Monthly Archives: August 2023

the river west

Christian Historical Novel Addresses Incarnational Native American Ministry, Assimilation, and Spiritual Warfare

FAITH NEWS SERVICE – One definition of assimilation is “to absorb into the culture or mores of a population or group,” according to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary. While assimilation in Native American ministry often refers to Native Americans assimilating to white culture, the hero of a new Christian Native American historical fiction release presents a different viewpoint.

In The River West (Redemption Press), Allen Hartman, a missionary to the Arapaho in the early 1840s who practices “incarnational ministry,” is criticized by his denomination for assimilating too well to the culture where he is ministering. This third book in the Two Rivers trilogy, continues the adventures of Hartman and his friend, Negro pastor Deacon Abraham, on a journey that thrusts them into spiritual warfare, a fight for souls, and an ultimate showdown with evil forces.

Rescued from a holding cell in the Masonic Temple, missionary Allen Hartman is on the Natchez Trace heading back to his mission in Arapaho country. But when the evil, black-arts-practicing La Marque sends a slavecatcher and assassin to kill him and forcibly return his rescued friend and Negro pastor Deacon Abraham to slavery in the swamp plantation, Allen faces the ultimate spiritual battle.

Will Allen clear his name from false accusation so he can remain among the people to which he is called, and realize a future with Moon Cloud, the Arapaho woman he loves? In The River West young missionary Allen Hartman learns that “greater love” has a costly price as he battles evil in the Lord’s strength and way, not his own.

Author Michael W. Henry combines his cross-cultural experience in the Dominican Republic and Mexico with ministry experience in spiritual warfare and deliverance in this exciting and adventurous historical novel with deep spiritual undertones.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  

Michael W. Henry has a DM in theology from Fuller Seminary. A retired missionary and pastor, his ministry focus is now in inner healing, deliverance, and spiritual formation. He lives in the mountains of Washington State with his wife of over forty years, where they enjoy hiking, camping, hunting, and fishing together. This is the third book of the Two Rivers trilogy, in addition to Two Rivers and Down the River.

For interviews, please contact mike@michaelwhenry.com.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mike.henry.334839

https://redemption-press.com/product/the/river/west

Instagram: mike.henry6

Suggested Interview Questions

  1. How do you describe The River West? Is it an adventure story? A Christian historical fiction tale? A primer on intercessory prayer?
  2. This is the third book in your trilogy. What are some of the truths the main character Allen Hartman has personally learned over the series?
  3. Allen practices “incarnational ministry,” how did your own missionary experience inform your writing?
  4. The three books in this series all deal with spiritual warfare and intercessory prayer. How is what the characters encounter requiring spiritual warfare different in The River West from the others?
  5. What do you think is important for all Christians to know about spiritual warfare?
  6. Are you working on a writing project that you can tell us about?—perhaps a new series?
god created chatgpt

Tech Meets Testament: How AI Can Revolutionize Evangelical Outreach

FAITH NEWS SERVICE – In a world where technology is rapidly advancing, many Christians have expressed concerns about the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI). However, a new book titled GOD CREATED ChatGPT: A ChatGPT Guide for Pastors, Teachers, Church Staff, Christian Writers, and Other Christian Workers offers a fresh perspective on the matter.

The author, Donald L. Hughes, said, “Too many Christians are demonizing generative AI tools like ChatGPT. My book emphasizes that AI, like many other tools, is morally neutral. It is neither inherently good nor evil, much like a computer or cell phone. The true value of such tools lies in how they are used.”

Hughes passionately argues that when wielded by Christians, tools like ChatGPT and other generative AI can be powerful instruments to further the cause of Christ. The book is a treasure trove of easy-to-follow instructions and real-world examples, designed to help believers harness this evolving technology to serve the Lord.

Hughes explores:

  • The divine perspective on why God allowed the creation of ChatGPT and other AI tools such as Google Bard and Microsoft Edge/Bing Copilot.
  • A clear understanding of why using generative AI is not plagiarism or copyright infringement, and guidance on ethical usage.
  • Techniques to craft “prompts” that yield rich Christian content, free from anti-Christian bias.
  • Strategies for pastors to craft compelling sermons that resonate deeply with congregations.
  • Ways to utilize ChatGPT for personal and group evangelism.
  • Tips for Sunday School and Bible Study teachers on enhancing lesson preparations and class management.
  • Insights into streamlining church administrative tasks, including front office and maintenance), with the aid of ChatGPT.
  • Guidance for Christian authors on leveraging ChatGPT to craft impactful books.

The book’s central message is clear: Generative AI is not the enemy. Instead, it’s a tool that, when used rightly, can glorify God and aid in more effective ministry.

GOD CREATED ChatGPT: A ChatGPT Guide for Pastors, Teachers, Church Staff, Christian Writers, and Other Christian Workers is more than just a guide—it’s a call to action. It encourages believers to embrace technology, learn its intricacies, and utilize it to spread the message of Christ and disciple believers more effectively.

This groundbreaking book has the potential to revolutionize ministry approaches and empower Christian workers in their divine mission.

Contact data for Journalists

Author email: Don@DonaldLHughes.com

Brief author bio: https://donaldlhughes.com/about/

Book page: https://donaldlhughes.com/god-created-chatgpt/

Feel free to grab images on DonaldLHughes.com

Amazon page (with reviews): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CFZH6L7Q/

 

 

the apocalypse and the coming kingdom

The Apocalypse and Coming Kingdom: New book provides a definitive and prophetic look at the coming kingdom of Christ and the fate of all humanity.

FAITH NEWS SERVICE – The return of Jesus is the greatest promise yet to be fulfilled in the Bible. This is a truth of which we are reminded by the new release of author Kenneth Behr’s latest book, “The Apocalypse and Coming Kingdom” (Xulon Press).

As a culture, we are barraged and immersed with images and thoughts of our collective end, and the end of all time. We tend to have a human fascination with the big question, “How’s it all going to end?” Nearly every day, it is common to see, read, or hear something in the news or on a social media platform about the “end of the world,” the “Apocalypse,” or “End Times.”

It seems that everyone has a specific theory or opinion about how these days will unfold. Yet, when we consider the prophecy regarding what the Bible refers to eighty-eight times as “The Day of the Lord,” (a.k.a. Armageddon), we need to remember to get all our answers from the only authoritative source, The Holy Bible. We also need to remember the importance of what “The Day of the Lord” signifies: The second coming of Jesus Christ.

Author, pastor, and apologist Ken Behr (Roaming Catholics, Ending the Wander to Embrace the Wonder) pulls verses from various books in the Bible and puts them side by side, explaining how they relate to each other. He lays out the events and timing of the end times as explained in scripture, while cautioning against overinterpreting current events.

He manages to do this while interweaving interesting stories and even jokes (unexpected in a prophecy book!), making this book a surprisingly easy read for such an important and complex topic. The 24 chapters cover the end-times and the apocalypse, which the author explains “is a transliteration from the Latin word “apocalypsis,” which actually comes from the Greek. In the Greek as well as the Latin, it is a word that literally means to “uncover” or, better yet, to reveal.”

Behr demonstrates early in this new book that the Bible has a 3,500-year history of faithfully predicting future events and that more than 25% of the Bible is actually prophetic. He prompts us to remember that when we pray, “Thy Kingdom Come,”  these three words tell us that there is a kingdom that is coming, and it is something that we should pray for daily.

He laments the fact that there are too many, likely the majority of our churches and pastors, who stay away from Bible prophecy, finding it too unsettling or sensational, or perhaps they just haven’t taken the time to try to read the clear truth that the Bible provides.

After giving us some clues in interpreting Bible prophecy, Behr begins his second chapter, titled “Jesus In The Clouds,” with what most Bible scholars consider to be the most significant prophetic event spoken of in the Bible. He references 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18 and the return of Jesus Christ and how it ties in with what we read in the book of Revelation with Jesus Christ returning for His people and judging the righteous and unrighteous.

God’s ultimate desire is to be with His people, and that includes a time when He will reward the godly, punish the ungodly, set up His kingdom, and then create the new heaven and the new earth where we will dwell with Him forever.

Published by Xulon Press, “The Apocalypse and Coming Kingdom” is available in print and on Kindle, as well as other eBooks on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and in select Christian bookstores.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Dr. Kenneth Behr is the founder of Faith Dialogue, a ministry dedicated to building the body of Christ, encouraging pastors, and strengthening churches. Prior to serving as a senior pastor, Ken had a successful career in business. His love for teaching and the Bible led him to serve in various capacities over the past twenty years, including as President of the ECFA, headquartered in Washington, DC.

His teaching style is unique, taking the theological and spiritual and making it understandable. His objective is always to illuminate and inspire. His passion for history and prophecy led to the development of his ministry, including his latest book, “The Apocalypse and Coming Kingdom.” Ken and his wife Carol have been married for over 40 years and have two children and five grandchildren. He has a doctorate in theology and is ordained by the Evangelical Church Alliance. His website is www.faithdialogue.org.

mars station

New Science Fiction Novel, Mars Station: A Space Travel Mystery, Is Now Available

FAITH NEWS SERVICE – The objectives of the first manned mission to Mars were straightforward. Astronauts Captain Arlen Chatsworth, engineer Skylar Trenton, and communication officer Myra Lonsdale, MD were to bring back several hundred pounds of surface soil and rubble for research. But when they located a weathered and aged man-made sign on the red planet, the mission changed.

Upon their successful return to earth, two of the astronauts set out on an undercover mission of their own to find the answer to a secret that had been kept for over seventy-five years. As their search leads them to a medical clinic in a South American jungle, they cross paths with dangerous men on their own mission, and an aged explorer from another time.

Have they come in time to solve the enigma of the weathered relic from Mars? Or will their lives end in the jungle at the hands of Nazis bent on national glory?

Find out more when you read the captivating new novel, Mars Station: A Space Travel Mystery.

About the Author

After a thirty-year career in law enforcement, Glen McMahan took up creative pursuits and has written twenty short stories, with more on the way. He and his Persian cat Baby currently reside in Oregon, where they enjoy reading Steinbeck and listening to Dylan.

medicine for the heart

Dive into the Transformational Journey of “Medicine for the Heart” — free to download on Amazon through 8/26/23

FAITH NEWS SERVICE – United States—Friday, August 25, 2023

Discover a life-changing exploration of faith, meaning, and personal growth in the highly acclaimed book, “Medicine for the Heart: Reading Scripture in Troubled Times, with Kierkegaard,” written by the brilliant author Dwain L. Eckberg. Inspired by the profound wisdom of Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, this captivating masterpiece is a must-have for all souls yearning for a richer and more meaningful existence.

In “Medicine for the Heart,” Eckberg expertly combines the timeless teachings of the Bible with the enlightening faith journey of patriarch Abraham. Drawing from Kierkegaard’s spiritually robust writings, readers are invited on a transformative pilgrimage, where they will uncover powerful techniques for reading the Bible and nurturing an unshakeable individual faith.

Prepare to be captivated by Eckberg’s masterful storytelling and deep understanding of the human experience. Early reviewers have hailed “Medicine for the Heart” as a much-needed elixir for the weary soul, with one reviewer remarking, “This book is a must-read for anyone seeking inspiration and guidance on their spiritual journey.”

Whether you are a seasoned Kierkegaardian, an inquisitive academic, or simply an individual searching for deeper meaning, “Medicine for the Heart” promises to enrich your life and leave an indelible mark on your soul.

Download for free on Amazon through August 26, 2003, and embark on an extraordinary journey of faith, purpose, and self-discovery. Don’t miss out on this invaluable opportunity to secure your copy of “Medicine for the Heart” today. And for those who prefer the tangible beauty of a physical book, a discounted hard copy is also available on Amazon.

Experience the transformative power of “Medicine for the Heart” and join the ranks of those who have already rated it a perfect 5 stars. Here’s what one of many reviewers have said:

David Weber
5 Stars – Deep and Devotional

“As a pastor I am always looking for resources to help my congregants engage with Scripture as they face the troubles of this life. Dr. Eckberg has provided a theologically deep yet accessible resource toward this end. Each chapter is rooted in Scripture and designed to be read in a devotional manner. I look forward to sharing this book with both those interested in Kierkegaard’s devotional ministry and those seeking to grow in their knowledge of God’s word.”

For More Information: For more questions or to schedule an interview about this press release, please contact Dwain L. Eckberg at (434) 849-8668 or deckberg@ekholmen.com.

About the Author
A professor of medicine and cardiology, Dwain L. Eckberg, MD, graduated from Northwestern University School of Medicine. He has published over 170 scientific articles. He met Rebecca, his college sweetheart, at Wheaton College, where he studied philosophy, and she studied English. They have been married sixty-three years—“The first sixty-three years,” Dwain quips, “are the hardest.” They have three daughters and six grandchildren. The couple lives in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Suggested Interview Questions

  1. You have a philosophy degree and have been a research scientist for decades. How has these two elements influenced your faith?
  2. What initially piqued your interest about philosophy?
  3. Kierkegaard’s writings largely influenced your book. Tell us a bit about Kierkegaard in case our listeners aren’t as familiar with him as you are.
  4. Out of all the philosophers to choose from, why did you pick Kierkegaard and explore his writings?
  5. What is the greatest contribution Kierkegaard has had on Western civilization?
  6. Your book provides some techniques for reading the Bible. Which one has had the most impact on you personally?
  7. How do you hope readers will be inspired by their own faith from the context of your book?
  8. Which of Kierkegaard’s quotes has inspired you that you’d like to leave with readers?
Living Missionally Beyond Sunday

New book helps Christians rediscover their missionary identity

FAITH NEWS SERVICEWhat is the mission of God in the world and what is my part in it? Both the answer and the value of this question are made evident by means of a dose of “rabbinic rhetoric”: What does a barista and a missionary have common?

Work is a sacred ordinance, and God intends for your vocation, your work, to be coupled with mission— God has called all believers, those who are “in Christ” by grace, through faith, to couple their daily work and lives with God’s mission: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do,” Eph. 2:10.

The Greek term translated “handiwork” means “he has made us what we are.” God has blessed you with gifts, talents, skills, and passion to do the work you love— e.g., mechanic, welder, teacher, construction, custodian, farmer, logger, physician, grocery clerk, lawyer, nurse, bank teller, business owner, police officer, marine, soldier, airman, sailor, writer, musician, artist, and, of course, barista!

And God created you “in Christ” (you are a new creation) to do good works, which God “prepared in advance,” that is, before “the creation of the world” — “The good works of the righteous are the work and gift of God.” Therefore, every believer is to involve themselves “… in the eternal purposes of God in the world to redeem it to Himself, to sum up all things to Himself in Christ Jesus” (Alan Hirsch).

For the creation ordinance of work to possess ultimate purpose, passion and an abiding sense of mission, believers must transform their vocation into a missional vocation— A barista and a missionary are biblically called to be one in the same person! If the church is going to be revived, and make disciples at home and throughout the earth, in obedience to Jesus Christ in whom all “authority in heaven and on earth has been given,” the church must rediscover her Missionary Identity— This is the primary purpose of the book you hold in your hand, Living Missionally Beyond Sunday, “and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
“He is an able and attractive man of God who knows and loves evangelical theological truth; who can think, handling ideas and arguments with clarity and precision; and who can teach, verbalizing and illustrating very straightforwardly.”
The Late, Dr. James I. Packer, Professor of Theology, Regent College

Kerry McRoberts is a husband, father, grandfather, and above all, a covenant child of God by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. “Mac” (a nickname since his service in the United States Air Force) has served the purpose of the kingdom of God as an academic dean, professor, pastor, apologist, author, guest lecturer, speaker/preacher, and participant in paradigm studies on five continents.

Mac has conducted numerous conferences on cults, the occult, and pagan spirituality, and participated in debates, e.g., New Age, occult, cults, and social ethical issues. He has presented lectures and published on apologetics, social-ethics, theology, and missional congregations in the context of postmodern, post-postmodern, neo-pagan, socialist, and neo-Marxist cultures.

Mac’s pastoral career spans thirty-five years, and his teaching/academic career exceeds twenty-five years. He has authored five books, and coauthored three books (at present, Mac is working on his sixth book, a cultural apologetic confronting Western Civilization’s Marxist “Woke” invasion).

FROM THE FOREWORDLIVING MISSIONALLY BEYOND SUNDAY
“This is not a refined academic treatise or a simplistic pop culture work. It is an enthusiastic exploration and unearthing of the biblical and empirical clarity we need to go forward in this VUCA (volatile, uncertain, chaotic, and ambiguous) world we are in. When all of God’s people are on mission in all of life – especially their daily work – we can expect significant kingdom progress. All of the chapters have the unrefined freshness of Mac’s humble inquiry and his ability to distill so much information in one place.”
Dr. Charlie Self

 

Medicine for the Heart

For all who aspire to live richer, more meaningful lives, “Medicine for the Heart” will be free to download tomorrow (8/22/23)

FAITH NEWS SERVICE – United States—Monday, August 21, 2023

Dive into a captivating exploration of faith, meaning, and personal growth Medicine for the Heart: Reading Scripture in Troubled Times, with Kierkegaard by acclaimed author Dwain L. Eckberg. Inspired by the profound wisdom of Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, this transformative book is a call to all seekers, believers, and intellectuals who yearn for a richer and more meaningful existence.

In “Medicine for the Heart,” Eckberg skillfully weaves together the timeless teachings of the Bible and the illuminating faith journey of patriarch Abraham. Drawing from Kierkegaard’s spiritually robust writings, readers are invited to embark on a transformative pilgrimage, discovering simple yet powerful techniques for reading the Bible and cultivating an unwavering individual faith.

“This book is a much-needed elixir for the weary soul,” remarks one early reviewer. “Eckberg’s masterful storytelling and deep understanding of the human experience make “Medicine for the Heart” a must-read for anyone seeking inspiration and guidance on their spiritual journey.”

Whether you’re a seasoned Kierkegaardian, a curious academic, or simply an individual searching for deeper meaning, “Medicine for the Heart” is a book that promises to enrich your life and leave an indelible mark on your soul.

Download for free on Amazon through August 26, 2003, or purchase the beautiful discounted hard copy at “Medicine for the Heart” today, and embark on a transformative journey of faith, purpose, and self-discovery. “Medicine for the Heart” is rated 5 stars by those who have purchased the book. Here’s what one of many reviewers have said:

Karyl Noonyn
5 Stars – Beyond This World

“The Bible, God’s Word, is unlike any other written word. It holds unparalleled value to all mankind. Dr. Dwain Eckberg’s book illuminates a map, applying Kierkegaard’s theological works, guiding the reader into a deeper understanding of how not just to read the Bible, but to consume it. I highly recommend this book for everyone looking to delve deeper into scriptures or anyone just starting their pursuit of biblical studies.”

For More Information: For more questions or to schedule an interview about this press release, please contact Dwain L. Eckberg at (434) 849-8668 or deckberg@ekholmen.com.

About the Author

A professor of medicine and cardiology, Dwain L. Eckberg, MD, graduated from Northwestern University School of Medicine. He has published over 170 scientific articles. He met Rebecca, his college sweetheart, at Wheaton College, where he studied philosophy, and she studied English. They have been married sixty-three years—“The first sixty-three years,” Dwain quips, “are the hardest.” They have three daughters and six grandchildren. The couple lives in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Suggested Interview Questions

  1. You have a philosophy degree and have been a research scientist for decades. How has these two elements influenced your faith?
  2. What initially piqued your interest about philosophy?
  3. Kierkegaard’s writings largely influenced your book. Tell us a bit about Kierkegaard in case our listeners aren’t as familiar with him as you are.
  4. Out of all the philosophers to choose from, why did you pick Kierkegaard and explore his writings?
  5. What is the greatest contribution Kierkegaard has had on Western civilization?
  6. Your book provides some techniques for reading the Bible. Which one has had the most impact on you personally?
  7. How do you hope readers will be inspired by their own faith from the context of your book?
  8. Which of Kierkegaard’s quotes has inspired you that you’d like to leave with readers?
the b word

A young woman’s struggle from the torment of bulimia to freedom in Christ detailed in new book

FAITH NEWS SERVICE – Open the first page of Katrina Wilkie’s novel the B Word and you read these words:

The B Word is my story. I’ve written it down for you, so you can read the words I most needed to hear. Beautiful one, don’t give up. There is hope. There is healing and a whole new life for you that is yours to claim. This nightmare you are going through is not your forever. Just hold on and take one tiny step at a time. Love, Katrina.”

Katrina Wilkie first wrote her book the B Word soon after her bulimia stopped. But her healing was far from complete, and the manuscript was shelved as she spent the following thirty years alternating between binge eating, under eating, exercise addiction and various forms of disordered eating. It wasn’t until she began facing the things in her life, which had lead to her eating disorders, that she began to heal.

The manuscript came off the shelf, was dusted off and edited, and is now a story which offers hope to the many people who are suffering from bulimia, or another form of disordered eating.

Katrina has a lived experience of the truth that ‘secrets make you sick’. Katrina says that “telling someone your secret for the first time is scary, even when it’s a trusted person. My story hopefully encourages people to tell their own story to someone, no matter where they are on their path to healing”.

Katrina chose to create the character ‘Louise’, rather than write her story as a first-person testimony. She says: “I think this allowed me to add interesting elements to the character and her friends, which makes the book more fun to read. I’ve changed people’s names and some of the details, but most of the people in the story were a big part of my life back then”.

“I haven’t held back from describing the struggles Louise goes through, because I want the book to be relatable. As they read about Louise’s struggles, I want people to be able to see themselves, and hold on to hope that they are not alone.”

An important part of the story is Louise’s faith journey. The question why doesn’t God just heal me? is one Louise asks often. The reader also catches glimpses of Louise’s past and where her eating issues may have begun. The answer to this question is never explicitly answered, but it is clear that Louise has started on her recovery journey and that she is slowly letting God heal her from one thing at a time, one step at a time.

The B Word is a small window into Katrina’s life and history with disordered eating. She has written the book about her struggle with bulimia because she believes bulimia is an eating disorder people don’t talk about. “There is a lot of guilt and shame around having bulimia” she says, “but it is much more prevalent than people realise. People tend to talk about anorexia or other forms of disordered eating much more easily.

“Eating disorders are actually a serious mental health condition. Recovery includes understanding this, and being able to talk about what you are going through.”

According to Australian body Eating Disorders Victoria, approximately 1 million people in Australia are living with a form of eating disorder. Of those, four times more people are suffering from bulimia than anorexia.

Katrina is an Australian author. Her recovery journey continues one step at a time. She is currently working on writing a book that tells the rest of her story. She loves hearing other people’s stories, and can be found on Facebook and Instagram.

The B Word by Katrina Wilkie ISBN: 9780645802535 can be purchased on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Koorong and other online bookstores.

Inspiring Story of Resilience and Faith: Burn Survivor’s Journey to Healing and Hope

FAITH NEWS SERVICE – In a remarkable tale of unwavering faith and triumph over adversity, Derrick Jones, a courageous burn victim, has emerged as a beacon of hope for Christian communities worldwide. His journey from the depths of despair to a life of purpose and faith is a story that will touch hearts and inspire individuals to find strength in their own trials.

After a life-altering incident left Derrick with severe burns, he faced both physical and emotional challenges that tested his faith. Yet, through the power of prayer, support from loved ones, and his unshakable belief in God’s plan, Derrick Jones found the strength to embrace his new reality and embark on a journey of healing and transformation.

As Derrick shares his personal testimony of overcoming pain, doubt, and fear, he highlights the pivotal role that spirituality played in his recovery. his unwavering faith not only aided him in the physical healing process but also helped him find a renewed sense of purpose and a deep connection with God.

“I believe that my experience is a testament to the incredible power of faith and the strength that comes from trusting in God’s plan,” Derrickshares. “My hope is that by sharing my story, I can encourage others to find solace in their faith and discover the resilience that lies within them.”

In addition to his inspiring narrative, Derrick Jones has become an advocate for burn survivors and an ambassador for faith-based organizations. He has devoted his life to spreading messages of hope, love, and perseverance, proving that even in the face of overwhelming challenges, one can emerge stronger and more spiritually connected.

Reach Media is proud to represent Derrick Jones and facilitate his engagement with Christian media outlets. His story is a powerful testament to the strength of the human spirit and the transformative power of faith. We invite you to join us in sharing Derrick’s journey of healing, hope, and unwavering faith with your audience.

For interviews, features, or inquiries, please contact:

Randal Lee
Publicist
Reach Media
601.695.3297

in front of them all

Street evangelist aims to inspire the next generation for the Great Commission in new biography

FAITH NEWS SERVICE – When any Christian hears the words ‘street evangelist’, two things generally occur. Firstly, the thought is that the person in question must really know their Bible. Secondly, a slight shiver goes down their spine.

Evangelism is a scary enough prospect for even the most committed Christian. But street evangelism? That is on another level, where you not only have to know your Word, but the chances of outright persecution, and at worst, ridicule, is very high.

Bruce Kelly, the author of the remarkable new book, In Front Of Them All, got used to dealing with the public after a 25-year career as a police officer. As he says, the lessons he learned in caring for the flock stood him in good stead after such a long career “looking after sheep with two legs!”

He says that these skills helped in his career on the raw edge of life in attending murder scenes, suicides, domestic violence, accidents and petty crimes. In all of this, he learned more about others, himself and God.

Becoming comfortable with dealing with the general public, and no doubt being able to handle himself if any situation was to get out of hand, Bruce took his knowledge of the Bible – and his love for people – to the street. As a street evangelist in the Australian state of Victoria, Brucedsays he ministered to thousands of people.

As Bruce told me, “There are plenty of books dealing with evangelical doctrine. However, I have not seen many presenting evangelism as a practical grassroots ministry. This book is especially written to assist the younger generation in transferring the evangelical message in simple fashion outside the four walls of the church and on to the street.

“Every Christian should be doing the work of evangelism according to their giftedness and the circumstances of their lives. I learned to engage people with my story in a process of challenge and excitement, and soon concluded that more people out there are prepared to listen to a good Biblical story than there are Christians willing to share.”

Bruce makes a very valid point. While most Christians are afraid to share their faith, people are actually much more open to the Gospel than we think. And when tied in with how our personal faith has shaped our lives, there is a huge marketplace of people searching for Jesus – even if they’re not aware of it.

“One objective in writing this book is to encourage older Christians with their wealth of knowledge on evangelism to download the how-to of the Gospel message to the younger generation, who are struggling to find their way in the Christian life,” Bruce said.

“As an older Christian, I loved every moment of my ministry. I pray that through reading this book, readers will be inspired to encourage young Christians in evangelism and at the same time, that you too might take your place in the ‘Great Commission.’

“After all, the Bible does command us to Go into all the world and share the Good News.”

Bruce was also involved for fifteen years in church planting as a home missioner with the Baptist Union of Victoria. He was the first pastor of three churches – two in Victoria and one in the Kimberleys region of Western Australia. He was also involved in interim ministries in New South Wales and with remote Aboriginal communities in Western Australia. In this he learned how to baptize, marry and bury.

Upon returning to Victoria, he has shared his story and literature in many languages with thousands of students, tourists and public over the last twenty years.

Bruce had no intention of writing a book about his life, until he was challenged by his pastor to write a book that would describe in detail his experience of street evangelism. He says that soon after receiving the challenge, he seriously broke an ankle, and as a form of therapy in the recovery process and the advent of Covid, his book began to be formed.

In Front of Them All is not just Bruce’s story, but will inspire and encourage you to adopt a lifetime role of Great Commission activities in accord with your giftedness and circumstances of life. As you read Bruce’s remarkable story, you will be challenged to understand that evangelism is a core component of your life.

In Front Of Them All, published by Ark House, is now available globally.

ark house

Christian book publisher, Ark House, celebrates 20 years of book publishing

FAITH NEWS SERVICE – Christian book publisher, Ark House, has announced it is celebrating 20 years of producing Christian books.

The publisher, which commenced its operations back in 2003 with one single advertisement calling for new authors, has now published over 1,300 titles since its inception.

“Ark House stared with very humble beginnings,” says Matt Danswan, CEO of Initiate Media, the Christian media company that oversees Ark House.

“We started book publishing because at that time, we were the owners of Australia’s two major Christian magazines, Alive and Christian Woman, and we saw the need for a Christian publisher that was not just interested in theological-type books. We wanted to create fiction, biographies, and titles that appealed to a really wide array of Christians.

“From that one ad, the manuscripts began to roll in, and one after another, we began to produce Christian books.”

Matt said that the company had an advantage in that it already had graphic designers on staff and so they were able to pivot into book layout without too much trouble.

“Being in the Christian magazine market certainly helped us have a lot of the technical knowhow in place to manage the intricate design process,” Matt said. “However, the legal and distribution side of the business was a minefield that took a lot of work to navigate.

“Stock holdings were another massive challenge as a young company. As our catalog grew, so did the amount of money we had tied up in books that were printed and warehoused. There was no print on demand for the first 10 to 15 years of our existence, so keeping stock of our growing catalog was a massive challenge. We simply had to have stock on hand to be able to support our distributors, as well as retailers and authors.”

Ark House has gone on to win the Christian book of the Year awards on two occasions, as well as being finalist a number of times. Its real strength, though, it says is in helping new and little-known authors get a start in the book world. In addition, given they are not self publishers, these authors then have a powerful imprint on their book, which gives them immense credibility.

We really see ourselves positioned as that Christian publisher that feels its calling is to give authors an opportunity”, Matt says.” While we have to first assess every manuscript that comes in, given we won’t just place our brand on any manuscript, we do try and work with a wide range of authors.

“Traditionally, publishers’ doors are closed to new authors, forcing most to have to go down the self publishing route. However, we don’t believe that is the best route for authors, and so we have developed programs that allow us to work with such authors so they have a powerful, reputable publishing imprint on their books and are not forced down a self publishing pathway.

For more information, visit www.arkhousepress.com.

death to selfie

Death to Selfie—A Roadmap for Christlike Living details journey from selfishness to selflessness

FAITH NEWS SERVICE – Melbourne, FL—Will Owen is the president of JetBoatPilot.com, a multi-dimensional marine products brand in Panama City, Florida. He began his career as an aggressive personality filled with selfish ambitions.

However, as he matured in his Christian walk and lived out his Christianity, he began to change. His commitment to God and hunger for truth drove him to pursue a life free of fleshly pursuits and follow God daily.

Owen’s pastor, Veteran songwriter and author Pastor Robert Gay of High Praise Panama City once told his bold congregant, “Will, not one person has been called into my office for correction and counsel more than you.” Then he said, “And no one has taken the instruction and correction as well and has applied it as consistently as you.”

As a troublesome church member, Will had a revelation that self was the root of all his mistakes. He used to want to come out on top of every situation, but now his goals include building others up, whether it’s his family, business, or ministry.

Through his new book, Death to Selfie—A Roadmap for Christlike Living (August 2023, Parsons Publishing House), Will Owen shares what he learned in his journey going from selfishness to selflessness. He includes a couple of practical tools to help detect if you are walking in the Spirit. Owen suggests that all Christians would do well to pay attention to the “words in red”—meaning the words spoken by Jesus Christ often written in red font.

He says, “Something interesting happened when I read only the words in red; I felt something I had never felt before. I felt stronger in my faith and fuller in my spirit. It was like I had just eaten a four-course meal full of carbs and protein. Then, I was reminded of the words Jesus spoke when He said, ‘The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life’ (John 6:63). After reading every word in red, I felt full like Jesus’ words were literal food.”

According to Owen, one takeaway that you will get from reading this book is, “You can seek to live your life above sin when you live as Jesus commanded.” Owen’s journey has been about elevating others as he pursues selflessness, and his book offers the tools to help you on your journey.

(Release date 8/15/23, Anchor Distribution, 978-160273-1516). For more information, contact: Will Owen, 850.867.1410 or 850.960.3236, jetboatpilot.com@gmail.com

the gap between god and christianity

‘The Gap Between God and Christianity: The Turbulence of Western Culture’ a penetrating book for thinking Christians

FAITH NEWS SERVICE – When people move from one cultural system to another, they get caught in the dissonance created by the collision of the two systems for survival. Many are not aware of what is happening.

They have brought their own culture to the host situation, and it is not working for them. The host people wonder why they are so strange. Culture shock is a real possibility for these sojourners in a foreign land. But awareness can change all this.

A similar problem confronts Christians when they read the Bible or implement its teachings in their own culture. They do not realize the powerful influence of the original culture on the words and then of their own on their observations of the text or its application to their lives.

The results create a gap between God and their expression of Christianity. This is the crux of the discussion in this book. The journey may cause discomfort for some. It is a sensitive topic to talk about one’s own culture and its influence on us when all along, we thought we were in charge of our lives and preferences. It may give us a sort of reverse culture shock.

Western culture is one of the most challenging perspectives from which to see and grasp the intent of biblical truths. Its search for logical information, institutional survival, and Christian celebrities does not lend itself to trusting relationships central to the biblical message.

The English language, shaped by this culture, is highly in contrast to Middle Eastern ways of thinking, reasons for communication, and views of people. The typical reader does not allow the text to change their individualist view of themselves but rather reads it through individualist eyes that often filter out what God intends for them.

The result is a highly developed superficial Western Christianity with what is believed to be the information but often misses the meaning and personal engagement with God intended. That leaves a Gap Between God and Christianity.

Author’s Perspective:

The Gap Between God and Christianity comes out of decades of observing Western Christianity in the United States and Europe and non-Western Christianity in Africa, Korea, and Native America and years of teaching applied cultural anthropology and intercultural communication. Through it all, I became deeply concerned for today’s churches, Christian schools, and mission agencies.

We have ignored this enormous influence of culture, and ours has played tricks on us, invading our way of thinking about God, godliness, and ministry. It is time to close the gap.

This book speaks to the interference of our Western culture in reading and responding to God’s Word. Until recent times, Christians have not paid attention to the effects of culture on people, especially their own on them.

But this has been our error and weakness as Western people in understanding ourselves and others in the world around us. A further result is that we have neglected to see that reading the Bible is a cross-cultural experience, and we are ill-prepared for it. The Gap Between God and Christianity opens our understanding of the influence of our culture when we read the Bible.

We have a Western prescription in our cultural lenses, helping us interpret our experience and communication in our own situation but distorting the meaning of experience and communication in other cultures, including the Bible. If we let it, it creates a gap between us and God’s intentions for us in His Word. Although it is a sort of high treason to talk about culture’s influence on us individualists, it is time we met God on his own terms and let him speak for himself.

The Gap Between God and Christianity helps us cross the chasm.

Endorsements:

“Because all ministry is intercultural, The Gap Between God and Christianity has a foundational and fundamental message for all Christian workers at home and abroad: know first who you are. Why? So that you don’t superimpose your culture on the Biblical cultures or the host culture. Forged out of the crucible of cross-cultural ministry in numerous cultures, the reader can expect to find informed ways to ‘let God be God.’ Don’t overlook this jewel.”   —Tom Steffen, Biola University, emeritus.

“This book is a rich and needed cultural critique of American conservative Christianity, by a lifelong member of that community who has served half of his life as a foreign missionary, and the other half as a seminary professor. . . . Stallter concludes that cultural expectations, theological systems, and personal needs filter American views of Scripture and God, with the result that we ‘know a lot about self-assertion but little about humility and, therefore, little of the fear of God.”   —Sherwood G. Lingenfelter, Fuller Theological Seminary, emeritus.

“Tom Stallter has faithfully and pointedly served those of us who comprise his Euro-North American audience. Building on his extensive international experience and painstaking scholarly pursuits, Stallter offers here not only a penetrating critique of our enslaving Western individualism but—perhaps even more importantly—constructive pointers toward living freely as followers of Jesus Christ. Stallter’s analysis of our skewed notion of ‘conscience’ is only one of several enlightening discussions that push us to ‘let God be God.’”   —J. Nelson Jennings, Mission Pastor, Onnuri Church, S. Korea

“Thomas Stallter has provided the church an extremely valuable tool to help understand the role culture has played in the initial giving of God’s revelation, the subsequent understanding of that revelation throughout the ages, and the communication of that revelation by Christians across cultures. This understanding enables us to “let God be God within our cultural frame of reference’ and avoid the ‘intrusion of self between God and us.’”   —John R. Lillis, Pacific Theological Seminary

AI and the church

New Gloo Survey Reveals What Ministry Leaders Think About AI & The Church

FAITH NEWS SERVICEInitial results show that church leaders have a general understanding of AI, but are split in their views on how, or if, it should be used in ministry.

BOULDER, Colo., August 2, 2023 — Gloo, the leading technology platform dedicated to connecting the faith ecosystem and releasing its collective might, announced initial results of its AI & the Church Survey. The survey was developed in conjunction with a working group of partners including Barna Group, Ed Stetzer, the Lausanne Movement, AI and Faith, and others. The goal of the survey is to help church leaders be more informed on peer sentiment, equipping leaders to drive the conversation around responsible use of artificial intelligence.

The 25-question survey used a snowball sampling method to cover a variety of topics from ministry role, church size, and congregational background to usage of AI, views on its usefulness, and sentiments on its moral and ethical implications. At the time these results were drawn, 1,573 people participated in the survey, 83% of which were church leaders, and 17% were church members. The survey is now reopened, and full results are available and will continue to be made available through Gloo.

Steve Millette, director of common measurement at Gloo, stated, “Not surprisingly, these early results reveal a lot of variability on views of AI in the faith ecosystem. While leaders generally understand AI, they are indicating they need more training in order to use it effectively. More discussion is needed about how the Church can properly use the technology to support ministry.”

Key results from the survey include:

Understanding AI: Sixty-three percent of leaders are comfortable in their understanding of AI, saying they are fairly to somewhat knowledgeable, while 28% of church leaders say they are only slightly or not knowledgeable at all. Only 9% considered themselves very knowledgeable.

Using AI: While AI tools undergird a wide swath of online and digital tools and platforms, most church leaders do not use AI directly in ministry. Sixty-two percent state they rarely or never use AI in their work, 19% cite occasional use, with another 19% that use AI on a weekly or daily basis.

Lead Pastor at Kansas City’s Westside Family Church Randy Frazee said, “As church leaders, we are usually behind the innovation curve. That reluctance costs us real kingdom advances. While I’ve got one eyebrow up watching the unfolding AI, I am excited that more people might draw a step closer to Jesus because of it. AI is here to stay, and we can use it as a tool to draw people toward the light.”

Concerns about AI: Fifty-four percent of respondents state they are quite to extremely concerned about ethical or moral issues related to using AI in the church. Another 40% indicate they are slightly to somewhat concerned, and 6% are not concerned at all.

“It’s a good thing that Christians are curious, yet cautious about AI — the people working in AI are, too. The question is, how will we respond? This data should compel us toward engagement and ethical use of AI,” said Ed Stetzer, missiologist and dean of the Talbot School of Theology at Biola University.

Outlook on AI: A majority of leaders (54%) are somewhat to very uncomfortable with the emergence of AI in the world, while 32% are somewhat to very positive or excited. Fourteen percent remain neutral.

When it comes to using AI in a church context, respondents were divided.

Use within their church: Forty-three percent are somewhat to very uncomfortable with the idea of using AI in their church, with 27% being somewhat to very positive or excited, while 30% were neutral with no strong feelings either way.

Use by the Big C Church: Forty-one percent believe that the Church should moderately leverage AI in ministry, and 9% assert the Church should enthusiastically leverage the technology. Seventeen percent hold that the Church should resist the use of AI in ministry, with an additional 7% that declare the Church should condemn it. Twenty-six percent hold a neutral position on the use of AI in ministry.

“The data reveals that church leaders are quite split in their opinions on the role of AI in the Church and how they are reading the terrain,” said Savannah Kimberlin, associate vice president at Barna Group. “Forty-three percent of respondents admitted to feeling uncomfortable or anxious about AI being used in churches, and one in four went so far as to say the Church should resist or condemn the use of AI. However, one in three enthusiastically shared they believe AI will improve their efficiency or effectiveness. Stats like these show that the time is right to come together and have meaningful conversations on the topic.”

Going forward, Gloo and the working group of partners will continue to gather data, ask new questions, and track sentiment changes over time. A variety of organizations will contribute analysis, commentary and resources to be made available at no charge to ministries on the AI & the Church Hub.

To see the full results, visit gloo.us/ai-survey-results.

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Gloo is the trusted platform that releases the collective might of the faith ecosystem. As the leading technology innovator, Gloo connects people, partners, world-class content, funding opportunities, and more to help ministry achieve their goals and change more lives. Gloo is based in Boulder, Colorado, employing a team of more than 150 people.