April 18, 2007

Victory in Jesus

2007 1511 page30 caphis can be a very useful tool for believers who are struggling to understand various issues around salvation, and how the transforming grace of Christ works in the lives of His followers.
Victory in Jesus is an inductive Bible study of Romans, chapters 5–8, presented by Bill Liversidge on audio CD. Each of the five CDs in the set runs 70 to 80 minutes in length. There are no study guides, discussion questions, or handouts. The publishers promise that a DVD version will be available soon, which can be more useful because of Liversidge’s constant use of the whiteboard. His teaching style is both very interactive and often reverts to brief riffs of grand preaching.
Liversidge has been an Adventist minister for 30 years, including 10 years as a missionary in New Guinea and stints as a ministerial association director in the Southwestern and Columbia Union conferences in the U.S. He is currently involved in a full-time, self-supporting ministry as a seminar leader and camp meeting speaker.
When you give this to someone, tell them it is not something they can easily listen to while driving. It requires a Bible and notepad in front of them to get the full value, or to even follow entirely what is being presented.
You can get these CDs at www.jesuschristnetwork.org or (828) 403-0653. You may also find them in your local Adventist Book Center.
The Da Vinci Decode
Maybe you don’t pay much attention to popular culture and have missed the current upheaval over a paperback novel entitled The Da Vinci Code. It is really just a drugstore mystery novel, except for the fact that the author has placed the murder mystery against a tapestry of ideas about religion.
The novel has sold more than 40 million copies, topping the best-seller lists for many months. Last spring Hollywood cashed in on this phenomenon with the movie version. At that time, the Adventist Church in Australia—one of the most secular societies on the globe—responded with a full set of tools to help pastors and congregations. The focus was proactive, not defensive. Church leaders saw this as an opportunity to dialog with large numbers of people who usually do not want to talk or think about anything religious, and who would never be caught dead in a Revelation Seminar.
Now, two books are off the press. The Da Vinci Decode is the text for a five-session seminar that includes PowerPoint files and teaching notes that can be downloaded free from the Web. This is designed for the general public, and is something that a local church or community-based ministry could still conduct because the discussion of the issues raised by this novel continues to this day.
Beyond the Da Vinci Code has been released more recently by Pacific Press. It, too, is written by an Australian, Robert McIver, a scholar at Avondale College. It has 13 short, powerful chapters—so it lends itself to a special class for a quarter—and an excellent guide to additional information. It would have been strengthened by a few discussion questions for each chapter, but it provides good answers to the various issues raised by the novel. This book is not designed for secular people, but to equip church members to respond in conversations with their unchurched friends, etc.
The Da Vinci Decode is published by Signs Publishing Company, the Adventist publisher in Australia, and there is also a documentary video available on DVD. You can get all of these materials through a special Web site: www.thedavincidecode.net or you can purchase the book, as well as Beyond the Da Vinci Code, through your local Adventist Book Center, at www.adventistbookcenter.com, or by calling (800) 765-6955.
Monte Sahlin is director of research and special projects for the Ohio Conference. He chairs a team at the Center for Creative Ministry currently implementing a Discipleship Curriculum Resource project for the North American Division. You can alert him to new resources at [email protected] or (800) 272-4664.