Foundations Review by Huw Williams

Foundations CoverAs Jesus makes clear in Matthew 7, we are all building our lives on something, the crucial question is whether or not we are building on the firm foundation of his words. There are some questions about the gospel which we simply shouldn’t assume we know the answers to; we do well to ask ourselves those questions and even better to take time to find the right answers in the Bible.

The tag-line for this book is “Four big questions we should be asking but typically don’t” and they are questions that are crucial for us all to visit and keep revisiting as followers of Christ – “Which god is God?”, “What is a human?”, “What is sin?” and “What is salvation?”and this excellent little book is a joy to read and re-read. What becomes clear (not least from Tim Chester’s helpful foreword) is that whether we have given much thought to these answers or not, all of us live our lives according to what we believe about them.

Weighing in at 93 fairly large-print pages (divided into six short chapters) this is a book that most of us will be able to read through cover to cover fairly quickly. Peter Mead’s approach is jargon-free, concise and crystal clear as he walks us through sermons from Acts in answering those four big questions.

And that is a wonderful thing about this book, it’s easy-to-read style contains wonderful, deep theology without the sore head. And as I turned the pages I found myself nodding and underlining paragraphs as I was reminded of the importance of each question and the wonderful answers gleaned from God’s word. The short reflection questions at the end of each chapter are excellent for personal devotional reading, or discussion with reading partners.

I enjoyed this book enormously, and became so convinced of its value that I bought a pile of new copies to give away to people in church here – all of whom tell me they found it very helpful. We’ve also worked through it as a devotional book for our IFES team times here in Italy and again, it has had a deep impact on the team and our ministry. I just asked Alison what she thought I should say in this review, and I think she has just given me my closing sentence – “A clear and concise overview of the gospel that will do any Christian good.”

Enough said.

(For original post click here)

Foundations in Paper-Flesh

IMG_1196September is here, and so are the first copies of Foundations! It has taken two years to move from initial idea to seeing this book in print. Christian Focus have done a great job. Now we are rapidly approaching the official release date in the UK, followed by the official release date in the USA.

Foundations is a little book that asks four big questions. If you’d like to order some copies (one for you, and some to give away – friends at church, contacts interested in finding out more about what you believe, etc.), then click here if you are in the UK or Europe, and here if you are in the USA or Canada.

Foundations Guest Series Introduction

Foundations Cover[This post is originally posted on BiblicalPreaching.net]

What do you do when you have one opportunity to communicate the life transforming message of the Bible? Where do you go biblically to address the key issues people really need to hear today?

I had one series of just four sermons and desperately wanted my hearers to hear the critical building blocks of belief. I could have gone to Ephesians or another epistle. I could have gone to the Gospels. I decided to go to Acts.

Preaching from Acts is an exciting challenge because you are entering into other peoples’ sermons as well as their situations. The first apostles were communicating the timeless gospel to the first hearers as the message spread. Perhaps what they preached then would be ideal for expressing the life transforming message today?  It is.

Foundations: Four Big Questions We Should Be Asking But Typically Don’t is forthcoming from Christian Focus Publications. It is a little book that I hope will pack a big punch. In Foundations we see how the Apostles addressed the very questions that we should be asking, but typically we don’t.

Acts contains messages preached under the glare of imminent threat, thus making every word count. Acts contains messages preached to staunch Jews ready to defend the honour of their heritage, a couple of purely pagan crowds who did not know Othniel from Oprah, some brand new believers in Christ, and every other possible combination of listeners. In Foundations we hear Paul addressing the sophisticated philosophers in Athens, over-zealous pagans in Turkey, and some of the judges brought in to put him on trial. We see how the apostles united when the gospel faced its first major attack, and how they made it so clear how the foundational questions must be answered by all.

Underneath our beliefs there is a foundation, and often it sits there unchallenged. The most important issues for life and eternity are regularly engaged in the Bible, but we often ignore this foundation. We too easily think it is all so obvious that we would be wasting our energy to linger longer than it takes to give a momentary tip of the hat to these issues.

Foundations is a fast read, but I hope it will help preachers and listeners, young believers and those established in the faith. It might even be used to clarify the wonder of the gospel to those who are still looking in from the outside. This guest post series is going to run over the next weeks to help mark the launch of Foundations.

Thanks to everyone who will contribute to this guest series. And thank you to everyone who helps spread the word about Foundations – by encouraging others to follow on Twitter (@4BigQs) or Facebook (Facebook.com/4BigQs), pointing people to FourBigQuestions.com, or buying several copies to pass on to friends and pastors so that in a small way, the great wonder of the Gospel can grip the hearts of as many as possible.

Sincerely, thank you.

Coming Soon – Guest Post Series!

Foundations CoverLast year I ran a guest post series on BiblicalPreaching.net to mark the launch of Pleased to Dwell.  There were some great posts from folks including Darrell Bock, Glen Scrivener, Dane Ortlund, Peter Comont, David Murray, Rick McKinley, John Hindley (click a name to see the post!)

Starting in the next few days I am going to run a guest post series to mark the launch of Foundations: Four Big Questions We Should Be Asking But Typically Don’t.  This book is based on the sermons and speeches in Acts, so it should be a helpful little read for preachers, but it is targeted much wider.  Maybe it will be a useful book in your church? Perhaps for a small group study, or as an encouraging giveaway, maybe for youth, maybe for your leadership team, maybe to folks on the fringe, perhaps even to some not-yet-believers who might be open to its message.

I am thankful to the friends who will be offering posts in this series and I hope it will be helpful for you.  I will continue to intersperse my own posts related to preaching during these weeks.

If you are able to help spread the word about Foundations, please do.  Momentum is building toward the launch and every social media comment encouraging others to follow, like, buy, etc. is appreciated.  Here is the Facebook page, here is the twitter link (@4BigQs) and the book’s own website is FourBigQuestions.com.  Thanks so much!

Can You Help Spread The Word?

Foundations CoverThe countdown has begun and Foundations will soon be released.  It is now available to pre-order in the UK and USA/Canada.  The website, twitter feed, and facebook page is live . . . and we need your help!

Please can you help spread the word?  Any follow, like, mention, excitement, encouragement to follow, etc., will be a huge help!  And once the book is released, kind reviews will be a big bonus too . . .

Website: FourBigQuestions.com

Twitter: @4BigQs

Facebook: facebook.com/4BigQs

Foreword Snippets from Tim Chester

TimChesterTim Chester kindly agreed to write the foreword to Foundations.  Here are a couple of snippets:

“Instead of speculating about who God is, Peter Mead invites us to begin with the claim that God has revealed himself in Jesus.”

“Christians believe our situation is helpless and hopeless. We’re enslaved by our selfish desires and estranged from God. But we also believe God himself has come to rescue us. So our confidence is not in our efforts or achievement. Our confidence is in God’s love. Our negative assessment of our problem leads to the most positive sense of joy and hope. Foundations is an invitation to explore that hope.”

“You may not be a Christian. And you may not like the answers proposed in this book. You may not be convinced. But it’s worth exploring. It’s worth giving it a go. You’ve got nothing to lose – except an hour or so of your time – and possibly everything to gain.”

“Or you may be a Christian. Perhaps you take the answers for granted. But Mead invites us to push beyond our assumptions and discover a deeper, richer reality. He suggests we start with the triune God. And if the answer to the god-question is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, then everything else changes.”

Coming Soon: Foundations

We had a great response to the survey asking for help with selecting the cover for the forthcoming book – thank you to everyone who commented or voted!  The weeks are starting to count down until the release of Foundations: Four Big Questions We Should Be Asking But Typically Don’t.  In the next weeks watch this space for confirmation of release date, cover, price, availability for pre-order, etc.

Meanwhile, here are some of the endorsements that have been kindly offered:

“Having the right answers is one thing but Peter Mead goes deeper – he explores the right questions – questions of God, humanity, sin and salvation. By turning to Scripture this book gives us a surprising, satisfying and compelling foundation for life.”

Glen Scrivener, author of 321 and evangelist, Speak Life.

“The book of Acts tells of God’s plan for us to have relationship in the context of his grace.  Foundations fills out this picture beautifully. Read and enjoy!”

Darrell Bock, Senior Research Professor of New Testament, Dallas Theological Seminary and author of Acts, Baker Exegetical Commentary

“Many people build their lives on a weak foundation of sand.  In Foundations, Peter Mead introduces you to the one concrete foundation poured deep enough to hold your life steady!”

Tony Reinke, Writer for Desiring God Ministries and author of Lit!

“Peter’s love of scripture, and his desire to see lives transformed bleed through the pages of this book. Explore the foundations of Christianity and engage anew the true story of a relationship between a human race whose sin is greater than we think, and a God whose grace is more amazing than we could imagine!”

Rick McKinley, Leader Pastor of Imago Dei Community, Portland, Oregon.

“A great little primer about the world, ourselves and – most importantly – God. This short, easy to read, helpful book will help you get to know Him better.”

Marcus Honeysett, Director of Living Leadership