Monthly Archives: March 2011
Hoping to spark conversation and encourage people to listen for God’s promptings? This would be a great tool for a small group or sermon.
I lead a Bible study of other guys. As the “leader” my primary roles are: to make sure the other guys know when we’re meeting, know what sections of Scripture we’ll be looking at, make sure they have any curriculum material we might be using…and then the fun part – try to keep us prayerfully focused on reading and understanding the Bible. The two main reasons we meet are: 1) to have real friendships with other Christian guys our age, 2) to dig into the Bible.
I’ve found that #1 is easy. All of us are good friends. For us, it’s come naturally and has been a real blessing. #2 however, can be more of a challenge.
Enter the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary. Resources like this one, I think, are essential for Bible study leaders and small group leaders. It’s one volume (i.e. less expensive and space consuming than a massive reference set), it’s up to date (revised by Moises Silva), easy to use, and in full color. It’s also available as an eBook, which makes using it in Bible study groups even easier. (My group meets at a local diner before work. Lugging a Bible dictionary with me isn’t terribly convenient…)
[scribd id=51070519 key=key-hr4gada70znyfpp4zlq mode=list]
This book releases next month, but you can pre-order it here. If you check out this book, let me know what you think. I’m looking forward to its release.
If you’ve got a small group of innovative thinkers, creatively minded Christians, and/or people that want to tackle the issues facing our culture with cutting-edge approaches I would encourage you to check out the “Q Society Room” curricula. Kent Shaffer wrote a nice review of them here.
Each “Q Society Room” is hosted by Gabe Lyons, and includes a teaching from leading thinkers like: Tim Keller, Dave Gibbons, Scot McKnight, Andy Crouch and others. To learn more, here’s the official website: http://www.qideas.org/studies/
Here’s an example of what you might find on a Q Society DVD:
My friend and Z blogging partner, Mason, is running a blog tour for Con Campbell’s Keep Your Greek this week over on the Koinonia blog. If you’ve ever taken a Greek language course, and then slowly lost your Greek skills over time, this book could be a real help to you, and the reviews are great so far. Here are some endorsements from a couple of venerable Greek exegetes:
“Why hasn’t anybody ever written a little book like this before? First-year Greek students should read it. Exegesis students should read it. Preachers who have had a year or two of Greek should read it. And it’s so short and straightforward, the same person should read it in all three capacities. Do what Con Campbell says and you will keep your Greek. But don’t just believe him; read the exchanges from his blogsite which he includes that prove it!”
Craig L. Blomberg, Distinguished Professor of New Testament, Denver Seminary, Littleton, CO.
“Keep Your Greek is a godsend. It’s chock full of wit, humor, and good advice. Campbell’s approach is practical—and achievable. With all the tools available to us today, it only takes a little discipline to get your Greek back. One professor exhorted his charges that it is a great “sin and loss that we do not study [the biblical] languages, especially in these days when God is offering and giving us men and books and every facility and inducement to this study, and desires his Bible to be an open book.” The professor was Martin Luther, nearly 500 years ago! How much less of an excuse do we have today? Campbell ties together the reasons and the approach, the motivation and the principles, to keep your Greek. He drives home his message with a velvet-wrapped sledge hammer. You will feel convicted, challenged, and most of all encouraged to get back into the game.”
Daniel B. Wallace, Professor of New Testament Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary
In short, this is the perfect book for anyone who only has no time to try and keep their Greek skills up, but who really wants to! It’s quick and practical.
I am continually being asked, “How are people receiving your book, Turning Controversy into Church Ministry: A Christlike Response to Homosexuality?” Many offer this question with an anxious tone and a look of concern. One minister, in fact, looked me in the eyes and warned me, “Expect a firestorm to develop all around you, and to come against your church and family. Nobody can speak openly about this topic and not experience that kind of reaction.”
Surprisingly, the reception to the book and its adjoining resources has been very positive. Evangelical church leaders continually say things to me like “Now I get it,” or, “This is the most balanced book on this topic that I’ve read.”
Theologically liberal church leaders, and even many gay advocates have said things to me like, “Finally, a book that calls Christians to respond with compassion,” and, “this book is good for the church.” You can see reviews from various sides of the spectrum at http://www.amazon.com/Turning-Controversy-into-Church-Ministry/dp/0310321328 .
Many of you recently participated in our blog tour for Washed and Waiting. The reception by all of you was incredible! Review after review highlighted what a blessing this book will be in future ministry to people struggling with homosexuality. I’m grateful for all of you support in getting the word out about this book, and for supporting Wesley Hill. Below is a clip from a recent interview. Perhaps as you tell others about Washed and Waiting you can show them this video as well.
We have more of our interview with Wesley to post later this week! Stay tuned.
Leadership Network has a short post up on Tim Keller’s daily plan for prayer.
Mark Howell tells us How To Choose the Right Church Wide Campaign
I recently discovered a blog for church planter’s wives by Amy Bloye.
Jon Acuff started a new blog.
My blogging partner here at Z, Mason Slater, has written a thought provoking post called “When Everyone is a Heretic” If you’ve been following the controversial statements on Hell by various evangelical leaders, check out this post.
Jonathan Morrow, blogger at www.ThinkChristianly.org tells us about his new book. Due out in October 2011.