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Posts Tagged ‘Christian books’

IVP UK Titles Now Available in North America

As reported last month at CBA Online, InterVarsity Press in the U.S. and their UK affiliate are back swapping titles. I say back because when I worked for IVP in Toronto years ago, we would regularly receive shipments from England. Until the article published, I was unaware that they had ever stopped doing this. (Some titles listed in the article below may not be included in Canada if another publisher holds Canadian rights.) Click the link in the title below to read at source.

IVP brings UK titles to North America

InterVarsity Press USA (IVP-USA) expanded their partnership with InterVarsity Press UK (IVP-UK) and the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (SPCK) to bring titles from the United Kingdom to the United States and Canada.

In 2015, SPCK made IVP-USA books available to bookstores in the United Kingdom and mainland Europe through Macmillan Distribution Limited (MDL). Now IVP-USA will distribute SPCK and IVP-UK titles throughout North America.

Titles that will now be available to North American readers include:

  • Creation, Power & Truth by N.T. Wright
  • A Celtic Liturgy by Pat Robson
  • A trilogy of classics in spirituality and spiritual formation, which includes The Living Flame of Love by John of the Cross, Introduction to the Devout Life by Francis de Sales, and Revelations of Divine Love by Julian of Norwich
  • Places of Pilgrimage by Ian Scott Massie
  • Come, Lord Jesus by Stephen Motyer
  • Aidan, Bede, Cuthbert: Three Inspirational Saints by David Adam
  • But is it True: Honest Responses to 10 Popular Objections to the Christian Faith by Michael Ots

 

Toronto Area Author’s Story Is Known Worldwide

Known simply as “The Girl in the Picture” which is also the title of a previous book published by Penguin, Kim Phuc’s story gets another telling when Fire Road: The Napalm Girl’s Journey through the Horrors of War to Faith, Forgiveness, and Peace releases October 3rd from Tyndale House.

Get out! Run! We must leave this place! They are going to destroy this whole place! Go, children, run first! Go now!

These were the final shouts nine year-old Kim Phuc heard before her world dissolved into flames—before napalm bombs fell from the sky, burning away her clothing and searing deep into her skin. It’s a moment forever captured, an iconic image that has come to define the horror and violence of the Vietnam War. Kim was left for dead in a morgue; no one expected her to survive the attack. Napalm meant fire, and fire meant death.

Against all odds, Kim lived—but her journey toward healing was only beginning. When the napalm bombs dropped, everything Kim knew and relied on exploded along with them: her home, her country’s freedom, her childhood innocence and and happiness. The coming years would be marked by excruciating treatments for her burns and unrelenting physical pain throughout her body, which were constant reminders of that terrible day. Kim survived the pain of her body ablaze, but how could she possibly survive the pain of her devastated soul?

Fire Road is the true story of how she found the answer in a God who suffered Himself; a Savior who truly understood and cared about the depths of her pain. Fire Road is a story of horror and hope, a harrowing tale of a life changed in an instant—and the power and resilience that can only be found in the power of God’s mercy and love.

~from the release sheet page at Tyndale.com

Canadian stores should pre-order the biography from Foundation Distributing

 

Comparing Two Books about Jackie Robinson

Our good friend Jeff Snow is in bivocational, bidenominational ministry. For half of his week he is a college and university campus worker with Mission Canada, a division of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada, and the the other half of his week sees him acting as interim pastor in a church that is part of Canadian Baptists.

He’s also a big sports fan, especially baseball and he has always admired the courage and testimony of Jackie Robinson. Back in May we shared his thoughts on the book 42 Faith by Ed Henry. You can read that again at this link. So when Westminster John Knox Press released Jackie Robinson: A Spiritual Biography–The Faith of a Boundary-Breaking Hero by Michael G. Long and Chris Lamb, Jeff was first to purchase a copy from our store. We decided to give this book equal time and let Jeff share his opinions.

I just read the second book.  It was shorter and laid out like a more traditional biography than the other and it didn’t meander as much.  The writers did a very good job going into Robinson’s formative years of faith and the influence of his mother and pastor.  For those unfamiliar with his story, the authors [of this second book] give many of the basics of the Robinson story, but through the lens of faith.  The other book I think assumes a little more knowledge of the story on the part of the reader.

Half the book is given over to Robinson’s post-baseball career working for civil rights.  Here we see the evolution of Robinson’s leanings towards more of a social gospel, as well as a slight liberal bias on the part of the author.

Overall I found the book very good.  More concise and focused than the other one, with a few more convincing arguments for the faith motivation behind both Robinson’s and manager Branch Rickey’s actions.

So Christian bookstore readers who are baseball fans now have a choice!

 

Francine Rivers Discusses New Devotional

earth-psalmsU.S. retail chain Books-a-Million interviewed Francine Rivers about Earth Psalms: Reflections on How God Speaks Through Nature, a 224-page hardcover devotional now available from Tyndale at $16.99 US. Here’s a sample:

  1. Explain the title. How did you come up with the idea of Earth Psalms? 

A psalm is a song, and the earth and everything on it, in it, above it, and beyond it is God’s creation. Everything God created sings praise to Him, and I believe also teaches us many lessons about our Creator as well. It’s exciting to look at things we might have taken for granted and see what they teach us about the Lord. We are never to worship any created thing or even creation itself. We are to worship the Creator, Jesus Christ, the Word that created it all.

  1. What will readers find inside the pages of Earth Psalms? 

Readers will find an earth psalm (essay) about something God has created and a lesson God has taught me through it. There are questions for readers to ponder or use for journaling: Reflect, Apply, Connect with God. There are also some additional facts, Scripture, and hymns, as well as beautiful pictures. The earth psalm essay was my part. The enriching questions and details are Karin’s, and the beautiful artwork was put together by Jennifer Ghionzoli at Tyndale.

  1. What was it like working with a collaborator for the first time? 

Working with Karin Stock Buursma was a pleasure. We talked about any editing that needed to be done, the questions and elements of the devotional. I hope to work with her again. 

There are 14 more questions and answers. Click here to read at their blog, which is called Chapters.

If Your Store Does Well With Donald Miller

Oriented - Gordon C. HarrisI’m always a little skeptical when a publisher suggests that, “If your customers enjoyed ______ …” they will enjoy the book being sent to me for review. In this case the book was being compared to Donald Miller, who brought a unique outlook to the world of Christian writing, and Ann Voskamp, whose blog I am quite familiar with but whose books I have never read.

But the comparison to Miller holds, and holds well; and I would toss in a Zondervan writer, Tyler Blanski while we’re at it. That present-tense voicing that sweeps you into the action and an almost stream-of-consciousness style that isn’t bound by tight chronologies or fear of tangential digression. The type of title that takes you on a journey with the author to an undetermined destination.

In this case, the book is Oriented: Making Sense of the World and Your Place Within It, the author, Gordon C. Harris, is self-described as “a modern contemplative teacher and theologian” who coordinates curriculum development for Catch The Fire, a large church in west Toronto formerly known as the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship. Catch The Fire is also the publisher and distributor of the book, though for my U.S. readers, it’s also listed on Ingram.*

The overarching focus is the first eleven chapters of Genesis. The various themes it suggests. The many ways in which the author interacts with those concepts. Harris has 15 years pastoral experience and has a Masters in Theology and is working on a PhD in theological studies. So this is an informed look at the earliest accounts of scripture, but not a commentary. It’s more subjective — almost autobiographical — dealing with the author’s responses to the narrative. Somewhat poetic, it belongs in a literary section of Christian bookstores that does not yet exist. 

I was tempted to review the book in the same style in which it is written… I pick up the book expecting not to finish. “Just read a chapter or two;” I have been told, and the publisher places no onus or expectation on me to write a review. But I keep turning the page wondering where the author will head next. I’m looking for a good hook for an article. Wondering, given the Genesis theme, where he lands on the creation/evolution spectrum. There is too much to think about here for binge reading. The book becomes a take-to-work companion and earns a coveted spot on my bedside table; the books I read last at night and first at dawn. The author has claimed a captive…

Below is a short excerpt reading by the author. Canadian stores can contact Jonathan Puddle at Catch The Fire Books to arrange a wholesale shipment. If you’re a consumer who landed on this trade site somehow, you can order from Atwell Books.

You’ll also find eight more video clips and more about the book at this link.

* 9781894310765 | $14.99 US | paperback | Author’s blog

It’s Our 7th Birthday at Christian Book Shop Talk

August 24, 2015 1 comment

It was seven years ago today that I wrote:

Do you ever feel like an odd duck when you go to church? You’re in ministry, but not in the sense that pastors, counselors and missionaries are. You’re working hard for little return, but some people think you’re making big bucks off the gospel. You’re kind of interested in getting to know the guy at church who manages the Home Depot and the woman who has a chain of clothing stores, but you’re experience of retail is just so different from theirs. You’re an expert on different strains of theology, can use a concordance or Bible dictionary with your eyes closed, and have experience dealing with people from umpteen different denominations, but nobody ever thinks of you as the go-to person when they have some deep questions. You have a four-drawer filing cabinet filled with glossy catalogs, but you’re rarely asked to recommend a specific resource for a specific church project...

…In Canada, changes to our industry are coming fast and furious and it’s really hard to keep up. It’s also hard to find someone to talk to who really knows and really understands the unique features of our commercial ministries.

So by putting this blog up, and leaving the comments section open, I’m hoping that those who want to talk can talk, and those who want to rant can rant, and those who have questions can ask them.

This is intended as a forum for CANADIAN Christian Bookstore OWNERS and STAFF, but if you’re reading this from the USA or the UK, or you’re just a big huge fan of Christian books; feel free to chime in, but identify yourself as such. Stores which want to can SIGN their comments, or you can just use your username, or you can create something anonymous. Feel free to come back to the discussion often; and feel free to post comments to various discussions at the same time.

…but it didn’t take long before the blog started serving another purpose, as a news conduit. The first day we had four posts, and the last announced both the closing of CMC Distribution and the end of print editions for CCM Magazine. Just three weeks later, it was our sad duty to report the shuttering of both the retail and wholesale divisions of R. G. Mitchell.

I recently tweeted this:

Bad news clomps around in construction boots;
Good news tiptoes in sock feet.
~ Adapted from a Welsh proverb

Sometimes the bad news seems to dominate my writing. There have been changes, store closings, and the roller coaster ride that is the Canadian-American currency exchange rate. But we’ve also celebrated some great people, great products and great ideas. I have no regrets about starting this little project 7 years ago.

7 is the perfect numberOur readers are presently three-quarters Canadian and one-quarter American (which is according to plan) but we also have enjoyed having readers in the UK, Australia, India, South Africa, Germany, New Zealand, The Philippines and France. For all time, popular stories include the closing of Salem Storehouse in Ottawa, the controversy over The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven, and other posts on store closing and (in Windsor) a reopening. I especially love it when other media picks up the thread of items that originated here.

Christian Book Shop Talk also shares stories with my other two dominant blogs, Thinking Out Loud and Christianity 201, where I often post excerpts of books reviewed here and at Thinking O. L.

We don’t ask for donations here, and are not part of any affiliate programs. Occasionally, people we’ve met through the blog purchase remainder boxes from Searchlight, which helps make this possible. I am especially grateful for the excellent book review relationship we have with Thomas Nelson, Zondervan, and Baker Books, but if I had it to over again, I might have insisted on more books from IVP where, a lifetime ago, I once worked.

Although my purpose here is not to help self-published authors, the blog has led to a number of interactions, some of which have helped writers get contracts, or get better contracts.

Over the last few years, I have become a bit of a recluse when it comes to attending industry events. I realize I now write as a bit of industry outsider, not an insider, but I am very thankful that my one remaining store continues to operate and I hope the insights I can offer from the way we do things a bit differently there are helpful to store owners, managers and front-line staff. With the news-gathering capabilities of Thinking Out Loud — even though it no longer has the connection to Christianity Today — I hope we can find information that you read here first.

Thanks to all of you who tell me you read this on a regular basis, and especially those who leave comments. 

Happy Birthday to us!

~Paul Wilkinson.

Birthday Party from Joy of Tech dot com

 

 

 

Side-by-Side, Two Titles by J. Warner Wallace Revolutionize Apologetics

Two years ago I reviewed the book Cold Case Detective by J. Warner Wallace, in which the principles by which this police investigator has operated in his vocation are applied to fleshing out the reliability of the Bible’s gospel narratives. At the time I wrote,

Every decade or so a great work of apologetics appears which breaks the boundaries of the discipline and reaches a wider audience.

I enjoyed the book, and in the time that has passed since have enjoyed recommending it to a variety of readers, though at times, I feel it is Christian apologetics’ best kept secret.

God's Crime SceneA few weeks ago, Wallace returned with God’s Crime Scene: A Cold-Case Detective Examines the Evidence for a Divinely Created Universe (David C. Cook) in which he applies the same skills to the idea of God being behind what we might call creation. But we need to watch using the word creation in describing this book, since creation science is concerned with origins and answering the “How did we get here?” type of questions. Rather, this is more about intelligent design and bypassing the How? and When? questions to look more at What?; or more specifically the complexity that exists in the world pointing to a master designer; a designer who exists outside the realms we can observe or quantify.

The last distinction is important to Wallace’s argument; he compares it to cases where detectives would have to determine if the killer was in the room or came from outside the room. The analogy is very fitting, but the proof isn’t contained in one chapter or another, but in the aggregate of a case built on a foundation consisting of an amalgam of evidence and syllogistic logic.

The evidence “inside the room” points to a very specific “suspect.” He’s not a malicious intruder. Although I’ve titled this book God’s Crime Scene (in an effort to illustrate an evidential approach to the investigation of the universe), God hasn’t committed any crime here. In addition, God is not an unconcerned intruder; He isn’t dispassionate about His creation. (p. 201)

God’s Crime Scene is intended therefore to make the argument for the existence of God accessible to the average reader through the comparisons to anecdotal cold-case detective work, and the use of cartoon-like illustrations. But make no mistake, this is not light reading.

This time around, I found myself gladly absorbing the chapters that were more philosophical and epistemological in nature, but totally over my depth in the sections that relied more on biology and physics. I could only marvel that the author was able to present such a wide swath of material which was so multi-disciplinary.

Still there were elements of the argument that were not lost on me. Even a child could see the resemblance of a machine-like mechanism in the human body and a man-made machine that forms a similar function, the latter being something we know was intelligently designed. Or the logic that if we agree that the brain is distinct from the mind, then it’s not a huge leap to the idea that a soul exists.

This is a textbook-quality product that will appeal to a variety of readers with an assortment of interests in this topic and offers the additional payoff of further insights into detectives’ investigative processes. You don’t have to understand every nuance of every issue to both appreciate and learn from Wallace’s writing; and it is in the cumulative assembly of all the various subjects raised here that Wallace is able to mark the case closed.

I give this a very high recommendation both for Christian readers and those who doubt God’s existence. I’d be interested in seeing links to articles where non-believers have interacted with its various chapters, as I believe Wallace has been very thorough in his documentation and his logic.

 


9781434707840  320 pages oversize paperback  $17.99 US

 

 

Brighton Author’s Help for Fathers with Daughters

XOXO from Dad - Lyle BunnA Brighton, Ontario author has added a short book to what is an increasingly fast-growing genre, books about the relationship between fathers and daughters. XOXO from Dad: Words Too Seldom Spoken. a Father’s Love for His Daughter by Lyle Bunn is concise at 64 pages and is available from Westbow, through Ingram/Spring Arbor at $9.99 US retail. Here is the publisher info:

XOXO from Dad are words of love too seldom spoken from Dad to Daughter including advice and encouragement in 20 easy to read chapters within 65 pages. Suggested songs and bible readings amplify the messages in each chapter. The book puts into words the sentiments of love that every dad has for his daughter so she can become her best in the knowledge of his great love for her.

Bunn said “Fathers will give this book to their daughters to express that your love for her can be a solid rock upon which she can be all that she aspires to be. This book says, “I love you” to her through explanation, advice and inspiration that will help her to become all of who she is capable of becoming”.

It was also written for daughters, notes Bunn, who will appreciate knowing how their Dad is proud and delighted in her and for moms who are the constant “go-between” to help dad and daughter understand each other.

This short book explain dad’s innermost feelings toward his daughter, allowing daughters go into the world each day with the confidence that she is totally loved for no other reason than that “she is”.

Although Lyle has published more than 300 guidebooks and articles for industry, this is his first endeavour in publishing for a public audience.

9781490874814

How Many of These Canadian Titles Does Your Store Carry?

A few weeks ago, I ran a list here of the Canadian authors I counted among my store’s inventory. But when I look at The Word Guild’s shortlist for this year’s awards, I feel like I’m not doing my part to support domestic publishing. I’m also amazed when I look at the top writers of Canadian Christian blogs how little crossover there is.  I don’t know what access issues I would encounter trying to carry any number of these in my store, or how many different wholesale sources it would involve. This is probably the biggest barrier to these seeing wider exposure in Christian retail in this country. Anyway, here are the 2015 Word Award nominees, which is part of a larger announcement which includes nominations for song lyrics and magazine articles. Click this link to read at The Word Guild.

SHORTLIST OF FINALISTS
THE 2015 WORD AWARDS

BOOK CATEGORIES

Book – Academic

David Koyzis of Hamilton, Ont. for We Answer to Another (Wipf and Stock)

James K. A. Smith of Grand Rapids, Mich. for Who’s Afraid of Relativism? (Baker Academic)

Leonard Hjalmarson of Thunder Bay, Ont. for No Home Like Place (The Urban Loft)

Book – Biblical Studies

Alan and Elizabeth Davey of Toronto for Climbing the Spiritual Mountain (Wipf and Stock)

John W. Martens of Delta, B.C. for The Gospel of Mark (Red Maple Press)

J. Richard Middleton of Rochester, N.Y. for A New Heaven and a New Earth (Baker Academic)

Book – Children

Aimee Reid of Hamilton, Ont. for Mama’s Day with Little Gray (Random House Children’s Books)

Donna Simard of St. Lazare, Man. for Shhh! It’s A Surprise: Michael and Dad at the Zoo. (Word Alive Press)

Book – Christian Living

Alan and Elizabeth Davey of Toronto for Climbing the Spiritual Mountain (Wipf and Stock)

Drew Dyck of Carol Stream, Ill. for Yawning at Tigers (Thomas Nelson)

Wendy VanderWal-Gritter of Mississauga, Ont. for Generous Spaciousness (Brazos Press)

Book – Culture

David Peck of Oakville, Ont. for Real Change Is Incremental (BPS Books)

Sandy Oshiro Rosen of Fort Langley, B.C. for Bare – The Misplaced Art of Grieving and Dancing  (Big Tree Publishing)

Book – Instructional

David Sherbino of Toronto for Living, Dying, Living Forever (Castle Quay Books)

Robert Shaw of Sunderland, Ont. for The Complete Leader (Castle Quay Books)

Book – Life Stories

Bobbi Junior of Edmonton, Alta. for The Reluctant Caregiver (Word Alive Press)

Deborah L. Willows of Huntsville, Ont. and Steph Beth Nickel of St. Thomas, Ont. for Living Beyond My Circumstances (Castle Quay Books)

Sandy Oshiro Rosen of Fort Langley, B.C. for Bare – The Misplaced Art of Grieving and Dancing (Big Tree Publishing)

Novel – Contemporary

Karen V. Robichaud of Dartmouth, N.S. for The Unforgiving Sea (Word Alive Press)

T.G. Cooper of Hamilton, Ont. for The Pastor Who Hated Church (T.G. Cooper)

Novel – Historical

Erin M. Hatton of Barrie, Ont. for Across the Deep (Word Alive Press)

Janice L. Dick of Guernsey, Sask. for Other Side of the River (Helping Hands Press)

Novel – Romance

Sandra Orchard of Fenwick, Ont. for Identity Withheld (Harlequin)

Valerie Comer of Creston, B.C. for Sweetened with Honey (GreenWords Media)

Novel – Speculative

Donna Fawcett of St. Marys, Ont. for Between Heaven and Earth (Newscroll Books)

Marcia Lee Laycock of Blackfalds, Alta. for The Ambassadors (Helping Hands Press)

Novel – Suspense

Janet Sketchley of Dartmouth, N.S. for Secrets and Lies (Janet Sketchley)

Kelsey Greye of Lloydminster, Alta. for All That Remains (Wesbrook Bay Books)

Sandra Orchard of Fenwick, Ont. for Blind Trust (Revell)

Novel – Young Adult

Fern Boldt of St. Catharines, Ont. for Blemished Heart (Word Alive Press)

Jack A. Taylor of Vancouver for The Cross Maker (Wesbrook Bay Books)

Karen V. Robichaud of Dartmouth, N.S. for The Unforgiving Sea (Word Alive Press)

Books As Up-to-Date as Your Daily Newspaper, Evening Newscast

February 19, 2015 1 comment

Seven Days of Hellish Violence

Last week, CNN referred to various acts of persecution as Religion’s Week from Hell. With events taking place on the world scene that bring us to our knees, people are looking for authors who can speak to these world issues.  Moody Press and FaithWords have titles in the works from Charles Dyer and Robert Jeffress respectively, but there is very little to offer customers at present.  

The lone book currently on the market, The Rise of ISIS by Jay Sekulow is about to have some company with two new titles from HarperCollins Christian Publishing.

image 190215Killing Christians: Living the Faith Where It’s Not Safe to Believe by Tom Doyle releases first. Here is the blurb from Thomas Nelson:

Could you retain your faith even if it meant losing your life? Your family’s lives?

To many Christians in the Middle East today, a “momentary, light affliction” means enduring only torture instead of martyrdom. The depth of oppression Jesus followers suffer is unimaginable to most Western Christians. Yet, it is an everyday reality for those who choose faith over survival in Syria, Iran, Egypt, Lebanon, and other countries hostile to the Gospel of Christ. In”Killing Christians, “Tom Doyle takes readers to the secret meetings, the torture rooms, the grim prisons, and even the executions that are the “calling” of countless Muslims-turned-Christians.

Each survivor longs to share with brothers and sisters “on the outside” what Christ has taught them. “Killing Christians “is their message to readers who still enjoy freedom to practice their faith. None would wish their pain and suffering on those who do not have to brave such misery, but the richness gained through their remarkable trials are delivered–often in their own words–through this book. The stories are breathtaking, the lessons soul-stirring and renewing. “Killing Christians “presents the dead serious work of expanding and maintaining the Faith.

Modern Christian MartyrsDefying Isis: Preserving Christianity in the Place of Its Birth and in Your Own Backyard by Liberty University’s Johnnie Moore releases in April, also from Thomas Nelson:

Has the Christian Holocaust Begun?

A Christian genocide at the hands of Islamic extremists is unfolding in the Middle East. Entire Christian populations have been eliminated, and the ultimate aim of ISIS and the Islamic State is to eradicate the world of Christianity.

They are well on their way. Thousands of Christians arrive in refugee camps daily as tents can be seen for miles across the countryside of Jordan, Northern Iraq and Lebanon.

Churches have been demolished, crosses burned and replaced with ISIS flags, homes destroyed, entire communities displaced, religious conversions forced, human torture enacted, children slaughtered, and all in plain sight.

In many cities every single Christian has been “taken care of” — displaced, murdered or forcibly converted, and just as the Nazis painted the Star of David on the homes of Jews, Jihadists have painted the Christian “N” (the first letter of the Arabic word for “Christian”) on the homes of indigenous Christian communities to identify them before destroying them. They have proclaimed that they will not stop until Christianity is wiped off the earth from the land of its birth all the way to your own backyard. So what can be done to help these brave souls in the crossfire and protect a holy land?

With never before told stories of horror and of hope, Johnnie Moore unveils the threat of ISIS against worldwide Christianity, and what the world must do about it. Along the way, he introduces us to the courageous Christians who have stared down ISIS and lived to raise their crosses higher.

Both titles are available now for pre-order in paperback.

 

 


Two of the images used in this article appeared previously at Christianity 201

Tyndale House Still Advertising Visits to Heaven and Back

February 4, 2015 1 comment

Visits to Heaven - contents

Tyndale House Publishers, issuer of the now withdrawn title The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven, is still showing Mark Hitchcock’s new book, Visits to Heaven: Are They Real on their corporate website. The book was scheduled for mid-March release but was undoubtedly written before Alex Malarkey recanted his story. A Google preview offers the table of contents above, but at the CBA site, the .pdf file was displaying intermittently. Most of the visible introductory section is a list of about 40 books in the genre, with several references to Thomas Nelson’s Heaven is for Real.

There is no mention of the title on the author’s website. Ingram and Send the Light are still taking orders. The publisher blurb reads:

Visits to Heaven and Back

What will heaven really be like?
Today’s bestseller lists are filled with stories of those who have claimed to experienced heaven firsthand. Curiosity about what will happen after we die is as strong as ever in the twenty-first century. Yet, each book contains a different story about what we will experience in heaven.

What are we to believe? What is true?
In Visits to Heaven and Back: Are They Real? Mark Hitchcock, a respected Bible teacher, sorts out the facts. He chronicles the recent phenomenon of “heaven” books, comparing and contrasting the ideas presented in these books and revealing the discrepancies and contradictions. Then, Mark turns to the Bible, laying out clearly the teachings about heaven and experiences in this life of another world. The Bible does reveal that there is a world beyond this one, but it also contains clear warnings and amazing promises.

Discover today God’s clear and certain promises concerning heaven.

It’s unclear if the title will be intact for the March release or if parts will need to be adjusted to reflect the latest developments, but along with Boy Who Came Back…it would seem that Tyndale has not one, but two titles being impacted.

Philip Yancey on Writing

Philip YanceyThis is part of a much longer article at WORLD Magazine online:

You have been in the Christian publishing industry and the evangelical church for going on 40 years. What changes have you seen in that time? There are huge changes going on in publishing, in general, and in Christian publishing. The biggest thing, noticeable to me, is how Christian bookstores and general bookstores are departing one-by-one. I hear these statistics that something like half of the number of independent bookstores are in existence now that were even 20 years ago. People are buying online. They’re buying at Walmart, at Target, and Costco. It used to be if you wanted a Christian book, you would go to a Christian bookstore, browse around, see what caught your eye, and take it home. Now that doesn’t happen so much.

It’s harder, for sure, for younger writers to make a living. I feel very blessed to have lived in the period of time I did because I could make a living doing things I’d want to do apart from that. I worked out my faith in words, in print, and was able to make a living while doing it.

Tell me about when you are in the writing mode. Do you write a couple of hours a day? Do you research? Do you write for weeks on end and then don’t write for months? What does that discipline look like for you? A lot of people have the idea that you just kind of roll down to your desk and sit there and look up and think, “Hmm, wonder what I’ll write today.” It’s not like that at all, at least the kind of books that I write. Usually, when I choose to write about a topic—take prayer, for example—I’ll have been mulling it over for years, and I’ll have some fat file folders full of clippings. I’ll have an accumulation of books, a shelf full of books, and I’ll have been reading and thinking about it. Okay, so now I’m going to write about prayer. In that case, I spent probably six to eight months before I wrote a word. I interviewed a lot of people. What is your prayer life like? Why is it unsatisfying? What are your biggest questions about prayer?

I spent several months in seminary libraries, reading about what other people have to say. And then [there is] a period of time where I do outlining, organizing my thoughts. I’ve got all this data. Now, how do I make a book out of it? I often end up with an outline. Usually my outlines are about half as long as the chapter, so they’re pretty extensive outlines. Then comes that terrifying time when there’s the blank computer screen or the blank piece of paper. I’ve got these thoughts, but I’ve got to come up with words and sentences and transitions. That’s the terrifying, painful time. I try to get away somewhere, out to a mountain cabin, in my case, and get that over with as fast as possible.

I began my life as an editor for a magazine called Campus Life, and so as soon as I get the words down, then I can slip into that much more comfortable role of editing, trying to make some sense out of the words that I’ve got down.

Vanishing GraceOnce you have a draft, how different is that draft from what ultimately gets published? In What’s So Amazing about Grace? I cut 150 pages out of it. I realized this was a tangent. … The book I just finished,Vanishing Grace, had an outline of, I think, 12 chapters. In the final draft, only one of those chapters survived. I realized I was kind of cobbling together things that didn’t belong together, and other questions came up in the process of writing, so I just kept redoing it, redoing it. I keep all that stuff that I cut in a little file called junk, J-U-N-K, and I’ve got a macro that’ll just take whole paragraphs out and stick it in that junk file. I keep thinking, one day I can use that stuff. Then later, when I look at that junk file, I realize why I called it junk to begin with.

When it comes to the end for you, what do you want people to say about Philip Yancey? …I once likened my writing career to a jungle explorer and he’s got the machete out and he’s cutting through these thick vines, and he has no idea where the other side is. Then finally he gets through and says, “Oh, there it is. There’s the ocean. I made it.” Then to his surprise, he turns around and looks, and there is a whole line of people following him on that path. That’s how I feel as a writer. I’m not thinking about those people following me. I’ve got the machete hacking through the vines trying to get through to the other side. How can I get there? Then, to my surprise, and delight, I turn around and hear from people who say, “Thank you. I was on the same path. Thank you for showing me the way.”

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