Flash Sale: “A Doubter’s Guide to the Bible” and “Raised?” eBooks Just $1.99

ZA Blog on 3 years ago. Tagged under ,,,,,.

Saint Thomas

Until July 3, 2015, these two eBooks are just $1.99 apiece:

1. A Doubter’s Guide to the Bible by John Dickson: SALE Price $1.99 | Regular Price $11.99 (83% off!)

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“A wonderful tour guide through the high points [of the Bible], dealing directly with the questions people have while explaining the gist of what is going on in Scripture. It is a tour well worth taking because it is led by such a competent guide.” –Darrell Bock, Senior Research Professor of New Testament, Dallas Theological Seminary


2. Raised? Finding Jesus by Doubting the Resurrection by Jonathan Dodson and Brad Watson: SALE Price $1.99 | Regular Price $5.99 (66% off)

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Make This “The Year of Evangelism” by Rethinking and Redefining It — An Excerpt from “The Unbelievable Gospel”

Jeremy Bouma on 4 years ago. Tagged under ,,,,.

9780310516699In his new book The Unbelievable Gospel, Jonathan Dodson throws down a challenge for us this year:

Rethink and redefine what it means to evangelize.

His aim “is to recover a believable evangelism, one that moves beyond the cultural and personal barriers we have erected in contemporary evangelism to rediscover the power of the biblical gospel.” (14)

In order to recover a believable evangelism to share the unbelievable gospel, we need a new definition of what it means to share in the first place. In the excerpt below Dodson looks to missiologist David Bosch for help and urges us to think about and define evangelism in this way:

“Evangelism: (1) is gospel-centered, (2) is proclamation oriented, (3) calls for a response, (4) includes the church, and (5) points to…

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Christianity Today’s 2015 Book Awards: The Unbelievable Gospel & The Crucified King

Jeremy Bouma on 4 years ago. Tagged under ,,,,,,.


Each year Christianity Today announces a selection of books they feel are most likely to shape evangelical life, thought, and culture. We are pleased the editors have selected two Zondervan Academic titles for inclusion in their 2015 list.

The Unbelievable Gospel, by Jonathan Dodson, was selected as the winner of the Apologetics/Evangelism category. The Crucified King, by Jeremy Treat, received an Award of Merit for its important contribution to Theology/Ethics.

Both books represent the crop of important resources released this year by Zondervan Academic authors touching on the Bible, the church, and other perennial matters of faith. Get more information on these books below, and engage them yourself to understand why CT Magazine believes these books will impact the life of the Church next year, and in the years to come.

Apologetics/Evangelism: The Unbelievable Gospel

Jonathan Dodson’s aim in The…

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4 Reasons Not to Share Your Faith

ZA Blog on 4 years ago. Tagged under ,,.

The story below comes to us from Jonathan Dodson, who recently adapted a free eBook,”Four Reasons Not to Share Your Faith,” from his new book The Unbelievable Gospel (released 9/23/14).

Find this story and more in Dodson’s free eBook (PDF download), which you can download today at unbelievablegospel.com

It was a typical night at the Gingerman, a low-lit, wood-paneled, leather-chaired pub in the heart of the city. I often meet here with people to talk and enjoy their company. Dave and I were there on a cool, autumn evening. We passed the crowds of people, walking the length of the bar and heading outside to the open-air beer garden. There we found a perfect spot — remote and unoccupied in the midst of a maze of communal wooden tables. Dave…

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‘How’ Is the Gospel Good News to Those We Evangelize? Here Are 3 Compelling Reasons

Jeremy Bouma on 4 years ago. Tagged under ,,.


“Not what is the good news,” as Jonathan Dodson says in his new book The Unbelievable Gospel, “but how is our news good for others?” (13)

This is an important nuance, because we can be so good at rehearsing the information of the gospel, but often fail to relate the results of the gospel to the real lives of real people and their real existential plights.

Dodson goes on to ask, “How does the gospel transform the self-righteous do-gooder, the skeptical urbanite, the distant spouse, the successful professional, and the strung-out addict?” (13)

More pointedly, “What does the death and resurrection of a first-century Jewish messiah have to do with twenty-first-century people?” (13)

Dodson outlines three compelling ways the gospel is good news for our world.

But first things first: how does Dodson…

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What’s Wrong with Pressure Evangelism? Everything! — An Excerpt from Jonathan Dodson’s “The Unbelievable Gospel”

Jeremy Bouma on 4 years ago. Tagged under ,,.


After graduating college and before heading to Washington D.C. to start a new life, I worked for Cutco Cutlery.

Yes, I pressured people into buying a $1000 set of kitchen knives!

It was a miserable three months, yet it opened my eyes to an aspect of Christianity we’re often blind to: pressure evangelism.

In his new book The Unbelievable Gospel, Jonathan Dodson says my pressure sale experience is exactly how many people feel when we begin sharing our faith with them:

The pressure we feel to share the gospel doesn’t translate into the loving concern we may genuinely have for them. Instead, our compulsion bleeds through, coming across as a pressure sale, and people feel like a means to an end, a project. Even when what we say is true and we have good…

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4 Reasons Why People Don’t Evangelize: Impersonal, Preachy, Intolerant, Uninformed Witness

Jeremy Bouma on 4 years ago. Tagged under ,,.


Several years ago atheist Penn Jillette, of illusionist duo Penn and Teller, shared a sermonette with Christians about proselytizing:

If you believe that there is a heaven or hell, or that people could be going to hell, or not get eternal life, and you think it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward…how much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? How much do you have to hate somebody to believe that everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?

Did you catch how Jillette equated not sharing the gospel with hating someone?

And yet it’s no secret evangelism has fallen on hard times. It’s a bygone word that stirs up images of forced conversations and awkward door-to-door witnessing.

Jonathan Dodson aims to change this perception…

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Faith in a Resurrected Christ Rescues Us from Misplaced Faith — An Excerpt from “Raised? Finding Jesus by Doubting the Resurrection”

Jeremy Bouma on 5 years ago. Tagged under ,,.

9780310517351In a few days many of us will teach on the most monumental event in history: Christ's resurrection. As I prepare for this honor myself I have been referencing a new resource on the subject, Raised? Finding Jesus by Doubting the Resurrection.

Today we are excerpting from this book not only to provide you a personal reflection. We also want to help you help your people replace their misplaced faith with true faith.

The authors argue a resurrected Christ rescues us from misplaced faith in 3 ways:

  1. The resurrection implies his death, which forgives us for the cosmic crime of treasonous faith in other things.
  2. Jesus is the right place for our faith because he is “the resurrection and the life.”
  3. The resurrection tells us that Jesus can satisfy our God-sized desires in this life and the next.

May this excerpt bless you and your people as you prepare for and preach Christ's resurrection.

-Jeremy Bouma, Th.M. (@bouma)

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“Raised?” Will Help You Teach The Implications of the Resurrection This Easter

Jeremy Bouma on 5 years ago. Tagged under ,,.


Like most of you, at the start of Holy Week I am deep in reflection upon the most monumental event in history: the resurrection. 

I'm deep in reflection not only personally, but pastorally. And the reason why is this: I want to preach the resurrection well. Not for the sake of professionalism, but for the sake of my people.

On the one hand I want them to believe it. To believe that that the tomb really is empty. That Jesus actually did rise from the dead to new physical life.

On the other I have something more pastoral in mind: I want my people this Sunday to grasp the event's significance and implications.

I want them to drink deep the marrow of its life-changing power, for them and for our world. I want them to know that death doesn't have the final word in their story because it didn't have the final word in Jesus' story.

Yes I want them to believe the event itself, that Jesus physically lives. I also want them to live the event, to understand how the resurrection impacts life right now, as much as the next life.

A new book is helping me craft my sermon to do just that. It’s called Raised? Finding Jesus by Doubting the Resurrection. Its authors respect our doubts, though clearly challenge people to believe in and then live the resurrection. Right now it’s helping me outline three clear, compelling implications of the resurrection: give, celebrate, and serve.

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What Do We Gain From a Raised Christ? 6 Big, Clear Benefits Say Dodson and Watson

Jeremy Bouma on 5 years ago. Tagged under ,,.


An important new resource for our postmodern, post-Christian world released last week. It's called Raised? Finding Jesus by Doubting the Resurrection. In it authors Jonathan K. Dodson and Brad Watson give people the permission to doubt the central claim of the Christian faith: That Jesus was actually, physically raised from the dead.

One of the things I appreciate about this book is how its entirely resurrection-centric. Not heaven-centric or purpose-and-meaning-centric. The resurrection takes center stage as the two authors carefully, pastorally draw readers into Christ's new life.

Furthermore, I appreciate how careful they are not to replace one consumeristic need with another. They make it clear "it's important to see the hope is not gaining a resurrection body. While stunning, the new body isn't the final reward. Christ is the ultimate reward. Jesus is the resurrection and the life…" (emph. mine, 35)

A super-cool new zombie body doesn't replace a super-cool land in outer space—as if escape from death and decay replaces escape from hell. No what we gain is Christ and being found in Him, as Paul writes. Because Jesus lives we live, but in Him.

Ok, fine, but how does that work itself out practically, in our daily lives? What I love most about this book is how Dodson and Watson take great care to apply the deep theological truth that Jesus was raised. The authors suggest we receive 6 big, clear benefits, because Jesus lives.

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Jesus Has Patience For Doubting the Resurrection, So Should We — An Excerpt From “Raised?”

Jeremy Bouma on 5 years ago. Tagged under ,,.

9780310517351I find it increasingly challenging to minister in our post-Christian, postmodern world—a world that doubts institutional truth claims, like those from Christianity, at every turn.

Many doubt that in the beginning God created. The Red Sea's parting, Jericho's falling walls, and Jonah's big fish are roundly doubted. Others doubt Jesus' miracles, and the belief that He is the only way, truth, and life.

And then there's that bit about the resurrection. To the modern mind, the notion is utterly implausible. With such an incredible assertion at the heart of the Christian faith, should it come as a surprise that some people struggle to believe?

Jonathan Dodson and Brad Watson, authors of a new, fresh book on the resurrection, say it shouldn’t. And where our first impulse might be to implore people to get over their doubt and just believe, they say otherwise.

In Raised?: Finding Jesus by Doubting the Resurrection, Dodson and Watson say Jesus Himself has room for doubt, even invites it. They insist Thomas' experience is proof positive:

[Jesus] invites Thomas to place his hands on his tender crucifixion wounds, to feel the truth. This scene is palpably human and curiously divine. We can identify with Thomas’s response, but Jesus’ tender patience is superhuman…

In other words, Jesus has patience for doubt—even of His resurrection. And so should we.

Unlike any other book on the subject, Raised? grapples with the believability of the resurrection and encourages your people to doubt in order to believe. Dodson and Watson don’t shy away from the hard questions or settle for easy answers. They will help your people see how the resurrection changes everything, offering hope for the future and answers to the life and death questions we all have.

The excerpt below explains why Jesus allowed doubt, even embraced it. It also encourages you to do the same for the sake of reaching an increasingly doubting culture with the gospel.

-Jeremy Bouma, Th.M. (@bouma)

Check out the books website (www.raisedbook.com) for more information and resources to help your church and groups study the resurrection. Also, be sure to watch the video "Doubt," the first in a fourt-part documentary that's designed to be watched and discussed in small groups.

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