Tag Archives: DeWard Publishing

Odds and Ends

I stumbled across a blog that led to another blog that led to another blog which had a strange “picture” on it. The picture was a word cloud. For those of you who may not know a “word cloud” is a collection of the main words in a piece of literature or the categories of website (or blog) and the size of these words depends on the frequency of the word. I have a “category cloud” on the side of this blog. The category that I blog under the most is the biggest (though I often fail to categorize all of my posts). So I went to the website that this picture came from and I saw the most amazing posters! The artist/designer had created word clouds for each book of the Bible. I am fascinated by these things and I plan on purchasing some in the near future. Take a look – – This link will take you to the home page and you can select from the Old or New Testaments. Then you can either select the book you want to look at or just scroll through all of them. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have!

I have been reading How to Choose a Translation for All Its Worth by Mark L Strauss and A User’s Guide to Bible Translations by David Dewey. I will post reviews for both books soon. I have been doing a Sunday night series on Bible Translations. So many people use a specific translation and don’t even know why. So we have been looking at translation philosophy (formal equivalence or dynamic equivalence), difficulties in translations, and we will finish up by looking at the subject of manuscripts and a brief introduction to the main versions that people are using today (i.e. KJV, NKJV, NASB, ESV, NIV, etc.).

I stay pretty busy. I just finished my MBA and as soon as I was done with that I began to relearn Greek and to work on two articles for DeWard Publishing. This is all in addition to my normal teaching/preaching schedule. Not to mention my most important duties to God, my wife, and my son! Sometimes I wear this busy schedule as a “badge of honor” of sorts. And then Gary Henry tells me to slow down – Thanks Brother Henry! You always say just the right thing!

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Posted by on September 23, 2010 in Odds and Ends


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Book Review: “Hard Core” by Jason Hardin

As most of you know I, periodically, do book reviews for DeWard Publishing. While at lectures last week, I was able to pick up a few of their newer releases. The most recently published is a book by Jason Hardin (who also wrote Boot Camp) entitled Hard Core: Defeating Sexual Temptation with a Superior Satisfaction.

I think this book is a timely book. The amount of pornography on the internet is unbelievable. Furthermore, sexual immorality is creeping into television shows a little more every week. Addiction to pornography is now as much a problem as alcoholism and drug abuse. And just like those addictions, pornography will destroy the relationships you have with others.

What I like most about this book is its focus on changing your desire. Hardin does not spend a great deal of time explaining how watching pornography is a sin. There is no need to explain that. If you are reading the book, you already know that and are probably looking for help not condemnation.

He does take some time to talk about the consequences. Chapter 10 is entitled “Counting the Cost” and Hardin lists two pages worth of his personal consequences should he let his like be consumed with such sinful activity.

Most people enjoy stats and this book does not disappoint. Chapter 4 goes through the various stats associated with the pornography industry. These stats range from income for the companies to the percentages of people who are actively looking for porn. The numbers on Christians and pornography may surprise you.

He encourages those who struggle with this to emulate the behavior of Joseph, to learn from David’s sin, and to follow Samuel’s example in “hacking [sin] to pieces.” This book is not just what Hardin thinks should be said about addiction to pornography, but an explanation and organization of what the Bible says about purity, righteousness, and a desire to serve God above all other things. He turns to Psalms 51 and 32 for their practical advice in dealing with sin, repentance, and forgiveness.

The main focus of the book is learning to crave God the same way we crave sexual satisfaction (or any other addiction).

One of the greatest tools in this book is the poem included on page 89 entitled, “There’s A Hole in My Sidewalk” by Portia Nelson. It is a great wake-up call!

The scriptures that are used in this short, but useful book  are in the text making this a more convenient read. This book can be read in about an hour or two, but it can help for a life time.

I highly suggest this book to anyone who is tempted to watch, addicted to watching, or knows anyone who is fighting this battle. This book can help. You can purchase the book for $7.99 here or here.

I also wanted to share two short stories about this book. This first is simply hysterical. After I bought this book, I walked outside and ran into a preacher that I have a great deal of respect for – Floyd Chappelear. As we are talking he says, “I see you bought that hard core porn book…all these preachers running around with porn books!” Classic!

This second story is a little more serious and I hope you give glory to God for it. When I purchased my books from DeWard, somehow I ended up with two copies of Hard Core. The next morning I went to take it back and Dan DeGarmo (the De of DeWard) told me to hold on to it and give it to someone else. The following Sunday I called a friend of mine who has wrestled with this subject and told him I wanted to give him a book. He came and picked it up and not 15 minutes later I received a text message from him – “God is awesome. I have been noticing certain thought patterns and temptations to start watching again. And literally 30 minutes ago, I prayed that God would help me. You called to give me the book about ten minutes later.” God is, indeed, Awesome!


Posted by on February 12, 2010 in Book Review


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The Churches of the New Testament

In Churches of the New Testament, Ethan Longhenry discusses the individual congregations that are mentioned in the Book of Acts and to whom the epistles were written. For anyone who desires to follow the pattern laid out for churches in the New Testament, this is a great book to go to (aside from the Bible).

For those who are curious about some of the background issues relating to each congregation, the history and geography sections provide that information. Mr. Longhenry then moves on to the beginning of the church and moves from its establishment through what we know of the church’s existence. At that point, the author focuses on some specific issues (i.e. support in Philippi, endurance in Thessalonica). It is with these issues that the author draws the application. The end of the book contains an overview / summary of what God does and does not approve in local churches. This is simply of grouping together of everything learned from each congregation.

If you are wanting and in depth study of the epistles, this is not the book you are looking for. But if you want a book that can be of a real benefit to your knowledge of what Christ wants in His local congregations, this is a book you should read. Each chapter is well organized and easy to read. It is not filled with church or academic language, but a clear and precise summary of the strengths and weaknesses of the churches mentioned in the New Testament.

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Posted by on July 1, 2009 in Book Review


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Beneath the Cross

The Lord’s Supper has been grossly underserved in terms of literature and emphasis within church services. This is sad given the meaning of the Lord’s Supper. Not only is it the memorial of Jesus Sacrifice, but traces of its meaning can be found throughout the entire Bible. Beneath the Cross has put some emphasis back where it belongs. The book is a compilation of essays giving more meaning to and providing greater understanding for the Lord’s Supper.

The book is divided into four sections. The first part of the book deals with the general nature and background of the Lord’s Supper. The second section (my personal favorite) looks at various passages from the Old and New Testament and discusses their relationship with the sacrifice on cross; the theme being that Jesus’ sacrifice was God’s plan from the beginning and is traceable through the entire Bible. The third sections deals with the individual and the cross – how does it affect me? And the final section looks at a number of hymns which are typically associated with the taking of the Lord’s Supper.

Over 40 authors from across the country have contributed to this book. Some of which are considered “scholars” in the area of Biblical studies, while others have devoted themselves to a better understanding of the Bible. Do not make the mistake of thinking that this is some little “devotional.” Some of the essays in this book will challenge you academically and some will challenge you emotionally.

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Posted by on July 1, 2009 in Book Review


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The Man of Galilee

Too often circular reasoning is used in order to defend the divinity of Jesus. A conversation might resemble the following.

How do you know Jesus is the son of God? Because the Bible says so.
How do you know the Bible is accurate? Because Jesus said it was inspired.
Why should I trust what Jesus had to say? Because Jesus is the son of God.

I think the problem of logic is fairly obvious.

Over the past few years there have been some great books written that help people with their faith on the subject of who and what Jesus is. Most notably might by Lee Strobel. His “Case for…” books are very helpful and well written.

However, I have never been as impressed with the flow of an author’s argument as I was when reading Atticus G. Haygood’s The Man of Galilee. The book does not exercise the common arguments of modern defenders. Though the book is over 100 years old I found its arguments and logic fresh and convincing.

Haygood starts with the gospels as historical documents, as opposed to starting with them as inspired documents. From there he discusses the claims they make of Jesus against the culture and society of Jesus’ day. The conclusion is that not only was Jesus not an invention of gospel writers or, simply, a good man, He was in fact the Son of God!

*This book has received an award since its republishing with DeWard!

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Posted by on July 1, 2009 in Book Review


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