Ten Years: What I’ve Learned Since Dad Died

Today marks the ten-year anniversary since my dad unexpectedly passed away. He was 1 month and 4 days shy of his 45th birthday. It’s hard to believe that, if God grants me another 15 1/2 years on this earth, I will have outlived Dad.

I’d like to take a moment to share some lessons I’ve learned since Dad died. I promise that these won’t be overly-mushy, and my intent is not to make you cry, but rather to reflect.

Dad’s death has taught me:

Continue reading “Ten Years: What I’ve Learned Since Dad Died”

Ray Rice & the NFL

As an NFL football fan, I’ve been following the news today about Ray Rice, running back for the Baltimore Ravens, who was cut from the team and then suspended indefinitely by the league for an incident of domestic violence at an Atlantic City casino earlier in the year. The NFL previously suspended Rice for two games, but this morning, video of the incident was released by TMZ, and we all were given the opportunity to witness for the first time the deplorable thing that Rice had done to his then-fiancee, now-wife.

In 2007, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick was convicted for his involvement in a dog-fighting operation, and he went to prison for a while and was banned from the NFL for two years. Knowing that, I had been disappointed that the NFL only gave Rice a two-game suspension. I love dogs, but domestic violence is a more serious issue than animal cruelty.

Continue reading “Ray Rice & the NFL”

Winner, Winner

Last week, I announced a giveaway to promote the release of Bethlehem Road: A Guide to Ruth. Someone received 1 entry for purchasing on Amazon and 5 entries for purchasing from a Christian bookstore. I’m very excited to announce that

Tony Clay

is the winner of the eBooks4Life membership, the Kindle paperwhite, and the Bibliotheca Bible. Congratulations, Tony!

The False Doctrine of Sound Doctrine

“Sound doctrine” is a phrase we Christians throw around quite often. Believing the correct thing on a wide range of biblical issues is very important to us, as it should be for anyone. Whenever I read through Hebrews or 1 John or Ephesians or 1 Corinthians or Romans, I’m reminded that I can’t just believe ANYTHING I want. My mind and its thoughts should be submissive to Christ (2 Cor. 10:5).

But being a fan of “sound doctrine” brings with it a sneaky problem. I’m honest to admit that I have a love-hate relationship with “sound doctrine” because it can be a manipulative jerk. “Sound doctrine” as I have always thought of it isn’t my friend, but neither is it my enemy. It’s more like the bad roommate I had in college that I hope I never see or hear from again.

Continue reading “The False Doctrine of Sound Doctrine”

3 Reasons to Buy “Bethlehem Road”

Though the book began shipping about two weeks ago, today is the official launch date of Bethlehem Road: A Guide to Ruth. This book began as a Kickstarter project back in the Spring, and I’m immensely grateful to everyone who helped make this book a reality. This book was a deeply personal one to write as I was reminded of the difficult road I’ve walked since Dad died, and of the difficult road many of you have walked as you’ve dealt with your own suffering.

I want to give you 3 reasons why you should read this book:
Continue reading “3 Reasons to Buy “Bethlehem Road””

Super-Charge Your Bible Study

Hi, I’m Michael Whitworth, owner, author, and janitor at Start2Finish Books. I want to tell you a little about the Books4Life Club, the best book-buying decision you’ll ever make. The doors to our club are only open for a few more days, but they’ll close at 11:59 pm on Friday, August 29th.

The Books4Life Club is an incredible way to super-charge your Bible study. Start2Finish Books publishes trusted, engaging guides to God’s Word. There are four AWESOME membership levels to choose from:

eGuides4Life is only $250, and it includes the eBook and audiobook of every Guide to God’s Word written by yours truly. You will receive not only future eGuides, but current eGuides as well, such as the award-winning The Epic of God: A Guide to Genesis. The Derision of Heaven: A Guide to Daniel, and the just-released Bethlehem Road: A Guide to Ruth.

The eBooks4Life Club is only $300, and includes every eBook and audiobook published by Start2Finish Books. You’ll receive both future and current eBooks, including my Guides to God’s Word, and other Start2Finish Books such as Fit for the Pulpit and Thoughts from the Mound. You’ll also receive two more books that we are publishing this year just before Thanksgiving.

The Guides4Life plan at $400 is similar to our eGuides4Life, only you will receive ever Future Guide in paperback under this plan, plus the eBook and audiobook. Guides to God’s Word such How to Lose a Kingdom in 400 Years, The Pouting Preacher, Empire’s Last Day, Are We There Yet? And The Son’s Supremacy are already in the works.

Books4Life, at $500, is like the eBooks4Life plan, and it is by far the best value. You get every future paperback we will publish, and every eBook and audiobook. You will not only receive my Guides to God’s Word, but other books published by Start2Finish. Currently, we publish on average 3-5 books by other authors every year. Over the next 10 years, we hope to publish at least 25-40 books that engage God’s people in Bible study, deepen the reader’s faith in the Lord, and help make them more like Jesus.

If you pay for your membership in full up front, we’ll send you an awesome Start2Finish Books coffee much as a thank you. If you join the Guides4Life or Books4Life, we’ll ALSO send you a copy of all our current paperbacks.

When the Church Conforms

Many of you are familiar with the metaphor Paul uses in Rom 12:2 when he encourages the Romans not to allow the world to press them into its mold. Instead, and as the body of Christ, God calls us (corporately and individually) to be transformed.

We’re usually really good at spotting conformity when it comes to moral issues—it’s the more insidious forms of conformity that should concern us. In fact, I’d argue that when churches are struggling with rampant and overt immorality in its midst, it’s because it conformed in more subtle ways long ago.

Continue reading “When the Church Conforms”

Why You Should Read Regularly

Editor’s Note: My friend, Steven Hunter, is a voracious reader and is pursuing a very unique PhD in which he reads the great classics of literary history. Steven is also the associate minister for the Lehman Ave church in Bowling Green, Kentucky. At my request, Steven wrote an excellent guest blog post on why it’s important for Christians to read, both the Bible and other books. Thanks, Steven, for these thoughts. — mcw

All studies, philosophy, rhetoric are followed for this one object, that we may know Christ and honor Him. This is the end of all learning and eloquence. — Erasmus (c. 1528)

When studying early American history one will find that the Bible was the textbook of choice in education. However, education was not limited solely to the Bible. Many within American Christianity were well read beyond God’s word and often used their knowledge in service to God. Alexander Campbell and Barton Stone were well read men who were liberally educated in the classical sense of the term.

Continue reading “Why You Should Read Regularly”