Church History

There is a mountain of books out there on Church History. Each comes from a different perspective, however, which makes it hard to figure out which one to read. For people just getting started, I recommend the exciting and truly motivating Series by Roberts Liardon. They give you a flavor of several of the most important moments: Pentecostal History, Reformers and Revivalists. Read more [...]

Debt and Finances

One of the results of addiction is that your view of money and ability to handle it is often ruined. In addition, people who are in poverty situations often have very different views of money than those in the middle class. This is a huge challenge to unravel, but one that must be done if the person hopes to climb out. There are a lot of principles that responsible  people operate by that are non-obvious to others. For example, the principle Read more [...]

Foundations

There are a number of foundations books out there. The good news is that when you are a new believer the main "foundations" book you really need is the New Testament. Especially Matthew, John, and Romans. If you can get the message of those 3 books, you have a lot of the really important stuff. As our team has been working with newer believers that we cannot personally disciple we have looked for resources that we can hand to them to do Read more [...]

Bible Commentaries

The first thing an entry level student of the Bible needs to own is a "Handbook." Henrietta Mears and Henry Halley did a great job by creating "Bible Handbooks"  which are kind of condensed commentaries. They just give you a "road map" of what is in the Scripture. Henrietta Mears' work is to be recommended for it's devotional and practical qualities. People are rediscovering the value of these two books and they have both been republished Read more [...]

Books On Spiritual Abuse

Yes, there is such a thing as 'spiritual' abuse. Spiritual abuse happens when a system is set up in the name of God that hurts people. The Pharisees were the original spiritual abusers. A lot of people think that Jesus was upset with their legalism, and there is no doubt that he was, but really that was just a part of a larger problem. They were taking advantage of people in the name of God. Not everything bad that could ever happen to you in a church setting is really spiritual abuse. Even in a Read more [...]

Reading The Bible

Learning to derive meaning out of the Bible can be very difficult, especially if you come from a religious background. I personally spent quite a while trying to get deep meaning out of the Scriptures. Those from a more fundamentalist or dispensationalist heritage will value the actual words of the Scriptures and memorize them. Those from an evangelical background will work with them at a rational level. Charismatics may welcome exciting, but "hyper-spiritual" interpretations. How do we find a method Read more [...]

“I’m Not Sure About Tongues.”

Maybe you are open to the gifts of the Holy Spirit but you are not sure about tongues. Either you believe they are over emphasized or they are not for you. If that is you, then you I recommend you read "They Speak with Other Tongues" by John Sherrill. He  was a secular and skeptical journalist who was sent to investigate the "tongues" phenomenon. The results of his investigation were not only shocking to him, but his book has ministered Read more [...]

Knowing God

Knowing God is a lifelong task. There is no one silver bullet that will suddenly cause you to know Him deeply. Ultimately the biggest part of knowing God has nothing to do with knowledge and everything to do with character and our response to Him. The more we humble ourselves the more we will experience his closeness. The more we pursue encounters with Him, the more we will experience Him on a tangible level. The spiritual disciplines Read more [...]

Pride and Humility

Pride is one of the most difficult issues for us to deal with, because it is very deceptive. In fact, someone with a major pride problem is less likely to realize they have it than someone who has a small problem. It can even go under cover masking itself as humility. Contrary to popular belief, not all pride manifests itself as arrogance. Pride is our need to look good for others. The more concerned you are about what others think about Read more [...]

What About The End Times?

Many Christians today have a great deal of anxiety over the end times. Throughout history, as we have entered fearful times, the Christians have turned to the expectation of Christ's return as the ultimate hope. In Matthew 24, Jesus tells us that we will hear of "wars and rumors of wars" but that the "end is not yet." He goes on to list a number of other things that do not in themselves signify the end -- famines, false prophets, martyrdom, and lawlessness. These things are endemic to history, and Read more [...]

I’m Not Sure About Spiritual Gifts

If you are not from a charismatic or pentecostal background, the idea of spiritual gifts -- things like tongues, prophecy and divine healing may be difficult to wrestle with. On the one hand, you may be attracted to the more relaxed atmosphere at a "Spirit Filled" church but is someone about to bring some snakes out? Or possibly you may have been taught that the miraculous gifts of 1 Corinthians 12 ceased with the apostles and the completion Read more [...]

Works, Legalism and Sanctification

Every Christian must eventually grapple with the issue of sanctification, that is how to become more like God, and sin less. When someone is radically converted, this is often a non issue for a while. It seems like God just removes so many things from their old life so quickly that sanctification is an automatic process. However, as Christians grow, they often hit a point where it is not as easy as it once was and they start to wonder what happened. There are many different ways that Christians Read more [...]

Pastoral Care: Boundaries

"You Teach Others How To Treat You" overrule areas in their lives where they shouldn't -- thus the concept of "boundaries." Henry Cloud and John Townsend argue that if proper personal boundaries are reset -- if a person can draw appropriate lines where they cannot be controlled or manipulated -- then most dysfunctional relationships can get better. They also argue that a person with too tight or too loose boundaries probably doesn't Read more [...]