Monthly Archives: May 2011

Author Profile: Brian H. Cosby

Brian H. Cosby is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America. He holds degrees from Samford University (B.A.) and Beeson Divinity School (M.Div.) in Birmingham, Alabama, as well as The North American Reformed Seminary (D.Min.) in Flagstaff, Arizona. He is currently a Ph.D. student at Highland Theological College, Scotland, and is Professor of church history at Metro Atlanta Seminary. He also serves as Associate Pastor of Youth and Families at Carriage Lane Presbyterian Church in Peachtree City, Georgia and is the director of Means of Grace Ministry.

Brian has a passion for communicating the gospel of Christ and caring for people. He loves soccer, disc golf, ultimate Frisbee, guitar, mandolin, backpacking, and reading, whenever he gets the chance. He and his wife Ashley have a daughter named Lydia and a Weimaraner pup named Ellie.

Brian is the author of six books, including John Bunyan: The Journey of a Pilgrim and David Brainerd: A Love for the Lost, both from the Trailblazers series by Christian Focus for Kids (CF4K). For a full listing of Brian’s books, you can visit his Amazon author page. You can also listen to some of his sermons (available here and here).

If you’d like to stay up to date on Brian Cosby, be sure to visit his social media sites listed below:

CF4K Titles from Brian H. Cosby:

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Christian Focus Across the Web – May 28, 2011

May Book Giveaway – If you haven’t already, be sure to set aside a few minutes to submit an entry for our May book giveaway. Two lucky winners will each receive a copy of Feminine Threads: Women in the Tapestry of Christian History by Diana Lynn Severance and Touched by Greatness: Women in the Life of Moses by Dorothy K. Patterson.  Contest entries will be accepted until May 30th.  Learn more here:  LINK.

Book Reviews – Here is a selection of book reviews for Christian Focus titles that showed up in the blogosphere this past week:

  • Review of What God Says series – Terry Delaney – LINK
  • Review of The Dawkins Letters – Shaun Tabatt – LINK
  • Review of Planting for the Gospel – Mason Slater – LINK
  • Review of Planting for the Gospel – Kevin Thompson – LINK
  • Review of Planting for the Gospel – Shaun Tabatt – LINK

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Planting For the Gospel – Mini Blog Tour

This week we had several bloggers participate in a mini blog tour for Graham Beynon’s Planting for the Gospel:  A Hands-on Guide to Church Planting.  Links to their reviews are below:

  • Mason Slater – New Ways Forward:  LINK
  • Kevin Thompson – Understanding our Times:  LINK
  • Shaun Tabatt – Bible Geek Gone Wild:  LINK

If you’d like to learn more about Planting for the Gospel or Graham Beynon, please visit our earlier blog posts here and here. For ordering information, go to the book detail page at ChristianFocus.com.

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Announcing the Feminine Threads Blog Tour – June 27 – July 1

From commoner to queen, the women in this book embraced the freedom and the power of the Gospel in making their unique contributions to the unfolding of history. Wherever possible, the women here speak for themselves, from their letters, diaries or published works. The true story of women in Christian history inspires, challenges and demonstrates the grace of God producing much fruit throughout time.

“Feminine Threads is a must-read for men and women alike, but especially so for young women who need to have a clear view of the contributions that women before them have made to the Christian faith.”
-Carolyn McCulley ~ Conference Speaker and Author of Radical Womanhood: Feminine Faith in a Feminist World

“Well researched and well written, this study of “feminine threads” in Christian history makes for a tapestry of inspiration and instruction for all who love the Lord and his church – men and women alike.”
-Timothy George ~ Dean of Beeson Divinity School, Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama

June 27th through July 1st we will be hosting the Feminine Threads blog tour, and today is your chance to sign up. Participants must be willing to post a review of the book on their personal blog and an internet retailer of their choice such as Amazon.com.

A limited number of entries will be selected via the form below:

The blog tour is now full. Thank you for your interest.

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May Book Giveaway

The month of May is coming to a close and we’re ready to host our next giveaway on the Christian Focus BookNotes blog.  The contest will run from May 24th through the 30th.  Winners will be announced on June 1st.  This time around, there are two prize packs up for grabs.  Each prize pack will include the following two books:

Feminine Threads: Women in the Tapestry of Christian History by Diana Lynn Severance

From commoner to queen, the women in this book embraced the freedom and the power of the Gospel in making their unique contributions to the unfolding of history. Wherever possible, the women here speak for themselves, from their letters, diaries or published works. The true story of women in Christian history inspires, challenges and demonstrates the grace of God producing much fruit throughout time.

Touched by Greatness: Women in the Life of Moses by Dorothy K. Patterson

Many women impacted upon the life of Moses. The woman who bore him, the young girl who shadowed him, and the foreigner who raised him are just three of the key influencers on his life. Their actions meant that a Hebrew child was reared as a prince of Egypt and became one of the greatest leaders of all time.

Each woman who influenced the life of Moses was guided by God to bring his plans to pass. As you read about their lives you will discover the unique role women have to be mightily used of God too.

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, helping to promote 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.

This contest is now closed.  Winners will be announced on May 31, 2011.

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New Release — David Brainerd: A Love for the Lost (Trailblazers) by Brian H. Cosby

Life on the American frontier in the early 1700s was very difficult — with the continual threat of disease, attack, and brutally cold winters. The English and Native Americans lived side by side, which often led to conflict. David Brainerd however was a compassionate and fearless missionary to the various Indian tribes in America. Riding on his horse across rivers, over mountains, and through towns, Brainerd carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the lost, the hurting, and the broken.

Notable pastors and missionaries like John Wesley, William Carey, Adoniram Judson and Jim Elliot were all influenced by the life, passion, and dedication of David Brainerd.

In David Brainerd: A Love for the Lost, author Brian Cosby shares Brainerd’s story with young readers. He takes them on a journey from Brainerd’s teenage years on the farm to his expulsion from Yale; from preaching on the frontier to his death in his late twenties. The reader will be encouraged, inspired, and challenged by the perseverance and single-minded devotion of the early American missionary to the Indians, David Brainerd.

The book is geared toward children ages 7 to 14, with ages 9 and up being able to read it independently. At the back of the book the message of each chapter in the book is applied and Scripture brought to bear for the reader, in the “Thinking Further Topics” section. The book also includes a timeline of Brainerd’s life.

About the Author:
Brian H. Cosby is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America. He has written several books including John Bunyan: The Journey of a Pilgrim, also in the Trailblazers series, and continues to write articles for various magazines and journals.

About the Trailblazers Series:
The Trailblazers series from Christian Focus for Kids (CF4K) introduces elementary and middle school-aged children to influential Christian leaders from throughout church history and on down to the present. Missionaries and pastors, scientists and statesmen, authors and evangelists — the Christian “trailblazers” highlighted in these short biographies offer examples of Christian living and evidences of God’s grace at work in the world. Click here for the complete list of titles in the Trailblazers series.

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Notable and Quotable: John Woodhouse

Commenting on Colossians 2:6 (ESV), “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him”…

One of the New Testament’s delightful words for living life is ‘walking’. How you ‘walk’ (that is, how you conduct yourself, what you say and do, how you behave) as a believer in Christ Jesus matters enormously. It needs to flow out of what happened when you became a believer: as you received Christ Jesus the Lord.

a. The receiving
This is what happened when you became a believer: ‘you received Christ Jesus the Lord’. We need to be careful that our contemporary Christian jargon is not read back into the New Testament. Paul is not referring here simply to ‘receiving Christ’ into your heart or into your life. That is certainly involved. But the word ‘received’ here is almost a technical term for receiving teaching that has been delivered to them. You ‘received Christ’ when ‘you heard [the gospel] and understood the grace of God in truth’ (1:6). It was not simply a matter of inviting Jesus into your heart. It was receiving the message about him, and believing it….

So in 2:6 Paul points his readers back to the experience of ‘receiving’ the tradition, the teaching of the gospel. You ‘received’ Christ Jesus the Lord by hearing, understanding and believing what you were taught about him (see 1:6,7)….

b. The walking
Now, says Paul: As you received the Christ, Jesus, the Lord, so walk in him. The receiving is not the whole, but the beginning of the Christian life. The Christian life is to be lived, however, not on some other basis, nor with some new discovery, nor on some other level from the beginning, but as you received the Christ, Jesus, the Lord, walk in him.

Paul told us in 1:10 of his praying that they would ‘walk worthily of the Lord… fully pleasing to him’. He is talking about the actual conduct, the behaviour, of the Christian person: what you do, what you say, what you don’t do, what you don’t say. No longer can I walk for myself, as I please. I have received Jesus, the Lord and the Christ. I must walk ‘in him‘. Wherever I am, whatever I am doing, Jesus is the Christ and the Lord….

This is the Christian life. So simple to state; so good to see and experience; but a very big thing to do. This is what we have received Christ Jesus the Lord for. He is the one (and no other) who is to shape all of our character and behaviour. As you received the Christ, Jesus, the Lord, so walk in him. In every situation, behave with Jesus as the Christ and Lord he is….

Excerpted from Colossians and Philemon: So Walk In Him (Focus on the Bible Commentary Series) by John Woodhouse, pp. 107-111.

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Christian Focus Across the Web – May 20, 2011

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

Sojourn Kids Announces What is the Church?

Sojourn Kids recently announced that their second children’s book will soon be published by Christian Focus Publications.  What is the Church? is a follow up to Our Home is like a Little Church (CF4K, 2010). This new book teaches preschool age children that the church is more than just a building, it is a people that God has called together and made alive by faith. What is the Church? shows that a church is not defined by its activity, but rather its activity results from its identify. This book will call parents and children to become a part of God’s people and to live as the people that God has made them to be. More information on What is the Church? can be found at ChristianFocus.com:  LINK.

Festschrift for Donald Macleod

Friday May 13th marked the closing of the academic year at the Free Church College in Edinburgh. One rather historic element in this years closing ceremonies was the formal retirement of Professor Donald Macleod, former principal of the college and systematic theology chair who has been teaching at the college since 1978. One of the highlights of the evening was the presentation of a festschrift containing contributions from colleagues, former students and friends. The festschrift is called The People’s Theologian: Writings in Honour of Donald Macleod. The People’s Theologian is currently available in the UK and will be available in the US in July. Editors Iain D. Campbell and Malcolm Maclean both recounted the event on their respective blogs. Iain’s post on the Reformation 21 blog can be found here: LINK and Malcolm’s post on his Something to Say blog can be found here: LINK. More information on The People’s Theologian can be found at ChristianFocus.com: LINK.

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New Release: Ezra & Nehemiah: A Mentor Commentary

Ezra & Nehemiah is the latest addition to the respected Mentor commentary series. This series takes a high view of scripture, focusing on quality research with carefully selected photographs, illustrations and charts to support the text. In this volume,  Tiberius Rata considers the narrative of the restoration of the Jewish people to their homeland. Whilst dealing with these two books in original context he skilfully exposes lessons for the contemporary Christian and brings this insight into a key period of biblical history to life. As you dive deep into the fascinating Old Testament books of Ezra and Nehemiah, you will discover the God who is in control of history and the hearts of his people. Thinking in the context of our seemingly very difficult world today, it is a real encouragement to be reminded how Yahweh continues to work through the lives of secular leaders, just as he did with the Persian Kings, Cyrus and Artaxerxes.

For ordering information and to read a sample from the introduction, visit the Ezra & Nehemiah book detail page at ChristianFocus.com.

About the Author:

A native of Romania, Tiberius Rata is the chair of the Biblical Studies Department and professor of Old Testament Studies at Grace College and Theological Seminary, Winona Lake, Indiana. He is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and the Institute for Biblical Research and has presented papers at the national conventions of the Evangelical Theological Society. He is married to Carmen and they have two sons.

Praise for Ezra & Nehemiah:  A Mentor Commentary:

“Tiberius Rata combines exegetical skill, knowledge of the ancient world, and a pastor’s heart in this volume. His explanations of the text are clear, forceful, yet concise. This work will assist the church in understanding its call to godly service to Christ and will motivate its readers to re-consecrate their lives and possessions to the work of the Kingdom.”
~Kenneth A. Matthews ~ Professor of Divinity, Beeson Divinity School

“Reasoned, researched, and concise, Rata’s commentary on Ezra and Nehemiah opens a window on the historical setting for these significant books of the Old Testament. Carefully selected photographs, illustrations, and charts punctuate its pages and illuminate the text’s background, literary context, and interpretation. This volume ably addresses the interests of laymen and pastors alike as they study the biblical text of the two books.”
~William D. Barrick ~ Professor of Old Testament; The Master’s Seminary, Sun Valley, California

“Tiberius Rata has provided the church with a clearly written, insightful synthesis of the often-neglected books of Ezra and Nehemiah. The author’s style is concise and readable; he stays on track and refuses to deviate from his primary goal of illuminating the meaning and significance of the biblical text. One of the most useful features of this volume is its attention to contemporary relevance. Without violating the meaning of the ancient text in its context, the author derives helpful practical insights that are consistent with its original intention.”
~Robert B. Chisholm, Jr. ~ Chair and Professor of Old Testament Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary

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Author Profile: Tiberius Rata

A native of Romania, Tiberius Rata is the chair of the Biblical Studies Department and professor of Old Testament Studies at Grace College and Theological Seminary, Winona Lake, Indiana. He was recipient of the McClain Excellence in Teaching Award at Grace College during the 2010-2011 academic year. Dr. Rata has previously held teaching positions at Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama, Trinity International University in Deerfield, Illinois, and Emmanuel Baptist University in Oradea, Romania. He has also previously served as a pastor in both California and Alabama. Dr Rata is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and the Institute for Biblical Research and has presented papers at the national conventions of the Evangelical Theological Society. He is married to Carmen and they have two sons.

If you’d like to stay up to date on Dr. Rata, be sure to visit his social media sites listed below:

Christian Focus Title from Tiberius Rata:

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