Monthly Archives: August 2011

Books to Note – The Trials of Theology: Becoming a ‘Proven Worker’ in a Dangerous Business

The study of theology can at times feel like a perilous journey as students struggle to find unity amongst the academic, spiritual, and practical aspects of their studies.  Drawing on voices past and present, Rosner and Cameron offer guidance for this journey, showing how theological students can be both strengthened and renewed as they navigate the trials they will most certainly encounter while studying for and eventually engaging in Christian ministry.  Theological voices represented in the book include:

  • Augustine – Time out to Pray, Read and Weep
  • Martin Luther – Experience Makes the Theologian
  • C. H. Spurgeon – Frailty and the Grace of God
  • B. B. Warfield – The Spiritual Life of Theological Students
  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer – Becoming Real Theologians
  • C. S. Lewis – Inner Circles and True Inclusion
  • John W. Woodhouse – The Trials of Theological College
  • D. A. Carson – The Trials of Biblical Studies
  • Carl R. Trueman – The Trials of Church History
  • Gerald L. Bray – The Trials of Systematic Theology
  • Dennis P. Hollinger – The Trials of Christian Ethics

For more information, visit the book detail page at ChristianFocus.com.

About the Editors:
Brian Rosner teaches New Testament and Ethics at Moore Theological College, Sydney, Australia.  You can learn more about Brian on his Moore Theological College staff profile page:  LINK.

Andrew Cameron teaches Ethics, Social Ethics & Philosophy at Moore Theological College in Sydney, Australia.  You can learn more about Andrew on his Moore Theological College staff profile page:  LINK.

Praise for The Trials of Theology:

“Without the “trials of theology” we remain on the surface of the statutes of God. May the Spirit of truth make this book a means of true thinking about God, deep affections for God, and beautiful obedience to God, through Jesus Christ who is God.”
John Piper ~ Senior Pastor, Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota

“This is the book that so many of us have been waiting for, a book that will be sure to grace the lives of students and pastors and their teachers in the years to come.”
R. Kent Hughes ~ Senior Pastor Emeritus, College Church, Wheaton, Illinois

“Teachers of the Scriptures need mentors so that we are refreshed by God’s presence and power in our studies. I was consoled, convicted, instructed, and even ushered into God’s presence by this book.”
Thomas R. Schreiner ~ James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky

 

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Hear Ron Nikkel Live on the Janet Mefferd Show

Christian Focus author Ron Nikkel will be interviewed live Wednesday August 31, 2011 at 2:30 PM CT to discuss his new book Radical Love in a Broken World on the Janet Mefferd show. You can tune in to the live broadcast at www.thewordfm.com. The interview is available for download here – LINK.

Book Information:
Radical Love in a Broken World by Ron NikkelRon like many in Prison Fellowship International stepped out from his comfort zone to share the message that God cares even in places of conflict, pain and guilt. He seeks to present the message that Jesus had also gone through intense, severe, undeserved suffering yet did not retaliate. Read the amazing story of how these radical believers dared to make difference in a very broken world.

Author Information:
Ron Nikkel is the President of Prison Fellowship International, a global association of national Prison Fellowship organizations. Their mission is to mobilize and assist the Christian community in its ministry to prisoners, ex-prisoners, victims and their families. Ron has travelled extensively and visited more than 1,000 prisons in 120 countries. There he has witnessed the transformation that can take place in people’s lives when they finally face up to reality. He has seen the transforming power of a compassionate, loving Heavenly Father. Ron is a Canadian and resides in Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, with his wife Celeste.

Other Books by Ron Nikkel:

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The Trials of Theology Blog Tour

This week we have several bloggers participating in a blog tour for The Trials of Theology:  Becoming a ‘Proven Worker’ in a Dangerous Business by Brian Rosner & Andrew Cameron. Links to the reviews will appear below:

Craig Hurst – craighurst.wordpress.com
John Brand – www.cuttingitstraight.co.uk
G.A. Dietrich – www.gadietrich.com
Hannah Reardon – herimpressions.blogspot.com
Brandon Lehr – my-livinghope.blogspot.com

(Review list will be updated as reviews go live on the respective blogger’s web sites.)

If you’d like to learn more about The Trials of Theology:  Becoming a ‘Proven Worker’ in a Dangerous Business, please visit the book detail page at ChristianFocus.com.

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August Book Giveaway – The Trials of Theology

Our August book giveaway features The Trials of Theology: Becoming a ‘Proven Worker’ in a Dangerous Business by Brian Rosner & Andrew Cameron.

Students of theology can find themselves strengthened and renewed while they study, but it can also be a time of trial. This reader shows how to navigate such trials as we study for and then engage in Christian ministry. It includes wisdom from voices past: Augustine; Martin Luther; C. H. Spurgeon; B. B. Warfield; Dietrich Bonhoeffer and C.S. Lewis. Several modern authors also show how to navigate various aspects of theological study successfully: D. A. Carson (Biblical Studies); Carl Trueman (Church History); Gerald Bray (Systematic Theology); Dennis Hollinger (Christian Ethics); and John Woodhouse (Seminary life). The book shows how we can move from being ‘lost among words’ as we study of theology, to being ‘lost for words’ in praise of God.

Contest Details:

There are five ways to enter the contest. Completing all five of the items listed below will give you five 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.
  5. Leave a comment on this blog post answering the following question:  What is the biggest trial you have faced in your study of theology?

Terms and Conditions:

  • This contest is limited to residents of the 48 state continental United States and the UK.
  • Contestants may submit five entries as outlined under contest details.
  • We are giving away two copies of The Trials of Theology, one for each contest winner.
  • The contest will run through end of day September 4, 2011.
  • The winners will be announced September 5, 2011.

This contest is now closed. We will announce winner shortly.

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Linda Finlayson on How to Make a Book in Ancient Times

How to Make a Book in Ancient Times:

The first ‘books’ were written on surfaces that people had to hand: flat stone, large wooden tablets and tablets made of clay. To write on those surfaces people used a variety of tools. Stone tablets required a chisel and hammer and a very precise effort to chip out the letters one by one. You think you have something to complain about when you’re asked to write neatly on paper, just imagine if you had to chisel your work out instead.

Wooden tablets were a little more user friendly. In ancient Egypt the scribe’s tools included fine brushes, pens and ink which he carried around in a wooden box. Black ink was made from charcoal or soot, but he could also make a variety of coloured inks by crushing minerals and mixing them with water to produce red, green and blue. The brushes and pens were made from papyrus reeds, which wore out quickly so he needed a large supply.

Clay tablets were the most popular of the three. The were easily made from the clay soil, a common and inexpensive item. While the clay was still soft, the writer would use a stylus, made of wood or bone, to jab the clay repeatedly to form the outline of the letters. A bit slow, you might think, but he had to be fairly quick especially if he lived in the hot climates of the Near East because the clay did dry out. When the writing was complete, the clay tablet was then baked to harden it, making it a long lasting ‘book.’

Not surprisingly all these items were large, heavy and not easily stored. You would have difficulty lugging around a large stone, which had to be a decent size to have anything of substance written on it. So this medium was generally used for official signs and announcements, something that was put in a public place for all to see. The wooden tablets were sometimes stored in what we call book form today: several tablets on top of one another and bound together by threading pieces of leather through holes in each wooden piece. But the form did restrict the size. Again, wooden tablets were hardly pocket-sized and difficult to read in bed. Clay tablets were long-lasting but had the same drawback as the stone:  large and heavy. Official documents recorded on clay were usually stored on shelves or in labeled wooden boxes, making them easier for the official or librarian to find in large collections.

Excerpted from Guarding the Treasure: How God’s People Preserve God’s Word (CF4K, 2011)

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Christian Focus Across the Web – August 26, 2011

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

Guarding the Treasure Blog Tour Wrap Up – This past week we held a blog tour for Guarding the Treasure:  How God’s People Preserve God’s Word by Linda Finlayson.  Many thanks to the reviewers who participated.  Their reviews are featured below:

Jeremy Barker – thoughtfulconvergence.wordpress.com
Kim Shay – philippians314.squarespace.com
Chris Land – keepingthemainthing.blogspot.com
Mandy Johnson –mandybakerjohnson.com
Elizabeth Hankins – hankinsfamily.com

Tim Challies on Unseen Realities by R.C. Sproul – Here’s a bit of what Tim had to say about Unseen Realities:  Heaven, Hell, Angels And Demons:

Dr. Sproul remains one of my favorite teachers and in this small volume—a collection of selected writings on the topics—he helps us understand those things that we must believe even without being able to see or touch them. He shows how these things truly matter and how they necessarily impact our lives in the here and now.

Tim’s full post is available here:  LINK
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Author Profile – Linda Finlayson

Linda Finlayson is a Canadian living in the Philadelphia area of the USA. She has enjoyed working with children in schools, churches and children’s clubs. Bringing together her love of books, children and history has given her the opportunity to write the adventure stories of real people. Linda is married and has one son.

Check out some recent Q&A for Guarding the Treasure:  How God’s People Preserve God’s Word that was featured on the Thoughtful Convergence blog.

1. Why did you feel that a book like Guarding the Treasure is needed at this time?
With all the interest in the anniversary of the King James Bible, I thought it was time for children to understand where their bible came from. Many books were published on the subject over the last year for adults, but few for children.

2. Why did you personally feel like you could write this book? Are there things in your background you feel give you a unique perspective?
I love history and particularly to see how God’s purposes have been accomplished throughout history. I studied both history and English in university and have continued to read history and biography for fun. I have also been active in children’s ministries over the years and have developed story telling techniques that serve me well as I write.

3. What do you hope readers will take away from your book?
I hope my readers will come away from reading this book with a realization that history is not boring, but full of great stories about interesting people and events. I also want them to have an appreciation for those who have gone before us in the Christian life and how we have benefitted from their faithfulness. May they be encouraged to live out their lives with that same faithfulness.

Books by Linda Finlayson:

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New Release – Guarding the Treasure by Linda Finlayson

Throughout history God has used many Christian believers to guard His word in order to ensure that more and more people are able to hear about the only true salvation through Jesus Christ. In an age when so many people question the historicity and reliability of the Bible, it is ever more important that we get the word of God into the hearts of our children and strive to help them understand how the Bibles we treasure today came into being. Christian believers before our time did not always have ready access to God’s word and its preservation often came at a great price. One tool that will be very useful for helping to communicate this aspect of church history to your children is Guarding the Treasure: How God’s People Preserve God’s Word by Linda Finlayson. This first book in the new Defenders of the Faith series shares the stories of the people God used throughout history to write, translate, and disseminate His word.

Readers will learn about Athanasius, Jerome, Martin Luther, William Tyndale, and many others.  Their stories are presented in a way that is exciting and fun to read, which will keep children engaged as they learn about these important figures from church history. In addition to the biographical material covered in the book, readers will also learn how books were written in ancient times as well as how the old and New Testament canons were formed. And if that isn’t enough to get you excited about reading this book, there are also a number of additional features that will be especially useful for those wanting to using this book in a home school or other educational setting. Each of the major chapters close with an “fyi” section that explains an important aspect of the chapter in greater detail. At the back of the book, readers will find other useful features such as a glossary for words that may be new to younger readers, a bibliography for the resources used to put together the book, maps outlining many of the important places mentioned in the book, and finally a timeline outlining the many great events that make up the path that was taken to preserve God’s word throughout history.

For more information about Guarding the Treasure: How God’s People Preserve God’s Word, visit the book detail page at ChristianFocus.com.

About the Author:

Linda Finlayson is a Canadian living in the Philadelphia area of the USA. She has enjoyed working with children in schools, churches and children’s clubs. Bringing together her love of books, children and history has given her the opportunity to write the adventure stories of real people. Linda is married and has one son.

Other Books by Linda Finlayson:

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New Release – True Gold: An Olympic Adventure by Cliff Rennie

The Reynolds family was enjoying an uneventful holiday until one night Jason and the family dog are awakened by what appears to be salmon poachers carrying heavy boxes along the moor just outside of their cottage. As the story unfolds, the Reynolds family and their new friend Gordon Fraser soon find themselves squaring off not with salmon poachers, but with an international ring of thieves. In the midst of these difficulties, Gordon learns that he will be representing the United Kingdom in the 800 and 1500 meter races during the upcoming Olympics games, which are to be held in London.

The story reaches its riveting conclusion at the huge Olympic stadium in London, where the 1500 meter race is about to begin.  The runners are all in their starting positions.  In order to represent their countries well, each of these runners will run as if their lives depended on it, but on this day Gordon Fraser’s life truly does hang in the balance. There is only one way for him to survive and the Reynold’s family may be his only hope. Children ages 9-12 will enjoy this tale of adventure and faith that will have them clinging to the edge of their seats until the final gun goes off!

For more information about True Gold:  An Olympic Adventure, visit the book detail page at ChristianFocus.com.

About the Author

Cliff Rennie has written three books in the Freestyle series, which is published under Christian Focus’ CF4K imprint.

Other Books by Cliff Rennie in the Freestyle Series

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Guarding the Treasure Blog Tour

This week we have several bloggers participating in a blog tour for Guarding the Treasure: How God’s People Preserve God’s Word by Linda Finlayson. Links to the reviews will appear below:

Jeremy Barker –  thoughtfulconvergence.wordpress.com
Kim Shay – philippians314.squarespace.com
Chris Land – keepingthemainthing.blogspot.com
Mandy Johnson –mandybakerjohnson.com
Elizabeth Hankins – hankinsfamily.com

(Review list will be updated as reviews go live on the respective blogger’s web sites.)

If you’d like to learn more about Guarding the Treasure: How God’s People Preserve God’s Word, please visit the book detail page at ChristianFocus.com.

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