New and Noteworthy: October 2006
Joe Beam and Lee Wilson. The Real Heaven: It’s Not What You Think . Webb City, Mo.: Covenant, 2006. ISBN 1-892435-53-5; 111 pages; $10.99; (877) 673-1015.
This book gives readers a biblical view of heaven as a reward, instead of simply an alternative to death.
This “restoration” of humanity as God intended does not mean the permanent destruction of our memories, relationships, personalities or homelands, the authors argue.
The book includes a study guide for small groups and Bible class discussions, too.
Beam is president of Family Dynamics Institute in Nashville, Tenn., and author of Fantastic Families and other books. Wilson is on the Family Dynamics staff and publishes Grace-Centered Magazine.
Gary Holloway and Douglas A. Foster. Renewing God’s People: A Concise History of Churches of Christ . With a New Study Guide. Abilene: ACU Press, 2006. ISBN 0-89112-010-6; 176 pages; $11; (877) 816-4455.
This revised edition of the 2001 book provides the brief story of the fellowship from 1804 until the present in chapters brief enough for small-group use. The 12 chapters are accompanied by learning objectives, lesson plans with Scriptures and discussion questions.
The authors write, “If we deny the good our spiritual ancestors accomplished, we become ungrateful children. If we ignore their mistakes, we become traditionalists.”
Holloway is professor of Bible at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn., and Foster is professor of church history at Abilene Christian University in Texas.
Shawn McMullen, editor. Unleashing the Potential of the Smaller Church: Vision and Strategy for Life-Changing Ministry . Forewords by Bob Russell and Rick Atchley. Cincinnati: Standard, 2006. ISBN 0-7847-1621-8; 158 pages; $14.99; (800) -543-1353.
The essays in this book are by ministers in smaller congregations in the Restoration fellowships and seek to show how small churches can be healthy and vibrant. Leaders of small churches are the authors of 15 essays. Topics include cultivating a climate for growth, outreach, missions, worship, family ministry, youth ministry, multicultural ministry, recovery ministry and unity and harmony.
McMullen is a founding member of the Energizing Smaller Churches Network and a minister in Milan, Ind.
Tony Coffey. Answers to Questions Catholics are Asking . Eugene, Ore.: Harvest House, 2006. ISBN 13-978-0-7369-1786-5; $13.99; 271 pages; 800-547-8979.
A longtime Irish minister, Coffey deals with his topic in 16 chapters with discussion questions and bibliographies. The chapters include “The Formation of the Bible,” “The Royal Priesthood” and “Thinking Jesus was in Their Company”.
He writes, “My upbringing in Ireland was during a period when the Roman Catholic Church exercised power in every areas of a person’s life: family, society, education, and politics.” After a brief biographical sketch, the remaining chapters discuss doctrine.
Coffey is a minister in Dublin, Ireland, where he has worked for 35 years. His online ministry is www.bibleanswers.ie.