Friday, July 28, 2017

Free Reformation poster exhibition

Host a free Reformation poster exhibition
The poster exhibition “#HereIstand. Martin Luther, the Reformation and its Results” shows the upheavals of the 16th century. It comprises up to 30 posters in the A1 format (84.1 x 59.4 centimetres, 4/0coloured). The exhibition has a modular structure, so that it can also be displayed on smaller premises.

With modern, scientifically substantiated, and attractively designed information graphics, the exhibition shows the most important events in the history of the Reformation, and its effects up to the present. Using the biography of Martin Luther as a starting point, insight is given into the time prior to the Reformation. The exhibition then directs its focus to the dynamics of the Reformation, which unfolded after Luther’s posting of his 95 theses against the sale of indulgences, and deals with central questions of the history of the Reformation: 
What was actually new about Luther’s theology? 
What happened in Wittenberg in 1517? 
How did the new teaching spread?

In addition to the information graphics, the exhibition also includes seven large images of high-quality museum exhibits. As a special feature, original exhibits that have been 3D-scanned can be downloaded and printed out with a 3D printer.

For more information and to download the posters visit:

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Bible Project

The Bible project's mission is to show how the Bible is a unified story that leads to Jesus.
The Bible Project is a  non-profit animation studio that produces short-form, fully animated videos to make the biblical story accessible to everyone, everywhere. 
They create videos, podcasts, and study guides that explore the Bible’s unified story.

Their approach is underpinned by the belief that the Bible is a unified story that leads to Jesus. They are committed to understanding the Bible in its historical context and communicating its wisdom for the modern world.

They value creativity, technology, and people.

Videos available are available for:
  • every book of the bible
  • themes of the bible
  • sections of the bible

To download videos and discover more visit 

Book: When your heart breaks - navigating grief and loss

Whether you have lost a job, a dream, a friendship, or a loved one, you mourn. You might mourn for a few weeks, or your grief may extend for years. Sadness seems to build a permanent residence in your bones, weighing down your soul. You wonder if you’ll ever feel whole again.


God plunges into your heartbreak and works abiding and holy transformation in your life. It may take months or years for you to heal, but you can ground your hope for healing in Jesus. 
He will always be your hope when your heart breaks.

When your heart breaks gives you an opportunity for  a place of refuge and a point of reference as you navigate the path of grief.    Grieving occurs in many situations in life; grief is usually associated with death, but it can occur after any loss-divorce, layoffs, the end of a friendship.    The book can be read cover to cover, or readers can flip to one of the 52 devotions that will help them most in this season of life.    The focus of each chapter is the presence of God in the midst of grief and the comfort and hope that can be found in that knowledge.

Where you can buy Hope when your heart breaks
QBD (Australia)
Booktopia (Australia)

What others are saying
Written from a grace-filled pastor’s heart, Michael Newman has penned an essential resource for embracing hope amidst grief. Hope dims when life’s storms hit, but Michael skillfully uses Scripture to ignite the torch of healing. His beautiful insights into grief tell us he’s been there. He wraps God’s words of hope around the grieving like a toasty blanket on a frosty night. Compassionate, crucial, Christ-centered—and critically needed. I will absorb and share this brilliant resource for years to come.

Grief is messy. Life after loss doesn’t follow an ordered and predictable path, but looks more like a tangled plate of spaghetti. Navigating confusing emotions and thoughts requires a reliable guide, and you’ve got a friend in Michael W. Newman. Grief is messy, and Michael Newman understands messy. These short chapters explore the untidy realities of what happens after loss. Hope When Your Heart Breaks validates the pain of loss, offers helpful insight, and gently points to a Savior who redeems your suffering with purpose and hope. Read and gift this book. You will be comforted and the Holy Spirit will grow your faith.

This is a refreshing book! The Bible is absolutely unique among the sacred writings of all religions. It is the historical description of God’s love influencing the lives of real people facing real situations. Michael Newman has taken this unique reality and put it to use in the daily struggles of the Christian. He offers a clear connection between biblical life situations and the reader’s daily life. Through it all, he shows the intricate way that God’s love is at work in the lives of His people, giving direction and hope to those struggling with difficult emotions and tough situations.

Michael Newman’s book . . . demonstrates a personal and pastoral acquaintance with the gut-wrenching realities of the grief process from a variety of losses—death of a loved one, loss of a job, family crisis, and dramatic changes in the aging process. The issues and questions raised by each chapter strike raw emotions, thoughts, and faith struggles at various stages in the grief process. Each chapter also connects the struggle with biblical narratives and comforting Christ-centered passages, which bring hope to the situation while encouraging the ongoing work of grief. I strongly recommend this book for personal
use and for giving to family and friends in need.

There is a reason they call it grief work. This resource honors the process of grief, as well as the value of the loss experience, the tears, the struggle, and the sadness even. It also recognizes the breadth of diversity in the grief experience for each individual. The text is artfully organized so that the readers can pick it up and look through a section that speaks to them, or read through the book as a whole. The insight into the humanity of those who have walked through loss in Scripture is unique and deeply comforting. If you are grieving, if you are walking alongside someone who is grieving, if you are in clinical practice or offer spiritual care, this book is a welcome resource for your shelf!

Grief is involved in every change in life. Michael Newman understands this and seeks to find the threads of grief that are in life experiences such as fear, anger, depression, guilt, and purposelessness. Each of the fifty-two devotional chapters is independent of the others. The meditation itself will connect with you; devotional guides follow every chapter for further spiritual work; prayer encouragement and direction end each chapter.

Michael Newman speaks the truth in love with empathy and acknowledgment of what happens to a person during grief and loss— emotionally, physically, chemically, spiritually, and relationally. He writes about the reality of life and brings our focus back to our Lord God through Scripture in a nonthreatening way. When one is weakened by grief, he or she can’t concentrate on a whole book or a long reading, but these short chapters get right to the point. I recommend this book as a resource for parish nurses, lay ministers, Stephen Ministers, pastors, and others who walk alongside someone experiencing heartbreak.

Grief hits us all at various times throughout our lives. This book gives encouragement by taking us on a journey through the lives of people in the Scriptures who grieve, yes, but with the hope that comes from trusting in the God of heaven and earth, the one who rules over life and death, who conquers grief with eternal joy. It is a book to share, but even more importantly, it is a book to read.

Michael Newman provides the reader with insight, sensitivity, and encouragement. He consistently shares the love of God and assures us that Jesus understands and cares. His personal style suggests that the author also understands and cares. As a parish nurse, I will use this book with individuals and groups experiencing grief and loss. I also recommend that parish nurses and others involved in congregational health ministry read and discuss in small groups to enhance their compassionate care to the person who is grieving.

When looking through a prism, light is refracted into a full spectrum of colors. Michael W. Newman accomplishes the same thing here, treating grief as a prism through which we see the full spectrum of emotions and experiences that loss brings to life. The conversational tone of his writing makes the reader feel as if he has crawled into his or her mind, truly grasping the nuances of grief as one struggles to move from brokenness to healing. Best of all, each and every chapter clearly articulates that we cannot accomplish this on our own, pointing to Jesus Christ as the true source of hope and strength. A must-have for all of us, at any stage of life.


Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Book: What's so great about Christianity?

In a world of facts and figures, can an intellectual have faith? 
Is it possible to believe anything the Bible says? 
Yes, and one man will show you how.
Amidst scientists’ attempts to debunk Christianity’s truths and atheists’ assuming the Bible is a how-to-be-virtuous self-help book, bestselling author Dinesh D’Souza resolves to both answer the tough questions and challenge believers as well as doubters to search for the ultimate truths about theories of origin. D’Souza tackles subjects and events such as the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition, the Big Bang theory and Darwinism—everything you always pondered but never scrutinized, now placed under the proverbial microscope and studied thoroughly.

Part I: The Future of Christianity
Chapter One The Twilight of Atheism: The Global Triumph of Christianity . . . . . 3
Chapter Two Survival of the Sacred: Why Religion Is Winning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Chapter Three God Is Not Great: The Atheist Assault on Religion . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Chapter Four Miseducating the Young: Saving Children from Their Parents . . . 17
Part II: Christianity and the West
Chapter Five Render unto Caesar: The Spiritual Basis of Limited Government . . . . . . . 25
Chapter Six The Evil That I Would Not: Christianity and Human Fallibility . . . 31
Chapter Seven Created Equal: The Origin of Human Dignity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Part III: Christianity and Science
Chapter Eight Christianity and Reason: The Theological Roots of Science . . .. . 41
Chapter Nine From Logos to Cosmos: Christianity and the Invention of Invention . . 45
Chapter Ten An Atheist Fable: Reopening the Galileo Case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
Part IV: The Argument from Design
Chapter Eleven A Universe with a Beginning: God and the Astronomers . . . . . . . 57
Chapter Twelve A Designer Planet: Man’s Special Place in Creation . . . . . . . . . . 61
Chapter Thirteen Paley Was Right: Evolution and the Argument from Design. . . . . 67
Chapter Fourteen The Genesis Problem: The Methodological Atheism of Science . . . 73
Part V: Christianity and Philosophy
Chapter Fifteen The World Beyond Our Senses: Kant and the Limits of Reason. . . 79
Chapter Sixteen In the Belly of the Whale: Why Miracles Are Possible . . . . . . . . . . 83
Chapter Seventeen A Skeptic’s Wager: Pascal and the Reasonableness of Faith . . . . 87
Part VI: Christianity and Suffering
Chapter Eighteen Rethinking the Inquisition: The Exaggerated Crimes of Religion . . 93
Chapter Nineteen A License to Kill: Atheism and the Mass Murders of History . . . . 95
Part VII: Christianity and Morality
Chapter Twenty Natural Law and Divine Law: The Objective Foundations of Morality .  101
Chapter Twenty-One The Ghost in the Machine: Why Man Is More Than Matter . . . . . 105
Chapter Twenty-Two The Imperial “I”: When the Self Becomes the Arbiter of Morality .109
Chapter Twenty-Three Opiate of the Morally Corrupt: Why Unbelief Is So Appealing . 113
Chapter Twenty-Four The Problem of Evil: Where Is Atheism When Bad Things Happen? 119
Part VIII: Christianity and You
Chapter Twenty-Five Jesus among Other Gods: The Uniqueness of Christianity . . . . . 125
Chapter Twenty-Six A Foretaste of Eternity: How Christianity Can Change Your Life . . .129

To buy the book visit here

For a free study guide to accompany the book visit here

Monday, July 03, 2017

Book: I've Got Your Back: Biblical Principles for Leading and Following Well

If Jesus wrote a book about leadership today, he would tell a story. That's what the Jim Galvin decided when he tore up his first draft. 
Instead, Jim wrote a parable about four twenty-somethings who are having major problems with bad bosses. 
Jack Hendrickson, a retired Army Special Forces Sergeant and former missionary, begins to teach them Biblical principles about leadership and when they put it into practice at work, it makes their lives worse!  Experienced leaders are calling I've Got Your Back a landmark book to help next generation leaders with a Biblical foundation for leadership. Many talented young people have been victims of follower abuse. They don't want anything to do with leadership positions. Some have issues with authority and need guidance to heal. Galvin writes about a new kind of leader the world is desperate to follow. At the end of the parable, the author outlines Biblical principles of followership, as well as leadership, because everybody needs to learn how to lead and follow well.

Article: So you think your church is failing

So what are the options of 80% of U.S. churches whose worship is less than 100, are facing a steady to rapid decline and can remember being 2 to 10 times larger than they currently are?
John Ficken at Pastoral Leadership institute 3 choices for such churches not only to survive but to thrive as God's people.
Check out his article at

Course: By heart

By Heart is a course built around three kinds of source material that the creators see as essential to a meaningful experience of Luther’s Small Catechism.

  • Scripture and Tradition. For example, the Ten Commandments as cited in Exodus 20 or the Apostle’s Creed as we have it from Christian traditions.
  • Luther’s explanations of the scripture or doctrine from Christian traditions.
  • The "backstory" of Luther’s own life and times, the fertile soil of the Reformation itself.

There is also a "For You" Focus where the contributions to By Heart address the reader in the second person. This is to keep faith with both the everyday, ground-level language that Luther uses in the explanations and to embody the declarative nature of the gospel which he strove to encode in that language. By adhering to the "for-you-ness" of the gospel in the design of this course we hope to do some justice to Luther’s intentions in the Small Catechism.

About -  the book
This comprehensive resource for the study of Martin Luther's Small Catechism examines the Small Catechism as a historical, confessional document rich with history and applicable to life today. Augsburg Fortress is pleased to offer By Heart: Conversations with Martin Luther's Small Catechism to meet the needs of those looking to explore scripture, tradition, and Luther's explanations, set among the backstory of Luther's life.
The authors of each chapter bridge the historical context of the Small Catechism with life today by addressing the reader in the second person. It is in keeping with the everyday language that Luther used in the explanations and embodies the declarative nature of the gospel that he strove to encode in that language.
The book follows the order of Martin Luther's Small Catechism and is enriched with images (contemporary and historical) and marginal notes that connect the text to history and also to life today. This book is both visually pleasing and informative, written in an approachable manner that will provide enrichment to personal study and inspire conversations in small groups. It provides an initial point from which to jump into the rich history of the person of Martin Luther, beginning with one of his most appreciated works.

The starter pack includes:

  • a copy of the book By Heart: Conversations with Martin Luther’s Small Catechism,
  • a Facilitator Guide, 
  • the Course DVD

Children's Book: The Life of Martin Luther: A Pop-Up Book

The story of Martin Luther and his role in sparking the Protestant Reformation is given an interactive retelling in this beautiful and sturdy pop-up book. From Luther's decision to become a monk to his 95 theses, history jumps off the page through the vibrant, colorful illustrations of renowned artist and paper engineer Agostino Traini. Full of surprising details, this book will have kids coming back again and again to learn about this fascinating chapter in the history of the Christian faith. Published in time for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, The Life of Martin Luther is also an excellent gift for anyone with an interest in the history of the Christian church.
Scholars disagree on some aspects of Martin Luther's biography. In this book for children, we've chosen to tell the popular version of Luther's life story, while also drawing on the expertise of historians.

To order the book visit here

10 new books on Luther and the Reformation

Recently released reformation and Martin Luther resources

This brief, insightful biography of Martin Luther strips away the myths surrounding the Reformer to offer a more nuanced account of his life and ministry. Coinciding with the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, this accessible yet robustly historical and theological work highlights the medieval background of Luther's life in contrast to contemporary legends. Internationally respected church historian Volker Leppin explores the Catholic roots of Lutheran thought and locates Luther's life in the unfolding history of 16th-century Europe. Foreword by Timothy J. Wengert.
Martin Luther is well known for initiating one of the most influential movements in church history—the Reformation. But this fascinating nonconformist, praised as a hero or criticized as a heretic throughout history, was first and foremost a man searching for God. This new biography by leading Reformation scholar Herman Selderhuis digs deep into the heart and mind of Luther, following him on his spiritual journey and revealing the many facets of his powerful personality, from loving husband and father, to serious monk, to feared opponent, to compelling preacher and writer. Selderhuis supplements his work with Luther's own words to help us see him as a man of flesh and blood, full of faith and full of faults, with a deep longing to live for God.

On All Hallow’s Eve in 1517, a young monk named Martin Luther posted a document he hoped would spark an academic debate, but that instead ignited a conflagration that would forever destroy the world he knew. Five hundred years after Luther’s now famous 95 Theses appeared, Eric Metaxas, acclaimed biographer of the bestselling Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy and Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery, paints a startling portrait of the wild figure whose adamantine faith cracked the edifice of Western Christendom and dragged medieval Europe into the future. Written in riveting prose and impeccably researched, Martin Luther tells the searing tale of a humble man who, by bringing ugly truths to the highest seats of power, caused the explosion whose sound is still ringing in our ears. Luther’s monumental faith and courage gave birth to the ideals of faith, virtue, and freedom that today lie at the heart of all modern life.
A major new account of the most intensely creative years of Luther's career
The Making of Martin Luther takes a provocative look at the intellectual emergence of one of the most original and influential minds of the sixteenth century. Richard Rex traces how, in a concentrated burst of creative energy in the few years surrounding his excommunication by Pope Leo X in 1521, this lecturer at an obscure German university developed a startling new interpretation of the Christian faith that brought to an end the dominance of the Catholic Church in Europe. Luther's personal psychology and cultural context played their parts in the whirlwind of change he unleashed. But for the man himself, it was always about the ideas, the truth, and the Gospel.
Focusing on the most intensely important years of Luther's career, Rex teases out the threads of his often paradoxical and counterintuitive ideas from the tangled thickets of his writings, explaining their significance, their interconnections, and the astonishing appeal they so rapidly developed. Yet Rex also sets these ideas firmly in the context of Luther's personal life, the cultural landscape that shaped him, and the traditions of medieval Catholic thought from which his ideas burst forth.
Lucidly argued and elegantly written, The Making of Martin Luther is a splendid work of intellectual history that renders Luther's earthshaking yet sometimes challenging ideas accessible to a new generation of readers.
On the 500th anniversary of the Reformation comes this compelling, illuminating, and expansive religious history that examines the complicated and unintended legacies of Martin Luther and the epochal movement that continues to shape the world today.
For five centuries, Martin Luther has been lionized as an outspoken and fearless icon of change who ended the Middle Ages and heralded the beginning of the modern world. In Rebel in the Ranks, Brad Gregory, renowned professor of European history at Notre Dame, recasts this long-accepted portrait. Luther did not intend to start a revolution that would divide the Catholic Church and forever change Western civilization. Yet his actions would profoundly shape our world in ways he could never have imagined.
Gregory analyzes Luther’s inadvertent role in starting the Reformation and the epochal changes that followed. He reveals how Luther’s insistence on the Bible as the sole authority for Christian truth led to conflicting interpretations of its meaning—and to the rise of competing churches, political conflicts, and social upheavals. Ultimately, he contends, some of the major historical and cultural developments that arose in its wake—including the Enlightenment, individual self-determination and moral relativism, and a religious freedom that protects one’s right to worship or even to reject religion—would have appalled Luther: a reluctant revolutionary, a rebel in the ranks, whose goal was to make society more Christian, yet instead set the world on fire.
Germany, 1505
In the dark of night, Katharina von Bora says the bravest good-bye a six-year-old can muster and walks away as the heavy convent gate closes behind her.
Though the cold walls offer no comfort, Katharina soon finds herself calling the convent her home. God, her father. This, her life. She takes her vows―a choice more practical than pious―but in time, a seed of discontent is planted by the smuggled writings of a rebellious excommunicated priest named Martin Luther. Their message? That Katharina is subject to God, and no one else. Could the Lord truly desire more for her than this life of servitude?
In her first true step of faith, Katharina leaves the only life she has ever known. But the freedom she has craved comes with a price, and she finds she has traded one life of isolation for another. Without the security of the convent walls or a family of her own, Katharina must trust in both the God who saved her and the man who paved a way for rescue. Luther’s friends are quick to offer shelter, but Katharina longs for all Luther has promised: a home, a husband, perhaps even the chance to fall in love.
Katharina von Bora, wife of Martin Luther, was by any measure the First Lady of the Reformation. A strong woman with a mind of her own, she would remain unknown to us were it not for her larger than life husband. Unlike other noted Reformation women, her primary vocation was not related to ministry. She was a farmer and a brewer with a boarding house the size of a Holiday Inn - and all that with a large family and nursing responsibilities. In many ways, Katie was a modern woman - a Lean In woman or a modern-day version of a Proverbs 31 woman. Katharina's voice echoes among modern women, wives and mothers who have carved out a career of their own.
Decisive and assertive, she transformed Martin Luther into at least a practicing egalitarian. Katharina was a full partner who was a no-nonsense, confident and determined woman, a starke Frau who did not cower when confronted by a powerful man.
Ruth Tucker invites readers to visit Katie Luther in her sixteenth-century village life - with its celebrations and heartaches, housing, diet, fashion, childbirth, child-rearing and gender restrictions - and to welcome her today into our own living rooms and workplaces.
As the Reformation anniversaries approach there will be no lack of publishing initiatives to help the general reader understand the importance of those exciting times. Armin Kohnle's Martin Luther: Scholar, Heretic, Husband is an outstanding and visually rich introduction to the life and times of the man whose efforts changed society forever. As the subtitle makes clear, Luther was a complex and complicated person. Kohnle's book works chronologically through the Reformer's life, telling the story of his early years, his life in the monastery, as well as his years as a teacher, reformer, and family man in clear, quick moving prose. The book also includes important background information and interpretive sections to help readers understand the implications. Translated by Linda Maloney, the book also includes extensive illustrations from the time, maps, and photos from the places as they are today are on nearly every page and give the reader a rich, visual experience.

Where was the gospel before the Reformation?
Contemporary evangelicals often struggle to answer that question. As a result, many Roman Catholics are quick to allege that the Reformation understanding of the gospel simply did not exist before the 1500s. They assert that key Reformation doctrines, like sola fide, were nonexistent in the first fifteen centuries of church history. Rather, they were invented by Martin Luther, John Calvin, and others.
That is a serious charge, and one that evangelicals must be ready to answer. If an evangelical understanding of the gospel is only 500 years old, we are in major trouble. However, if it can be demonstrated that Reformers were not inventing something new, but instead were recovering something old, then key tenets of the Protestant faith are greatly affirmed. Hence, the need for this book.

At the 500th anniversary of the Wittenberg Reformation, two highly regarded scholars compare and contrast the history and theological positions of the Reformed and Lutheran traditions. The authors tackle nine important theological topics significant for the life of the church that remain a source of division between the two traditions. The book helps readers evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the Reformed and Lutheran approaches to presenting the biblical message and invites honest, irenic, and open dialogue within the Protestant family.

Building Church Leaders

Building Church Leaders resources are produced by Christianity Today, and provide customizable leadership resources for every kind of church ministry.
Their downloadable, easy-to-use Training Tools provide everything you need to prepare a relevant training session in a matter of minutes.   Each resource is designed with church boards, committees, staff, or volunteers in mind.   You select the topical tool that fits what you want to accomplish, download it, make copies if needed, and lead a discussion with your team or use them for your own personal development.
Whether it’s continuing education or an urgent need, Building Church Leaders provides the best practical ministry insights to help grow leaders into greater Kingdom impact. 

Resources available for:

  • Leadership including:   Orientation Guides for leaders, Church Board & Elders, Leadership Skills, Staffing Forms & Essentials, Administrative Forms and Training New Leaders.
  • Congregation and visitors including:  Discipleship, Membership, Welcoming Visitors, and Outreach  
  • Vision and goals including:  Vision Casting, Strategic Planning, Stewardship & Giving, Small Churches and Mentoring
  • Children's Ministry
  • Women Leaders
  • Small-Groups Ministry

Resources offered include:
Best Church Practices
Case Studies
Church Administration
Orientation Guides
Practical Ministry Skills
Survival Guides
Training Themes
Urgent Care Tools
Worship Essentials

You can puchase individual resources or become a member for free access

Visit for more information

Book: Faithfull Generation: 10 foundations for lifelong faith formation with children in families, churches and communities

Faithfull Generation brings together 10 key insights about how we can help ourselves and our churches develop resilient faith in our children.

The 10 key insights include:
Community: helping the church to thrive as a growing, intergenerational faith community, whilst supporting the family as a key place of spiritual nurture
Encounter: creating opportunities for children to connect with the big story of the Bible and space where they can encounter the living Jesus for themselves.
Dialogue: Encouraging faith to be both talked out and lived out, within peer relationships and supported by the wider church family.
Milestones: Enabling peak experiences in the lives of children and celebrating key moments and anchor points in their life and spiritual journey.
Action: Allowing children to contribute as active participants in mission and giving them the opportunity to respond with compassion to the world around them.

Each contribution is from a hands-on practitioner active in children's ministry and advocacy. Each chapter introduces the writer and also contains suggestions for further reading and practical resource material.

The Faithfull Generation project is the work of several Christian agencies and denominations and is promoting dialogue, learning communities and resource promotion around all of the 10 key insights.

Buy this book here