Spotlight: Martin Luther, influential Christian-

(Authors Note: Our book, both the paperback and the ebook, is available for purchase via www.truthbookpublishersstore.com  and  http://buy.christianbookstoday.org/ .  Thank you.)
Pastor Paul Nolting, contributing writer for our book, expresses his opinions on the man whom he researched:
What is the most inspirational part of Luther’s life, in your opinion?    “I believe that the most inspirational part of Luther’s life was his knowledge of and commitment to the Holy Scriptures as the Word of God.  That knowledge and  commitment are things, unfortunately, shared by fewer and fewer Christians today.  Luther approached the Scriptures as the revelation of God’s truth.  They served as an anchor to his life, the nourisher of his soul, and the source of his great confidence.  Luther knew the Holy Scriptures well, wrote about them extensively, and dedicated his life to furthering their impact upon society.”

Do you think most Christians would benefit in a practical or spiritual way from knowing more about Luther?   “More knowledge of Martin Luther—his life and his writing would benefit people in many spiritual and practical ways.  He wrote for the common man and applied the truths of Scripture in practical ways.  His emphasis on the forgiveness of sins, received by faith alone through the grace of God alone is a great comfort to those troubled by sin and by failure.  His emphasis upon using personal gifts and talents to the glory of God in any and every vocation has widespread implications for every human being.”

More info on Pastor Nolting can be found at  http://www.immanuelmankato.org/staff/

Thank you, and God Bless.

SPOTLIGHT: John Wycliffe, influential Christian

(Authors Note: Our book, both the paperback and the ebook, is available for purchase via www.truthbookpublishersstore.com  and  http://buy.christianbookstoday.org/ .  Thank you.)
Pastor Nathanael Mayhew, contributing writer for our book, expresses his opinions on the man whom he researched:
What did you learn about Wycliffe that you had no idea about prior to the project?
When I initially filled out the survey I put Wycliffe at  number three.  I knew that he was influential in translating the Bible into English – an undertaking which we often take for granted.  What I didn’t realize was just how much of an influence he played in planting the seeds for the reformaiton          movement that would follow.  Wycliffe’s work was passed on to John Hus and ultimately to Martin Luther, as well as many others.  I had no idea that the doctrines which were questioned by the Reformers of the 1500’s were first questioned by Wycliffe two hundred years before.  If I were to fill out that same survey today, I would put Wycliffe in the number one spot.  He has had an incalculable influence on Christian history, and most people don’t even know how.
Does your impression of the person change at all, after your research and writing?  There is no doubt that my impression of Wycliffe changed as a result of what I learned.  While I always considered him the “Father of the English Bible” I see him now as the “Father of the Reformation.”  What I learned that struck me most was that          the themes of the Reformation (papal power, the authority of the Word of God, the abuse of church authority, the priesthood of all believers) were proclaimed first by Wycliffe in England.  It was also amazing to see God’s hand at work in protecting Wycliffe from the church by the English govenment at a very unique time in European history.
How did your own Faith walk change or become enhanced due to this writing project?
I am a student of history, and this study opened my eyes to see the Reformation in a much wider scope.  It helped me to understand the importance of standing up for the truth no matter what power may oppose you.  Jesus tells us to take up our cross and follow him.  When we oppose the world or even the church in order to remain faithful to God and His Word, we are doing what we have been called to do, and we can be sure that God will be with us – whether we give our life for that truth or whether he preserves us and uses our voice as a call to arms for others who will follow.
What is the most inspirational part of Wycliffe’s life,in your opinion?
His dedication to producing an English Bible when only a few people supported him is a testament to God’s grace.  He was also a vigorous student of God’s Word, and his study led him to faithfully uphold and proclaim what he had come to know.  We should all be such a student of God’s Word, and pray that God would grant us the courage to stand faithfully upon it!
Do you think most Christians would benefit in a practical or spiritual way from knowing more about Wycliffe?
I believe any Christian can benefit from learning about the life and work of John Wycliffe.  When I finished my biography on Wycliffe I gave it to my two teen-aged children to read.  Both were impressed by different aspects of Wycliffe’s life and dedication.  His life was broad and deep and it can and  will affect different people in various ways.  But the lessons to be learned are great and dynamic for each of us.  I don’t  think anyone will come away from learning about the “Morning Star of the Reformation” the same as they were before.
More information on Pastor Mayhew found at http://www.clclutheran.org/atlanta/
Thank you,
Ken L.

“Top 10 Christians” in a bookstore near You (coming soon) –

Abby and I are glad to announce that our book is now being offered/ sold via the following fine Christian bookstores:

CLC Book House
Phone: 715-836-6623 Top Ten Most Influential Christians will be arriving at the CLC Book House the weekend of May 18, 2012. The book won’t be listed online yet at that date, but can be purchased at the Book House on the campus of Immanuel Lutheran College at:  501 Grover Road, Eau Claire, Wisconsin.  College Website:  http://ilc.edu/
Bethany Lutheran College Bookstore
Bookstore Website:  http://bookstore.blc.edu/ Top Ten Most Influential Christians is not listed online yet, but can be purchased at the campus bookstore at: 700 Luther Drive, Mankato, Minnesota.  College Website:  http://www.blc.edu/
Together in His Name Christian Bookstore
North Hampton, NH     For more info and location, please visit  http://www.togetherinhisname.com/home.asp
We are actively working towards partnering with more bookstores (Christian and otherwise) throughout the regions.  Thanks to these first few stores- for their support!

FREE Powerpoint Presentation available- Great Learning Tool !

(Authors Note: Our book, both the paperback and the ebook, is available for purchase via www.truthbookpublishersstore.com  and  http://buy.christianbookstoday.org/ .  Thank you.)

For anyone who emails me (at  kql314@yahoo.com)  AND who “Follows” this Blog, I will email to them a brand new cursory presentation of the book and topic, asking “Who are the most influential Christians of all time?”.

The Powerpoint is approximately 18 slides and makes a great intro tool to discuss these key Christian figures.  Perfect for high school or college classes/ groups, and any adult group (bible study, mens group, womens group, etc).   (Purchasing the book is not required in order to receive this Presentation)

We hope this presentation will allow people to learn, and be intrigued regarding the history of their own Faith.  Thanks, and God Bless,

Ken L.

 

Great radio program (archive) with Active Christian Media –

(Authors Note: Our book, both the paperback and the ebook, is now available for purchase via www.truthbookpublishersstore.com  and  http://buy.christianbookstoday.org/ .  Thank you.)

Check out the following link for an excellent 30 minute radio interview with Pastor Fred DeRuvo, Th.D.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/acmedia/2012/04/17/study-grow-know–top-10-christians-and-revelation

Dr. Fred is a prolific Christian author, and we were glad to be back speaking on-air with him, a second time, about the most influential Christians of all time.

For regular columns on church history-

Co-author Ken Lambert is now a contributing columnist for www.taberstruths.com –  the “fastest growing Christian website” currently.  The news and commentary site is run by Pastor Duke Taber, and has just been named Christian Blog of the Month, by christianpost.com.  Ken will be writing about church history, and weaving those storylines into today’s Christian walk.

4 New Book Reviews…

(Authors Note: Our book, both the paperback and the ebook, is now available for purchase via www.truthbookpublishersstore.com  and  http://buy.christianbookstoday.org/ .  Thank you.)

We are proud to add the following comments about our book to other recent entries:

“Despite personal opinions one might have about certain theological beliefs as well as the various denominations some may be associated within, I felt this book did a good job of not sounding bias and I think this is a very positive quality. The only thing I wish this book was better about is simply for it to have been a bit longer so I could have learned even more. :)  Based on what I’ve read, I cannot help but believe Top Ten Most Influential Christians is a good, introductory look at various figures within Christian history; especially for those who are beginners.

TCP Book Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.”  – Ben Umnus (host of radio program ‘The Christian Perspective’)

“From heroes to heretics, Ken Lambert and Abby Matzke’s “Top Ten    Most Influential Christians Since the Apostles” lives up to its goal    of answering the question: “Which self-professed Christians have had    the most influence on today’s Christianity? And what happened in    their lives that may have earned them this honor?”  In a clear,    down-to-earth fashion, Lambert and Matzke attempt to make sense of    the messy business that is Church history by sharing the stories of    those who have left a lasting impact upon the face of Christianity.          Designed to serve as a basic introduction to Church history,    the authors have done a phenomenal job of presenting a fair,    balanced picture of Christianity’s legendary figures, leaving    individual readers to draw their own conclusions about the theology    which they espoused.  As such, the book sometimes leaves us with    more questions than answers.  Readers are encouraged to examine    their faith from new angles and ask sometimes difficult questions    about their own beliefs.         I found the book to be a delightful read and can easily    recommend it to anyone who is interested in Church history, but    isn’t entirely certain where to begin.  The book is available for    $9.95 in print edition at http://www.truthbookpublishersstore.com/product_details.php?productid=85&catid=22    and $4.95 in electronic edition at http://www.truthbookpublishersstore.com/product_details.php?productid=81&catid=37     To view excerpts and further reviews, please visit: https://toptenchristians.wordpress.com/ ” – Anna Green (2012 Th.D Candidate, Lighthouse Theological Institute)

“I was pleasantly surprised by what an easy read this was. Not one to love history or the boring details of things and lives, this was well done. It is easy to follow and you all certainly did achieve your goal of not being judgmental of the individuals but only reported on their actions and the resulting influences.  I will certainly encourage a variety of people to read it. This is a great way to get an overview of the history of the people of the church.

This book will undoubtedly become a standard possession for seminary students and pastors as the years go by. It is a blessing to have references to church history and characters without the usual judgments inserted. In an age where public opinion (pooled ignorance) seems to rule the day, this work reports and the reader decides. Well done!”    – Rev. Dr. Paul C. Hunsicker, Sr.

“Ken Lambert and Abby Matzke’s “Top Ten Christians” covers the vast terrain of Christian History in a slim 136 page volume. Admittedly, this was no easy task.

Surveys were sent to “some of today’s Christian thinkers,” writers, preachers, teachers and theologians from various denominations across American. According to Abby: “Those that made the list are not the “best” Christian, they are simply those people viewed as having a greater influence.”

Each chapter is written by a different author and provides an interesting quote, the subject’s main contemporaries, chief mentor(s), and bio.

Among those included are the expected, the unexpected and one still living. The list is dominated by men like the very prolific St Augustine whose influence is still widely acknowledged. Christians of all denominations should welcome this one. Even people who don’t care a whit about religion will find this collection interesting. 

A handy reference addition.” – Patricia Punt (Owner, The Writing Company)