Download a classic on movements through history

The Dynamics of Christian Mission cover

Paul Pierson’s classic on missionary/missional movements through history is available as a free download through William Cary Library.


Fred Williams on getting from zero to one [video]

Tim Scheuer hosts another google hangout for practitioners downunder.

Fred Williams is the guest contributor. He’s the man to help get you from “zero to one.” From finding a person of peace for forming a new group of disciples.

It’s two hours and unedited, but if you’re keen you’ll want to watch and learn. Then go do something.

Hope for Muslims: David Garrison in the UK

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David Garrison, author of A Wind in the House of Islam will be touring the UK in June, 20-15.

Watch this space for details.

Churchill on writing

Making history Winston 008

My friend Colin sent me this quote from Churchill on writing. I’m not sure if it was meant as an encouragement. It’s certainly true!

Writing a book is an adventure.  To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement.  Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster, and fling him to the public.

Winston Churchill

The draft goes off to IVP today. It will be flung to the public by the end of 2015. The topic is Movement Leadership.

Now I can get back to life and the blog.

Two more discounted books on Kindle

 I’m getting the hang of this…


“Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life” (Donald S. Whitney)


“Churchill: A Life” (Martin Gilbert)

UPDATE: The Collected Writings of CS Lewis. Three volumes @ $1.99 each.

“The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis: Family Letters 1905 – 1931 (Volume 1)” (Zondervan)

Never buy a book at full price

I’m still working on my next book. But whenever I need a break I go looking for bargains on Amazon Kindle (US) …

Never buy a book at full price — unless I wrote it!


“What Have They Done with Jesus?: Beyond Strange Theories and Bad History–Why We Can Trust the Bible” (Ben, III Witherington) 


“Discovering God: The Origins of the Great Religions and the Evolution of Belief” (Rodney Stark)



“Heresy: A History of Defending the Truth” (Alister McGrath)

Down from $49.99 to $1.99

“The Baptist Heritage: Four Centuries of Baptist Witness” (H. Leon McBeth)

Don’t tell my editor I’m wasting time on the internet!


“The Narnian: The Life and Imagination of C. S. Lewis” (Alan Jacobs)

ok I’m officially out of control now

wait, I need to read a book on….


“Original Sin: A Cultural History” (Alan Jacobs)

UPDATE: Thanks to reader Mike for this link to the UK site for cheap copies of Ben Witherington’s What have they done with Jesus?

Rodney Stark’s Cities of God just $1.99 on Kindle

An analysis of the spread of early Christianity. Get it while you can.

At least one second hand hard copy for $2.

“Cities of God: The Real Story of How Christianity Became an Urban Movement and Conquered Rome” (Rodney Stark)

Around and around the writer’s block

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March 27 is the deadline for the final draft of my next book. If I post anything before then tell me to get back to work!

The topic is movement leadership.

UPDATE:  I forgot to mention we’re also moving house next week from London to Leicester.

UPDATE: Let’s not forget the World Cup is on. I’ve got plenty of good reasons not to be updating this blog.

A good commentary on James for under $5

Craig Blomberg and Mariam Kamell’s commentary on James down $4.27 on the US Kindle store.

“James (Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament)” (Craig L. Blomberg, Mariam J. Kamell)

UPDATE: Holmes on 1&2 Thessalonians for the same price on US Kindle. Also recommended.

“1 and 2 Thessalonians (The NIV Application Commentary Book 13)” (Michael W. Holmes)

A message signed with blood to the nation of the Cross


Mark Durie makes his response to the slaughter of 21 Coptic Christians by the Islamic State on a beach in Libya.

The Islamic State video, a polished production, depicts 21 Christian men, hands bound behind them, being led one-by-one along a beach in Libya to a point where they are forced to bow down with their heads in the sand, and there they are beheaded, crying out Ya Rabbi Yasou ‘Lord Jesus!’, some reciting the Lord’s Prayer. Severed heads were then placed on top of each corpse, their Muslim slayer standing over them. The final film shots show the Mediterranean washing red with their blood.

The whole event was meticulously choreographed and rehearsed. The video’s obvious purpose is to humiliate and terrorise Christians, whom it derisively calls, “The Nation of the Cross”. I admire the courage of the martyrs, who did not disown the name of Christ and the cross to follow Islam, even as they were being mocked and killed by their tormentors

read on

The Islamic State produced a film of the killings with commentary. Durie provides an analytical explanation of the film.

It is indisputable that the whole script of this video is intensely religious. It is packed with references to the Qur’an and the Hadiths of Muhammad.  As Graeme Wood comments in an important recent Atlantic Monthly article, the Islamic State adherents are constantly referencing Islam’s sacred texts. In their everyday speech, “Koranic quotations are ubiquitous”.  This film is no exception.  For anyone who knows anything about Islam it is impossible to view this film without being aware of the heavy constraining influence of the Qur’an and the Hadiths on the script.  These references are essential for understanding the true context, meaning and intent of the film.?

read on

UPDATE From Christianity Today: Murders spark largest outreach ever amid new freedoms and new threats.


Undaunted by the slaughter of 21 Christians in Libya, the director of the Bible Society of Egypt saw a golden gospel opportunity.

“We must have a Scripture tract ready to distribute to the nation as soon as possible,” Ramez Atallah told his staff the evening an ISIS-linked group released its gruesome propaganda video. Less than 36 hours later, Two Rows by the Sea was sent to the printer.

One week later, 1.65 million copies have been distributed in the Bible Society’s largest campaign ever.

The Bible Society distributed the tract through Egypt’s churches, but one congregation went a step further.

Isaaf Evangelical Church, located on one of downtown Cairo’s busiest streets, hung a poster on its wall at eye-level with pedestrians. “We learn from what the Messiah has said,” it read over the background of an Egyptian flag. “‘Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you….’”

full story here…