During the period 1513–1516, Luther was lecturing through Paul’s epistles and the Psalms and beginning to understand the gospel. Meanwhile, in Rome, Pope Leo X was continuing to build Saint Peter’s Cathedral, a project begun in 1506 by Pope Julius II. To help fund that work, a priest named Johann Tetzel was in Germany selling indulgences. For the right price, a person could buy an indulgence that would supposedly guarantee that the purchaser would go to heaven, skipping purgatory entirely. Optionally, the purchase could be used to release a presently tormented soul out of purgatory.
When Luther became aware of Tetzel’s practice, he was furious. One result of his outrage was his 95 Theses, which carry the formal title, “Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences.” Reading this document, it’s clear that Luther still believed in purgatory and found some value in indulgences. He was essentially respectful of the Pope and the authority of the Roman Church. He simply thought that Tetzel’s methods were trivializing the grace and forgiveness that a “proper” use of indulgences was supposed to produce. He saw Tetzel’s approach as the abuse of a valid doctrine by Rome for the sake of financial gain.
Just like the headline says, through Sunday these eight books are on sale for $1.99 at Amazon in the Kindle version. Of course, you can also get them here in paperback and all three ebook formats.[Tweet “8 Kindle books from @CruciformPress on sale through Sunday, $1.99 each”]
THE MOST ENCOURAGING BOOK ON HELL EVER, by Thor Ramsey
This week we’re featuring two popular titles on parenting.
Intentional Parenting: Family Discipleship by Design, by Dr. Tad Thompson, is an unusual parenting book because it focuses on strategy, not tactics and techniques. The book is designed to come alongside all the other books, sermons, teachings, and exhortations you have received on child training and leadership in the home, make sense of it all, and give you concrete ways to build family discipleship into daily life. Endorsed by Kevin Ezell (North American Missions Board), Joel Beeke (Puritan Reformed Theological Reformed Seminary), James Hamilton (Southern Baptist Theological Seminary), and others.
Christ in the Chaos: How the Gospel Changes Motherhood is by Kimm Crandall, with a Foreword by Elyse Fitzpatrick. This is a fantastic book for moms—especially mothers of young children. Kimm emphasizes the importance of the gospel and how Christ’s life, death, and resurrection change every aspect of motherhood. From finding your identity in Christ and understanding God’s grace, to taking off the mask of acceptability and dealing with the comparison crud, this book will free moms to serve their family knowing that God’s love does not change based on performance. Endorsed by Lauren Chandler, Gloria Furman, Scotty Smith, Trillia Newbell, Kendra Fletcher, and more.
Plus there’s the $20 store coupon. So go ahead…
Sorry, this drawing is closed. Try again next week!
[tweet “I just entered to win from @CruciformPress a $20 store coupon + 2 great books on #parenting.”]
Can you comment on the process of writing this book, particularly the range of emotions you undoubtedly experienced?
Recounting past losses in intimate detail, as I did in my book, is bound to stir up sorrow. Emotions that had been dormant for years in some cases were brought back to the surface as I sought to recall the specific circumstances and affects of each loss. This was something I fully expected and opened myself up to when I decided to move ahead with the project. However, there were two events during the writing of Inheritance of Tears that greatly shaped the book and me.
The first was my dear sister-in-law experiencing a miscarriage with her first baby. She was not the only woman I knew at the time who was called to walk through this type of loss, but her sorrow in particular had a huge impact on my writing, causing me to connect emotionally with the book in a new way. As I sat at my computer screen, seeking the Lord’s guidance on how to most effectively minister to women in such profound pain, I often imagined that it was she I was writing to, and in many ways it was. Knowing that someone so dear to me was fighting for joy in the midst of such a terrible providence gave me a burden to communicate to all my suffering sisters in Christ in a sensitive and loving manner.
The second event that impacted my emotional journey while I wrote this book was that I was pregnant during much of the process. Writing about miscarriage during a pregnancy is a bit like writing about an airplane crash while flying over the Atlantic. I suspect most pregnant women try to avoid any thoughts of miscarriage, but here I was writing a book about it.[tweet “”Writing the bookhelpedme rehearse key theological truths I needed.” @JessalynHutto #miscarriage”]
However, rather than being an added source of anxiety, writing Inheritance of Tears became a help to me in my pregnancy. It enabled me to rehearse key theological truths that my soul desperately needed in order to not give in to fear of the unknown.
Since writing the book, have you learned anything new about miscarriage and pregnancy loss from the women you have encountered?
I’m continually astonished by the sheer frequency of miscarriage. It is such a common affliction for women in their childbearing years, yet one that isn’t typically addressed or prepared for.
Another thing I’ve been blessed to observe is the Lord’s goodness to women who are called to walk through the trial of miscarriage. If a woman is willing to seek God in her suffering, he is always faithful to reveal himself to her in an extremely intimate way. Through the grace of God, these women emerge from their suffering with a certain beautifying soberness they previously may have lacked.[tweet “If a woman seeks God in her suffering, he will always reveal himself intimately. #miscarriage”]
This is partly because they’ve been awakened to the eternal reality of sin and death in a new way. But more than anything, these women have been forever altered by an unshakable longing for a world that is yet to come—a world where they will be comforted eternally by the Savior who cared for them so dearly while they suffered here on earth.
What did you think about the attention brought to this issue during last week’sPregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day?
I am very grateful there is a day set aside each year for raising awareness for pregnancy loss and infant loss. One of the most difficult aspects of losing a child in the womb—aside from the actual death of your baby—can be the feelings of isolation and invisibility that accompany your grief. No one else can feel the weight of what you have lost in the same way you can.
For a bereaved mother and father, the loss is real and tangible, but for those further removed it can be hard to understand the depth of grief. Having a day when these parents can speak openly and honestly about their losses provides a great opportunity for the rest of the world to see how painful miscarriage is and how often it occurs.
Because of the gospel, Christians have a special perspective on the tragedy of pregnancy loss and, for the same reason, a special perspective on abortion. It’s undoubtedly challenging for some of us to think about those two issues side-by-side, but how would you talk about the connections between the two?
I believe women who are willing to speak candidly about the trial of miscarriage play an important role in the fight against abortion. With each miscarriage story that is told, the lie that pre-born babies are somehow less than human is shown for the evil it is.[tweet “Women who are candid about #miscarriage play a vital role in the fight against #abortion.”]
Many of these women have held their babies in their hands after they’ve miscarried and marveled—through tears—at the creative work of God in the formation of their tiny frames. In a society that values personal experience, they can offer important firsthand testimony to the humanity of the unborn.
Now, am I saying that every woman who miscarries should seek to publicize her baby’s death for the sake of the pro-life movement? Not necessarily. What I am saying is that speaking openly about the death of an unborn child is, in itself, powerfully pro-life. To openly acknowledge and grieve a life that has been lost is to champion the humanity of that child.[tweet “Allow yourself to grieve, and allow others to know you are grieving. #miscarriage”]
I would encourage women to share their stories of miscarriage with their friends and family, and on social media. Don’t feel as though you must immediately remove your ultrasound pictures from your Facebook page when you find out you’ve miscarried—unless of course it is too painful for you to see them. Your child existed; he or she was your baby. You don’t have to go on as though nothing ever happened. Allow yourself to grieve, and allow others to know you are grieving. It will help you to heal, and at the same time honor the life of your baby.
It was October 1, 2010, 2:30 in the morning, and our original website was finally live and functional. Three hours later I got on a plane in Washington, DC to fly to Minneapolis for the 2010 Desiring God National Conference. Co-founder Bob Bevington and I were about to debut the company and our first two books. These were Sexual Detox (by our other co-founder, Tim Challies), and Wrestling with an Angel, by Greg Lucas, whom I “happened” to meet in the Minneapolis airport almost immediately upon landing.
The conference theme seemed perfect for launching a publishing company (not that we planned it that way). It was called Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God, and featured a truly remarkable group of speakers, including R.C. Sproul, Albert Mohler, Francis Chan, Randy Alcorn, Sam Storms, Kevin DeYoung, Thabiti Anyabwile, J.D. Greear, Justin Taylor, Rick Warren, and John Piper.
Bob had flown in from Ohio the night before. We met at the conference bookstore where our books, already in print, were waiting for us in boxes. We set up our table and tried to spread all two of the titles around to actually fill the table. Then the bookstore opened and the first rush began.
The next few days were, for me, a wonderfully sleep-deprived blur of encouraging conversations, great messages, new connections, and seemingly chance meetings with many friends and acquaintances. We left the conference excited, amazed by God’s grace, and grateful for his mercy, yet more aware than ever of all the work that lay ahead.
Now, 5 years later, we are still around! God has sustained us and is continuing to do so. This coming January, Lord willing, we will have 40 books in print. Bob and Tim and I are all still active with the company, this blog is just starting to get some long-overdue attention (from us, that is), and we are more encouraged than ever about the future.
Please stick around! Looks like the fun is just beginning.