The Newsletter of IBTM
with Douglas Jacoby
23 Oct 2023
Good evening from Bratislava!
After a great weekend in Czechia (also called the Czech Republic), I’m now taking a personal spiritual retreat in neighboring Slovakia. It’s an occasion not only to decompress, but also to think clearly, without distraction, to pray, and spend time in the Word. (It's also my 46th spiritual birthday.)
TELLING A BETTER STORY
I’ve just finished a terrific book of Christian evidences. It’s so good, I wish I’d written it myself. Probably the author’s approach to evidences is better suited to our modern world than my own (say, in my Compelling).
The book is Joshua Chatraw’s Telling a Better Story: How to Talk About God in a Skeptical Age (Zondervan, 2020).
Below I’ve copied a couple of snippets, to whet your appetite. If you decide to get the book, you can order HERE.
"The need of the hour is a mature apologetics that is historically informed and theologically rooted in the gospel itself. This will require not only knowing how to find reasons for our faith, but also knowing hope to stoke imaginations, model cruciform lives, and publicly confess both our own personal shortcomings and the failures of the church through history." ...
"Once viewed as a tool to win debates, apologetics is now becoming more focused on generating productive conversations that open doors for people to consider the gospel."
"The pursuit of individual freedom has meant losing true love. Consumerism has led to despair. And our pop psychology has removed neither our guilt nor our anger. And with the loss of a traditional understanding of sin, we've also lost the resources needed to truly forgive and find peace with one another. The cultural narratives that promised heaven on earth have instead led us to a very different place.”
If you’re like me, you had never heard of “Commonwealth Theology” until very recently—perhaps not until this very moment. One of the leaders in this movement, Douglas Hamp, had seen my little 2022 volume, Messianic Judaism, and asked if we could have a debate. Before nailing down a date, I thought it best to become familiar with my prospective opponent’s position.
I asked him what book he recommended, and he suggested Commonwealth Theology Essentials. I carefully read the entire book (544 pages). By the time I’d reached the halfway point, I knew this would not be a productive debate—too many convoluted notions to refute. Yet I also realized, with more and more Christians being influenced by Jewish-Christian currents of thought, someone might benefit from my analysis. I’ve done my best to summarize their teachings, and to be fair when I disagree. KEEP READING
From Michelle Wright, Director of Communications
As we head into the holiday season, we can sometimes bring stress, anxiety, and weariness to family and friends, so this chat will focus on receiving spiritual refreshment.
Vicki Jacoby, along with her husband, Douglas, are launching Fair Havens, a digital ministry that offers hope, refreshment and support for your spiritual journey in an innovative way you may have yet to encounter. We'll hear more about that during her interview with Julie.
So go ahead and mark your calendars, because it’s coming up next week, Saturday, October 28th. Click here to save your spot and register for your Zoom link. You can also sign up for a complimentary vision session today, getting a jump on the holidays and working towards giving yourself one of the best gifts ever… the gift of transformation.
— Michelle Wright
Dovidenia is good-bye in Slovakian. Tomorrow I head home (Bratislava to Prague to London to Manchester). Thanks for reading our newsletter. And for all your prayers.