Author Interview with Marvin Olasky

This week’s author interview is with Marvin Olasky. He is the author of our new release, Reforming Journalism. He is also the author of Prodigal Press, Revised and Updated: Confronting the Anti-Christian Bias of the American News Media. 


  • Tell us a little bit about yourself: where you’re from, family, job, personal interests, unique hobbies, what you do in your spare time, etc.

Originally Massachusetts, but mostly Texas since 1983. Married for 43 years. Four sons, four daughters-in-law, five grandchildren. Happily, my job as WORLD editor/writer is also my hobby, so I work a lot but it’s also play.

 

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

Favorite novel: Jose Gironella’s The Cypresses Believe in God.  Favorite non-fiction: Shelby Foote’s The Civil War.

 

  • Do you have a favorite movie? What is it and why?

The Great Escape (1963), The Right Stuff (1983), Field of Dreams (1989). Striving against obstacles physical and psychological.

 

  • How do you deal with writer’s block?

The way pilots dealt with the sound barrier: fly through it because it doesn’t exist. When blocked, leave your suite and do more street-level reporting.

 

  • What has been the best compliment given to you as an author?

“I love your book. I read a page every night before I fall asleep.”

 

  • Favorite sport to watch? Why? Favorite sport’s team?

Baseball, because at a ball park there’s lots of subtle action, and when watching on television it’s slow enough that I can read, edit, or answer email without missing much.  Red Sox.

 

  • Favorite food?

Grapes, raspberries, and banana with peanut butter. On special occasions, a steak.

 

  • Tea or coffee?

Neither, if caffeinated, because if you rarely drink it and you’re on a flight across the Atlantic or Pacific, you can drink a cup and easily stay up all night.

 


How can readers discover more about you and your work?


Buy Now

Reforming Journalism:

Prodigal Press:

  • On sale from P&R for $3.00!

 

Glenna Marshall — Five Ways Suffering Shaped My Writing


The Promise Is His Presence: Why God Is Always Enough by Glenna Marshall


“A truly refreshing read that has forever changed my perspective on suffering.”

—Sara Wallace, Author, For the Love of Discipline and Created to Care

“I commend this book to all those who are seeking the secret to experiencing the nearness of God in the darkest of places.”

—Brian Croft, Senior Pastor, Auburndale Baptist Church, Louisville

“A discovery of new and more meaningful ways that God is always near and good and faithful and kind and enough.”

—Kristie Anyabwile, Editor, His Testimonies, My Heritage

“I found a fellow sojourner and was reminded of a faithful shepherd in The Promise Is His Presence.”

—Gillian Marchenko, Author, Still Life: A Memoir of Living Fully with Depression


 

Daily Excerpt taken from Money: Seeking God’s Wisdom by Jim Newheiser

DAY 1

The Biggest Lie about Money

“Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.” (Isa. 55:2)

Have you ever thought, “If we could just afford to own a home of our own, then life would be good” or “How I wish I could drive a new car instead of my old junker”? Have you ever told yourself, when you’ve felt stressed, “Perhaps if I bought myself that new electronic gadget [or pair of shoes], I would feel better”?

We live in a culture in which people’s worth is measured by their financial success. We are told that material things will make us happy. It is easy for Christians to be affected by the spirit of our age.

The Bible teaches that material things can be a blessing from God (see 1 Tim. 4:4). Our problem is that we can take that which is good, such as material blessings or food or sex, and put it ahead of that which is best (God). The biblical term for such distorted priorities is idolatry (see Col. 3:5).

In Isaiah 55, the Lord reminds us that idols never satisfy. People devote their lives to gaining material riches without ever finding true happiness and peace. The billionaire Howard Hughes lived out his later years as a fearful recluse. One famous business titan reportedly said, “I have made many millions, but they have brought me no happiness.”*1

My wife and I once lived in a prosperous Middle Eastern country. We watched people accumulate savings, travel the world, and buy expensive jewelry, cars, and houses. But their wealth did not make them happy. Nor did we see many cases in which someone said, “Now I have enough” (see Eccl. 5:10). As Isaiah says, people pour out their very lives for that which is not bread and their labor for that which does not satisfy.

The answer to materialistic idolatry is learning to find satisfaction in Christ, who is the Bread of Life (see John 6:35). He offers living water that will forever satisfy the thirst of those who drink (see John 7:37–39). And, in contrast to the costly bread of the world that can no more satisfy your soul than sawdust, Jesus offers Himself to you freely. He has paid for the feast by pouring out His life for all who will turn to Him.

Have you turned away from the bankrupt values and idolatry of the world and believed in Jesus, who satisfies our greatest need—forgiveness and restored fellowship with God? Christ died in the place of sinners and has been raised from the dead so that all who trust Him might have new, abundant life. God invites you to abandon the plastic bread of worldly wealth so that you can feast upon the rich spiritual banquet that He offers.

Perhaps you are a believer who has drifted away from Christ and toward the idolatry of worldliness. This may be why you are unsettled. As Augustine said, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.”*2 The Lord invites you to return to Him so that your soul can find renewed joy and peace.


Money: Seeking God’s Wisdom by Jim Newheiser


*1. Quoted in Nathan Busenitz, “Dollars and Sense,” The Cripplegate (blog), May 24, 2012, http://thecripplegate.com/dollars-and-sense/.

*2. St. Augustine, Confessions, bk. 1, chap. 1.


 

5 New Releases Today!

We have 5 new releases today!


Anxiety: Knowing God’s Peace by Paul Tautges

104 pages | $9.99 | SAMPLE CHAPTER | Mobi: $6.99 | ePub: $6.99 | 31-Day Devotionals for Life series

Whether you experience nagging worry or debilitating panic, God’s Word offers hope and help. In this 31-day devotional, pastor and biblical counselor Paul Tautges delves deeply, but gently, into the heart of fear and unbelief, using daily readings, reflection questions, and practical application to fuel the faith that strengthens inner security and peace.

Endorsements

“There is so much I love about this little book, and I give it a hearty double-thumbs-up!”

—Joni Eareckson Tada, Founder/CEO, Joni and Friends International Disability Center

 “Paul Tautges, a respected pastor and counselor, has the experience and gospel focus to help the anxiety sufferer.”

—Tedd Tripp, Pastor; Author; Conference Speaker

 “This devotional heavily emphasizes practical ways we can reflect on, and in many cases act on, the insights Tautges unearths in the passages he chooses.”

—Alasdair Groves, Executive Director, Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF) New England; Director, CCEF School of Biblical Counseling

 “Tautges, with vulnerable transparency, offers wise counsel in this small yet critical work on anxiety. . . . His gentle explanations and careful admonitions act as a guard and guide.”

—T. Dale Johnson, Executive Director, Association of Certified Biblical Counselors; Associate Professor of Biblical Counseling, Midwestern Baptist Theological


Money: Seeking God’s Wisdom by Jim Newheiser

96 pages | $9.99 | SAMPLE CHAPTER | Mobi: $6.99 | ePub: $6.99 | 31-Day Devotionals for Life series

Do you have money troubles? Often the underlying issue is not money but the promise of security, possessions, and pleasure that it brings. To lay a strong foundation for true financial success usually involves a change in perspective rather than in income. Biblical counselor Jim Newheiser’s reflection questions and practical exercises, paired with Scripture’s wisdom on financial and work-related topics, point you toward fiscal responsibility on earth and treasure in heaven.

Endorsements

“A timely gift for those who seek to live biblically in a culture that is saturated with the pitfalls of materialism.”

—T. Dale Johnson, Executive Director, Association of Certified Biblical Counselors; Associate Professor of Biblical Counseling, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

“This devotional points to solid biblical wisdom that will ground readers who feel tossed about by waves of financial woe.”

—Curtis Solomon, Director, The Biblical Counseling Coalition

“This wonderful book . . . provides Christians with God’s money wisdom in the most accessible format I have seen.”

—James C. Petty, Author, Act of Grace; Executive Director Emeritus, Children’s Jubilee Fund

“I would put the topic of finances within the top five issues that people whom I counsel struggle with. Here, Jim . . . [guides] us in this area of daily tension in our walk with God.”

—Stuart W. Scott, Professor of Biblical Counseling, Graduate Program of The Master’s University


Reforming Journalism by Marvin Olasky

392 pages | $19.99 | SAMPLE CHAPTER | Mobi: $9.99 | ePub: $9.99

Is powerful, biblically principled journalism a lost art? In this three-part work on foundational concepts, practical techniques, and journalism’s agitated history, Marvin Olasky shows us how to become citizen-reporters and discerning consumers of news.

Endorsements

“Marvin Olasky shows a way forward for news coverage with wisdom and understanding to readers. His timing is good. Old media companies are running out of money. New media entures are struggling. His proposed recovery is needed now more than ever.”

—Russ Pulliam, Columnist, The Indianapolis Star

Reforming Journalism offers both thoughtful analysis and page-turning readability. Olasky provides a wise mix of practical advice for reporting and writing, historical background, and biblical worldview training. . . . Our culture desperately needs true stories, so if you want to understand why the news media are collapsing and how to tell stories that help people see the world clearly, buy this book.”

—Les Sillars, Professor of Journalism, Patrick Henry College

“A compelling case for a journalism that tells the truth by embracing the principle of absolute truth and pursuing a clear-eyed view of human nature. Provocative, deeply researched, and engagingly written, Olasky’s book is both a master class in how-to journalism and a road map to a more accurate media guided by biblical principles. Every journalist should read this. And every Christian journalist should see it as a clarion call to be the moral conscience of a wider culture.”

—Wayne Slater, Former Senior Political Writer, The Dallas Morning News


When God Draws Near: Exploring Worship from Seven Summits by Paul E. Engle

216 pages | $15.99 | SAMPLE CHAPTER | Mobi: $9.99 | ePub: $9.99

Does going to church feel more like a duty than a privilege? Too many of us are in danger of overlooking the awesome presence of God in corporate worship. We’ve missed the fact that amazing things happen when God draws near.

Paul Engle invites us to join him at seven different biblical mountains where God met hisworshipping people. Explore biblical history—from Sinai to Zion to Carmel to Gerizim to Hermon to the Mount of Olives to the heavenly Zion—and gain a fresh appreciation for the awesome privilege and reward of coming into God’s presence in God-centered assemblies today.

Endorsements

“A handbook for worshippers . . . a mountain map to teach them what it means to gather for worship and the impact that worship can have on their lives.”

—Scott M. Gibson, David E. Garland Chair of Preaching, Baylor University’s Truett Seminary

“An imaginative journey through the Bible. . . . Because worship is central to Christian life, a book like this . . . is most welcome. Fresh breezes blow through its pages.”

—David F. Wells, Distinguished Senior Research Professor, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

“Dr. Engle leads us on a mountain-climbing expedition that shows us how God calls us to worship. . . . We are shown the centrality of God in worship and how this can enhance our present earthly worship.”

Dominic A. Aquila, President, New Geneva Theological Seminary

“Engle uses the stories of seven mountains in Scripture to remind us of the trinitarian God who is what worship is all about.”

—Douglas J. Moo, Wessner Chair of Biblical Studies, Wheaton College


Act of Grace: The Power of Generosity to Change Your Life, the Church, and the World by James C. Petty

344 pages | $17.99

Jim Petty encourages us to revolutionize our giving by viewing money as a means for showing love and mercy to others. Petty traces this perspective throughout the Bible and shows how and why Christian giving has fluctuated over time. Finally, he explains how we can responsibly plan our own giving and finances, as well as encourage greater generosity in a church context. If more people give, the possibilities will be breathtaking.

Endorsements

“I am so enthusiastic about this book by Jim Petty. I know of no other book that digs more deeply into what Scripture has to say about money. . . . I know I will go back to this book again and again to root myself again and again in the money sanity that comes only from God’s Word.”

—Paul David Tripp, Author, Redeeming Money: How God Reveals and Reorients Our Hearts

“Jim’s book provides . . . clear, wise guidance. It includes the revealing story of money and giving throughout Scripture, a history of giving in the Christian church, and next steps we can take in our own giving. You will find it compelling and hopeful.”

—Ed Welch, Counselor and Faculty Member, Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation

“This is a special book. I’m familiar with much writing on generosity, but I’ve never seen anything like this, which surveys the entire Bible on generosity. . . . I hope that every Christian reads this book and is inspired.”

—Paul E. Miller, Executive Director, seeJesus; Author, A Praying Life and J-Curve


James C. Petty — Seven Things Most Christians Do Not Know About Giving to Their Churches


Act of Grace: The Power of Generosity to Change Your Life, the Church, and the World by James C. Petty

Releasing October 1st. Preorder from:


“I am so enthusiastic about this book by Jim Petty. I know of no other book that digs more deeply into what Scripture has to say about money. . . . I know I will go back to this book again and again to root myself again and again in the money sanity that comes only from God’s Word.” 

—Paul David Tripp, Author, Redeeming Money: How God Reveals and Reorients Our Hearts

“Jim’s book provides . . . clear, wise guidance. It includes the revealing story of money and giving throughout Scripture, a history of giving in the Christian church, and next steps we can take in our own giving. You will find it compelling and hopeful.”

—Ed Welch, Counselor and Faculty Member, Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation

“This is a special book. I’m familiar with much writing on generosity, but I’ve never seen anything like this, which surveys the entire Bible on generosity. . . . I hope that every Christian reads this book and is inspired.”

—Paul E. Miller, Executive Director, seeJesus; Author, A Praying Life and J-Curve