Associate Pastors

Words from the trenches about how to be the nexus between the senior pastor and the congregation. . . .

Michael Matthew Mauriello. Associate Pastors: Ministry from the Middle. 240p., $19.99, Kregel Ministry.

Associate pastors of all kinds–whether assigned to children, youth, worship, adult, or outreach–are often caught in the middle of complicated relationships in their congregations. It’s an emotionally taxing and organizationally confusing position. In Associate Pastors, Michael Matthew Mauriello demonstrates how associate pastors can harness the ambiguity that accompanies their role in ways that can mutually benefit church members and other pastoral staff.

The heart of Associate Pastors comes from personal interviews with twenty-five associate pastors in small-to-medium-sized churches who have served in pastoral ministry positions for more than ten years. Their shared experiences demonstrate the unique social and spiritual dynamics of the associate pastor role and suggest great promise for those willing to approach their calling with creativity and care. Specifically, when associate pastors facilitate learning within their congregations, they confer benefits on church leadership and laypeople alike.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

40 Questions about Prayer

A book about both the simplicity and complexity of prayer. . . .

Joseph C. Harrod. 40 Questions about Prayer. 40 Questions Series. 272p., $19.99, Kregel Academic.

Praying is often the most common yet least understood practice of Christian spirituality. In 40 Questions about Prayer, scholar and teacher Joseph C. Harrod shares biblical insight on the nature and practice of Christian prayer. Harrod’s emphasis on searching the Scriptures results in a trustworthy, practical guide to a vital aspect of Christian belief and behavior, equally appropriate for seminary courses, Bible studies, and personal understanding.

The accessible question-and-answer format of 40 Questions about Prayer allows readers to explore the issues they care most about, such as these:

  • Does prayer change God’s mind?
  • Does God hear the prayers of unbelievers?
  • What does it mean to pray in Jesus’s name?
  • How does prayer affect evangelism, spiritual awakening, and revival?
  • What does it mean to pray “without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17)?
  • Do physical postures affect prayer?
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Kerux: Jeremiah/Lamentations

Some light reading for y’all. . . . 🙂 . . .

Duane Garrett and Calvin F. Pearson. Jeremiah and Lamentations: A Commentary for Biblical Preaching and Teaching. Kerux Commentaries. 416p., $38.99, Kregel Academic.

Jeremiah and Lamentations approaches two historically related yet literarily distinct books of the Old Testament, carefully attending to their composition and application. Garrett and Pearson draw out the crucial themes and structures of Jeremiah: the hope of eschatological salvation nestled in the center of an expertly crafted exploration of human sin in all its blindness, perversity, and persistence. Lamentations wrestles with the unanswered questions of a community in exile, sobered by judgment and wondering whether God intends to abandon Israel entirely. Garrett and Pearson examine both Old Testament texts through the lens of Jesus, clarifying the parallels and fulfillments essential for Christian preaching.

Kerux Commentaries enable pastors and teachers to understand and effectively present the main message in a biblical text.

Each volume uniquely combines the insights of an experienced Bible exegete (trained in interpretation) and a homiletician (trained in preaching). These two authors work together to explain the essential message for the original listeners or readers, unpack its timeless truth, and then provide a contemporary restatement and communication insights for the key biblical concept. Every book is a resource designed and written with the real needs of the pastor and teacher always in sight, providing many ways to creatively express the principal thought in a biblical passage.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Junkyard Wisdom Rebuilt

Using our wealth for good. . . .

Roy Goble. Junkyard Wisdom Rebuilt: Resisting the Whisper of Wealth in a World of Broken Parts. 224p., $17.99, Deep River Books.

In Junkyard Wisdom, Roy Goble explored the tension between wealth and poverty, between faithfulness and temptation. He tackled the question of what it means to be an ambassador of Jesus in a world of walls, and what it takes to break those walls down. Today, that question is more relevant than ever, and its answers are no less meaningful.

Roy Goble grew up learning how to evaluate everything for the value of its parts, and later experienced the complexity of creating wealth while pursuing what Jesus was calling him to be and do. From a decades-long quest to understand his place in the world came a book that told of generosity, the path to a meaningful life, and what it means to break down the walls of the world. Now, in the face of a transformed world with more complex walls, Junkyard Wisdom Rebuilt takes on these principles with new perspective.

Most of us live a life of abundance, insulated from the poor or anyone else who might threaten that comfortable life. Yet the spiritual hunger we are struck with, so eloquently laid out in the original Junkyard Wisdom, remains. How do we overcome this to enjoy a meaningful life to the fullest? And how can we bridge those divides, which lie both in our own communities and across the globe? Goble’s reworking faces the turmoil of our changing world head-on to answer these questions in a way that makes for an inspiringly relevant read.

We are commissioned to be ambassadors for Jesus, beginning where we live and reaching the other side of the planet. Roy Goble takes us with him on a search for ways to build that reach as a relationship of exchanged love, faith, and hope, and Junkyard Wisdom Rebuilt gives this journey a new perspective that redefines the path to the abundant future waiting for us at the end.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Revelation Through Old Testament Eyes

Reading the book of Revelation its original readers did, rather than through our ever-changing newsfeed. . . .

Tremper Longman III. Revelation Through Old Testament Eyes: A Background and Application Commentary. 368p., $29.99, Kregel Academic.

Through Old Testament Eyes is a new kind of commentary series that illuminates the Old Testament backgrounds, allusions, patterns, and references saturating the New Testament. The structure and content of the Old Testament were second nature to the New Testament authors and their audiences, but today’s readers have no reference point for understanding their intricate role in the New Testament. Bible teachers, preachers, and students committed to understanding Scripture will gain insight through these rich Old Testament connections, which clarify puzzling passages and explain others in fresh ways.

The images of Revelation—like a seven-sealed scroll, four horsemen bringing destruction and death, locusts from the Abyss, and more–often seem hopelessly complex to today’s readers and have led to egregious misunderstanding and misinterpretations. But as Tremper Longman demonstrates in Revelation Through Old Testament Eyes, this confusion arises from unfamiliarity with symbolism that Revelation’s first readers readily comprehended. In large part, the imagery arises from first-century AD Greco-Roman culture and from the Old Testament, with its own background in ancient Near Eastern literature. Through its unmistakable Old Testament connections, Revelation exhorts readers to persevere in the present and place their hope in God for the future.

Avoiding overly technical discussions and interpretive debates to concentrate on Old Testament influences, Revelation Through Old Testament Eyes combines rigorous, focused New Testament scholarship with deep respect for the entire biblical text.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Christianity and Modern Medicine

Scriptural responses to the ethical questions posed by modern scientific advances. . . .

Mark Wesley Foreman and Lindsay C. Leonard. Christianity and Modern Medicine: Foundations for Bioethics. 400p., $29.99, Kregel Academic.

Christianity and Modern Medicine raises moral questions that were merely hypothetical just decades ago. Moreover, traditional moral models are being challenged incessantly by the medical community at large, shifting the conversation to patient and societal rights within a framework of moral relativism and rendering the decision-making process morally vague and confusing.

In Christianity and Modern Medicine, bioethicist Mark Wesley Foreman and attorney Lindsay C. Leonard delve into the major ethical issues facing today’s medical professionals with the purpose of providing principles and guidelines for making critical ethical decisions where medical knowledge, technologies, and capabilities are constantly evolving. Topics covered include:

  • procreational ethics
  • abortion
  • infanticide
  • euthanasia
  • physician-assisted suicide
  • genetic ethics
  • medical research
  • clinical ethics
  • legal issues
  • and more

While Christianity and Modern Medicine is designed especially for students planning careers in the medical field, it is accessible to any Christian interested in steering more clearly through the moral fog in the practice of medicine today.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Leap of Faith

The story of one couple’s faithfulness. . . .

Bill and Nancie Carmichael. Leap of Faith: The Personal Story of Bob and Charlene Pagett, Founders of Assist International. 216p., $16.99, Deep River Books.

Bob and Charlene Pagett’s story offers a clear example of what it means to live a life of profound meaning motivated by faith. Theirs is a story of optimism and the belief that every person in the world is valuable. It is a story of perseverance, of overcoming challenges and obstacles, all in the pursuit of the greater good.

Their story is also a powerful one about what it means to take a chance. Not just any chance, but the chance to follow God’s plan for your life to make a difference. If you need inspiration to take your own leap of faith, this book is for you. Leap of Faith not only shares the remarkable story of two people who in midlife took the leap, but it offers timeless and approachable principles you can apply wherever God has called you in your own life. Leaps of faith often begin with steps of faith—sometimes very small steps. Bob and Charlene inspire us to begin our own adventure of faith, and their story is living proof that when we dare to walk through the open, sometimes-daunting doors God provides, the possibilities are endless.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

The Qur’an and the Christian

Understanding the other “people of the Book,” while also understanding where those books—and even more importantly, their beliefs about Jesus—diverge. . . .

Matthew Bennett. The Qur’an and the Christian: An In-Depth Look at Islam for Followers of Jesus. 256p., $19.99, Kregel Academic.

Cross-cultural missionary and scholar Matthew Aaron Bennett blends the insights of Islamic believers, secular Qur’an scholars, and missionaries to Muslims, making The Qur’an and the Christian like no other resource for Christian ministry to Muslims. Combining these perspectives in one guide better equips Christians to communicate the biblical gospel to friends and neighbors who are adherents to Islam—both in and out of majority-Muslim cultures.

The Qur’an and the Christian addresses issues both simple and profound, such as:

  • How the Qur’an came to be, including Muhammed and the Qur’an’s textual precursors
  • The major themes of the Qur’an and how these shape the practice of Islam
  • The presence of Bible characters, Jews, and Christians in the Qur’anic text
  • Whether and how a Christian should read the Qur’an
  • Avoiding miscommunication with Muslims when the Qur’an and Christian teaching seem to overlap

This book will help Christians learn how to explore Islamic faith with missiological wisdom and biblical precision. The Qur’an and the Christian will give believers the insight to deepen friendships, promote understanding, and clarify the biblical gospel among Muslim friends and neighbors.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Preaching Life-Changing Sermons

And one for all you pastors (and other preachers) out there. . . .

Jesse L. Nelson. Preaching Life-Changing Sermons: Six Steps to Developing and Delivering Biblical Messages. 144p., $16.99, Kregel Ministry.

Being called to preach is a tremendous commission. In Preaching Life-Changing Sermons, Jesse L. Nelson shares a simple process for effective expository sermon preparation and delivery, flavored with insights from his life in ministry and academic work. Those with teaching and preaching responsibilities with little to no seminary training will learn practical steps they can use today in their ministry.

Nelson outlines the six foundations of life-changing preaching and shows how each looks in the everyday life of a pastor:

  • Seek the Spirit
  • Select the Scripture
  • Study the Scripture
  • Structure the Sermon
  • Speak in the Spirit
  • Share the Savior

Handling God’s Word rightly through prayer, sermon preparation, and sermon delivery sets the stage for people to absorb the message. When the Spirit moves as Scripture speaks, souls are changed–and the call to preach becomes an exciting, transformative adventure.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

40 Questions About Arminianism

So, as opposed to the books from the other side of the aisle (i.e., Calvinism) the last few months, here’s one about Arminianism, and its very equally Reformed roots. . . .

J. Matthew Pinson. 40 Questions About Arminianism. 400p., $27.99, Kregel Academic.

The actual life and teaching of Jacobus Arminius are often unknown or misunderstood across many Protestant traditions. Answers beyond a basic caricature can be elusive. What are the essential historical backgrounds of Arminianism, and what theological teachings connect to the Arminian point of view? Mixing solid historical research with biblical and doctrinal precision, Baptist scholar J. Matthew Pinson clarifies the foundations of this influential tradition.

40 Questions About Arminianism addresses the following questions and more:

  • Who was Jacobus Arminius?
  • How has the church interpreted God’s desire that everyone be saved?
  • How is Arminianism different from Calvinism?
  • Can one be both Reformed and Arminian?
  • What is “universal enabling grace”?
  • What do Arminians mean by “free will”?
  • Do Arminians believe that God predestines individuals to salvation?
  • Is it possible for a Christian to apostatize?

An accessible question-and-answer format helps readers pursue the issues that interest them most and encourages a broad understanding of historic and contemporary Arminianism, with additional resources available at

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment