Go Tell the Good News by John W. Storey (Central Baptist Church, Port Arthur)
Why read the history of someone else’s church? Congregational histories—particularly privately published books commissioned by a church’s centennial committee—tend to be written for an internal audience. Frequently characterized by long lists of who served on which committee and who donated funds for which stained-glass window, they sometimes gloss over episodes members would like to forget and paint a rosy picture of a seemingly perfect church.
Historian John Storey offers another approach. Storey, distinguished regents professor emeritus of history at Lamar University, presents a sympathetic but honest 100-year history of Central Baptist Church in Port Arthur. Drawing deeply from the minutes of church conferences and published church bulletins, as well as interviews and correspondence with former and current church members, he presents a well-rounded picture of one church’s high points and low points. He deals in a straightforward but not sensational way with controversy and failed initiatives by a church in numerical decline, but he also honors a church that has demonstrated an abiding desire to share the gospel and remain relevant in its community.
Storey offers a good model for others who write church history.
Ken Camp, managing editor
What Every Christian Ought to Know by Adrian Rogers & Steve Rogers (B&H Publishing)
What Every Christian Ought to Know: Solid Grounding for a Growing Faith originally was published in 2005, the year of Adrian Rogers’ death. It served as the curriculum for the new members’ class at Baptist Church in Memphis, Tenn., where Rogers had been pastor since 1972.
The book begins with the basics for new Christians, dealing with doctrines such as the Bible as the word of God, assurance of salvation, believer’s baptism and eternal security.
It also covers practical issues, such as what happens when a Christian sins and how to deal with temptation. Discerning the will of God, faith, spiritual gifts, prayer, understanding the Bible and all the other topics included in this book are explained biblically. Each simple scriptural explanation is written in a way that equips Christians to be able to defend their faith articulately.
Steve Rogers, president of the Adrian Rogers Pastor Training Institute, has added discussion questions for personal use or group study.
The final premise of this second edition of the book is simple: “It’s not how you start, but how you finish.” Or as the book states, “It’s not how much you know; it’s how much you grow.”
Skip Holman, minister of discipleship
Northeast Baptist Church