Monthly Archives: September 2012

Christian Focus Booknotes Week In Review – September 29, 2012

Catch up on the blog posts you might have missed earlier in the week on the Christian Focus Booknotes Blog:

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Christian Focus Across the Web – September 28, 2012

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

Pastoring the Pastor by Tim Cooper & Kelvin GardinerRecent reviews for Pastoring the Pastor – We wanted to share a few excerpts from the reviews that have come in this week for Pastoring the Pastor: Emails of a Journey through Ministry by Tim Cooper and Kelvin Gardiner:

“I recommend this book to new pastors (and their wives) and to church members who would like to get inside of the head and heart of their pastor. Even older pastors will enjoy the memories and be challenged to become Eldons.”
Greg Wilson (pastorgregwilson.wordpress.com)

“This would be a good book for the Bible College, or seminary student to read who is thinking and praying hard about entering pastoral ministry as this book will help these students to have realistic expectations about pastoral ministry.”
Dave Jenkins (servantsofgrace.org)

Pastoring the Pastor is window into the world of pastoral ministry. This clever little book allows us to see the good, the bad, and the ugly that comes with the job. The story will grip and pull you, as you begin to see the inner lives of those who aim to faithfully serve their congregations. ”
Brandon Lehr (my-livinghope.blogspot.com)

“I do not hesitate to recommend this to any of my colleagues in ministry. I found it very encouraging and you will too. If anything this book underscores the necessity of good mentors if we are to be faithful in following our call.”
James Matichuk (matichuk.wordpress.com)

4 E-books, Each Under $5 – Here’s a selection of four of our e-books that are currently available for under $5 on Kindle –

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Culver’s Theology Corner – What happens to a non-believer’s soul after they die?

Culver's Theology Corner

Have you ever wondered what happens to people’s souls after they die? Some would contend that the souls of non-believers will be annihilated. In this excerpt from his systematic theology book, Robert Duncan Culver explores this idea.

Annihilationism or Conditional Immortality

Annihilation means to be brought to non-existence. Conditional immortality is the name for the view that the soul of man is neither ‘naturally immortal’ nor granted immortality (deathlessness) by God in creation; but that immortality is the gift of God to the saved only. In relation to the present topic, there are theologians and groups who teach that after the resurrection and judgment of the lost they will be annihilated by God – either immediately or after a term of punishment in hell. The saved will, after resurrection, be granted immortality (eternal life) and live forever with God. Their eternal life (immortality) is conditional upon their faith, repentance, conversion and the divine grant of immortality.

This view is frequently connected with the doctrine of ‘soul sleep’ (or psychopannychia in the Latin/Greek of Reformation times): that if the soul, or center, of consciousness exists apart from the body as instrument of consciousness, it is inoperative (unconscious) between death and the resurrection, but brought back into existence by resurrection. Among modern denominations Advent Christian and Seventh Day Adventists make this distinctive of their groups. It gained some notoriety, though not general acceptance, in the nineteenth center among a few Anglican clergyman. In recent years, as noted earlier in connection with the intermediate state, Oscar Cullmann revived the notion in scholarly circles.

In ‘evangelical’ circles – as indeed among orthodox Christians everywhere in every age – these notions are not only rejected but frequently condemned.

Excerpted from Systematic Theology: Biblical and Historical by Robert Duncan Culver (Mentor, 2005).

Where to Buy:
Systematic Theology: Biblical and Historical is available at any good Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:

Buy Now:

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On Location – Desiring God: Act the Miracle Conference – September 28-30, 2012

Desiring God 2012 Act the Miracle Conference

If you’re heading to Minneapolis this weekend for the Desiring God 2012 Act the Miracle conference, be sure to swing by the book area and visit with the folks on hand from Christian Focus Publications. Here are a few of the titles you’ll want to pick up at special conference-only prices:
The Life of God in the Soul of the Church by Thabiti AnyabwileCommunion With God Fellowship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit by John OwenMatthew Henry: His Life And Influence by Allan HarmanThe Heavenly Footman: How to get to Heaven by John BunyanCrook in the Lot: Living with that thorn in your side by Thomas BostonThe Pleasantness of a Religious: Life Life as good as it can be by Matthew Henry

There will also be books available from Christian Focus 4 Kids, so you can take some great children’s books home for your family too. If you’re unable to attend the event, you can still watch the conference sessions via live stream:  LINK

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September Book Giveaway – The Life of God in the Soul of the Church by Thabiti Anyabwile

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Life of God in the Soul of the Church by Thabiti AnyabwileAbout the Book:
In this transformational book, trusted pastor Thabiti Anyabwile repositions our thinking about spiritual fellowship. Extending the concept of Divine life presented in Henry Scougal’s classic The Life of God in the Soul of Man, Anyabwile contends that union with Christ is not individualistic, but is discerned in the soul of the local church. This vision of spiritual fellowship is not centred on external activities and programs, but on our shared life in Christ, as we share one another’s sufferings, use our spiritual gifts for the good of the body, partner in spreading the gospel and grow spiritually together. The Life of God in the Soul of the Church- Experienced personally by believing the truth; shared relationally in the church…leads to great joy and holiness.

About the Author:
Thabiti Anyabwile
Thabiti Anyabwile is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands. He is a council member of The Gospel Coalition, and his internationally regarded blog, Pure Church, is hosted by The Gospel Coalition.

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Christian Focus Across the Web – September 21, 2012

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

Royal Company: A Devotional on Song of Solomon by Malcolm MacLeanNew Reviews for Royal Company  – Check out these quotes from some new reviews that have come in this week for Royal Company: A Devotional on the Song of Solomon by Malcolm Maclean:

“The Song of Solomon is not a book I have spent a lot of time in or one I am that familiar with. I had always thought it was a book of the Bible, almost separated from the rest, for married couples only. Reading this book by Mr. MacLean truly opened my eyes to what I had been missing by neglecting careful study of this book.”
Josh Dermer (reformedvirginian1689.wordpress.com)

“I believe there is sufficient warrant for Maclean’s reading the Song of Solomon devotionally and spiritually as about “Christ and his people” and I find him a steady guide into “the immeasurable riches of [God’s] grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2.7). Theologically broad and accurate! Devotionally warm and rich! Pastorally profitable! Christ-centered! Gospel-driven! Get this book, go aside from the hustle and bustle, sit and read and ponder. Wonder! And worship!”
-Spencer Haygood (bibledriven.com)

The Shorter Catechism Activity Book: Learning The Truth Through Puzzles by Marianne RossNew Reviews for The Shorter Catechism Activity Book – There are also a number of reviews that have come in this week for The Shorter Catechism: Activity Book: Learning the Truth Through Puzzles by Marianne Ross. See some of favorite quotes below:

The Shorter Catechism Activity Book is a unique and interesting resource that should prove helpful to those wishing to encourage kids to interact with the text of the Westminster Shorter Catechism. My daughter has eagerly anticipated working out the puzzles in this book each day, and it has provoked some excellent discussions as she has asked me to explain various words and concepts. I am very grateful to have this useful resource to complement our studies!”
Elizabeth Hankins (www.hankinsfamily.com)

“I think this is a fabulous tool for teaching kids about God’s Word – especially if they are already into puzzles and stuff. If you were working on memorizing the catechism with your children, this would be a great way to introduce each reading.”
Heather Hart (servantwifemother.blogspot.com)

“if your particular view of Christianity encourages learning the Westminster Shorter Catechism, this book is a helpful tool in your arsenal. It is worth an extra look.”
Doug Hibbard (www.doughibbard.com)

“Ultimately, I found this to be a solid resource. If you are teaching or plan to teach your children The Shorter Catechism this puzzle book is a great tool to mix things up and keep things fun. We all enjoyed this fun, God-glorifying resource and would certainly recommend it to other families.”
Hollie Dermer (dermerfamily.blogspot.com)

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Read David C. Searle’s Preface to the 2005 Edition of The Mystery of the Lord’s Supper

Mystery of the Lord's Supper Sermons by Robert Bruce

PREFACE

to the 2005 edition

I AM deeply grateful to Professor T. F. Torrance for his gracious permission for Rutherford House to reprint this major work of Robert Bruce on The Lord’s Supper. I am also indebted to William Mackenzie of Christian Focus Publications for agreeing to co-publish this volume, thus ensuring as wide a distribution of it as possible. Professor Torrance’s translation of the original text, first published in 1590, remains unchanged. However, in addition to two minor footnotes, I have taken the liberty of inserting into the text occasional headings in the hope of helping readers to find their way through some fairly long paragraphs and to facilitate their understanding of Bruce’s carefully presented sermons with their profound theological content. My own second charge in the Church of Scotland was the ‘auld Kirk of Larbert’ where in 1626 Bruce is thought to have built a new manse-now known as ‘the old manse’ which still stands today as the oldest inhabited house in Stirlingshire-and where in the same year at his own expense he restored the original church which had fallen into a state of decay. There Bruce preached regularly for six years from 1625 until his death in 1631 and it is hardly surprising that vast crowds travelled to Larbert each Sunday to hear his powerful proclamation of the Word of God.

He was buried at the foot of the pulpit within the building where he had ministered in these latter years of his life, and a great stone was placed horizontally over his grave. However, as the original church building was demolished in 1820 when the present handsome Georgian sanctuary was erected, the gravestone with its challenging inscription-no longer under the Kirk roof but exposed to the elements-was beginning to be seriously eroded. I therefore sought the permission of Lord Elgin, Bruce’s direct descendent, to bring the stone into the protection of the new church.

There, just inside the main entrance, it now stands with its challenging inscription: Cristus vita et in morte lucrum, ‘Christ is life and in death is gain’ (cf. Phil. 1:21). Readers of Professor Torrance’s Introduction to this book will quickly grasp the relevance of such words. May this second edition be a significant contribution to the understanding and practice of the 21st Century church of Christ’s priceless gift to her of The Mystery of the Lord’s Supper.

DAVID C. SEARLE
Edinburgh, 2005

For a limited time, The Mystery of the Lord’s Supper is available on Kindle and Nook for only $4.99.

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New from Christian Focus – September/October 2012

Here are the new titles from our Christian Focus imprint, now available in the US.

The Life of God in the Soul of the Church by Thabiti AnyabwileThe Life of God in the Soul of the Church by Thabiti Anyabwile

In this transformational book, trusted pastor Thabiti Anyabwile repositions our thinking about spiritual fellowship. Extending the concept of Divine life presented in Henry Scougal’s classic The Life of God in the Soul of Man, Anyabwile contends that union with Christ is not individualistic, but is discerned in the soul of the local church. This vision of spiritual fellowship is not centred on external activities and programs, but on our shared life in Christ, as we share one another’s sufferings, use our spiritual gifts for the good of the body, partner in spreading the gospel and grow spiritually together.

“In this new book, this gifted pastor takes us right into the heart of the New Testament Christanity and the very nature of the Church, demonstrating the fellowship that is one of the signs of the gospel – both to the church itself and to the watching world.
-R. Albert Mohler ~ President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky

“There can be no healthy church apart from true biblical fellowship; there can be no true biblical fellowship apart from the gospel. In this powerful book Thabiti Anyabwile draws these two together, anchoring the life of the church in the message of the church”.
-Tim Challies ~ Blogger at www.challies.com

What Christians Believe by Jonathan GouldWhat Christians Believe by Jonathan Gould

What exactly is it that Christians believe? Whether you are a Christian looking for a refresher course on the essentials, or an interested enquirer, this book is for you. Clearly and crisply explaining the core beliefs of the Christian faith, and interacting with the kinds of questions on our minds, many areas of confusion are clarified, and many questions answered by this wonderfully helpful book.

“What I really admired about this book was that it not only clearly and relevantly lays out the Christian faith, it also then predicts the questions that may well arise in the reader’s mind and gives a compelling response to those queries. You can tell Jonathan Gould was once a lawyer!”
-Rico Tice ~ Author, Christianity Explored

What God Starts God Completes by Michael MiltonWhat God Starts God Completes by Michael Milton

“A true pastor reaches to the heart. Mike Milton is such a pastor. Because God has radically changed his heart, he longs to speak to the hearts of others about God’s amazing grace. His open heart will touch yours, too.”
-Robert C. Cannada ~ Chancellor Emeritus, Reformed Theological Seminary

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Christian Focus Across the Web – September 14, 2012

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

Mystery of the Lord's Supper Sermons by Robert BruceMystery of the Lord’s Supper: Sermons by Robert Bruce now available for Kindle – Robert Bruce preached these sermons on the sacrament in 1589 at Giles Cathedral where he was a successor to John Knox. He gives us a powerful conception through the Lord’s supper of the saving work of Jesus Christ. This modern edition has been translated and edited by T. F. Torrance. This wonderful book is now available for Kindle and is available at a special price of $4.99 for a limited time.

God Made Something Strong by Penny ReeveChristian Children’s Book Reviews Takes a Look at God Made Something Strong by Penny Reeve – Beverly at Christian Children’s Book Reviews shares her thoughts on God Made Something Strong by penny Reeve. Here’s a bit of what she had to say:

“I like the Scriptures that are included on each page. The illustrations are very engaging, and there is more to enjoy than just the hidden pictures.”

Beverly’s full review is available here: LINK.

History Lives Box Set by Mindy and Brandon WithrowLESSONS FROM WRITING A YA HISTORY (PART 1) – Over at his blog, Brandon Withrow is sharing about what he learned while he and his wife Mindy were writing the History Lives Series. You’ll have a chance to learn more of the story behind these great books and find out how he was personally impacted through the writing process. Part 1 of this blog series is available here:  LINK.

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God’s Good Design: An Interview with Krista Horning on Homeschool Heartbeat

Christian Focus author Krista Horning was interviewed this week on the Homschool Heartbeat Radio Program. The interview is now available at HSLDA.org.

About the Book:
“For the people in this book, the sovereignty and goodness of God have become a sanctuary for the soul in a life they did not expect to live. When they affirm the goodness and wisdom of God in creating them for short-term disability and eternal super-ability, they do not do so without tears. There is no glib trifling with pain. They are learning the paradox of “sorrowful yet always rejoicing.” They are learning how to be brought low and how to abound. They believe that in this fallen age, God’s loved ones groan along with the whole creation, waiting for the fullness of adoption, the redemption of their bodies.

They find more hope in God’s unsearchable wisdom and power and purpose than in the vagaries of natural processes or the assaults of Satan. They believe that God did not spare his own Son but gave him up for their complete renewal-spiritually and physically. This healing is as sure as Jesus is precious-infinitely precious. It is only a matter of time, a vapor’s breath, and they will be whole. Because of the grace of God, these lives and this book exist for the glory of God.”
-John Piper

Krista HorningAbout the Author:
Krista Horning lives near Minneapolis, Minnesota where she works at a clinic that meets the needs of children with disabilities. She enjoys reading, writing and helping people.

Where to Buy:
Just the Way I Am is available at any good Christian Bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing it from one of the online book retailers, including those listed below:

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