Tag Archives: Tim Challies

Reformation Week – EBook Sale!

In celebration of Reformation Week we are discounting a number of our eBooks by leading reformed thinkers. Don’t miss this chance to load your e-reading device with excellent, inexpensive books!

Center Church by Tim Keller; $20.99 list, SALE $8.99 or less

Amazon.com; BN.com; ChristianBook.com


For the City by Darrin Patrick and Matt Carter;  $6.99 list, SALE $4.99 or less

Amazon.com; BN.com; ChristianBook.com


Gospel Coach by Scott Thomas and Tom Wood; $6.99 list, SALE $4.99 or less

Amazon.com; BN.com; ChristianBook.com


The Next Story by Tim Challies; $10.99 list, SALE $4.99 or less

Amazon.com; BN.com; ChristianBook.com

Keep the Bible in Your Bible Study

I read a great article on reformation21 (HT:Challies) about Effective Group Bible Study.  My main focus at Zondervan is to tell the world about our fabulous small group curriculum, so naturally I was interested in how to help people have an effective small group.  Pastor William Boekestein, who wrote the article, has some great points about effective group study, but one that really rose to the surface for me was to keep the Bible first.  Now this sounds like a given, but  too often in our groups, we rely on the study material and use the Bible as extra credit work.

Scripture studies are almost always aided by a well-written guide. Some of the best guides are commentaries, especially those that began as a sermon series. Homiletical commentaries combine the best of careful exegesis and pastoral application.(1)

One of the dangers, though, of using a study guide is that the Bible can become eclipsed by a lesser book. It is easy to subconsciously begin to treat the Bible as the “raw materials” and the study guide as the “finished product,” favoring the latter.
To avoid misusing supplemental materials, make them the last part of your preparation for the group study. First, work through the scripture passage in focus. Ask questions about the text. Note observations and applications. Use the study questions to stimulate thought before turning to the “answers” in the commentary. In this way the commentary becomes a sounding board for your ideas and conclusions rather than a source book. The Bereans took such an approach. They “…received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true” (Acts 17:11).
A related principle is that group discussions should be guided by Scripture not by personal opinion. This does not mean that a question or comment is inappropriate just because it is an opinion. It does mean that conclusions that are reached and counsel that is given should be biblically based.

Much of the curriculum we produce has been used as sermon material that was preached in the pastors church:

What I appreciate about our video curriculum is that each teacher grounds what s/he has to say in the Bible.  Our participant’s guides have Scripture discussion, and point people to the Bible.  But in our groups, we cannot view that as bonus or “if we have time”.  No matter how good a communicator the teacher is, or how well written the participant’s guide is, they are all just commentary on the Bible.  The Bible must remain the central focus in all our small groups and Bible studies.
In addition to what Pastor Boekestein mentions in his article, here are some other thoughts:
  • make sure everyone in your group brings a Bible to small group
  • read all the recommended passages in the participant’s guides
  • consider standing as you read Scripture as a reminder of the weight of it’s words
  • before you share an opinion, know how you would back it up with Scripture

*Above I have linked the full first sessions for those curriculum.  To see more full first sessions on YouTube, go to the curriculum playlist here: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL592D0CEC3F56A982

The Next Story Blog Tour – this week!

Next Story, Tim ChalliesAll this week reviewers across the blogosphere will be posting their reviews of Tim Challies’ The Next Story: Life and Faith After the Digital Explosion. Check out the review links below and follow me on Twitter to follow the discussion.

The Next Story Blog Tour:

Eric Rowell.net 
Anxious for Nothing -
Is there such a thing as too much information?
Living Hope - “One of the most important books you need to read right now.”
Changed by the Gospel - “I do NOT think you should read this book if you are not willing to give some serious thought about how technology is affecting your life.”
Delving into the Scriptures -”Technology changes society in a way that cannot be undone.”
Mike Southerland 
Wick I AM
 - “I plan on reading portions of this book again, and recommending it to others.”
The Squirrel Factor
Beggar to Beggar 
 -”The best part about this book is that it doesn’t leave you in a state of technological conviction. Instead it gives you several helpful approaches to engage you and your family and help navigate the seas of seemingly endless technological options.”
G.A. Dietrich 
The Biblical Bookshelf
All Things Considered
(Love this blog name! And the similarly named NPR program. – AR)
The Blog of Doug Hibbard
Focus Minded 
Blogging Theologically 
The Hankins Family 
MGPC Pastor 
Lux Lucet En Tenebris
-” The latest and greatest will not give us joy, peace, security, happiness and often times it steal it away.”
Gleanings of Wheat -(This blogger actually blogged through the whole book. This link is her wrap up with links to other posts. Wow! -AR)
Bring the Books 
Kevin Fiske [For the Gospel] 
Against Nothingness -
“3.5 Stars. Worth reading.” (Don’t miss this challenging review! -AR)
Simul Iustus Et Peccator -”A must-read…”
Think Theologically 
Mere Orthodoxy
The Hurricane Report 
-”made it required reading for the kids at my house this summer.”
The Lens of Truth 
Theology for the Road

Sign Up for “THE NEXT STORY” Blog Tour

Next Story, Tim ChalliesTim Challies’ newest book, The Next Story, is a compelling read about “life and faith after the digital explosion.” It’s a book that asks the question, “Do you own technology or does technology own you?” I don’t say it’s “compelling” just because I’m a marketer, but because I’m truly intrigued by the above question. All day I work on email, surf the web, communicate with people on Facebook, write blogs, etc. etc. etc. - is all of this digital interaction changing me without my realizing? Is there a way to live a wiser Christian life amid all this ones and zeroes? 

And what will the digital world be like for my kids? Their lives will undoubtedly be even more laden with technology than mine – what should I be thinking about now in order to raise them up to be wise Christians online in the future?

You can visit www.Challies.com/NextStory to see a video about the book and read a sample chapter. I’ve been blogging about it here and here too.

For the blog tour please sign up here. Sorry! This blog tour sign up is now closed!

The Blog Tour will be May 30 – June 3rd.

“The Next Story” by Tim Challies is on Scribd

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Links Worth Clicking: Challies, Keller, Carson, and the Inklings

BibleDude.net has a couple of great reviews up right now: 1) A series of posts on John Sowers’ Fatherless Generation. 2) He also has a new review up of my favorite book on the Lewis and the boys: The Inklings of Oxford. Thanks for the support BibleDude!

Tim Challies visited Z last week. His book, The Next Story, just released. You can listen to a podcast he recorded while he was here, and read about a discussion we had regarding “grocery stores and mind control” on Mason’s site.

Finally, the Gospel Coalition Conference is coming up next week. On Monday I’ll be posting what’s Z has going on during the show. Below is a video of DA Carson and Tim Keller discussing the conference. Are you going?

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Tim Challies on “The Next Story”

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“The Next Story” by Tim Challies released this week

Next Story, Tim ChalliesThe Next Story is a book I’m so glad to see finally released! It’s the newest book by Tim Challies and it  tackles questions about “Life and Faith after the Digital Explosion.” 

Are you surrounded by technology? Is your desk, dashboard, and bedroom side table covered with devices?

(Mine are.)

Do you spend hours a day online consuming media? Have you ever wondered is all of this changing me somehow?

(I sure have.)

Tim Challies asks questions like that in The Next Story and provides a discerning, biblically-based way to think through these issues.

I resonate with this book so much, in part, because I’m a parent. Perhaps you feel the same way?

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