Author Interview with David Peterson

Since tomor­row is Good Fri­day and P&R will not be open, I am post­ing this week’s author inter­view, today. This week we get to learn a lit­tle more about David G. Peter­son, author of Encoun­ter­ing God Together.

  • Ques­tion #1 — Tell us a lit­tle bit about yourself.

I am an Aus­tralian pas­tor and the­olo­gian, who has spent most of his life train­ing oth­ers for min­istry, first at Moore Col­lege in Syd­ney and then at Oak Hill Col­lege in Lon­don. I am now an emer­i­tus fac­ulty mem­ber at Moore Col­lege, teach­ing a cou­ple of hours each week. I am also engaged in run­ning a preach­ing course and in writ­ing books. I have been mar­ried for over 40 years and have three adult sons and four grandchildren.


  • Ques­tion #2 - What inspired you to write Encoun­ter­ing God Together?

I have always been inter­ested in explor­ing bib­li­cal teach­ing about wor­ship and think­ing about the most help­ful ways to pre­pare and lead church ser­vices. I wrote a bib­li­cal the­ol­ogy of wor­ship called Engag­ing with God, which was pub­lished in 1992 and has been much used in sem­i­nar­ies for courses on the sub­ject. Many peo­ple have urged me to apply this teach­ing more specif­i­cally to con­gre­ga­tional gath­er­ings and to write at a more pop­u­lar level on wor­ship. So my lat­est book is the result and I hope it meets the need that has been expressed.


  • Ques­tion #3 — What book(s) are you read­ing now?

Recently, I was asked to write a com­men­tary on Paul’s Let­ter to the Romans and so this is occu­py­ing most of my spare time. I enjoy read­ing com­men­taries that oth­ers have writ­ten, but also books on some of the key issues in Romans such as jus­ti­fi­ca­tion by faith. Most of all, I enjoy read­ing Romans in the Greek text, pour­ing over the words and try­ing to eval­u­ate exactly what Paul has written.


  • Ques­tion #4 — What advice would you give to aspir­ing writers?

Start in a small way by writ­ing arti­cles or short pieces on your area of inter­est. Be sure about your tar­get audi­ence and write with them in mind. If pos­si­ble, try to teach what you are writ­ing to a group rep­re­sen­ta­tive of your tar­get audi­ence, to get feed­back and dis­cover how well you are com­mu­ni­cat­ing. Show what you have writ­ten to experts you trust and invite com­ments and crit­i­cism. Don’t be hurt if the crit­i­cisms mean chang­ing what you have writ­ten quite radically!


If you would like to learn more about David Peterson,

visit his web­site:


New Resources for Teens and Young Adults

1. The Story: The Bible’s Grand Nar­ra­tive of Redemption, One Year Daily Devo­tional for Stu­dents writ­ten by Jon Niel­son

384 Pages | $14.99 | Paperback

Sum­mary: This year­long, daily study of God’s Word guides stu­dents through five acts of his grand story of redemp­tion. Daily Scrip­ture and devo­tional read­ings will equip stu­dents to under­stand the unity and devel­op­ment of God’s story and to grow in their per­sonal dis­ci­pline of Bible study and prayer.


2. Chris­tian­ity and World Reli­gions: An Intro­duc­tion to the World’s Major Faiths writ­ten by Derek Cooper

240 Pages | $19.99 | Paper­back | Text­book Lay­out with Color Illustrations


Sum­mary: Derek Cooper exam­ines the rival world­views found in Hin­duism, Bud­dhism, Con­fu­cian­ism and Tao­ism, Judaism, Islam, and irre­li­gion. He engages these world­views from a Chris­t­ian per­spec­tive, first by show­ing how the bib­li­cal authors engaged other reli­gions and then by sur­vey­ing the way Chris­t­ian the­olo­gians have done so. Each chap­ter con­tains six parts: (i) a cre­ation story, (ii) the religion’s his­tor­i­cal ori­gin, (iii) its beliefs, (iv) reli­gious writ­ings, (v) wor­ship prac­tices, (vi) as well as Chris­t­ian reflec­tions on the reli­gion. For those who would like to read more, the appen­dix includes lists of help­ful pri­mary and sec­ondary books.


3. Bible Study: A Student’s Guide writ­ten by Jon Niel­son

224 Pages | $12.99 | Paperback


Sum­mary: Have you ever been to a “Bible study” that didn’t have much “Bible” or “study” at all? With­out a proper under­stand­ing of how to do it, stu­dents can be dis­ap­pointed or scared away from study­ing the Bible. So what is Bible study—and can it work for high schoolers?

No stranger to teach­ing the Bible to teenagers, Jon Niel­son con­firms that real, mean­ing­ful Bible study is not only pos­si­ble for stu­dents, but impor­tant. He takes stu­dents seri­ously and expects them to take their faith seri­ously. Unpack­ing five truths about the Bible—that it is God speak­ing, is pow­er­ful, is under­stand­able, is lit­er­ary, and is one story—he demon­strates how the Bible should be stud­ied and how teenagers them­selves can lead that study.


4. The Hud­dle: Becom­ing A Cham­pion for Life writ­ten by Shawn Brower

224 Pages | $14.99 | Paperback


Sum­mary: Noth­ing can moti­vate, chal­lenge, and inspire a team to great­ness more than team­mates who are fully ded­i­cated to each other. But this rela­tion­ship doesn’t hap­pen on its own. Shawn Brower calls on his 20 years of high school and club coach­ing expe­ri­ence to demon­strate the secrets to train­ing and build­ing bet­ter per­for­mance as a team. In this guide­book, teams will find:

  • True accounts and quotes from famous Chris­t­ian athletes
  • Per­sonal eval­u­a­tion ques­tions to help play­ers focus on both their indi­vid­ual and team performance
  • Scrip­ture quo­ta­tions that have inspired real athletes
  • Exam­ples from a wide vari­ety of sports, apply­ing the lessons to any team

Learn from Coach Brower how to develop the dis­ci­pline you will need to suc­ceed both as an ath­lete and in the rest of life.


5. The Doc­trines of Grace: Stu­dent Edi­tion writ­ten by Shane Lems

144 Pages | $10.99 | Paperback


Sum­mary: A guide for young teens explain­ing in twelve lessons the bib­li­cal and his­tor­i­cal basis of TULIP (Total deprav­ity, Uncon­di­tional elec­tion, Lim­ited atone­ment, Irre­sistible grace, Per­se­ver­ance of the saints). Includes appli­ca­tion, dis­cus­sion ques­tions, and class resources.


6. We Became Men: The Jour­ney into Man­hood writ­ten by Shawn Brower

240 Pages | $14.99 | Paperback


Sum­mary: Life is a jour­ney — a jour­ney of adven­ture, dis­cov­ery, risk, and rev­e­la­tion. Yet, if you are like most young men, you have never been invited to set out on this jour­ney — have never been guided to dis­cover who you are, what you should pur­sue, and who you can become.

This book is the invi­ta­tion you have been wait­ing for: a guide that affirms and val­i­dates young men and empow­ers them to pur­sue man­hood from a bib­li­cal per­spec­tive. It will give you clear vision and direc­tion for your life in vital, life-changing areas such as per­for­mance, temp­ta­tions, rela­tion­ships, idols, bore­dom with life, and much more. Take on the chal­lenge to be a coura­geous man of action and feel more free and alive than you have ever imagined.



The Dark Har­vest Tril­ogy writ­ten by Jere­miah W. Montgomery

1. The Dark Faith: Book One

368 Pages | $14.99 | Paperback


Sum­mary: An epic strug­gle against evil com­mences as Moru­mus, a devout monk, seeks to unearth the truth of the Dark Faith. But while he seeks a weapon against it, dark cur­rents drag him toward a dan­ger­ous conspiracy . . .

2. The Scar­let Bishop: Book Two

304 Pages | $14.99 | Paperback


Sum­mary: War looms as Moru­mus and Oethur, nar­rowly escap­ing the Red Order, seek Urien’s help to deci­pher the secret of the ancient Bone Codex. All the while the Dark Faith’s shadow con­tin­ues to spread . . .


3. The Three­fold Cord: Book Three

To be released July 2014...



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P&R Author Interviews with Kevin Boling on His Radio Program: Knowing the Truth

Know­ing The Truth” with Pas­tor Kevin Bol­ing is a live, call-in radio pro­gram pro­vid­ing Doc­tri­nal Dia­log, Cul­tural Com­men­tary and Insight­ful Inter­views with some of today’s fore­most Chris­t­ian authors and leaders.

Here are the links to some of his P&R author interviews.

Bar­bara Duguid (Extrav­a­gant Grace: God’s Glory Dis­played in Our Weak­ness)

Lis­ten here:

Matthew Bar­rett (Sal­va­tion by Grace: The Case for Effec­tual Call­ing and Regen­er­a­tion)

Lis­ten here:

Wayne Mack (God’s Solu­tions to Life’s Prob­lems: Rad­i­cal Change by the Power of God)

Lis­ten here:

Christo­pher Ash (Dis­cov­er­ing the Joy of a Clear Con­science)

Lis­ten here:

Anthony Sel­vag­gio (From Bondage to Lib­erty: The Gospel Accord­ing to Moses)

Lis­ten here:

Paul Yuelett (Jesus and His Ene­mies)

Lis­ten here:

Mark Jones (Antin­o­mi­an­ism: Reformed Theology’s Unwel­come Guest?)

Lis­ten here:


Fol­low “Know­ing the Truth” on Twit­ter: @KnowingTheTruth


Author Interview with Joseph W. Smith III

This week’s author inter­view is with Joseph W. Smith III, author of Sex and Vio­lence in the Bible: A Sur­vey of Explicit Con­tent in the Holy Book.

  • Ques­tion #1 — When did you first want to write a book?

I wrote my first book when I was 12 — a pro­fusely illus­trated sci-fi opus called Project Jupiter. (Still have this bedrag­gled ms.!)  This life­long dream then went on hold for var­i­ous rea­sons in my 20s, and only when I was near­ing 50 did I real­ize it was time to make the dream come true — even if I had to self-publish.  Thankfully, the good folks at McFar­land took a chance on a first-time author and released my book-length study of Hitchcock’s Psy­cho in 2009. Five years later, P&R was will­ing to take another chance with Sex and Vio­lence in the Bible; since I’m now work­ing on a third book, per­haps that 42-year-old dream has been real­ized at long last.

  • Ques­tion #2 — What inspired you to write this book, about this topic?

Nearly every­one is inter­ested in sex and vio­lence — yes, even Christians!  But we don’t talk about them much in church, do we?  Ever hear a ser­mon on Gen­e­sis 38, Judges 19, Song of Solomon 5–7 or Ezekiel 23:20?  No?  I didn’t think so!  Fortunately, the Bible has no such pub­lic reticence.  I was anx­ious to unpack these pas­sages that we so rarely study, and also to see exactly how the Bible treats graphic mate­r­ial — how much is “too much”? — and thus help Chris­tians learn where to draw the line when inter­act­ing with mod­ern culture.

  • Ques­tion #3 — What book are you read­ing now?

Ban­shee by Mar­garet Mil­lar (crime thriller); and P&R’s Recov­er­ing Eden by Zack Eswine.(“One book at a time is not enough.”)

  • Ques­tion #4 — Other than the Bible, do you have a favorite book?

If you put me on a desert island with the Bible, Dickens’s A Christ­mas Carol and Wells’s War of the Worlds, I could keep myself enter­tained for a pretty long time.

  • Ques­tion #5 — Do you have a favorite author? Who is it and why?

With a mix­ture of grat­i­tude and embar­rass­ment I admit that my favorite author is still Ian Flem­ing; I fell in love with his books as a teen and I still rel­ish them.  Also Nevil Shute, P. G. Wode­house, Robb White, H. G. Wells, Dawn Pow­ell & Patri­cia Highsmith.  As you can tell, though I write non­fic­tion, I really love novels.

  • Ques­tion #6 — Do you have a favorite movie? What is it and why?

Hitchcock’s Ver­tigo (1958) is the great­est movie ever made.  Music, act­ing, pho­tog­ra­phy, sto­ry­line — and that mes­sage, about the dam­age done (esp. to women) by roman­tic obses­sion! So far ahead of its time!  If only Hitch — who was hurt by the ini­tial luke­warm recep­tion — could be around to see how beloved this film has become.

  • Ques­tion #7 — Do you have a favorite quote? What is it and why?

Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” — Ben Franklin

  • Ques­tion #8 — At what time of day do you write most?

Like most writ­ers, I think most clearly and sharply in the morning.  8 — noon­ish (or 1) is good; and then out­doors, please!

  • Ques­tion #9 — What has been the tough­est crit­i­cism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

My first book con­tains a glar­ing error about Beethoven’s Third (which I bone-headedly called the Ninth) that has been brought rather painfully to my atten­tion by sev­eral readers.  Ouch.

When Leland Ryken — whose Lib­er­ated Imag­i­na­tion so influ­enced me — said my book was “a work of painstak­ing research and schol­ar­ship,” I was float­ing for days.

  • Ques­tion #10 — Favorite sport to watch? Why? Favorite sport’s team?

Grew up in Buf­falo; huge Bills fan.  Builds character!

  • Ques­tion #11 — Favorite food?

South of the bor­der!  With hot sauce, please.

  • Ques­tion #12 — Favorite ani­mal? Why?

Otters.  Why?  I wish I was one!

  • Ques­tion #13 — What famous per­son (liv­ing or dead) would you like to meet and why?

I would love to tell Her­man Melville that his work would stand the test of time, with Moby-Dick hailed as per­haps our great­est novel.  The poor guy died with most of his books out of print and must have thought it all in vain. *sigh*  That describes a lot of other artists, too, I’m afraid.

  • Ques­tion #14 — If you have a favorite book of the Bible, what is it and why?

Some­one once asked R. C. Sproul which book he would choose if he could have only one out of the entire Bible.  He picked Hebrews — a bril­liant choice.  But despite my fond­ness for Eccle­si­astes and Song of Solomon, I myself would have to go with Genesis.  I love the early por­trait of heaven in 1 & 2 (the way this world was sup­posed to be!) — and so many great promises and sto­ries, so much about human life made clear in this glo­ri­ous volume.  I espe­cially love the Joseph narrative!


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Interview with Christopher Ash

This week we get to learn more about Christo­pher Ash, author of Dis­cov­er­ing the Joy of a Clear Con­science.

  • Tell us a lit­tle bit about your­self: where you’re from, fam­ily, job, per­sonal inter­ests, unique hob­bies, what do you do in your spare time, etc.

I was born and brought up in Lon­don, Eng­land. My mum and dad still live in the house in Lon­don where we moved when I was seven. My dad landed with the first wave of Allied troops on D-Day and is still alive (nearly 95). When I was 17 I came to faith in Christ through a friend at school who invited me on a Chris­t­ian sum­mer house­p­a­rty; I am so grate­ful to the lead­ers there for their faith­ful teach­ing and prayers, and the way they mod­eled Christ­like love.

Car­olyn and I mar­ried in 1982 and have been entrusted with three sons, a daugh­ter, two daughters-in-law, and two grand­sons. We thank God for them all. We used to have a very dim but lov­able dog called Perkins (named after the Eliz­a­bethan Puri­tan), but he has now gone to wher­ever dogs go.

After study­ing Engi­neer­ing at Uni­ver­sity, I worked briefly for a tele­coms com­pany before mov­ing into school teach­ing, where I taught math for twelve years, in Dorset (SW Eng­land) and Edin­burgh (at the school where James Bond was sup­posed to have gone, accord­ing to the books!). Then I trained for ordained min­istry and served as an assis­tant min­is­ter at a church called St.Andrew the Great in Cam­bridge, under a fine pas­tor called Mark Ash­ton. That fel­low­ship sent us off in 1997 to lead a kind of church plant to a nearby vil­lage, so I was the Rec­tor of All Saints, Lit­tle Shelford, until 2004, when David Jack­man asked me to move to Lon­don to pick up respon­si­bil­ity for the Procla­ma­tion Trust’s Corn­hill Train­ing Course. I have been serv­ing there for the past ten years. I miss local church pas­toral lead­er­ship, but it is a tremen­dous priv­i­lege to serve our stu­dents and to watch and pray as so many of them go on to bible teach­ing and preach­ing ser­vice of the Lord Jesus afterwards.


  • What inspired you to write this book, about this topic?

I was preach­ing through Romans 14 and 15. Although the word “con­science” is not used in those chap­ters, the idea of con­science is very promi­nent. I was grabbed by the strange idea that an action may be at the same time right and wrong: that is, even if it is actu­ally ok, if I think it is wrong to do it, then for me it is wrong! This intrigued me. But when I tried to read around the sub­ject, I found that since Puri­tan days very few reformed evan­gel­i­cals have writ­ten much about it. So I thought I would have a go, and here it is. It is a really prac­ti­cal and inspir­ing subject.


  • Do you have a spe­cific spot that you enjoy writ­ing most?

God has been very kind to us, and we own a house on the Gower Penin­su­lar in South Wales, where we escape and I write wher­ever I can. It is close to the sea and hills, with lovely coastal walks. Very quiet. The polar oppo­site of cen­tral Lon­don, where we live dur­ing Corn­hill term-time. I par­tic­u­larly enjoy swim­ming in the sea, which is pretty brac­ing. I took some dips this year in March and my fam­ily think my head needs see­ing to.


  • Other than the Bible, do you have a favorite book?

I real­ize it’s not very orig­i­nal, but I do hugely enjoy The Lord of the Rings. I read it to our sons when they were young, and then read it again to our daugh­ter when she was old enough. I am now read­ing it to Car­olyn at bed­time. Good though the films are, the books are much bet­ter — beau­ti­fully writ­ten and soaked in truth, won­der, and grace.


  • Do you have a favorite movie? What is it and why?

I love Sab­rina Fair, partly because of nos­tal­gia for old black and white films, partly because Audrey Hep­burn is so mar­velous with Bog­art, and partly because the tim­ing and humour is so good. (Far bet­ter than the Har­ri­son Ford remake!)


  • What advice would you give to aspir­ing writers?

Don’t — if your motive is to become well-known or respected

Don’t — unless you really are burn­ing to say some­thing you think jus­ti­fies adding another book to over-full Chris­t­ian shelves.

Do — if you can set aside time to do thor­ough study and prepa­ra­tion and really con­tribute some­thing that other books do not

Do — if oth­ers encour­age you that you can write decent Eng­lish and com­mu­ni­cate engag­ingly and clearly. This is not the same as being able to speak in public.


  • Do you have a favorite sport?

Yes, I love ten­nis. I used to play a fair bit, although liv­ing in cen­tral Lon­don I am not able to play now, which is sad. In my teens and early 20s I used to queue and stand to watch both finals days at Wim­ble­don for five years run­ning. In my view the great­est ten­nis player ever was Rod Laver; I remem­ber watch­ing him on No.1 Court with my dad.


  • Do you sup­port a sports team?

Yes, Swansea City Foot­ball Club, the first Welsh side to reach the Eng­lish Pre­mier­ship. Hop­ing not to be rel­e­gated this season.


  • What famous per­son (liv­ing or dead) would you like to meet and why?

Win­ston Churchill. I was born on his birth­day when he was Prime Min­is­ter; an uncle of mine was a Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment and per­suaded him to auto­graph a book for me. I bore my fam­ily with Churchill stuff. But he was a great man.




Inter­ested in learn­ing more about Christo­pher Ash and his work? Visit