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Special Free Audiobook from christianaudio!

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Hello Terry!

The last several weeks have generated significant amounts of discussion and debate regarding the release of Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived by Rob Bell.

While there are many great resources available on christianaudio that discuss this topic, none is more timely or informative than Jesus: The Only Way to God by John Piper. This powerful & short audiobook illustrates clear biblical doctrines of salvation, the gospel, faith, and hell, and is imperative for thinking rightly about the eternal purposes of God.

This free download expires on March 31st at midnight PDT!

Blessings!
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Free Download!


The Holiness of God

by R.C. Sproul
read by Grover Gardner

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Expiration: March 31, 2011

Purchase in print from Ligonier for 35% off in March!

A Special Free Download!

Book Cover Jesus: The Only Way to God
by John Piper
read by Dave Heath

If the evangelical church at large was ever too confrontational in its evangelism, those days are gone. In our shrinking, pluralistic world, the belief that Jesus is the only way of salvation is increasingly called arrogant and even hateful. In the face of this criticism, many shrink back from affirming the global necessity of knowing and believing in Jesus.

Discount Price: $0.00 until March 31, 2011
Retail Price: $5.98

Instructions: Add the download format to your cart and login to your christianaudio account to complete the checkout process. If you do not yet have an account, opening one is free!

This free download is available in MP3, M4B, and One-Click Zip formats.

Don’t forget to leave a starred review with your thoughts, after listening to the free download this month!

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Found: God’s Will by John MacArthur

MacArthur, John.  Found: God’s Will.  Chicago: David C. Cook, 1998.  64 pp.  $2.00 at Grace To You.

Audiobook

Narrated by John Haag.  Esconido:  christianaudio, 2010.  1.42 hrs.  MP3 download or Audio CD – $5.98.

Introduction

John MacArthur certainly needs no introduction by me but for those who do not know John MacArthur, he well known as an expositor of the Scriptures at Grace Community Church. He has been heard through his radio program Grace To You for many years. He is president of the Master’s College as well as author of nearly a gazillion books. This particular book–Found: God’s Will–explores what the Bible says about knowing what God wants from you in your life.

Summary

At only 64 pages divided into 7 chapters, it is obvious that this book is not very long on words though it is long on practical application to one’s life. The five foundational messages regarding God’s will for your life is that you be saved by the blood of Christ. Once saved, you are to be filled with the Spirit so that you are sanctified by Him. The final two are not popular, but they are biblical. You are to be submissive to the authority of the Lord and to be a suffering servant (for more explanation you will have to read get the book). The final will of God is that if the first five are in properly in place, then by all means, do whatever you want.

Review

I appreciate that this book is short. I appreciate that MacArthur says so much in such a confined space. The pearls of wisdom found in the pages of this book are well worth digging into and applying to your life. There was one section of the book, however, in which I completely disagreed.

On page 19, MacArthur writes, “Since we have the Spirit, we also have power, for Jesus said, ‘But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you’ (Acts 1:8, NASB). The word for power in the greek is dunamis, from which we got our word ‘dynamite.’ You are literally walking dynamite.” This takes place in his chapter on God’s will being that you are filled with the Spirit. He goes on to make the point that because you are filled with power (dynamite) that you should live as such.

The problem I have with this is that it is an extremely common exegetical fallacy known as semantic anachronism. Semantic Anachronism is when a later use of a word (dynamite) is read back into an earlier literature and, in this case, a change of language (dunamis). Certainly, they had no idea what dynamite was in 1st century Palestine!  D.A. Carson treats this (specifically, the use of ‘dynamite’) in his book, which I highly recommend, Exegetical Fallacies if you are looking for more information on this sort of thing.

Regardless of the use of this particular fallacy, it is important to also note that the point being made is still true.  The power of the Holy Spirit is far more explosive than a stick of dynamite and is something that we ought to think about as believers in Christ.

Audio Review

At only an hour and 25 minutes, this book can be listened to probably in one day as you tool around town or back and forth to work. Listening to it a couple times will prove beneficial to your soul and walk with the Lord. John Haag does a fine job of reading this “sermon” of sorts. His voice rises and falls with sincerity as he reads what is an answer to perhaps the most asked question by believers today–What is God’s Will for my life?

Recommendation

Despite the exegetical fallacy, I still found this book (and audiobook) extremely edifying to my soul. I recommend this book to anyone seeking legitimate answers to the question of God’s will for my life. You will find MacArthur fairly solid and certainly biblical in his treatment of this tough question.

Sexual Detox by Tim Challies

Challies, Tim.  Sexual Detox: A Guide for Guys who are Sick of Porn.  Adelphi:  Cruciform Press, 2010.  112 pp.  $9.99.  Purchase at Westminster.

audiobook

Narrated by Tim Challies.  Adelphi: Cruciform Press, 2010.  1.7 hrs.  MP3 download: $9.98.

Introduction

Tim Challies is renown for his review website, Discerning Reader as well as Challies.com.  To be reviewing one of his books is a bit daunting since he is “the man” in the Christian book review world.  Nonetheless, as a book reviewer, I was asked to review the audio version of Sexual Detox and so I purchased the print book in order to review both.

Summary

Sexual Detox is a short, sweet, to the point book that moves from the cultural acceptance to the biblical understanding of human sexuality and the rejection of our perversion of a gift God has given.  Divided into six chapters, Challies discusses in a gentle, yet hard-hitting manor, the realities of pornography in the health of a marriage as well as the corrosion of the mental make-up of both men and women.

Written primarily for men, the final two chapters help men steeped in sexual immorality to ‘detox’ from the constant bombardment of sexual immorality, it also encourages men to get los angeles std testing for any STDS.  The best line in the book is “You need to stop looking at pornography.  And you need to stop masturbating.  Right now.  As in, this instant.  Not tomorrow.  Today.”  Pretty sound advice if you ask me.

Review

I found the book to be an excellent treatise on the realities of pornography.  I also found that his style of writing in this particular area made the exhortation so much more the palatable.  So often in books about pornography or sexual immorality the author can come off sounding a bit harsh and judgmental.  Not Tim.  That was very much appreciative.

There was one area, however, that I disagreed with Tim.  On page 63, in the chapter on Detox in the Bedroom, he writes,

Imagine that on a particular occasion a married Christian has no desire for sex.  Because of God’s command, that husband or wife should seriously reconsider.  In fact, even if neither spouse wants sex for a prolonged time, the couple should still have sex for God’s sake out of obedience to him.  (Such a couple also needs to address the larger issue of why the desire for intimacy has slipped away!)

While I agree that there is a need to address the reason(s) for the desire of intimacy to be lacking, I disagree that a couple should have sex “for God’s sake” if they have not had sex in a while.  There are many reasons why sexual intimacy is lacking in a marriage.  Often times, it is because of the season involving work and/or children that the couple finds themselves in.  Other times, it is a medical condition or even a physical ailment that is preventing such intimacy.  In many instances, one’s spouse is not capable of having sex and the healthy spouse, out of love and affection, “loses” the desire for sex.  My fear with such advice is that sex becomes more of a task to perform rather than a gift given by God for the couple to enjoy.

The heart of 1 Cor. 7:5 is to not deprive one another.  In many instances, there is no withholding of sex other than because of the season of life or the physical/medical conditions preventing sexual relations.  Now, if one spouse is struggling with immorality, during such a season, then it is up to the couple to find a way to fulfill the command of God in this area and do so in a biblically acceptable manner.

Audio Review

I found the audio book to be well done and extremely conversational in tone which is tough to do when discussing something as taboo as pornography and sexual immorality.  The one concern I had was the speed in which Tim read the questions at the end of each chapter.  I would have liked a bit more of a pause to be able to reflect somewhat on the questions being asked.  Regardless, I found the audio book to be well done and enjoyable to listen to–especially while driving or jogging.

Recommendation

If you are going to purchase one book on sexual immorality to give to a young man, I would recommend giving them Sexual Detox.  It is short and will keep the reader’s attention.  The message is biblically saturated while offering keen insight into the way in which we are to combat the sexual immorality, specifically, pornography, today.  I pray more men will read this book and get serious about killing the snake that is pornography.

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Hello Terry!

Before Christmas, we’d like to remind you of a few things as well as offer some Christmas wishes!

» Reminder #1: For the last minute shoppers unsure of what to give this year, gifting audiobook downloads is one of the most practical and helpful things you can do for another person and we’ve made it incredibly simple! Click here to learn more about gifting an audiobook download with our Gift This feature. You can also give a Gift Certificate redeemable for any title on our site.

» Reminder #2: The christianaudio subscription program is, by far, the best offer we have ever made. In exchange for your new or upgrade subscription purchase and a 12 month renewal commitment, we’ll give you over $180 in valuable products from Ligonier Ministries, Christianity Today, Crossway, and David C. Cook for FREE! Click here to learn more.

» Reminder #3: Don’t forget to download Handel’s Messiah for free, December only! The audiobook download also includes the music.

Merry Christmas!
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Handel's Messiah

Just a thought…

“Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love.”
Jeremiah 31:3

This verse is the December 20th reading from Morning and Evening by C.H. Spurgeon. Spurgeon expounds like no other on the love of God for man demonstrated in the life of Christ Jesus. As we get ready to celebrate the Savior’s birth, we at christianaudio would like to express to you our sincerest thanks and best wishes for the upcoming year. May the peace of God reign in you this Christmas!
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Transformational Church by Ed Stetzer and Thom Rainer

Stetzer, Ed, and Thom Rainer. Transformational Church: Creating a New Scorecard for Congregations. Nashville: Broadman and Holman, 2010. 320 pp. $22.99. Purchase at Amazon for $15.63 or less.

Audiobook

Narrated by John Lescault. Esconido: christianaudio Hovel, 2010. 9 hrs. Audio CD – $24.98 Download – $14.98

Introduction

Thom S. Rainer is the president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources, one of the largest Christian resource companies in the world. He has consulted with more than five hundred churches, served as pastor of four churches and interim pastor in seven churches, and spoken in hundreds of venues worldwide.

Ed Stetzer has planted churches in New York, Pennsylvania, and Georgia and transitioned declining churches in Indiana and Georgia. He has trained pastors and church planters on five continents, holds two masters degrees and two doctorates.

Summary


You can learn more at TransformationalChurch.com. You can read parts of the book at Google books.

Review/Recommendation

Having listened to the audiobook, I was impressed with the research and the recommendations offered by the authors. This is not a book that will provide you a how-to list of things your church can do to see growth. Rather, they look at other churches across denominational barriers. Instead of telling you what you must do to reach people, you will learn what churches that are actually experiencing growth and reaching people with a gospel message that leads to regenerate men and women.

You will learn that what I find are many “duh” statements. Things like the necessity of prayer and the need to focus worship on God and not man come quickly to mind. In essence, get back to the Bible and your church will see the growth that many desire. That growth, however, will not be a worldly growth in numbers (though those will come). Rather, the growth will be in the spirituality of the congregation.

I realize there are a ton of “how-to grow your church manuals” being published and sold as the next great innovation. Transformational Church is not one of those manuals. To read this book is to take a hard look at what you are doing correctly and incorrectly in your own church. The new report card will help you to discern your need, embrace the necessity of change, and engage your community where they (and you) are located. I highly recommend this resource in both the audio and print editions.

interview: nathaniel keifer (christianaudio)

This week’s interview is with Nathaniel Keifer the Director of Web Properties at christianaudio.com.  Nathaniel has been a huge help to my ministry here at Christian Book Notes as well as one of the masterminds behind the excellent selection of free audiobook downloads each month offered at christianaudio.

Christian Book Notes (CBN):  Could you share your testimony of how you came to know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?

Nathaniel Keifer (nk):  One of the only memories I can recall from my childhood is the day that I realized I was a sinner and needed Christ to save me and its a good memory! It was an Easter Sunday around 6 years of age and my grandparents were the teachers of the class. I remember Grandpa giving the lesson with those awful flannel-graph boards & characters and then it coming to the point where we were asked to bow our heads and close our eyes and the questions ensued. What still is probably the strongest memory of that whole thing was that when I raised my hand, I heard my Grandma say, (and I assume point my direction) “I got that one.”

CBN:   What is your role at christianaudio.com?

nk:  My official title here is “Director of Web Properties” which encompasses all marketing, development, and distribution for just about any technology system that touches the internet and is associated with the company. My main tasks are managing the daily aspects of our web store, the customer service agents, the Facebook and Twitter accounts, and ingestion of new titles and publishing partners through my encoding team. I’m somewhat the “face” of the christianaudio web team, but rest assured there is more than 8 working on everything associated with our website development and daily coordination.

CBN:  Why in the world does christianaudio insist on using all lowercase letters?

nk:  The funny thing is that very few people have ever asked, they just go ahead and spell it however they’d like. We’ve seen everything from Christian Audio, Christianaudio, ChristianAudio, and even in all uppercase. We started early on ensuring that all our materials were lowercase for marketing and brand reasons, as it’s important to use to maintain the strong foot forward we have all worked so hard on. It seems difficult for some people to write Christian in lowercase, but in all reality, they’re writing a business name and not a religious view. And customer’s aren’t the only one who have a hard time writing christianaudio as many of the employee memos and emails are constantly being corrected for the misuse of capitalization.

CBN:  Could you give some detail on your subscriptions?

nk:  Well, our subscription programs are basically the same as when we originally launched them, however we’ve taken some customer feedback from the last 6 years and have tried to improve where possible. At the moment, we offer two different monthly programs which, for an auto-renewing fee, you receive “credits” that can be turned in for titles on our site (downloads and CDs). We’ve made these programs even better by assigning a set credit value for your purchased credits as well as fluctuating credit pricing with sales (which was originally not apart of the program). You can find more information, here.

CBN:  You just re-launched the website with a special on your annual subscription?

nk:  That’s correct, we just launched our new website just over 2 1/2 weeks ago and announced on the launch day that we’re offering a ‘$180 bonus package‘ to all new and upgrade subscription orders that commit to a 12 month term (renews monthly). This bonus package includes Crossway’s ESV TruTone Study Bible, a one-year subscription to CTI’s Christianity Today & Ligonier’s Tabletalk magazines, David C. Cook’s Crazy Love Study DVD Resource, and a couple christianaudio audiobook CDs! You can find more information and subscribe, here.

CBN:  What has been your number one download of all time?

nk:  This is kind of a tough question as we have a #1 free download of all time and a #1 paid download of all time. However, it seems that we’ve had more downloads of our #1 free download, which was Desiring God by John Piper, offered back in November of 2009. We’ve also had great numbers for David Platt’s Radical, William P. Young’s The Shack, and Francis Chan’s Forgotten God & Crazy Love.  You can check out the recent top downloads here.

CBN:  How can people stay up to date with all that is going on at christianaudio?

nk:  We’ve tried to make ourselves as accessible as possible, using the most current venues. You can communicate with us, ask questions, get help, or just say hello from our Facebook page, Twitter, Website, and our Knowledge Base community. We also encourage everyone to join our free newsletter for announcements and other special offers.

8) How can we pray for christianaudio?

Although we appreciate your referrals/sharing our site and your purchases, we covet your prayers. Running a Christian company in our industry is no small task, especially with the competition looming over us. We’d love for you to ask God’s provision on the company, it’s staff, publishers, and ministry partners. We’d also greatly appreciate you asking the Lord to guide our owners in the direction of the company that is in line with His will. There are many upcoming changes, projects, websites, and enhancements coming to christianaudio.com and christianaudio as a company that would be better if bathed in prayer. Thanks for all your support and feedback, we value each customer and view them as part of the ‘christianaudio family’!

christianaudio: New Website and FREE Audiobook

Love is a VerbMost of you will agree that this email has been a long time coming…and it contains some long awaited news.

The Good News: As you may have seen, we officially launched our completely redesigned website last week, wrapping-up months of development work, customer requested feature additions, a new look-and-feel that everybody can enjoy, and so much more. Checkout all the new features now!

But, we need your help…we have some incredible offers over the next couple months, leading into 2011, and need your help to get any bugs worked out of the new system before we can launch these amazing offers! Our view is that we can only ensure everything is running at peak levels by giving away a free audiobook download to anyone who is willing to look at & test our new site! You can report questions or issues you might have with the new site to our Knowledge Base.

In honor of Reformation Day on October 31st and the launch of our new website, we’re offering the audiobook download of Martin Luther: In His Own Words for free and other Luther titles for only $4.98! Don’t delay though, we need to have our site thoroughly tested before the end of October, which means this offer ends on the 31st!

This free download is available in MP3, M4B, & One-Click Zip formats; learn more here.

Click here to help test our site and download this audiobook for free! No coupon code required!

Checkout other related titles, each only $4.98 until October 31st!

Be sure to checkout all the new features of christianaudio!



Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper

Piper, John. Don’t Waste Your Life. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2003. 192 pp. $15.99. Purchase at Westminster Books for $11.38.

audiobook

Narrated by Lloyd James. Esconido: christianaudio Hovel, 2007. 6.25 Hrs. CD–$23.98 MP3 CD–$19.98 Download—$14.98

Introduction

If you have not heard of John Piper, then you must either not be a regular reader of Christian Book Notes or you are new believer in Jesus Christ. John Piper has made popular what he calls Christian Hedonism—being so passionate about the One, Jesus Christ, who is worthy of our praise. Don’t Waste Your Life is another work of Piper’s toward that one goal.

Summary

Don’t Waste Your Life is divided into ten chapters that takes the reader on a theological journey through John Piper’s mind that led him to really what is the main thrust of his ministry. He shares his search for “a single passion” during his college years leading to his ‘discovery’ that Christ truly is our all in all.

As he shares his testimony of finding the beauty of Christ in everything, he accelerates toward the telos (the end) of how to live a life saturated in Christ. Along the way, Piper shows how to make much of Christ in the workplace as well as in the church. In essence, no matter where you are in your walk with Christ, no matter what your age or IQ, the reader is challenged to begin living for Christ in such a radical way so that at the end, you will not say “I’ve wasted my life.”

Review

It is refreshing to read from the heart of arguably one of the most prolific writers and preachers in America today. What is more, I am convinced we are seeing the fruit of his passion for Christ in the writings and ministries of men like David Platt, Kevin DeYoung, and Mark Dever.

Having been written in 2003, coupled with my just now reading/listening to this book, I have the ability to see how this book in particular has helped to change a Christian sub-culture (poor choice of words?) and has led them to seek to serve Christ with their lives. Piper does not write Don’t Waste Your Life to the pastor, the missionary, or the believer in the pew. Rather, he writes to everyone who calls on the name of Christ as Lord and Savior. Much like David Platt’s Radical, Piper challenges all to be so enraptured with the glories of Christ, that your every waking (and possibly sleeping?) moment is captivated by Christ so that you cannot help but seek to worship and serve Him.

Recommendation

I recommend to anyone looking at what it means to be “sold out for Jesus” to read Don’t Waste Your Life. Even better, you can download the audiobook and listen to it in your car and listen to it on your drive. Who knows, this might be the perfect catalyst to get you to redeem even the time in your car. His chapter on making much of Christ from 8-5 is much needed for the Christian who is in the work place daily. The grind at the office can sap you of energy and drag your spiritual mindedness down to the pits of Sheol. Allow John Piper to show you how to not waste your life.

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

Lewis, C.S. Mere Christianity. New York: HarperCollins, 2000. 232 pp. $12.95. Purchase the hardback at Westminster or the paperback at Amazon. Also available for the Kindle.

Audiobook

Narrated by Geoffrey Howard.  Esconido: christianaudio.  5.9 hours.  Download – $16.98.

Introduction

C. S. Lewis (1898-1963) is perhaps best known for his Chronicles of Narnia series.  He has, however, written numerous volumes that are still widely read today.  Some may not know this, but he died on the same day that John F. Kennedy was assassinated–22 November 1963.  He was primarily an English professor at various higher institutions of learning.  Mere Christianity is perhaps the most influential work insofar as an introduction to the fundamentals of the Christian faith.

The book was more an outgrowing of some radio addresses given by C.S. Lewis in the 1940’s.

Summary

Divided into four books, Lewis moves from a general understanding of the reality of God to what Christians believe and how they (should) behave.  He concludes in book four with an exposition on how the doctrine of the Trinity applies to us today.

Book one looks at the reality of the moral law and how it applies to all people at all times regardless of personal beliefs.  He then argues that if their is a moral law that transcends humanity, there must be a Giver of the law.  From there he moves into the Christian’s understanding of this Law Giver.

The second book looks specifically at the Christian’s understanding of God.  It is here where Lewis draws the line in the sand so to speak.  To put it quite succinctly, if you believe in anything  but the God of the Christian Bible, then you are wrong.  The rest of the book is a basic apologetic (defense) of the Christian claims to Truth and the demands made on one’s life.

Perhaps the most famous section of Mere Christianity is book 3 on Christian behavior.  Here, Lewis delineates between the Cardinal Virtues (those that are followed by all people) and the Theological Virtues (those that are specific to Christianity).  The four cardinal virtues are prudence, temperance, justice, and fortitude.  The final ten chapters of this section explain the theological virtues.

Lewis concludes with a look at the importance of the Trinity in the Christian’s life.  At its core, we find here a power that supersedes anything this world has to offer.  Here, we learn of the sanctification of the believer.

Review

What can be said in favor of or against C.S. Lewis that has not been said already?  By keeping the topic of Christianity at such a general level, Lewis has penned perhaps the most important book regarding the basic beliefs that must be held by a Christian if they are to call Christ their Lord and Savior.

Unfortunately, because of his views on evolution (he assumes it as true) many today hold that one’s view of the Biblical account of creation is not important.  This is not so.  If Genesis one is not true, then John 3:16 is not true.  If God did not create from nothing, then Christ need not come and die for our sins.  I realize this is an oversimplification of the point, but it is nonetheless true.

There are a few other areas in which I disagree with Lewis, but that is the beauty of Mere Christianity, one can disagree and still find the common ground in Christ that brings us all together.  Aside from his evolutionary take on origins, I appreciated his candor in handling the fundamental beliefs of Christianity.

His chapter on sexual morality ought to be read by every Christian in the church today.  His understanding of sinful man becoming new creatures in Christ is still another chapter that should be read.  There are many in the church today who say that unless you have been radically changed (generally the assumption is “as I have been”) then you are not a true Christian.  Lewis puts that misnomer to bed and exhorts all to look to Christ and find the power in Him to worry about yourself rather than others.

Recommendation

If you have never read this book, you are wrong!  Even with his views of evolution throughout, this book demands to be read.  For so many Christians today, we want to divide over secondary and tertiary doctrinal issues.  It saddens me that a Presbyterian and a Southern Baptist cannot get along because they have differing views on baptism when neither is saying that one’s baptism will save from sin.

Mere Christianity helps to bring the conversation back to the basics and often times that is where we need to not only start, but remain.