Monthly Archives: March 2011

New Release: The Greatest Rescue: A puzzle book about the resurrection of Jesus by Catherine Mackenzie

Last week in our Christian Focus Across the web post for March 25, we mentioned a dialog taking place on Noel Piper’s blog discussing Easter books for children. With Easter only a few weeks away, another Easter book we would like to introduce our readers to is a brand new activity book that we have just released for children ages 4-7. The Greatest Rescue: A puzzle book about the resurrection of Jesus tells the story of events leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion and finishes with the good news of the resurrection. There are many fun puzzles and games interspersed throughout the story. An answer key for all of the activities is included on the final page of the book.

For ordering information, and more information about this book, view the book detail page at

About the Author:
Catherine Mackenzie has written several biographies for young children as well as compiling the Bible Art series on key words from the Bible. She lives in Scotland and has several nieces and nephews – a perfect practice audience!

See Catherine Mackenzie’s author profile here at Christian Focus BookNotes for more info.

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New Release: Appointed to Preach: Assessing a Call to Ministry by David W. Hegg

Few enough are the books written today, that focus on the task of preparing for ministry. Even rarer are books on a biblical approach to ordination. David W. Hegg has given us just such a book with Appointed to Preach: Assessing a Call to Ministry.

Hegg follows the lead of Richard Baxter, Charles Spurgeon and other wise pastors of the past in actually discouraging men from entering the ministry: “A strong case can be made that we presently have too many men in pastoral ministry; too many who have taken the mantle of leadership upon themselves without having been selected and formed by God for that purpose.” (pg. 23) Hegg raises the bar for pastoral ministry and recovers the lost art of a thorough ordination process.

The book defends a careful ordination process as a biblical norm, and then explains how that process works itself out in real life scenarios. Stuffed with practical tips, experiential wisdom and helpful advice — this book is sure to be a blessing to countless churches and would-be pastors.

For ordering information, and more information about this book, view the book detail page at Christian Focus. You can also preview the book’s Table of Contents, and Prologue.

About the Author:
David W. Hegg has been in pastoral ministry for 20 years and lives in Santa Clarita, California with his wife Cherylyn. He pastors Grace Baptist Church in Santa Clarita, and is an adjunct professor at The Master’s College. He blogs at

See Hegg’s author profile here at Christian Focus BookNotes for more info.

Praise for Appointed to Preach:
“Here is a unique and timely book… David Hegg has done great service to the church by tackling this matter with biblical clarity and warm pastoral concern… The ease with which it is possible to read this book belies the depth of insight which it contains. As you read it you will want to pause often, turning to he various passages of Scripture and taking time to think through the implications of these most vital truths.” ~ Alistair Begg, Senior Pastor, Parkside Church, Chagrin Falls, Ohio

“Whether you are considering the pastorate, are already a pastor, or are leading pastors, the benefits of David’s work will far outweigh the brief investment of time it takes to read it.” ~ Steve Highfill, District Superintendent, Southwest District, Evangelical Free Church of America

“David Hegg’s book, Appointed to Preach, is a book long overdue. It should be in the hands of every person seeking ordination as well as local church leaders and denominational ordination councils.”
~ Don Smith, Christ Community Church, Laguna HIlls, California

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March Book Giveaway Winners

Thank you to everybody who participated in the March Book Giveaway.  The winners are:

We will have more contests as well as opportunities to participate in book review blog tours in the near future, so be sure to stay up to date with Christian Focus Publications through all of our social media channels shown below.

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Christian Focus Across the Web – March 25, 2011

Christian Focus Across the Web highlights important news and blog posts related to our books. This week’s highlights are below:

Easter Books For Children – With the help of other bloggers, Noel Piper has been compiling a list of Easter books for children. Some of the books are specifically about Easter, while others introduce children to the concepts of repentance, forgiveness, and redemption. We were glad to see that several titles from CF4K were included in the list.  A few of them are shown below. Be sure to read Noel’s blog post to see the list of books in its entirety: LINK

March Book Giveaway – We have been having a lot of fun connecting with new people on Facebook, Twitter, and our blog as as a part of our first ever book giveaway on the Christian Focus BookNotes blog.  At the time of this writing, we are up to 72 entries for the contest. Contest entries will be taken through Saturday March 26th, so there is still time to enter for a chance to win some great books.  Please visit the contest page for more details:  LINK.

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Author Profile: Larry Dixon

This past Friday we shared a sample chapter from Larry Dixon’s book, The Other Side of the Good News and thought some of our readers might enjoy learning a bit more about this Christian Focus author.

Larry Dixon is a resident faculty member at Columbia International University Seminary and School of Missions in Columbia, South Carolina, where he has been teaching systematic theology since 1997. He is the author of several books and numerous articles. Larry is no stranger to social media. He maintains a personal blog at For additional information on Dr. Dixon, you may want to consult his faculty bio on the Columbia International University web site: LINK. Larry and his wife Linda have two adult children.

Larry Dixon was recently interviewed on the Coffee with Creamer radio program about universalism and our responsibility to declare the truth of the gospel.  You can listen to an archive of the broadcast here:  LINK.  The sample chapter from The Other Side of the Good News is still available on Scribd:  LINK.

Books by Larry Dixon:

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Hear Joseph A. Pipa Jr. on Knowing the Truth with Kevin Boling

Joseph A. Pipa Jr. will be interviewed live Tuesday March 22, 2011 at 1:30 PM ET to discuss his book Galatians:  God’s Proclamation of Liberty on the Knowing the Truth Radio Program with Pastor Kevin Boling.  You can tune in to the show at  We will link to the archive of the broadcast as soon as it is available.

*Just in case you missed it, the archive of the broadcast is now available here:  LINK.

Book Information:
The glorious doctrine of justification by faith far exceeds even the great charters of freedom and liberty which we have seen throughout history. This doctrine is expounded by the apostle Paul whose letter this is and in it we see the key themes of his theology expounded. Joseph Pipa, an able Biblical expositor committed to the inerrancy of Scripture, brings this important letter with practical lessons for the church of every age alive for us.

Author Information:
Joseph A. Pipa, Jr. has been both a church pastor and theological professor. He is President and Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in South Carolina and exercises a worldwide expositional ministry.

Other books by Joseph A. Pipa Jr.


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March Book Giveaway

Now that we have a month of blogging under our belts, we decided it was time  to host our very first book giveaway on the Christian Focus BookNotes blog.  The contest will run from March 21st through the 26th.  The winners will be announced on March 29th.  There are two prize packs up for grabs.  The first place prize includes the following three books:
Systematic Theology Volume One by Douglas F. Kelly

“I have written this first volume, thinking of my heritage as both Reformed and Catholic; gladly appropriating crucial insights of the whole people of God over the last two thousand years – Eastern Orthodox, Western Catholic, and Reformation Protestant – as they sought to live out the foundational truths of the inspired Word of God.”

The Priesthood of Christ by John Owen
John Owen is noted for taking themes that those who had gone before had often wrestled with and write with clarity and depth. He does the same here with ‘The Priesthood of Christ’. Having studied the Book of Hebrews in great depth and written a world renowned commentary on it, John Owen is able to give us a comprehensive guide to this important theme. He explains how the Old Testament pillars of the Law and the Covenant relate to Christ’s office of Priest. Includes an introduction from Sinclair B. Ferguson.

Ezra & Nehemiah: A Mentor Commentary by Tiberius Rata
Through these fascinating Old Testament books, Ezra and Nehemiah you will discover a God who is in control of history and the hearts of his people. It is a real encouragement to be reminded how Yahweh can even work through the lives of secular leaders, just as he did with the Persian Kings, Cyrus and Artaxerxes.


The second place prize pack includes the following two books:

The Gospel of God: Romans by R.C. Sproul
Paul’s epistle to the Romans has been influential at critical moments in church history: The conversion of Augustine in the early church; Influencing Martin Luther and John Calvin during the Protestant Reformation; Changing the lives of George Whitfield and John Wesley in the evangelical revival of the eighteenth century. But it is not only those who have become leaders in the church who have been affected by the book of Romans; ordinary Christians have lived transformed lives as a result – up to the present day. One reason is because in Romans, Paul clearly sets out a theological framework for us to understand the Christian faith. It is a comprehensive description of the way that God offers salvation to humankind – and it is ‘Good News’.

From the Finger of God by Philip S. Ross
This book investigates the biblical and theological basis for the classical division of biblical law into moral, civil, and ceremonial. It highlights some of the implications of this division for the doctrines of sin and atonement, concluding that theologians were right to see it as rooted in Scripture and the Ten Commandments as ever-binding.



Contest Details:

There are four ways to enter the contest. Completing all four of the items listed below will give you four entries into the contest.

1. Fill out the form at the bottom of this post (Required)
2.  Follow @Christian_Focus on Twitter
3. Like Christian Focus Publications on Facebook
4. Write a post about the giveaway on your blog, linking to this post announcing the contest.

Terms and Conditions:

  • This contest is limited to residents of the 48 state continental United States and the UK.
  • Contestants may submit up to four entries as outlined under contest details.
  • The winners will be announced two days after the close of the contest.
  • Prizes will be shipped within several days of announcing the winners.

The contest is not closed. Winners will be announced soon.


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Christian Focus Across the Web – March 18, 2011

Christian Focus Across the Web highlights important news and blog posts related to our books. This week’s highlight is below:

Over the past few weeks, there has been much discussion in both traditional and online media about Rob Bell’s new book Love Wins (HarperOne, 2011), which touches on the topics of heaven, hell, and salvation.  Many pastors and Christian bloggers have encouraged readers to approach Bell’s book with great caution. In his twenty page review on The Gospel Coalition web site, Kevin DeYoung notes some of the reasons readers should be wary:

“there are dozens of problems with Love Wins. The theology is heterodox. The history is inaccurate. The impact on souls is devastating. And the use of Scripture is indefensible. Worst of all, Love Wins demeans the cross and misrepresents God’s character.”

In addition to the many thorough reviews and critiques of Bell’s book from the likes of Tim Challies, Justin Taylor, and others, the discussion has spurred many blog posts and articles talking about orthodox views of heaven and hell and why what we believe about these topics really matters.  This past week on the reformation 21 blog, Christian Focus author Ligon Duncan posted an article titled Speaking Seriously and Sensitively about Hell to the Sons of this Age and the Next. The intent of the article is to answer the question, “What Should the preacher do with hell and eternal punishment?” We were pleased to see that one of the resources he recommends in the article is Donald Macleod’s A Faith to Live By (Christian Focus, 2010), which he  says offers a “powerful and sobering presentation” on hell. You can learn more about A Faith to Live By at the corresponding product page at  LINK.

Two additional books you should consider on this topic are Jonathan Edwards and Hell (Mentor, 2004) by Chrisotpher Morgan and The Other Side of the Good News (Christian Focus, 2003) by Larry Dixon. In our day and age, nobody seems to like the doctrine of hell so a far more comfortable option has been redeveloped and supported in recent years: Annhilationism, the idea that the lost are destroyed rather than suffer endless punishment in hell. Morgan’s book summarises the strengths and weaknesses of the major protagonists on both sides and then points to the influential American Theologian, Jonathan Edwards, as an example of how best to answer the theory. Edwards presents a convincing response, one that we today would do well to study. You can learn more about Jonathan Edwards and Hell at the corresponding product page at LINK.

Dixon’s book examines many of the current theories on hell and encourages the reader to take the Bible’s teaching on Hell as seriously as Jesus Christ did in order to tell people the Good News that we know so that they won’t spend eternity on The Other Side of the Good News. Dixon looks at three alternative views to the traditional doctrine of hell, universalism, annihilationism and post-mortem conversion. In the last chapter he asks “Does it make any difference what view Christians hold about the Other Side?” and “Can there be alternative positions within the church?” You can learn more about The Other Side of the Good News at the corresponding product page at LINK.  Be sue to check out the sample chapter we have included below:

The Other Side of the Good News – Chapter 2

To stay up to date on what’s new at Christian Focus Publications, be sure to subscribe to all of our social media channels through the links below:

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Notable and Quotable: Michael LeFebvre

In Christian worship, God is the audience of our singing. Many congregations today see themselves as that hundred-person choir singing to God. They imagine that they stand as a mass of worshipers, singing their songs of faith to him. That is the expectation behind modern hymns and praise songs. Modern hymns do not say, for example, ‘What a friend I, Joseph Scriven, have in Jesus.’ Hymnwriters compose songs for the congregation to sing as their song to God, with the song’s original author and his experience disappearing from view.

This is where the Psalms are radically different…. Jesus sings his own songs in his own words (composed prophetically for him). They are his praises of the Father which he calls us, as his subjects, to join him in singing. Rather than disappearing from view, we are supposed to sing in conscious identification with Jesus as our Psalm leader, and with his experience of the cross and resurrection before us.

Singing the Songs of JesusExcerpted from Singing the Songs of Jesus: Revisiting the Psalms by Michael LeFebvre, pg. 54, (Christian Focus, 2010).

Learn more about Michael LeFebvre by reading his author profile, here at Christian Focus Booknotes.

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Christian Focus On Location – 2011 Children Desiring God Conference

Last week Christian Focus children’s editor and author Catherine Mackenzie attended the March 2011 Children Desiring God Conference in Minneapolis, MN.  The theme of this year’s conference was holding fast to the word of truth, which centered around the authority of scripture and its importance. There was an excellent turnout with well over one thousand people in attendance.  Speakers included John Piper, Russel Moore, David Michael, and many others.  Below are a few of the key thoughts from the session messages:

It is important that we raise up a generation who will courageously take a stand for the truth. If not Jesus will not have anything to do with them. If Jesus will not deal with us we are lost. The willingness to take a stand for truth is inseparable from saving faith. -John Piper

You can train your children to be Satanists even in the Bible class if you do not drive them in every single text to Jesus Christ and to the fact that there was a hole in the ground in the middle east where a cold corpse lay and then dead heart tissue started to beat again and Jesus Christ rose from the tomb. .. and that now because of that for the child of God there is no condemnation.  -Russell Moore

The most God-centered curriculum will not turn a heart of stone to flesh. The salvation of our children is in the hands of God. God calls children to himself. The Gospel saves. The message not the method saves.  -David Michael

If you were unable to attend the conference, be sure to visit the Children Desiring God web site, where audio and video from the 2011 conference will be posted soon.

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