Faith, work, and Every Good Endeavor

every good endeavor

There seems to be a great deal of confusion about the relationship between our work and our faith. Some place too high a value on vocational ministry, as if it were somehow above working as a plumber, teacher, or accountant. Others seem to act as though our faith shouldn’t impact our vocation. Many struggle to wonder whether their work matters at all.

But there has to be a way for us to take seriously the call of Scripture. When Paul wrote exhorting bondservants (or slaves) to “work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,” I think he meant it (Colossians 3:23). In whatever we do, we work for the Lord. We serve God just as greatly as baristas and bathroom attendants as we do clergy and counsellors.

It’s no surprise, then, that I’m pretty excited to be digging into Tim Keller’s new book, Every Good Endeavor. Here’s one of my favorite passages from the early pages:

Everyone imagines accomplishing things, and everyone finds him- or herself largely incapable of producing them. Everyone wants to be successful rather than forgotten, and everyone wants to make a difference in life. But that is beyond the control of any of us. If this life is all there is, then everyhting will eventually burn up in the death of the sun and no one will even be around to remember anything that has ever happened. Everyone will be forgotten, nothing we do will make any difference, and all good endeavors, even the bet, will come to naught.

Unless there is a God. If the God of the Bible exists, and there is a True Reality beneath and behind this one, and this life is not the only life, then every good endeavor  even the simplest ones, pursued in response to God’s calling, can matter forever. (p. 28)

WTS Books is offering an amazing 70 percent discount on your first copy of Every Good Endeavor right now (subsequent copies are 48 percent off). You can also get the it over at Amazon, among other retailers.

Courtesy of the fine folks at Dutton, I’ve got two copies of Every Good Endeavor to give away today. If you’d like to win, here’s what I’d like you to do:

  1. Tell me how your faith impacts your work
  2. Share this post with your followers on Facebook or Twitter (if you’d be so kind, I’d appreciate you letting me know in your comment as well)

I’ll be picking the winners today after 5 pm EST. Winners will be selected using Random.org and notified by email. Whether you win or lose the giveaway, I hope you’ll pick up a copy of this book. What I’ve read so far has been terrific.

Creatures of the Word and The Centerpiece of Ministry

creature-of-the-word

I’ve just started to crack into Matt Chandler, Josh Patterson and Eric Geiger’s new book, Creature of the Word: The Jesus-Centered Church (B&H Publishing) and it looks to be nothing if not challenging.

The Church cannot have anything but the gospel at its center—if it does, it’s not the Church:

Our churches must be fully centered on Jesus and His work, or else death and emptiness is certain, regardless of the worship style or sermon series. Without the gospel, everything in a church is meaningless. And dead.

Creature of the Word looks at the gospel as the centerpiece of the Church—what every aspect of our ministry must be consumed by—and outlines practically how church leaders can maintain the centrality of the gospel. Check out the trailer:

[tentblogger-youtube 90PTFJZs6rM]

I’m pretty excited to see how this book impacts its readers—and I want to give you a chance to read it.

Courtesy of my friends at LIfeway, I’ve got three copies of the book to give away, and each copy comes with a bonus:

Winners will receive one copy of Creature of the Word and an individual registration for the Creature of the Word simulcast on October 23rd at 8-11 am CT (9-12 ET).

Chandler, Patterson and Geiger will each teach on a different topic from the book and will answer viewer questions at the end of the simulcast.

So here’s what we’re going to do:

I want to know how you and/or your church is striving to make everything it does about Jesus. What’s something that’s happened in your context that’s been really encouraging in this area?

To enter, use the handy-dandy PunchTab widget on the page:

Contest ends on Saturday, October 13 at 5 pm (ET). Hope you enjoy the book!

I’m Giving Away a Personal Library (and some other keen stuff, too!)

Free-stuff

Summer’s nearly done, the school year is gearing up again, and I want to help you kick off the fall right. That’s why I’m giving away a whole heap of books (and another cool item, too) courtesy of my friends at Zondervan, New Growth Press, Crossway and more.

This week, I’m giving away two prize packs featuring the following titles:

PLUS—Cruciform Press and 8Bit are offering two special prizes! The prize pack winners can choose one of the following:

Enter using the handy-dandy Punchtab tool below (RSS readers, you’ll need to click through to enter). The contest closes on August 31 at midnight. Enjoy!

I’m Giving You a Library for Christmas!

Updated with new prizes from David C. Cook and Zondervan!

One of the things I’m most grateful for about this blog is the opportunity to share great books with you—and this Christmas, I have the privilege of giving some of you a ridiculous pile of great books! In partnership with the fine folks at Crossway, Bethany House, Baker Books, Tyndale, Thomas Nelson and Super Big Robot, I’m giving away the following:

  1. Gospel Wakefulness by Jared C. Wilson (reviewed here)
  2. Jesus + Nothing = Everything by Tullian Tchividjian
  3. What is the Mission of the Church by DeYoung & Gilbert
  4. Earthen Vessels by Matthew Anderson (reviewed here)
  5. God Wins by Mark Galli
  6. Real Marriage by Mark & Grace Driscoll
  7. The God Who is There by D.A. Carson
  8. Everyday Prayers by Scotty Smith
  9. Chaos & Grace by Mark Galli
  10. The Rizers: Rise Up! (CD)
  11. BASIC: Fear God featuring Francis Chan (DVD)—New addition!
  12. Forgotten God by Francis Chan—New addition!
  13. Letters to a Young Pastor by Calvin Miller—New addition!
  14. For Calvinism by Michael Horton—New addition!
  15. Historical Theology by Gregg Allison—New addition!

Best of all, three of you will be receiving this fantastic collection of books and music! You read that right—there are three sets to win. To enter, all you need to do is use the PunchTab widget below (which accepts email addresses now, by the way!) and answer the following question in the comments:

What’s your favorite Christmas memory?

This contest ends on Friday, December 16th at midnight. Thanks to all who enter!

The Essential Edwards Giveaway!


Today I’m giving away some great books—The Essential Edwards Collection by Owen Strachan and Doug Sweeney!

Jonathan Edwards was a colonial, philosophical preacher and theologian. To many he stands as the preeminent theologian and thinker of the American tradition. This series of five books covers Edwards’ life and major writings opening an accessible window into the heart and mind of the man credited for starting the First Great Awakening.

By way of introduction, presentation and reflection, the authors unearth the choicest treasures of Edwards’ writings for lay people to discover. Eminently readable and understandable, The Essential Edwards Collection proves you do not need to be a scholar to enjoy and benefit from the writings and life of Jonathan Edwards.

This set includes all five books of The Essential Edwards Collection:  Jonathan Edwards Lover of GodJonathan Edwards On Beauty,Jonathan Edwards On Heaven and HellJonathan Edwards On the Good Life, and Jonathan Edwards on True Christianity.

To enter, use the Punchtab widget below (RSS readers will need to click through to the site) and answer the question:

Which book in the set do you want to read first?

Contest ends at midnight on Friday and the winner will be notified via email.

The Next Great Book Giveaway!

About a month or so back, you might recall that we had a pretty great book giveaway here on the blog—and today we’re going to do it again! In partnership with my friends at Crossway Books, I’m giving away the following:

  

  1. The Promised One: Seeing Jesus in Genesis, a 10-week Bible study by Nancy Guthrie
  2. Welcome to the Story: Reading, Loving, and Living God’s Word by Stephen Nichols
  3. King Solomon: The Temptations of Money, Sex, and Power by Phil Ryken

These books are sure to be a great blessing to you, your friends or your church. You can enter the giveaway using the handy-dandy PunchTab widget below. (RSS Readers, you’ll need to click through to the post to see widget.)The question for the giveaway today is:

Where have you seen Jesus in the Old Testament? What did you learn?

Contest ends Friday, July 8, at midnight. The winner will be contacted via email. Thanks for entering!

I’m Giving Away A Reformation Study Bible!

It’s the last Friday of June and the last day of my time off from work (until August, that is). So to celebrate, I want to give YOU a present. That’s why I’m giving away a brand new Reformation Study Bible in the ESV translation. Produced by Ligonier Ministries and featuring the work of more than fifty scholars, this Study Bible features thousands of in-depth (and accessible) study notes, 96 theological articles, 19 in-text maps, colored maps, and 12 charts designed to help you better understand the Scriptures.

This Bible also includes a free trial subscription to Tabletalk Magazine. Every issue is packed with great articles and devotional materials that are sure to be a blessing to you.

I’ll be using Punchtab for this giveaway as the first time around it went really smoothly overall. (RSS Readers, you’ll need to click through to the post to see widget.)

The question for the giveaway today is:

What’s your favorite book by R.C. Sproul and why?

Contest ends at midnight. The winner will be contacted tomorrow via email. Thanks for entering!

The Great Book Giveaway!

Recently I’ve had the opportunity to give readers some (in my opinion) pretty fantastic books—and this week, I wanted to up the ante a bit!

So this week, I’m giving away two sets of books, featuring the following:

  1. Recovering the Real Lost Gospel: Reclaiming the Gospel as Good News by Darrell L. Bock
  2. Reverberation: How God’s Word Brings Light, Freedom, and Action to His People by Jonathan Leeman
  3. Collected Writings on Scripture by D.A. Carson

These books are sure to be a great blessing to any reader. And with Fathers’ Day coming up, they’re bound to make a great gift for the Scripture-loving Pastor Dad in your life! You can enter the giveaway using the handy-dandy PunchTab widget below. With all that out of the way, have at it and good luck!