Logos giveaway: The Zondervan Theology Collection

zondervan-theology-collection

Logos Bible Softward has teamed up with a number of bloggers, including me, Lore Ferguson and a few others, to give away some of great resources. This month they’ve asked us to help give away Zondervan’s seven volume theology collection featuring:

  • The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way
  • Christian Beliefs: Twenty Basics Every Christian Should Know
  • The Gagging of God: Christianity Confronts Pluralism
  • For Calvinism
  • Against Calvinism
  • Hell under Fire: Modern Scholarship Reinvents Eternal Punishment
  • A Theology of John’s Gospel and Letters: The Word, the Christ, the Son of God

The winner will be chosen at random on August 1st and the collection will be sent to the winner’s Logos account. Don’t have an account? No problem! You can sign up for free here and download free apps to read your books on any device here.

How to Enter

Login below with your email address or Facebook account and follow the steps in the widget. That’s it! Each prompted action you follow will earn you additional entries. You can always come back and share a link to the giveaway with your friends for additional entries.

Note: By entering this giveaway you consent to being signed up to Logos’ “Product Reviews” email list. You’ll receive emails featuring content written by me and a few other Christian bloggers!

Freebie Friday: Preparing Your Teens for College

One of the things I’m most grateful for about this blog is the opportunity to share great books with you—and today, I’ve got a copy of Alex Chediak’s excellent new book, Preparing Your Teens for College, to give to one reader.

Preparing Your Teens for College

As I said in my review, Preparing Your Teens for College is one of those books that you don’t know you need to read until you read it. It’s packed with practical wisdom, sound theology, necessary challenges and much-needed encouragement for parents and students alike.

Along with Alex’s terrific book, I’m also including a copy of my book, Contend: Defending the Faith in a Fallen World.

To enter, sign up using the handy-dandy PunchTab app and answer the following question:

If you could tell your teenage self one important thing you wish you’d known in college, what would it be?

The contest closes tonight at midnight. Please note: due to shipping restrictions, this contest is open to residents of the United States only.

Enjoy!

Leland Ryken wants to help you study The Pilgrim’s Progress

Last week I invited you all to read The Pilgrim’s Progress with me starting in March. Today, in partnership with my friends at Crossway, I’m giving away two copies of Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress from their Christian Guides to the Classics series by Leland Ryken (which, incidentally, officially releases today!).

CGtC-Pilgrims_Progress_Ryken

In each book in this series, literary expert Ryken takes readers through some of history’s greatest literature while answering anticipated questions along the way. Each book:1

  • Includes an introduction to the author and work
  • Explains the cultural context
  • Incorporates published criticism
  • Defines key literary terms
  • Contains discussion questions at the end of each unit of the text
  • Lists resources for further study
  • Evaluates the classic text from a Christian worldview

In this volume, Ryken leads readers through John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress, offering insights into the nature of faith, the reality of temptation, and the glory of salvation.

Ryken’s volume is sure to be an excellent resource to all of us during our community reading project. To enter, sign up using the handy-dandy PunchTab app. The contest closes tonight at midnight. Enjoy!

I’m giving you a whole pile of books for Christmas!

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 Books, David C. Cook, Thomas Nelson, B&H Books, and Cruciform Press, I’m giving away a whole pile of books (keep reading for the complete list). But there’s more than books this time around—Logos Bible Software has generously included three copies of the Logos 5 starter base package, featuring nearly 200 books! You’ll need to sign up for a free Logos account in order to win (which you can do here); you can also download free apps to read your books on any device here. Here’s a look at all the books in this year’s prize pack:1

… and don’t be surprised if you see some more items added to the list before the giveaway is through! Best of all, three of you will be receiving this fantastic collection of books! You read that right—there are three sets to win. To enter, all you need to do is use the PunchTab widget below and answer the following question in the comments: What’s the big thing God’s been teaching you in 2013?

This contest ends on Friday, December 20th at midnight. Thanks to all who enter!

One final note: Logos Bible Software would like to send a special thank you to all participants who enter using the email entry option in the Punch Tab app (nothing spammy, I promise!). As a thank you from Logos, you’ll receive a discount on the purchase of several titles, including To Live is Christ To Die is Gain for $14.95 (regular $16.95), and 15 percent off both The Pursuit of God and Spiritual Waypoints.

Around the Interweb

CrossReference

Dr. David Murray is releasing a new DVD teaching series looking at Christ in the Old Testament, not only the predictions and typologies, but also His appearances as the Angel of the Lord. Dr. Murray explains in this trailer for the series:

HT: Challies

The Winners of the Counterfeit Gospels Giveaway

Over 80 people entered to win a copy of Trevin Wax’s new book, Counterfeit Gospels—and the following three people will be receiving a copy courtesy of Moody Publishers:

  1. Liam Moran
  2. Anthony Forrest
  3. James Chandler

Thanks to all who entered. I wish I had had more copies to give away, but I’d highly encourage you all to order a copy today.

Also Worth Reading

Prayer Request from Tullian: Pastor Tullian Tchividjian is almost finished his next book, Jesus + Nothing = Everything (Crossway 2011) and he could use your prayers.

Free Audio: This month’s free download at ChristianAudio.com is The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom

Bible: “If . . Then” in 1 John

Conference Messages: The 2011 Ligonier National Conference messages are now online.

The Elephant Room: Chris Vacher live blogged this past Thursday’s big event featuring Pastors Mark Driscoll, Matt Chandler, Perry Noble, James MacDonald, David Platt and Steven Furtick. James MacDonald also posted a number of his own reflections. Video from the event will be released over the next few weeks.

In Case You Missed It:

A review of Counterfeit Gospels and an interview with its author, Trevin Wax.

The Call Is Not To Be Taken Lightly

My Memory Moleskine: Think On These Things

A Legion of Andrews

Speaking Mysteriously of Mysteries

Countering the Counterfeits: Trevin Wax on Counterfeit Gospels

Trevin Wax is a pastor, editor at Lifeway, blogger at Kingdom People, and the author of Holy Subversion (Crossway, 2010) and the soon to be released, Counterfeit Gospels (Moody, 2011). Yesterday, I posted my review of the book, and today, Trevin has kindly agreed to answer a few questions related to it and what he hopes readers will learn from it.


What made you decide to write Counterfeit Gospels?

About a year after I wrote Holy Subversion, I began work on a second book proposal that highlights the fact that truth is beautiful precisely because it’s true. The editors at Moody were intrigued by the “beautiful truth” proposal, but they encouraged me to apply that idea to the gospel specifically rather than just the beauty of Christian teaching in general.

As I got to work on Counterfeit Gospels, I had two goals in mind:

  1. I wanted this book to present a compelling view of the biblical gospel so that common counterfeits would be less attractive.
  2. I wanted to deal with common counterfeits that are attractive to me and the people in my local church. I wanted to look deeply into our hearts and root out those counterfeits that tug at us in some way. In other words, I didn’t want this book to be: “What’s wrong with everyone out there?” but “What counterfeits are affecting me in here, in my own heart and life?” What are the counterfeits that we encounter on television, in bookstores, in conversation, in church? In short, I wanted the book to be pastoral in tone and intent.

How do these counterfeits get started?

It depends on the counterfeit.

Some counterfeits get started because we are uneasy with the idea of not fitting in culturally. So downplaying the notion of judgment (“the judgmentless gospel”) or uniting around social causes (“the activist gospel”) enable us to maintain bits and pieces of Christian ethics while drifting from the offense of a bloody cross at the heart of our faith. [Read more...]

5 Questions (Plus One) with Dan Darling

Daniel Darling is the Senior Pastor of Gages Lake Bible Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago and is the author of Teen People of the BibleCrash Course, and iFaith (reviewed here on Tuesday). His work has been featured in evangelical publications such as Focus on the Family, Marriage Partnership, Pray!, In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley. His op-eds have appeared in Newsweek/Washington Posts’ On Faith section and other newspapers and opinion sites. He’s also been profiled by The Chicago Tribune, and appeared on TV and radio outlets across America including Steve Brown, etc, Moody Broadcasting Network, Harvest TelevisionThe Sandy Rios Show, American Family Radio, and many others.

Today, Dan’s been kind enough to answer a few questions about his new book—and he’s also offered two signed copies to give away today. Read on to learn how you can win a copy.

And now, here’s Dan:


1. What made you decide to write iFaith? Was there one specific event or was it a series of small things that led to the decision?

It was born out of several years of reflection on the impact of technology on my own personal walk with God. Initially I had this idea for a devotional, “Emails to God,” – like what would we say if we could send God an email. Then it started me on a journey of thinking how we moderns contemplate our relationship with God—positively and negatively. Then the chapters and ideas began to just really flow.

2. As you were writing, how was God working on you in these areas?

Oh, He was working on me in incredible ways. My wife often jokes that whenever I embark on a book, we go through some degree of suffering. It’s almost like God has to wring me through the lesson before I can put it on paper. The first chapter on the subject of waiting was something I really saw worked out in my own life and in my theology. During the writing of that chapter, Angela and I were waiting on several things. I realized how integral waiting is to God’s development of our faith.

I enjoy writing because it forces me into the Word to discover the truth about myself and about who God is.

3. You write that a common belief plaguing believers is the superhero mentality; that is, “the mistaken idea that activity for God is a worthy substitute for intimacy with God.” (p. 81) If this is something that’s come up in your own life & ministry, can you share how you were able to get beyond it?

I’m not sure we ever get beyond this. It’s the holy tension between work and dependency on God. On one level, working hard for God is a biblical, New Testament ethic. And besides the holy calling of building up the body of Christ, work itself is an end, it’s a form of worship. But on the other hand, Christians easily fall into that superhero mentality of Elijah, where we feel like the entire plan of God rests upon our feeble shoulders. We adopt a martyr mentality. And this is really prideful. It is essentially stripping God of HIs sovereignty. [Read more...]

When Christ Calls a Man, He Bids Him Come and Die

…It may be a death like that of the first disciples who had to leave home and work to follow him, or it may be a death like Luther’s, who had to leave the monastery and go out into the world. But it is the same death every time—death in Jesus Christ, the death of the old man and his call. Jesus’ summons to the rich young man was calling him to die, because only the man who is dead to his won will can follow Christ. In fact every command of Jesus is a call to die, with all our affections and lusts. But we do not want to die, and therefore Jesus Christ and his call are necessarily our death as well as our life. The call to discipleship, the baptism in the name of Jesus Christ means both death and life.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship, p. 44

Dietrich Bonhoeffer is one of the most intriguing figures of the 20th century. This Lutheran minister turned conspirator in the plot to assassinate Hitler is fascinating. His vision of discipleship is captivating, and while I wouldn’t necessarily agree with all of his views theologically, there’s much that can be learned from him and his call to “costly discipleship.”

“When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die,” wrote Bonhoeffer. In these 11 words, he manages to encapsulate the New Testament’s teaching on what it means to follow Christ.

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me,” said Jesus in Luke 9:23. It’s a call to the death of self, to the putting aside of our own desires and plans in order to follow Him.

I read Eric Metaxas’ book, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy several months ago, and Metaxas’ portrait of Bonhoeffer is one I’m still chewing on. It’s one I want you to enjoy as well—by giving one of you a free copy. Details after the book trailer:

Here’s how you can enter using one of or more of the following options:

  1. Leave a comment and tell me why you want a copy of the book
  2. Follow via Twitter or join the Facebook page
  3. Subscribe via email or RSS

This contest is now closed. Thanks to all who participated!

Around the Interweb (12/05)

Why is X Used When it Replaces Christ in Christmas?

Christmas brings with it many things—time with family, shopping, entertainment… and, the occasional fuss over “Merry Xmas.” Here’s a reason why we maybe don’t need to get quite so irked about it:

People seem to express chagrin about seeing Christ’s name dropped and replaced by this symbol for an unknown quantity X. Every year you see the signs and the bumper stickers saying, “Put Christ back into Christmas” as a response to this substitution of the letter X for the name of Christ.

First of all, you have to understand that it is not the letter X that is put into Christmas. We see the English letter X there, but actually what it involves is the first letter of the Greek name for Christ. Christos is the New Testament Greek for Christ. The first letter of the Greek word Christos is transliterated into our alphabet as an X. That X has come through church history to be a shorthand symbol for the name of Christ…

The idea of X as an abbreviation for the name of Christ came into use in our culture with no intent to show any disrespect for Jesus. The church has used the symbol of the fish historically because it is an acronym. Fish in Greek (ichthus) involved the use of the first letters for the Greek phrase “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior.” So the early Christians would take the first letter of those words and put those letters together to spell the Greek word for fish. That’s how the symbol of the fish became the universal symbol of Christendom. There’s a long and sacred history of the use of X to symbolize the name of Christ, and from its origin, it has meant no disrespect.

HT: Ligonier

Announcements

Last week, I kicked off the relaunch of Blogging Theologically with a pretty incredible giveaway sponsored by Crossway. I was completely blown away by the response! Out of more than 125 entrants, the winner is… Shannon Craig! Congratulations and Merry (early) Christmas!

There’s still time to win $50 worth of merchandise (of your choice), courtesy of the Ligonier Affiliates program—enter before 5 PM EST Today! And be on the lookout for another great giveaway this month!

In Other News

Decor: Just in time for Christmas, Mark Altrogge wants to help you spruce up your decorating with the Christian Leaders Inflatable Lawn Ornament collection.

Free Stuff: This month’s free audiobook at ChristanAudio.com is Handel’s Messiah by Calvin R. Stapert

Ethics: Jared Wilson (citing Randy Alcorn) on the ethics of ghostwriting

Networking: This week, Erik Kowalker, Matthew Blair and Nick Uva launched the Reformed Quotes Fellowship, “a gathering of such like minded people who wish to see the fame of Christ spread throughout the internet by the use of God glorifying, cross centered, gospel rich, and unashamedly reformed quotes from saints of the past and present.” There are some fantastic sites among the membership, like J.C. Ryle Quotes and The Daily Spurgeon among others. Go check them out.

In Case You Missed It

With Christmas fast approaching, it was a children’s book oriented week with reviews of:

Halfway Herbert by Francis Chan

The Church History ABCs by Stephen J. Nichols and Ned Bustard

The Mighty Acts of God Bible Storybook by Starr Meade and Tim O’Connor

Giving and Receiving

R.C. Sproul at the Ligonier National Conference

© All rights reserved by Ligonier Ministries

Courtesy of the Ligonier Affiliates program, I’m giving one of you $50 worth of merchandise from Ligonier Ministries—details at the end of this post.


Over the last year and a half, one of the men whose increasingly been a positive influence on me and my faith has been R. C. Sproul. I’ve been an online student in the Systematic Theology certificate program (and dreadfully behind on, unfortunately) since last fall and this was really my first introduction to his work and teaching.

Perhaps one of the greatest gifts I’ve received from Dr. Sproul is a MUCH better understanding of theology’s place in the sciences and the essentials of Reformed theology’s essential doctrines as summarized in the acronym TULIP, that is:

  1. Total Depravity
  2. Unconditional Election
  3. Limited Atonement
  4. Irresistible Grace
  5. Perseverance of the Saints

In his book What is Reformed Theology?, Dr. Sproul argues that Reformed theology is theology proper—God is its starting point and its center. Theology is “the queen of sciences,” from which all other scientific disciplines find their foundation, where religion finds its root in anthropology.

Reformed theology strives to keep God at its center, remembering that “the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever,” rather than thinking God exists to glorify man. It finds its basis in God’s Word alone; thus, where Scripture is clear, so must the Christian be. It is committed to justification by faith alone, understanding that man cannot please God. It is devoted to Jesus Christ as our Prophet, Priest and King Who preaches the Word of God, intercedes on our behalf & rules over us as Sovereign Lord. And it is structured upon three covenants that ultimately illustrate the graciousness and wonder of God.

TULIP applies this understanding of God’s grace. If election were conditional upon us, no one would be saved. If Christ’s atonement was not effective, it would serve no purpose. If God did not preserve, we could not persevere.  TULIP remind us that “salvation belongs to the Lord” (Psa. 3:8; Jonah 2:9).

These are great gifts and great reminders—the clarity that Sproul brings to these often contentious doctrines in his teaching is something that I am grateful for.


Alright, where was I…? Right—I was about to tell you how you can win the latest giveaway.

Want to win $50 worth of merchandise of your choice from the Ligonier store?

Here’s how it works:

  1. Leave a comment—tell me how Dr. Sproul’s ministry has influenced your faith or what books or teaching series you’re interested in from the store.
  2. Tell a friend about this contest—Whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter or through email, if there’s someone you know who you think would benefit from this prize, you should tell them

That’s it!

I’ll be choosing the winner on Sunday at 5 pm EST and announcing the winner on Monday, December 6th. In the meantime, start taking a look at the Ligonier store and get some ideas for how you can use the prize.

It’s Time to Say Goodbye…

…to the old blog that is!

Welcome to the new www.BloggingTheologically.com!

I’m thrilled to unveil the new site—and my friends at Crossway are helping to launch it with a MASSIVE giveaway!

Crossway has generously provided a prize pack showcasing some of their best releases from this year:

Doctrine by Driscoll Surprised by Grace Think by John Piper

  1. Doctrine by Mark Driscoll & Gerry Breshears (reviewed here);
  2. Surprised by Grace by Tullian Tchividjian (reviewed here); and
  3. Think by John Piper (reviewed here)

And as an added bonus, they’re throwing in a Trutone or Leather ESV Study Bible of your choice (excluding calfskin)!

Here’s how you can enter:

  1. Subscribe to the blog via RSS or Email
  2. Follow on Twitter
  3. Join the Facebook Page
  4. Write a comment letting me which of these you’ve done

Each item counts as one entry, so if you do all four, you’re entered four times!

Bonus entry for WordPress.com subscribers!

Transfer your subscription and get a bonus entry to win this prize pack—subscribe here

The contest closes on Friday, December 3rd and the winner will be announced on Sunday, December 5th.

Thanks for all the support over the last (nearly) two years—I’m really excited about what’s coming next!

Take Some of My Books!

Wednesday night, I started packing up my books (long story). While packing up, I found a whack of books that need to not be in my house anymore.

There are a few that just need to not be read by anyone ever again (they’re not as bad as, say, The Power or The Shack, but they’re pretty high up there on the “killing your brain cells” chart)… but there are a few others that I’m either not going to be reading again or have extra copies of.

Rather than go to the local second-hand bookstore, I wanted to offer you, dear readers, the opportunity to take some of my books!

Here are the ones I’m giving away:

Seeds of Turmoil by Bryant Wright (read the review)

Once an Arafat Man by Tass Saada (read the review)

Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges

Hear No Evil by Matthew Paul Turner (read the review)

Free Book by Brian Tome (read the review)

Plan B by Pete Wilson (read the review)

Too Small To Ignore by Wess Stafford

As you can see, it’s a pretty diverse bunch of books.

So here’ the deal: Tell me which ones you want and they’re yours. That’s pretty much it.

Are there any restrictions? Only that I’m going to give preferential treatment to anyone who lives nearby so I can save on postage :)

Start calling dibs in the comments and let me know before the end of the week, otherwise they might end up on some unsuspecting person’s doorstep!

UPDATE: All the books have been claimed. Thanks for taking some of my books!