Archive for the category “My Books”

My Book, Christ Alone, Named 2014 KFUO Book of the Year Winner

I like words. Words that speak to those on suburban streets flowing with silk and money and to those asleep in the gutter. Soft words that offer a virgin soul to the veteran whore and hard words that drive the finger-wagging, Bible-thumping hypocrite to his knees. Words that smell of heaven and taste of earth. Law words that worm their way into the cavernous recesses of a man’s heart to expose the death lurking within. Gospel words that trumpet resurrection to a boneyard of broken folk who live and yet do not. I like words pregnant with Jesus, from whose wombs emerge the Babe of whom angels sing and sinners live.

I write words for you. Whoever you are, this is for you. This scroll flies to you, unrolls and you read. And when you do, I pray that my words are always a blessing to you. That you read them is most certainly a blessing to me.

ChristAloneCoverYesterday was a very special day for me and my words. My book, Christ Alone: Meditations and Sermons, was named the 2014 KFUO Book of the Year Winner. Needless to say, this brought me incredible joy. But more than that, it brought me incredible hope. For those of you who are long-time readers of the Flying Scroll, you know enough of my backstory to realize that there was a time when I had given up on writing, indeed, had given up on life itself. But Jesus Christ breathed life back into my hopeless corpse, raised me to my feet, and gave me hope once more. So I share my stories with you now. I share my life with you, in hopes that the Lord will use my words to speak light and life to someone else who is walking the same dark and despairing road I was on.

I pray He does the same with the meditations and sermons in Christ Alone. As one reviewer on Amazon wrote, “Beautifully crafted work by a wonderful wordsmith. Each piece delivers to you Christ and His forgiveness without fail. Each piece begs to be read over and over again.” That, indeed, is what I strive to do in all my writings: deliver to you Christ and His forgiveness without fail. For Christ, and Christ alone, is our hope.

For your copy of Christ Alone: Meditations and Sermons, visit Amazon or CreateSpace to place an order. Thank you!

My Newest Book: Why Lutherans Sing What They Sing

why lutherans sing adsmallSinging is part of the lifeblood of the church. It always has been. In the Old Testament, believers joined voices to sing the Psalms before the Lord everywhere from the shores of the Red Sea to His temple in Jerusalem. So also in the early church, Paul encourages the Christians to sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to one another (Eph 5:19, Col 3:16). These hymns are, first and foremost, the Word of God put to music, and secondly, a confession of thanksgiving and praise back to the Giver of all good gifts.

Singing has certainly been a major part of the life of the Lutheran church. The Reformer himself, Martin Luther, wrote a number of hymns, as did countless others after him. These sacred songs embody the confession of the Gospel as the free grace of God in Christ. They teach the faithful, encourage the weak, give hope to the grieving.

Why Lutherans Sing What They Sing was published years ago, but has been updated to reflect the Lutheran Service Book and now includes a Foreword by the well-known hymn writer, Steve Starke. In this forty page booklet, I introduce and discuss five criteria that I believe are an essential part of what makes a hymn worthy of being on the lips of the Christian church. These criteria are:

  1. A Lutheran hymn aims not to create the right atmosphere or mood for worship, but serves as a vehicle for the Spirit-filled Word of God.
  1. A Lutheran hymn is not entertainment but proclamation.
  1. A Lutheran hymn is shaped by the theology of the cross.
  1. A Lutheran hymn is not bound merely to paraphrase the biblical text; rather, it interprets the Scriptures in reference to Christ.
  1. A Lutheran hymn is bound to no culture save the culture of the church catholic.

In the Foreword, Stephen Starke comments:

Chad Bird’s Why Lutherans Sing What They Sing offers clear criteria in defending Lutheran hymns as well as showing the reader why such hymns remain important now and for the future. He writes in a clear, understandable manner. I believe the booklet’s content will be a blessing to all those who seek to understand the great importance of why Lutherans sing what they sing when they gather for worship.

To read part of the opening chapter, check out this blog post. To purchase your print copy, click on the link here for CreateSpace or Amazon. It is also available as a Kindle edition here. If you wish to purchase bulk copies at a reduced rate for your congregation, Bible Class group, Board of Elders or Deacons, please send me an email at birdchadlouis@yahoo.com for more information. Thank you very much for your interest!

My New Book of Meditations and Sermons!

Image I’ve wrestled over the title of an article or blog post for days. Maybe I’m looking for something with irony, or humor, or just the right metaphor to catch the reader’s eye. Because titles matter, don’t they? They should make the reader say, “Hey, now there’s something I want to read.”

The title of my newly published book, Christ Alone: Meditations and Sermons, is not ironic. It’s not humorous. And there’s not a single metaphor in it. But this title says it all. It lays it all out there. Like St. Paul, who told the Corinthians he had determined to know nothing among them except Jesus Christ and Him crucified, this is a book that focuses unapologetically, unflinchingly on Christ alone.

It is written for everyone.

It is written for mothers and fathers, plumbers and pastors, truck drivers and students. It speaks to your struggles and sins, temptations and downfalls. And it points you to the healing and life and forgiveness found in Christ alone.

It is written for preachers who are always in search of new ways of communicating age old truths. In language that is earthy and colorful, vivid and sharp, poetic but not highfalutin, it delivers the Gospel to the soul sunk in the muck of this world.

It is written for seminary students who are just learning how to preach. Homiletics textbooks are useful, but I remain convinced that if you want to learn how to preach, then study sermons that preach the law with clarity and the Gospel with sweetness. Immerse yourself in sermons that preach without using the vanilla verbiage and asthmatic affirmations that your listeners have yawned at a thousand and one Sunday mornings. In this book is fresh preaching of timeless truths.

And, lastly, and perhaps most surprisingly, it is written for me. I am a woebegone sinner with a past stained by the scarlet of a million sins I remember, and a million more I’ve forgotten. But even as I read the words of this book, I hear the Good News being preached to me, by me. It says, “Chad, there is hope even for you. It is not found in your efforts to be a better person. It is not found in your repentance, or even your faith. It is found in Jesus, Jesus, only Jesus. That crucified and resurrected God–He is your everything. In the blood of that Lamb your scarlet sins are made white. Your hope, Chad, is in Christ alone.”

I wrote this, dear reader, for all of us. So here it is. Follow this link (Christ Alone) to the site. And thank you. Thank you for your interest, your prayers, your encouragement, your love. My fellow Flying Scrollers, I daily thank God for every one of you.

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