This week I have two books to give away (I once again forgot last week. The two subscribers to ChurchETHOS who will be getting a free copy of Don’t Stop Believing by Michael Wittmer are: John Meche and Paul Dawkins!
I still have six more free books so it’s not too late. I will be posting a new question from Wittmer’s book early next week so I look forward to your comments and questions.
Reminder: If you want a free copy of Don’t Stop Believing by Michael Wittmer, it’s not too late. After today I will still have 8 more weeks to give away one book per week. The sooner you subscribe, comment, and email, the more chances you have to get a free book!
Meanwhile, today’s winner is Prof Penguin. Thanks for subscribing and joining the conversations at ChurchETHOS! Congratulations!
Well, I forgot to do the drawing last Friday so I’m doing two today.
If you want a free copy of Don’t Stop Believing by Michael Wittmer, it’s not too late. After today I will still have 9 more weeks to give away one book per week. The sooner you subscribe, comment, and email, the more chances you have to get a free book!
Meanwhile, today’s winners are Eve Lester and Mike Goodwin. Thanks for subscribing and joining the conversations at ChurchETHOS! I will be in contact with them but I wanted to make the announcement here. Congratulations!
Here’s what I’m reading today:
Michael Hyatt: Recycling Your Blog Content
John Meche III: Killing is Killing
Ed Stetzer: Weathering the Economic Storm
Benson Hines: Your seat (or tweet) on the road trip is waiting
Tom McClusky: How Pro-Abortion Can You Get
* Don’t forget to sign up to receive a free copy of Don’t Stop Believing. I still have eleven copies that I will be giving away one at a time each Friday. Find out how to get your free copy here.
Congratulations to Paul Stebelton for winning a free copy of Don’t Stop Believing by Michael Wittmer.
Now there are 11 more chances for subscribers of ChurchETHOS to win. I’ll give another one away next Friday.
Today was the first day of my winter session course on World Missions at GCTS. Tim Tennent is my professor. The class is 3 hours a day for 2 weeks including reading 1200 pages and 7 assigned theological journal articles, two tests, and exact memorization of 20 Bible verses and 150 countries on the world map. Since I read about 30 pages an hour, the task seems daunting as it will take me an estimated 120+ hours for lectures, reading, and memorization/studying. However, after the first lecture, I am extremely excited about this course.
For one thing, the professor began with an amazing description of the “Seven Mega-Trends Affecting Global Missions in the 21st Century”. Here are some of the highlights from my notes:
1st Mega-Trend “The Collapse of Christendom”
◊ For the longest time, Christianity was at the center of American culture. It was socially acceptable and sometimes even profitable to be Christian in our society. In the 21st century, however, Christianity will move more and more towards the periphery.
◊ Hendrik Kraemer said, “The Church is always in a state of crisis; its greatest shortcoming is that it is only occasionally aware of it.”
◊ We are moving from a state of belief to a state of unbelief.
◊ We are moving from a denominational to a global identity. Being Presbyterian or Methodist is not as important today.
2nd Mega-Trend “The Rise of Postmodernism”
◊ There are theological, cultural, and ecclesiastical crises that arise from postmodernism. People no longer believe that truth is true. The power of the word is lost for most people. For a preacher who believes that God has revealed Himself through words, this is a dangerous mindset.
3rd Mega-Trend “The Collapse of ‘the West Reaches the Rest’ Paradigm”
◊ The emergence of a Post-Christian West (4200 people are leaving the Christian faith per day in Western countries).
◊ The emergence of a Post-Western Christianity (In non-Western cultures, Christianity is blossoming, for example, in Africa alone Christianity gains about 24,000 new members per day!)
4th Mega-Trend “The Changing Face of Global Christianity” (related to Mega-Trend #3)
◊ Top 10 people groups that are most accepting of the Gospel today are in India and China.
◊ Top 10 people groups that are least accepting of the Gospel today are in Europe and North America.
5th Mega-Trend “The Emergence of a Fourth Branch of Christianity”
◊ Traditionally, there have been three: Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant. Today, there is an undefined and indistinct fourth branch emerging.
◊ Sometimes, this branch is referred to as “independent” but that is a very limited title.
6th Mega-Trend “The Impact of Globalization”
◊ If it weren’t for the immigrant population in the U.S. the Western Church would be in serious trouble. Most of the growth in American churches are in minority populations. Contrast that with Europe where Islam is growing rapidly because of immigration.
◊ The rise of urbanization and new technologies also affect our approach to missions around the world. 19th century missions was geared towards rural communities. Today, most of the largest unreached people groups are found in cities.
7th Mega-Trend “The Rise of a Deeper Ecumenism”
◊ There’s no reason to forsake our denominational identity but we can no longer be exclusive to our denomination, or allow our denomination to be our overarching identity. Though Protestant, I can’t be confined or defined by some events that took place in the 16th century, there are millions of Christians around the world that don’t place the same emphases on what the Reformers emphasized.
The conclusion to this particular lecture was that as young pastors and missionaries, we will be engaging in a new frontier. Almost everything is changing. It is an exciting and challenging time to be joing God’s mission around the world.
Many of my readers have read my post about the Christian fiction book from William Paul Young entitled The Shack. I appreciate all of your comments and questions about that post. This new post is in response to what Mike asked. He said.
Hey, can you give me a list of maybe 10 Christian nonfiction books you would recommend and maybe 10 fiction books to read? Thanks.
So, Mike, thanks for that question. I can only give you a sampling from the books I personally have read. If others would like to offer suggestions in the comment section of this post…that would also be helpful.
Top Ten Christian Nonfiction Books (in my library that I believe everyone should read).
ß. Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis
ß. Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
ß. On the Incarnation by Athanasius
ß. A Mind for God by James Emery White
ß. The Question of God by Armand M. Nicholi Jr.
ß. The Post Christian Mind by Harry Blamires
ß. Does God Believe in Atheists by John Blanchard
ß. Orthodoxy by G. K. Chesterton
ß. Sacred Companions by David G. Benner
Top Ten Christian Fiction Books (in my library that are not necessarily the unorthodox pop fiction of today like “The Shack”)
ß. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
ß. Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis
ß. Ben Hur by Lew Wallace
ß. The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis
ß. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
ß. The Silver Chalice by Thomas Costain
ß. Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan from Baker
ß. The Zion Chronicles Series by Brock and Bodie Thoene
ß. The Zion Covenant Series by Brock and Bodie Thoene
ß. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
What about you? What are your favorite books? What would you like to see on this list?