Category Archives: Restoration Movement

The Quarterly has Arrived!

You probably remember a few months ago that we made the announcement of a new publication, called The Quarterly.  In fact, we even made the Preview Edition available as a free download.  Now, we want to share the news with you…

The first official issue of the Quarterly is now available!

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ARTICLES INCLUDE:

  • Editorial: An Important Note
  • Insights from Seasoned Ministers: Loren Gieger
  • Insights from Seasoned Ministers: Stafford North
  • Equipping (Jim Mitchell)
  • The Lost Sermons of H. Leo Boles (Kyle Frank)
  • Elders in the Old Testament (Richard Mansel)
  • I Can Do All Things Through Christ Which Strengtheneth Me (Roderick Ross)
  • Not Always Roaring… (Bill Howard)
  • Restoration Moments: The Conversion of Blue Dick (William Baxter)
  • Divine Peace (Jake Schotter)
  • The Parable of the Lighted Candle (Devin Self)
  • CHRISTIANS: Different Cultures, Different Races, Different Generations, Different People (Joseph T. McWhorter)
  • Biblical Biography: Barnabas (Bradley S. Cobb)
  • Quotes
  • What Ever Happened to Shepherding? (Jamie Beller)
  • Paul Darst: A Novel (Daniel R. Lucas)
  • Funny and Not-So-Funny Events in the Life of Elijah Martindale (Elijah Martindale and Bradley S. Cobb)
  • Poetry Corner (Deserae Cobb)
  • Sons and Daughters of Encouragement (Gerald Cowan)
  • Tabernacle Shadows (Mark McWhorter)
  • Preparing Yourself to Conduct Bible Studies (James Sims Sr.)
  • Hospitality Revisited (Perry Hall)
  • The Practical Atheist (Gantt Carter)
  • Book Review: Bobby Gayton’s My Thorn in the Flesh: A Vietnam Veteran Speaks about PTSD and the Bible (William Howard)
  • Bible Q&A: What was Paul’s “Thorn in the Flesh”? (Bradley S. Cobb)
  • Children’s Puzzle Page: WHO AM I? (Questions from the Book of Esther)

If you already subscribe, then look for your copy to arrive this week.  If you don’t already subscribe, but want to, you can do that here.  If you want just a single issue, you can get it on Amazon by clicking here.

Thanks for all your support and for reading what we have to write!  There will be more real articles coming soon!

-Bradley S. Cobb

Kill the Cat!

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The following anecdote is taken from Recollections of Men of Faith, by W.C. Rogers (soon to be in the Jimmie Beller Memorial eLibrary, as well as in print from Cobb Publishing).  This is from the chapter on B.F. Hall.  Enjoy!

One night he (B.F. Hall) was much disturbed in the beginning and during the delivery of his discourse. A white cat had noiselessly, and no doubt innocently, followed someone into the meeting-house, and just as the Doctor entered the pulpit he spied the unfortunate truant. Immediately, and with much ado, he ordered that the cat be thrust out from among the good people who had come together to hear him preach, alleging, with more or less emphasis, that he could not possibly preach if he even knew that a cat was in the house, although it might be hid; that he hated cats and dogs immensely. A dear brother snatched poor pussycat, and, notwithstanding it may have wanted a corner ever so much, he flung it out the door violently, and as a presumptuous intruder.

When the Doctor took his text and began speaking, he seemed to be unhinged — altogether or largely out of kilter. He appeared to be thinking of the cat, fearing that it might make its appearance while he was engaged in preaching. And, sure enough, he heard the fatal mew. Stopping suddenly, snapping his eyes in a peculiar manner, he remarked with indignation, “Brethren, I was afraid of this when I commenced preaching; here is this abominable cat again; the devil has sent it just to ruin my discourse; I cannot, I will not, preach another word until you have killed that infamous thing, or put it in durance (imprisonment) vile.” The cat was again waited upon by someone, and was this time handled so roughly that it returned not again during the evening services. But alas! The Doctor was not able to overcome his embarrassment, or recover himself sufficiently to do himself justice, or speak to the edification of his hearers. It was clear to all that it was an uphill business to speak throughout his entire discourse, and all on account of a cat.

 

The Judge Who Objected to Muddy Baptism

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The following story is recorded in Recollections of Men of Faith, by W.C. Rogers, in the chapter on John. T. Johnson.  This book will soon be available in the Jimmie Beller Memorial eLibrary, as well as in print from Cobb Publishing.  But we thought this section was well worth sharing, and we hope you do too.  Enjoy!

In company with Elder R.C. Ricketts, a prominent preacher in Kentucky, John T. Johnson visited Little Rock, Ark., for the purpose of proclaiming the Gospel in its primitive purity and power.

After the meeting had advanced a number of days, and quite a number of persons had become obedient to the faith, an incident occurred of more than ordinary interest, and which I feel ought to be preserved. Judge Johnson, of the city of Little Rock, a brother of the evangelist, a prominent politician, had been attending the meeting nightly with his wife, but neither belonged to any religious body. Like many others, Judge Johnson had never given the subject of Christianity very much thought; perhaps owing to the fact that he was constantly engaged in the affairs of this life, and had no time, as he supposed; it may have been that he knew not what to do, because of the many sad divisions in Christendom. Through courtesy or curiosity, he and his amiable wife had been attending church and listening to the preaching of John T. Johnson and R.C. Ricketts. But sometimes it turns out that those who attend religious services through curiosity become deeply concerned for their souls’ salvation. This was the case with the Judge and his wife at the time of which we are speaking, although, I presume, neither would have acknowledged it.

One morning after breakfast, seated in the parlor with his brother, John T., Elder Ricketts, and his wife, the Judge filed several formidable objections to the course pursued by the preachers in the meeting they were then conducting. Of course he did this, be it understood, in the most polite manner possible; still, with honesty, and desiring, no doubt, that a change be made in the management of the meeting. When offering his advice, the Judge supposed he understood himself perfectly — knew precisely what he would do under given circumstances. But it is difficult to know one’s self. It is certainly not an easy task to divine what the strongest minded persons would do under heavy pressure of circumstances. “The best of men are men at best.” It would be well to remember this in all of our wise forecastings. The preachers had baptized several persons in the Arkansas River, and now the Judge had come to the conclusion that this ought to be stopped. And why? Because the waters were too muddy in which to administer this divine ordinance. “If I should ever be baptized,” he continued, “it will “never occur in the Arkansas River. I will never go down into that muddy stream of water — never. I would prefer to go to a beautiful clear pool of water near the city, should I ever consent to be baptized. Besides, I seriously object to your administering the ordinance of baptism, while the lawyers, doctors, and the reckless ones about the city, are lining the banks of the river, and some are engaged in talking and laughing and making unbecoming remarks. This is certainly not in good taste — is certainly not in harmony with my views of propriety or good order, under such circumstances I could not consent to be baptized. I must have pure, clear water, and only a few friends.”

“Very well,” said Bro. Ricketts, “we will go with you and a few chosen friends to some clear pool and baptize you whenever you are willing to make the good confession — whenever you are prepared to submit to this command of Christ.”

The Judge replied: “Understand me, I am not saying that I ever intend to become a member of the church. I do not know that I will ever join any church. I am only telling you that I do not think it proper to baptize in the Arkansas River, and that I never could, under the circumstances, consent to be, as others have been. Again, should I ever join the church — and I may or may not — I trust to be able to control my feelings a little better than some who have come forward during this meeting and confessed faith in Christ. They have shown great weakness in weeping like children — at least it seems so to me. Should I ever be induced to go forward and confess Christ, I hope I shall have manliness enough about me to do so without shedding a tear.” “Come forward, Judge, in your own way; if you are a believing penitent, and fully prepared to obey the Gospel from the heart, in order to the enjoyment of all the blessings promised, we care not as to the manner,” rejoined Bro. Ricketts. The following remarks were offered by the Judge in closing: “You and my brother may suppose from what I have said that I purpose becoming a member of the church. I confess that I understand the teaching of Christ and the Apostles as I never did before. I see a fitness, beauty, and adaptation in the plan of redemption which has been hid from me heretofore. But I have not at all determined to join the church. I am fully persuaded that it is the duty of all persons to attach themselves to the church of Jesus Christ, but I am not prepared to say I am ready to do so now. I trust you will not look upon what I have said to you as meddling; pursue your own course. Still, I am convinced that there is far too much feeling manifested by those who confess Christ and obey him in your meeting, and that you ought, if in your power, to suppress it.”

Bro. Ricketts added that he thought there was no improper excitement in the meeting. There had been no shouting, no clapping of hands, no swooning or fainting. No unjust means had been used to compel persons to become the disciples of Christ. The Gospel had been presented in its fullness, so far as the speakers were enabled to offer it to the people. “This glorious Gospel is God’s power to save those who believe and obey it, and, mark you, there is no power like it in this world. All persons are not alike in their make-up. Some, in renouncing sin, weep bitterly; others show but little feeling. This is owing to the difference in the emotional nature. And there is no need in our attempting to regulate these things; they must take their course. But few persons know themselves.”

The following night the Judge and his wife came to church and sat a little nearer the pulpit than usual, the wife placing herself on the end of the bench and next the aisle; the Judge occupying a place near the center of the house and directly in front of the pulpit. At the conclusion of the discourse, and while the invitation song was being sung, the Judge’s wife stepped forward and gave her hand to Bro. Ricketts. She took her seat on the front bench preparatory to making the good confession. The Judge, seeing this, could bear up no longer; so, stepping right over the benches, forward he came, and, weeping as a child, seated himself beside his wife, the great tears rolling down his furrowed cheeks. Making the good confession with much feeling, he remarked in the hearing of many, “I am now ready to go down into the muddy waters of the Arkansas and be baptized in the presence of the lawyers, doctors, and all who may be inclined to witness my obedience to the faith.” How few know themselves.

 

The Preacher Who was Kicked out of the Church…

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Elijah Martindale, a pioneer preacher of the 1800s, was quite an interesting character.  If you read the free preview edition of the Quarterly (you can download it here), then you got to read some of the interesting things that happened in his life, including the fact that he was kicked out of the church that he was preaching for…

because he preached the truth on baptism and salvation.

There are a lot of interesting things that happened in this man’s life, and we only touched a few of them in the Quarterly.  But today, we are giving you a much fuller picture.

Today’s addition to the absolutely free Jimmie Beller Memorial eLibrary is The Autobiography and Sermons of Elijah Martindale.  Take a look at what you can read in this free eBook:

  • Chapter I.
    Birth and Early Training — Emigration to Ohio — To Indiana — Indian Troubles — Returning a Second Time to Our New Home — Religious Impressions.
  • Chapter II.
    Marriage — Deep Conviction for Sin — Christian Experience and Baptism — A Journey with William Stubbs — Uniting with the Newlight Church.
  • Chapter III.
    Ordained to the Ministry — First Sermon — Poverty and Persecution — Mourners Uncomforted — Preaching Near New Lisbon — Flattery.
  • Chapter IV.
    The Jerusalem Doctrine Calls Down Persecution — Voted Out of the New House — Some Things Lacking — Controversial Preaching — Ministers Exhorted to Faithfulness.
  • Chapter V.
    Preaching the Gospel — Desire for Union — Love for the Erring — Zeal of the Old Preachers
  • Chapter VI.
    Preaching Near Middletown.
  • Chapter VII.
    Preaching at Bentonville.
  • Chapter VIII.
    A Flourishing Church at Hillsboro.

Sermons and Articles

  • Chapter IX.
    On Family Training.
  • Chapter X.
    The Gospel Invitation.
  • Chapter XI.
    A Sermon on Supporting the War
  • Chapter XII.
    Sermon On Prayer.
  • Chapter XIII.
    Letter To Church Members.
  • Chapter XIV.
    Object And Form Of Local Churches.
  • Chapter XV.
    On Exhortation.
  • Chapter XVI.
    Parable Of The Ten Virgins.
  • Chapter XVII.
    Religion And Politics.
  • Chapter XVIII.
    Where Is The True Church Of Christ?.
  • Chapter XIX.
    Letter To My Brother John.
  • Chapter XX.
    Extract From Speech Delivered At An Old Settlers’  Meeting At New Castle, Ind.
  • Chapter XXI.
    Sermon delivered at the Christian Chapel, New Castle, April 13, 1873.
  • Song I Used To Hear My Father Sing.
  • A Brief Excerpt Of The History Of The Martindale Family In America.

I found this to be a very interesting read, and I think you will too.  It’s not that long–actually only 67 pages.

If you like the church, the truth, conflict, and history, you’ll get all of it in this book that we’ve proofread, reformatted, and made into a nice-looking eBook just for you!

Read it online, or download it for later reading by clicking the link below:

Autobiography and Sermons of Elder Elijah Martindale

-Bradley S. Cobb

Alexander Campbell’s Commentary on Acts

Back in the mid-1800s, Alexander Campbell received the ire of many religious bodies for having the audacity to produce a new translation of the New Testament (Because, they would say, God Himself inspired the translators of the King James’ Version).  In the first edition, he took most of the translation from various well-respected commentaries (George Campbell [no relation], MacKnight, and Doddridge) and edited it together in one volume.  In the second through fourth editions, he made several changes, seeking to have more uniform translating principles throughout.

It’s really interesting to note the background given above, because some years later, the Baptists organized a translation committee with some other religious groups (including the Disciples) called The American Bible Union.  And they recognized that Campbell was no slouch when it came to knowing the original language–so they chose him to translate Acts of Apostles.

As each book was translated for the A.B.U., it was published and distributed for comment, and it would then be revised prior to its inclusion into the finalized New Testament.

Alexander Campbell’s translation of Acts was published in a large size (8 1/2 x 11), with his commentary included–and was nearly 240 pages long.  This commentary is different from what you would expect.  It included the following features:

  • The King James’ Version text of Acts
  • The Greek original of Acts
  • His “Revised Version” of Acts
  • Translation notes on all three.

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Because of the sheer amount of Greek, and the amount of notes (see picture above), we have decided to add this book to the Jimmie Beller Memorial eLibrary as published, and not attempt (at this time) to do any updating to to it (as we have with all the other books in the library).  It would just be too overwhelming of a project for now, but we want to get this book out for as many people as possible to enjoy.

Now, pay attention here, because we’re giving you two options:

The higher quality scan, as seen in the image above, is too large for us to upload to our website (115 Meg), so you will have to download it from a special link (no worries).

The second option is black/white, and is 1/10 the size of the other one, and while it is easier to read, it has a LOT of underlining and notes in the margins (This was a scan we made from Jimmie’s personal copy).  Note the picture below is the same page as the picture above, from the other copy.

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To download the higher quality version, click the link below:

Alexander Campbell’s Acts of Apostles (HQ)

To download the B/W version (easier to read, other than the underlining and notes), click this link below.

Campbell, Alexander – Acts of the Apostles

The Man Behind “The Last Will and Testament of the Springfield Presbytery”

Most Restoration Movement enthusiasts and experts rank the “Last Will and Testament of the Springfield Presbytery” as perhaps the most important document in the effort to restore New Testament Christianity (or at least the second-most important).  The man who was behind this document is rarely mentioned, though.  His name is Richard McNemar.

Today’s addition to the Jimmie Beller Memorial eLibrary (yes, I know this is Monday, but we’re feeling generous, and I’m behind on my apostles notes) is the rest of the story.

McNemar Cover

 

We first published this book back in 2014, and if you want it in print, we’ll be happy to sell you a copy (just $5.99), but now you can read it for FREE on your computer or electronic device.

I’m sure you want to know something about it, so here’s a bit of information:

From the Preface:

Richard McNemar is an enigma to many students of the Restoration Movement. He shows up as a co-worker with Barton W. Stone, and his name is on one of the most historically significant documents of the Restoration. Yet he is not much more than a footnote in the history books. This primarily stems from his conversion to Shakerism in 1805. However, for those students who want to know more about him, and want to know what happened to him after the Last Will and Testament of the Springfield Presbytery, this book is for you.

This is a sad tale of a preacher who had great potential, but who was caught up in false doctrines.

The author of the book (J.P. MacLean) was a historian of the Shakers (publishing several Shaker-related books), and a Universalist minister from Ohio. Since much of McNemar’s work as a Shaker was in Ohio, it caught MacLean’s attention and influenced him to put together this work, originally published in 1905.

This work on the life of Richard McNemar has undergone several editorial changes in spelling, punctuation, and formatting.  Additionally, several footnotes have been added to explain various words and phrases that aren’t familiar to most readers.   There is also a new section added to the end of the book which gives a very brief overview of the history and beliefs of the Shakers.

We do trust, however, that you will find this work, A Sketch of the Life and Labors of Richard McNemar to be interesting, and that it will help you know “the rest of the story.”

Contents:

Preface.
Chapter One: Early Life.
Chapter Two: Charges of Heresy.
Chapter Three: The Kentucky Revival
Chapter Four: Conversion and New Order
Chapter Five: An Account of Labors and Suffering.
Chapter Six: Travels and Special Missions.
Chapter Seven: Literary and Other Industries.
Chapter Eight: Persecution, Expulsion, Triumph, and Death
Bibliography.
Appendix: A Brief Overview of the Shakers

Published by Cobb Publishing, 2014.

To read this book or download it for your PDF collection, just click the link below!

Richard McNemar

-Bradley S. Cobb

 

An interesting Restoration Movement Coincidence(?)

Abner Jones wasn’t the kind of man to toot his own horn, like his co-worker, Elias Smith, was.  True, he wrote his autobiography at the request of friends and co-workers in the kingdom who wanted a first-hand account of his efforts at restoration, but if you read it, he doesn’t make a big show out of himself.

Abner, for the most part, quietly went about his work of preaching and teaching and trying to help plant congregations and build them up.

Meanwhile, the denominational mindset that he hated so much had worked its way into the congregations that he had been laboring for. It started off innocently enough in 1808, with ministers from the New England area decided to get together for a meeting of sharing news and encouragement and fellowship.  Then they met again in 1815, and discussed whether it was scriptural to have a conference like that to discuss matters.  They decided, based on Acts 15, that it was, and so they made it an annual event.  After that, they began to elect officers to preside over the meetings.  Then they started making decisions for the whole group.  In 1824, this group, calling themselves the United States Christian Conference, decided to welcome any church, whether they practiced baptism or not, so long as they weren’t opposed to the practice.

As we saw in a post last week, this stance put them at odds with the Bible, and also with the disciples, Christians with whom Alexander Campbell was associated.  It is interesting that this resolution came at the first meeting after Campbell began writing and arguing heavily about the essentiality and mode of baptism.  Already there had been some congregations who had started uniting with the disciples, due in large part to the Scriptural stance they were taking.

It was in 1832 that Barton W. Stone, as a representative of the Christian Church (Christian Connexion) in the midwest, officially gave the right hand of fellowship to Raccoon John Smith, the representative of the disciples.

The portion of the Christian Church (Connexion) in New England wasn’t as thrilled by this measure, and there were some who wanted official resolutions against the disciples and this union that they did not agree to.  So, later that year, when they came together for the annual meeting of the United States Christian Conference, they  turned to Abner Jones, their elder statesman, to preside over it all.

And then something quite extraordinary happened.  Under Abner Jones’ leadership, a motion was made, seconded, and passed, “dissolving the United States Christian Conference forever.” (Herald of Gospel Liberty, June 16, 1910, pages 758-759).

It seems that Abner Jones knew that this body was primed to act in a very un-Christian way.  It also appears that Jones was ready and willing with work with the disciples as brethren in Christ, endorsing the union of forces.

To the outsider, the dissolution of this body, so soon after the union of the Christian Church (at least the part that followed Barton Stone) and the disciples, might appear to just be a coincidence.  But it wasn’t.

It is no coincidence that the dissolving of this body–the body who had, just eight years earlier, denied that baptism was essential for salvation–came immediately after the union of Stone and Campbell.  It is also no coincidence that it was eliminated as a decision-making body through the leadership of Abner Jones.  It is almost as though it was his way of retracting the horrible decision they made in 1824, and his desire to remove any obstacle to working together with the disciples.

Unfortunately, the elimination of the conference didn’t last long.  The next year, a prominent Christian Church (Connexion) preacher called for a conference, and the whole mess started up again.  On the funny side, they met again in 1834, and there was great confusion, because no one could agree on why they were there.  Some thought there was an official convention (like before), others thought it was just a meeting to discuss the publishing of books by members of the Christian Church.  It was agreed and resolved that the United States Christian Conference had dissolved, and so they must be there because of book publishing. (Herald of Gospel Liberty, June 23, 1910, page 790).

In 1838, Abner Jones presided over the meeting, and made it a point to stress that it was a meeting regarding the “General Book Association.”  Jones died before the next meeting (which was now being held every four years).  It wasn’t long before these meetings once again morphed into a decision-making body over the churches.

But in 1832, a wonderful thing took place; something that might, on the surface, seem like just a coincidence; yet was anything but.

-Bradley S. Cobb

(NOTE: Abner Jones’ autobiography is included in our book, Abner Jones: A Collection.)

How do You Want to be Remembered?

When your time on this earth is through, how do you want to be remembered?  Some people want to be thought of as having been a great financial success, others want to be remembered as being famous, and still others want to be remembered for some single achievement that they did.

There was a man who lived in Vermont over 200 years ago.  He was at one point a deacon in the Baptist Church.  But in 1806, he led that congregation out of denominationalism and taught them to simply be “Christians Only.”  That same year, after the Baptist Church officially dissolved, he helped form the “Christian Church,” and served as an elder there for over 25 years.

In the early 1800s, he was one of the primary men who tried to help unite different groups who were trying to restore New Testament Christianity.  He was present at the baptism of both Abner Jones and Elias Smith, and was well-respected by both.  He baptized nearly 100 people during 1808.  He was instrumental in training other men for the ministry.

It has taken me a significant amount of time in research and reading to find out much about this man.  He’s mentioned in passing in several biographies and autobiographies, but never is there much detail given about him.  He never wrote a book about himself.  He never sought the limelight.  Instead, he worked tirelessly as an elder and occasional preacher for a single congregation for nearly three decades.

Near the end of his life, he moved a few towns over and helped serve a congregation there.  He died in the service of His Lord.

He left behind a very simple legacy.  Those who pass by his tombstone will only see his name, date of his death, and then the words “Elder of the Christian Church.”

That is what Elias Cobb [no relation] wanted people to know about him.  What do you want people to know about you?

-Bradley Cobb

Demonology

Due to having a very full schedule, our posts have been less than regular, and for that I apologize.  But because of your patience, we’re going to give you a freebie.  And feel free to tell others about it too.

The issue of demons and evil spirits is prevalent once again in our culture, and people are asking questions like: what does the Bible say about demons?  Where did they come from?  Do they still work among men today like they did during the Bible times?  What are demons anyway?

Alexander Campbell took the time to give a lecture on this very topic, and it is quite interesting and informative.  I won’t give away his conclusion – then why would you read the lecture?

His lecture on Demonology is featured in the book Alexander Campbell: A Collection, (which is well worth getting, believe me), but since you’ve all been so patient with us, we’ve giving it to you for free today.

Click the link below to download it:

Campbell, Alexander – Demonology

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Alexander Campbell: A Collection (Volume 2)

We are proud to announce the latest book from Cobb Publishing is now available!

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While about half of the previous volume was about Campbell, with the other half being some of his writings, this volume is almost all him.  There is a very brief biography of Campbell to start off the collection, and then the spotlight shines on Campbell’s pen.

In this brand-new collection, you can read his famous “Sermon on the Law,” get his thoughts on instrumental music in the church, find out what he has to say about the Bible and capital punishment, and even see his own translation of the book of Acts.  This book contains over 300 pages of material for your enjoyment and edification.

We have spent well over 100 hours in selecting, proofreading, and formatting this book to give you the best possible reading experience.  We believe it was worth the effort, and after seeing it, we think you’ll agree!

Contents

  • Alexander Campbell: Matchless Defender of the Protestant Faith
    By W.L. Hayden
  • Sermon on the Law
  • Life and Death
  • Instrumental Music in Worship
  • Is Capital Punishment Sanctioned by Divine Authority?
  • Confession Unto Salvation
  • The Bible
  • God has Spoken to Man in the Bible
  • Principles of Interpretation
  • Musings on a Christmas Morning
  • Acts of the Apostles (translation)

This book is now available at Amazon.com in print ($9.49) or in Kindle format ($3.99), and if you use Amazon, feel free to go that route.  The direct link to it is here.

However, for the first week (that is, until next Monday), we will be offering a special price of $7.99 for the paperback, and $1.99 for the eBook!  Click here to order it from us directly.

And may your day be full of God’s blessings!