Meet the Real Jesus
By John Blanchard
Evangelical Press, 2001
Paperback, 218 pages
Beginning by establishing the veracity of the Bible and the historic reality of a man named Jesus, John Blanchard moves on to consider the claims of Jesus to be the Messiah. Old Testament prophecies are examined; the possibility of the virgin birth deliberated; Christ's death on the cross and his resurrection investigated. In the final chapter the verdict is given, showing Jesus as the Son of God, the Messiah.
The express purpose of the book is evangelistic. The reader is given historical and Biblical information by which to understand the nature of Christ as the Messiah and also presented with the gospel in a very winsome way. Alternate theories of who Jesus was are looked at and tested as to their claims. That being said this book will also be a welcome read for Christians who will appreciate the study of who Jesus is, and who will be strengthened in their faith by seeing the facts laid out in such a convincing way.
The Big Picture for Small Churches (and Large Ones Too!): How to Thrive and Survive as a Small Congregation
by John Benton
Evangelical Press, 2005
Paperback, 208 pages
Using the definition of a small church as being one with fewer than 50 or 60 people, John Benton writes to encourage those perhaps feeling discouraged by their small numbers. Drawing from his own experience as a pastor of a small church in a town, in England, where there were also several quite large churches, he is able to pinpoint problems and offer focus and hope. Benton begins directly with a look at Satan's tactics for keeping a small church discouraged, and moving on to how love for God, each other and sinners and the truth can revitalize a small congregation. Objectives are presented for which the the membership can strive in such matters as being welcoming, teaching and prayer. These are followed by a chapter on fighting discouragement and a chapter on the heavenly resources available. A final chapter looks at the letter to the church at Philadelphia in Revelation, a small church as well, and draws out the encouragement found there. Some notes on sermon preparation are contained in the appendix.