Monday, October 24, 2011

WATCHING FOR THE DAY

Watching for the Day is my latest book. It has grown out of what I have seen as inconsistencies in many of the prevalent interpretations of Biblical prophecies regarding the last days upon the earth.

In my years of studying Scripture, I have noticed that when many theologians and Bible students read the Biblical prophecies regarding the last days, they often already have their minds made up as to how the last days will unfold. Thus, when they read the prophecies, they read into the Bible their own interpretations instead of letting the Bible teach them.

I decided to instead take the view of the first disciples of Jesus, when they asked Him, “What is the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” These disciples did not have any predetermined mindset of what they already thought that they knew. Theirs was an honest question in search of an answer. This book is also asks honest questions and seeks the answers that the Bible gives. The answers that I find may surprise you. They will definitely make you think.

PORTRAITS OF THE CHURCH

Vivian and I have long served the church. The Apostle Paul often referred to the church as “the body of Christ.” In fact, he even makes the astounding statement that the church represents “the fullness of Him who fills all in all” (Ephesians 1:23)

We know that Paul is not talking about the institutional church, but the church of Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, Vivian and I have lived our lives with the goal to strengthen the local church. In many ways, we have seen this as the nearest thing that we could do to also serve Jesus Christ Himself.

In these present days, many have become so accustomed to pointing out all of the failures and deficiencies in the church that they fail to see that God has invested His whole work in it. We serve the church not because of any loyalties to denomination or creed, but because Jesus Christ Himself has called us to serve His body. If we should concentrate on only criticizing, we fail to see the great promises and future that Jesus has in mind for His church. In Portraits of the Church, I do not ignore deficiencies, but I also explore some of these promises.

SURPRISED BY A GARDEN

Surprised by a Garden is a book of short and practical Biblical examples in living. For many years, I have seen Biblical lessons in the things that I have seen and experienced. These have become the devotionals in this book. They have come from the experiences that I have had while living and working in various countries of the world. I have learned that if we take time to look, there are evidences of God’s love all around us.

This situation is exactly what gave rise to the title of this book. Once, when traveling on an old wreck of a bus over a bumpy and dusty road in India, I finally was able to get off for a few minutes to stretch my legs. Angry at the bus and the road and my whole situation at the time, I decided to take a short walk before I had to get on the bus again. As I walked only a short way off of the dusty road, I happened upon a beautiful garden that someone had planted next to their house. The presence of such beauty in the midst of such filth was revolutionary to me. It helped me to see that there is always encouragement in whatever difficult circumstance we may find ourselves.

REACHING FOR ETERNAL TRUTHS

It has always been astounding to me how firmly many people take unreasonable positions on eternal matters that they do not and cannot understand.

The Bible is a book that gives us a glimpse into eternal perspectives and truths. In its pages we can learn much about these truths, but if we are honest with ourselves, we know that in this age, we will never come to a full understanding of them. After all, if our minds cannot even conceive of the concept of eternity, why would we delude ourselves into thinking that we can fully understand the particulars of eternity?

In Reaching for Eternal Truths, I tackle some of the more difficult passages of the Bible; passages such as the relationship between the free will of man and the sovereignty of God and the relationship between grace and works. There are about twenty topics in all. I explore what the Bible teaches about each of these issues, keeping as a focus the authority of the Scriptures to lead us into truth.