of each path.

Explore these two paths with your own child and let the words of Proverbs encourage them on the life-giving path of wisdom.

“Sally Michael seamlessly weaves New Testament and Old Testament stories together to teach biblical wisdom in a way that is clear, fun, and engaging for children. Her compelling word pictures and analogies make difficult concepts easier to grasp.”

—Marty Machowski, Pastor, Author of Long Story Short and The Gospel Story Bible

“Once again, Sally Michael has used her fervent love for Christ and her keen understanding of the Scriptures to help parents and children. . . . I’m very excited to put this book into the hands of parents.”

—Deepak Reju, Associate Pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington, D.C.

God’s Battle

Parents work hard to protect their children from danger.

But are we helping to guard them in the spiritual battle that already rages around them?

Whether he consciously takes sides or not, every person is in the middle of spiritual warfare. None of us can choose to sit on the sidelines—and even our children are not exempt!

So rather than trying to shield them from the very real war around them, why not equip them, as early as possible, to take an active role and fight back?

Sally Michael provides the framework for parents to train their children in the fight of faith. In this full-color, illustrated “battle plan,” she uses the gospel message to introduce children to the state of their hearts, then awakens them to the many battlegrounds that surround us—both from our own sinful hearts and from the enemy’s attacks.

She then encourages children to be fighters, giving them a biblical battle strategy to depend on God, resist the enemy, and stand strong!

“The Christian life is no Disney adventure. It’s a dangerous journey to the Celestial City, and we spend much of it fighting for faith and for the faith. Our children need to learn early on what the battle is all about, what it’s like to fight, and how to survive.”

—Jon Bloom, President, Desiring God

God’s Battle is a theologically rich resource for parents and pastors who want to give children a God-sized vision to fight the good fight of the faith. I highly recommend it.”

—Josh Mulvihill, Pastor to Children and Families, Grace Church, Eden Prairie, Minnesota

God’s Design

Parents celebrate both the sons and the daughters that God gives them.

It’s more important than ever to teach those sons and daughters to celebrate who God made them, too.

Through this illustrated guide, parents can begin the discussion with both boys and girls about God’s wise and beautiful design for them. Wrong ideas about gender identity are lining up to influence our children, and they are no longer too young to learn what it means to be men and women!

Sally Michael and Gary Steward partner to bring a male-and-female approach to the topic of gender roles—one that is united together under the authority of God’s plan in His Word. Through examples and stories from Scripture, they present this difficult topic delicately and in a way that even the youngest children can understand.

Don’t leave your children to be confused or ashamed of who they are—help them to rejoice in who God designed them to be!

“A user-friendly, Scripture-saturated guidebook for young children, while still challenging older children and even parents to embrace God’s plan with joy and thanksgiving. An essential resource for Christian families in an increasingly sexualized and gender confused culture.”

—Candice Watters, Author, Start Your Family and Get Married

“This wonderful little book brims with wonder at the Lord’s creative intelligence. It savors the way that Christ renews manhood and womanhood, calling us all to a better plan and a grander design than the world offers.”

—Owen Strachan, President, The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood

God’s Gospel

In God’s Gospel, Jill Nelson guides parents and their young children through the basics of the gospel, exploring even complex theological topics in easy-to-understand, kid-friendly language. At the end of each ready-made lesson, Nelson includes additional questions for reflection and family activities that will help children to remember what they have learned. This full-color, illustrated book is an ideal devotional tool for families with young children. Covering such questions as “What is sin?” and “Why did Jesus die on the cross?,” God’s Gospel leads kids through God’s plan to save his people from their sins,directing readers to Jesus as their personal Savior.

“Tackling the difficulty of helping children understand the significance of the cross, Jill Nelson clearly and carefully leads her audience through their plight (the bad news of sin) and the rescue promised in the garden (the good news of salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus). God’s Gospel presents the breadth of the gospel by including teaching on the Creator, sin, God’s promise, sacrifice, the law, the birth of Jesus, the sufficiency of Christ, the death and payment for sin on the cross, and the resurrection and promise of eternal life to those who repent and believe. By emphasizing key biblical truths written winsomely in a style children can understand, God’s Gospel is an excellent primer on the good news of salvation in Christ.”

—Sally Michael

God’s Word

We all make sure our children know the stories from the Bible.

But can they understand their meaning and know the Storyteller behind them?

Sally Michael shows us that even young children can understand the Bible’s message of sin and redemption, because God wrote it to everyone, young and old. In God’s Word she provides a captivating, child-friendly resource for parents to approach the Bible with their children and to involve them in reading it for themselves.

Her exploration of the Word addresses how it came to us, what it tells us about its Author, what it tells us about ourselves, and why it is the most special book ever written. After children learn about the Bible and how to read it, she takes them a step further and teaches them to be doers of what they read.

Give your children a firm, early foundation on the truth—introduce them to God’s Word!

“Many adults do not have a good understanding of the doctrine of the Word of God. Sally Michael has written an easy-to-read devotional book that will help parents teach their children about the properties of Scripture. God’s Word shouldn’t be intimidating. A proper knowledge of the Bible gives us hope, helps us to identify false teaching, increases our gratitude and trust in God, and results in his Word becoming more precious to us. Don’t you want that for you and your family? What are you waiting for?”

—Aimee Byrd, Author of Housewife Theologian, Blogger, Contributor to Mortification of Spin Podcast