Thomas Nelson's Refraction collection of books will offer biblical responses to the biggest issues of our time, topics that have been tabooed or ignored in the past. The books will give readers insight into these issues and what God says about them, and how to respond to others whose beliefs differ from ours in a transparent and respectful way. Refraction books cross theological boundaries in an open and honest way, through succinct and candid writing for a contemporary, millennial-minded reader. Future topics to be covered include; how Christians often contribute to a problem rather than helping, spiritual tolerance and humble service to others, true spiritual authenticity and doing what is right, aggressively searching for the most important values of God.
Spent Matches explores the possibility that a few small paradigm shifts within the church might make the difference between extinction and effectiveness. In fact, taking a clue from the automobile industry, the church might be able to not only halt the rapid decay in attendance but also become an effective tool in achieving Jesus' final command. For instance, the Hybrid car has become the answer to Detroit's environmental and oil crisis issues. Finding the synergy between two technologies, gas and electric has created a new day for the auto industry. Likewise, Spent Matches explores how the church can find synergy between two seemingly competing thoughts: an invitation to come and a command to go. The Hybrid metaphor brings energy to the church's mission and an explanation to the age-old argument of Missional versus Attractional methods.
The rapid changes in the world are creating a great deal of anxiety among believers. Differences in race, religion, sexuality, culture, and religious heritage are causing stresses and tensions within communities. In our religious communities, we have begun to quickly label those from other traditions as false teachers and heretics. Readers will discover what God has to say about other faiths and other people. God and his ultimate purposes are more inclusive and more tolerant than any project previously put forward by anyone in modern life. Still there must be limits to tolerance and inclusion in order to create a good and stable church. The book encourages believers to align their lives with God's good purposes: to welcome the stranger in their midst, to extend the kingdom in all directions (geographically, socially, ethnically, religiously), to do more than exercise tolerance but enthusiastically welcome one another as God has welcomed us, and to do more than include others but to love them unconditionally as God has loved us.
"We fell in love with Jesus. Then we had to decide what to do with God." In Transcending Mysteries: Who Is God, and What Does He Want from Us? Andrew Greer and Ginny Owens take readers on a journey to answer the question: is the God of the Old Testament the same God we relate to and worship today?
As the most definitive written revelation of who God is, Scripture has always been vital to the stories of the Christian faith. The Old Testament has proved especially tough for those who have been persuaded by the gracious gospel of Jesus but also desire to surrender to a God they don't fully comprehend. We adore the Son of God, but what about God the Father?
Using Old Testament stories Andrew and Ginny help Christ-followers reconcile a New Testament Redeemer with an Old Testament God and understand what God really wants from His people. They dialog back and forth as they share their own stories of struggle and surrender. Their comments are separated by speaker identifiers that are used throughout.
The longest distance in the universe is between the head and heart. For Christ-followers, it is the chasm between what we say we believe in our minds and what we truly believe in our hearts: a split between our statements about God and our experience of Him. This divide is everywhere around us, causing untold devastation. It is found in the double lives of believers and in the hypocrisy of church leaders, but mainly we see it in ourselves. It is the default position of every human heart.
In Divided: When the Head and Heart Don't Agree, Bill Delvaux exposes this divide and offers strategies to tackle it. The actual journey to cross the divide is sketched out, an epic journey that will take us into our deepest fear and shame and on into the wonder of God's presence. For becoming undivided is not just another task. It's the pathway into the very heart of the Father.
Imagine the God of the universe whispering in your ear, "What shall we create out of your life that will serve My purpose?" The path of authenticity is not a solo endeavor but a calling to a partnership with God that requires utter honesty, trust, commitment, and wisdom. God guides your path with a two-fold promise, "You know I love you as you are, but together, we can make of your life what I created you to be."
Following the petitions of our Lord's Prayer, Dr. Richard Parrott examines a family of authentic partners, the family of Abraham and Sarah, their son Isaac, grandson Jacob, and great-grandson Joseph. This fresh telling of the story reveals practical answers to the question, "How can my partnership with God be genuine, mature, and significant?"
The Reluctant Journey is an honest and practical guide for relating to God. As authentic Christians, we can live true in Christ and our love for him each day, choosing His best for us so that together, we advance His kingdom "on earth as it is in heaven."
The starting and ending points for all outreach have to be love. The most effective way to reach people for Jesus is through kindness outreach—showing God's love in practical ways. This type of outreach is what Jesus modeled, is culturally relevant, and values people. The goal should be to invite people to take the next step from where they are.
Friendship Community Church, led by Pastor Todd Stevens, has experienced tremendous growth through acts of kindness. The church's most radical kindness project is Nashville Strip Church, founded by Erin Stevens. Erin's life changed when God told her to "go feed the strippers." With home-cooked meals and gift bags, Erin shows dancers that God loves them. How to Pick Up a Stripper and Other Acts of Kindness includes the story of a dancer who has come to know Christ, left the strip club industry through Erin's ministry, and is now serving with Erin to reach other strippers.
From feeding the homeless, to Easter egg hunts for special needs children, to ministering in a strip club, How to Pick Up a Stripper and Other Acts of Kindness provides exciting ideas for showing God's love in practical ways.