The Center for Christian Studies has now been in full operation for just over a year, and I could not be more grateful for the progress that has been made to build this ministry into an excellent resource for equipping churches and Christian leaders. I also note that it has been over six months since my last update. In short, we have been very busy over these last few months, and here are some highlights.
Journal of Christian Studies. The second and third issues of the Journal of Christian Studies were published in May and September. The May issue was on the theme of sexuality and marriage, and the September issue dealt with the topic of the art of dying. These back issues are for sale in our online shop. Order some for yourself and your church leaders.
And now that we’ve had some time to produce good content, these resources are starting to get some attention. About the May issue on sexuality, Mark Powell, dean of Harding School of Theology, recently wrote:
The Western world has lost its way when it comes to sex and marriage. This collection of articles presents a higher vision—rooted in God’s word and good creation rather than human experience and desires—that honors God and promotes authentic human flourishing. I highly recommend this thoughtful resource on pressing issues like sexuality, gender, and abortion.
This sentiment has been echoed by others. As one preacher recently told me, JCS is starting the conversations that churches and church leaders need to be having, and only JCS is providing this content on a scholarly yet accessible level.
Be sure and subscribe to get future issues of JCS in your mailbox. We will be printing and mailing out Volume II/1 very soon.
Video Learning Modules. We have recently released two new video series. One is on the Christian Ethics of Sexuality. We made these videos in response to so many requests we have had from thoughtful Christians who have a hard time finding reliable and thoughtful materials on this important and controversial topic. Well, here it is, a positive and biblical discussion of sexuality that can be used in churches.
The other recent release is on Stories of Courage in church history. Courage is a virtue that is in short supply these days, but Christians will need to cultivate it as we face more difficult days ahead.
Live Events. In September, we traveled to the Harding Lectureship, where Todd Hall and I each gave individual lectures. We also conducted a session on how to deepen the adult Bible class curriculum. Our lecture hall that seated 60 had standing room only for this session. The attendance alone was an indication of the desperate need many churches feel—especially smaller churches with limited resources—when it comes to providing quality instruction for their members. CCS is glad to be a part of the solution for these churches.
In October, I traveled to Oklahoma Christian University to speak at the Kerygma Conference. It was a good opportunity to see some old friends, connect with ministers in that circle, and introduce them to CCS and what we provide.
Other in-person events included the CCS – First Things Lecture, held in Austin on September 19. We had over 350 in attendance to hear Carl Trueman speak about “The Sentimental Death of a Culture.” We also hosted a Table Talk on October 1 on the topics of engaging pro-“LGBT” arguments.
New Curriculum Books. We recently announced the launch of our new book series, study companions to biblical books that are intended to be used in adult Bible class settings but are also useful for individual study. Four books will be published in 2023, and then dozens more to go. Like all the resources produced by CCS, these books are written by scholars who also minister and teach in congregational settings. These materials are therefore reliable and accessible.
McNicol – Weed Endowment. We were excited to officially launch the McNicol – Weed Endowment in support of CCS. This is a wonderful way to honor four godly individuals who have contributed so much to scholarship for the church and passing the faith on to the next generation, a legacy that CCS is proud to continue in our work. Our goal is to raise $200,000 for this Endowment by this coming March.
In supporting this ministry, you are supporting the educational and discipleship mission of churches in the U.S. and around the world. Please consider a tax-deductible donation to CCS. If you would like to give to the Endowment or to the general fund that supports our day-to-day operations, contact us, or simply click Give link on our site.
And keep watching your inbox for upcoming announcements about new books, new videos, and how to participate in a live class coming in January.