Secondary Menu

Cruciform Fiction Launches with Three Titles

Our first three fiction titlesby Dave Swavely /

Today we are excited to announce the simultaneous release of our first three fiction titles. It so happens that these are all “speculative fiction”—like the novels of C. S. Lewis and Madeleine L’Engle—although future titles will include missionary stories, historical fiction, and more.

Please download a sampler with a lengthy excerpt from each book.

In two of the books we release today, characters travel to different worlds and times, and the other is a reality-rending ghost story by Charles Dickens—which is not A Christmas Carol but may be even better than that beloved tale.

SPECIAL INTRODUCTORY OFFER: Use coupon code FICTIONOFFER1 to get 30% off any or all of these three paperbacks.

A Forgotten Classic

Haunted Man, by Charles Dickens, Abridged and Annotated by Dave SwavelyDave SwavelyOur first book is an edition of Charles Dickens’ Haunted Man, originally published in 1848. This version has been abridged significantly to make it more enjoyable for modern readers, while retaining every essential element of the story. It also includes an introduction with character descriptions and other helpful information, and a thought-provoking Afterword discussing some of the spiritual issues that are addressed in the book.

For any fiction fans who may happen to be unaware…Charles Dickens (1812-1870) is one of the most popular and respected authors in history. He wrote twenty novels and novellas, many short stories, a handful of plays, and several non-fiction books. His best-known works include A Christmas Carol, Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, and A Tale of Two Cities. He also was a professing Christian who included profound truth from the Scriptures in many of his books—and never more so than in Haunted Man.

In this story, a college professor named Redlaw is plagued by bad memories of a traumatic childhood, compounded by a terrible betrayal and loss during his young adulthood. When an ethereal demonic doppelganger of himself appears and offers to wipe away those memories, Redlaw eagerly accepts, and also receives the ability to spread this “gift” to others.

Featuring the breathless suspense, colorful characters, and witty humor that has made Dickens such a beloved author, the story also tackles some of the deepest philosophical and theological questions ever raised in his writings. His answer to “the problem of evil” is of both literary and theological interest.

Night at the Museum meets A Wrinkle in Time

The Mona Lisa Murder Mystry,by Latayne ScottOur second title is The Mona Lisa Mirror Mystery, by Latayne Scott, award-winning author of more than 25 books. The protagonist is a teenage girl, but this captivating and meaningful story will be a blessing to more than just young adults. Here’s a brief teaser for the book:

Addy’s three friends don’t know what to think when Addy tells them she “whooshed” right back into time and met a quirky Leonardo daVinci. Is it a dream? And what do the girls do when they have just as much drama in the present?

The Mona Lisa Mirror Mystery has already generated some pre-publication buzz among YA readers. Christy Award-winning author Shelly Beach calls it, “Christian fiction at its finest!” “I can’t wait to read the next one,” says Joy Capps, reviewer for HomeSchoolLiterature.com. And Celeste Green, Academic Dean at Oak Grove Classical Academy, says it’s “a book your teen won’t want to miss…I will recommend it over and over.”

One Christian’s adventure of a lifetime…in the Next Life!

Next Life, by Dave SwavelyOur third book is reminiscent of C. S. Lewis’s novel The Great Divorce, except this one reads more like an eyewitness account than an allegory.

It’s about an ex-pastor named Tim Carler, whose visit to heaven is so hard to believe that he has to call his story a novel to keep from being mercilessly mocked (or locked up for his own safety). But ironically, his account rings true in a way that other “heaven tourism” books do not. Unlike those supposedly non-fiction books, there’s nothing in this one that contradicts Scripture.

After the shock of finding his soul in the Intermediate State, the surprises multiply as Tim finds out who’s there, who’s not, and how different this heaven is from our common conceptions. In a dimension not bound by time, he is sent on missions into the past where he meets some extraordinary everyday people, as well as famous ones like the Jewish Patriarchs, Adolf Hitler, and two Victorian Charleses—Spurgeon and Dickens.

Speaking of Dickens, this novel is also reminiscent of A Christmas Carol, but with more gospel content. It’s a Pilgrim’s Progress where the journey takes place in the life to come rather than in this one. Modern comparisons could be made to The Shack (with much better theology) and Alan Moore’s graphic novel From Hell (except it’s from heaven).

Next Life is an utterly unique mind- and genre-bending book that will make you look at life in heaven, and on earth, in a whole new way, and look forward to both like never before.

Novellas: A Great Idea Whose Time Has Come

One of the things that’s made Cruciform Press unusual is that nearly all our books are quite short. We’re hoping that we can be one of the first publishers to ride a new wave of interest in shorter fiction as well. For more about what makes novellas so great, see my recent article. But regardless of their length, what’s most important about these books are the enjoyable and meaningful stories they tell, and we can’t wait to unveil them to you!

Free books for reviewers

Do you post book reviews online? You might be interested in this offer.

And once again, please download our fiction sampler.

 

 

Continue Reading

Truth Is No Stranger to Fiction

Truth is No Stranger to FictionBy Dave Swavely  /

Truth Is No Stranger to Fiction

– We’re trying our hand at publishing fiction!
– The first novellas are coming soon…
– And we’re seeking more fiction manuscripts! Got one?
Here’s something we’ve been eager to announce for almost a year. At Cruciform Press, we’re finalizing our preparations to follow our Savior into the realm of creative storytelling!

Jesus Christ was the most skilled and effective communicator of truth who ever lived, and more than a third of his teaching in the gospels is in the form of parables—fictional stories designed to illuminate and illustrate the truth he taught. The prophet Nathan brought King David to repentance with a metaphorical story about ungodly greed and unjust murder, and other prophets and apostles were given visions by God that used fictional elements in the service of truth. Professing Christians like Charles Dickens and Harriet Beecher Stowe literally changed the world through their stories, and C. S. Lewis described his Chronicles of Narnia and Space Trilogy as a way of “seeing the truth sideways.”

When we see Satan, God’s enemy and ours, using fiction throughout human history to powerfully advance his nefarious schemes, let’s remember that all he is doing is perverting a divinely ordained technique—one that God intends to belong first and foremost to his church. So at Cruciform Press, we are excited about the opportunity to help “reverse the curse” in this regard by using the God-given instrument of fiction for good purposes instead of evil.

Read More

Continue Reading

Three Booklets from Tim Challies Launch Cruciform Quick

Three Booklets from Tim Challies Launch Cruciform Quick

Today we are excited to announce Cruciform Quick, a line of booklets in the range of 40 to 60 pages each. We’re launching the series with three titles from Tim Challies, and we look forward to other authors publishing in this line as well.

Cruciform QuickWe all know the feeling: every week, every month, every year it just seems that life keeps moving faster and faster. So at Cruciform Press we are taking our trademark length—books of about 100 pages—and adding a set of resources that will make for an even quicker read.

The Challies booklets seen above each started life as a popular series of posts on Tim’s blog, articles he then adapted for this format. And while Tim plans to release additional Cruciform Quick titles, there is plenty of room for others to publish in this new format.

In fact, the introduction of Cruciform Quick is the first public step in a significant diversification within Cruciform Press…but more on that to come. For now, we hope you will enjoy Tim’s three new titles: The Character of the Christian, Set an Example, and The Commandment We Forgot. And if you think you might like to publish in the Cruciform Quick series, please let us know here.

Continue Reading

55 Percent Off Nearly Everything

55 Percent Off Nearly EverythingHappy Thanksgiving!!

So, it’s that time…

Christmas is coming…New Year Bible Studies and book clubs are being planned…your church needs simple but solid books to offer…

Shouldn’t you grab some great titles at an unbeatable discount?

Don’t forget the coupon code: THANKFUL2017

Sale runs through Tuesday, November 28th.

Continue Reading

John Piper on How the Psalms Change You

John Piper on How the Psalms Change You

Shaped by God

Thinking and Feeling in Tune with the Psalms

by John Piper

Coming soon

God wants your heart.

The whole Bible teaches truth and awakens emotions, but the Psalms are in a category of their own. They do not just awaken heart; they put it in the foreground. They do not just invite our emotions to respond to God’s truth; they put our emotions on display.

SHAPED BY GOD: Thinking and Feeling in Tune with the Psalms, by John PiperThe Psalms are not just commanding; they are contagious. We are not just listening to profound ideas and feelings. We are living among them in their overflow. We touch pillows wet with tears. We hear and feel the unabashed cries of affliction, shame, regret, grief, anger, discouragement, and turmoil. But what makes all this stunningly different from the sorrows of the world is that all of it—absolutely all of it—is experienced in relation to the totally sovereign God.

This book is an invitation. God wants our hearts. He will take them as he finds them. And then, with the healing contagion of the Psalms, he will shape them. Accept his invitation to come.

The miracle of the new birth shows us that the Holy Spirit raises the spiritually dead by giving them new minds and hearts that together believe the gospel, love God, and want to be conformed to Christ. And yet, born-again people are not perfected. They are truly new, truly alive, truly spiritual, but in many ways unformed and immature—just like newborns in our families. So the question for the early Christians—and for us—is this: How does the new mind and the new heart, full of imperfect thinking and feeling, pursue the fullness of right-thinking and the fullness of holy affections? One of the main answers of early church believers was to immerse themselves in the Psalms.

Psalms is the most often-quoted Old Testament book in the New Testament. It was the songbook, poetry book, and meditation book of the church. Alongside the teachings of Jesus and the apostles, Psalms was the book that shaped the thinking and feeling of the first disciples more than any other. It is this shaping power of the Psalms that gets at my aim in this short book. My hope is to simply jump-start, or deepen, that kind of Psalms legacy in your life. I pray for God-centered, Christ-exalting, Psalms-saturated thinking and feeling—because I believe that this kind of thinking and feeling will bear fruit in the kind of living that cares for people and magnifies Christ.
— John Piper

Continue Reading

Wilderness Wanderings: The Story Behind the Book

Wilderness Wanderings: The Story Behind the Bookby Stacy Reaoch  /

Recently, all in the same evening, I helped my teenage daughter get ready for her first Homecoming dance and read Spiderman to my 4-year-old son, Micah. Raising four kids whose ages span a decade has given me an interesting—and a shifting—perspective on motherhood. With our youngest I’ve realized that being “late” to potty-train isn’t the end of the world (as my pediatrician says, “I promise you he won’t wear a pull-up to prom”), and it’s not essential to have him reading by age three. With my oldest I’d been the typically over-zealous, type-A parent, determined that a french fry would not touch her lips the first three years of life. I’ve now relaxed to a type-C parent—I think Micah was eating chicken nuggets and fries as soon as he could chew.

Throughout marriage, ministry, and family life, I’ve experienced much joy and blessing, but also heartache. I entered adult life with rose-colored glasses on, thinking everything would work out exactly as I planned. I didn’t anticipate the trials of loneliness, miscarriage, ministry conflict, deferred hopes, and the sheer exhaustion and responsibilities of daily life. Being in ministry has also allowed me to walk through seasons of suffering with others. I’ve been near to friends who’ve experienced depression, infertility, death of loved ones, broken relationships, marriage conflict, and more. Difficulty and suffering fill our lives, yet our hope and joy is found by looking to Jesus for our contentment, rather than ideal circumstances. I pray that my writing will point others to find their satisfaction in Christ instead of whatever else they think might fill that void.

WILDERNESS WANDERINGS: Finding Contentment in the Desert Times of Life, by Stacy ReaochA couple years ago I was in a weekly Bible study that was focusing on the life of Moses and the Israelites’ journey through the wilderness. At the time I was walking down my own dark path, but I felt incredibly encouraged and comforted as I studied the truths of God’s Word. I saw parallels between the Israelites’ discontentment and my own. I was convicted of my lack of gratitude for God’s blessings as I read about the Israelites’ constant whining. I also was given fresh motivation to persevere through difficulty as I saw Moses continue on his rocky path of leadership. Around that time I started writing blog posts for various ministries about things I was learning. As those lessons began to accumulate, I began thinking that I could likely write a small book on this section of Scripture.

Another impetus in writing Wilderness Wanderings was to provide a short, chronological devotional for women who feel too busy to commit to a lengthy inductive study. I’m passionate about Bible study, mostly because I’ve seen it as the primary means God has used to sanctify me and grow my faith. But I also realize that there are seasons of life where it’s difficult to get to a weekly study or commit to one with a lot of homework. I have friends who feel like they’re drowning in piles of laundry and don’t have time (or energy) for an in-depth study. My hope in writing Wilderness Wanderings is that women with a small amount of time could still benefit from a chronological study, whether it be on her lunch break at work or waiting in the carpool line at school. I also hope that others will recognize the relevance of the Old Testament to our lives today. Studies for women often focus on New Testament passages. But God has much to say to us through the richness of His entire Word.

As a side note, writing with four children in our home is a balancing act. The majority of this book was written during two-hour blocks of time I had a couple mornings each week when our youngest was at preschool and my older three were at school. I’d race home from preschool drop-off, pray for the Lord’s blessing on my time and writing, and get to work! I’m continually learning new ways to be efficient, like hiding my phone during those couple hours I have to write so that I won’t be distracted by social media, or running to the glamorous Target café while my daughter is at her gymnastics class to squeeze in one more hour of writing. Although I’m not wishing away the time my youngest is home with me (reading stories to him after lunch is my favorite part of the day), it’s exciting to imagine a day in the next couple years when I’ll have several hours in a row to write!

Check out Stacy’s book here.

Stacy Reaoch

Stacy Reaoch is a pastor’s wife and mother of four. She is passionate about studying the Bible and helping women apply God’s life-changing truths to their daily lives. Stacy has written for various ministries including Desiring God, The Gospel Coalition and Revive Our Hearts. She and her husband, Ben, live in Pittsburgh, PA with their children.

Continue Reading

Bodiless Believers: Spiritual Growth Among the Dead in Christ

Bodiless Believers: Spiritual Growth Among the Dead in Christ

Those who die in Christ retain full consciousness of their existence and are immediately made perfect in total moral likeness to Christ

by Albert N. Martin  /

Why has God led this world through the great arc of redemptive history? What has been his ultimate purpose? The great goal of God in redemptive grace has always been and remains nothing less than to glorify himself through the complete restoration of his moral image in those he has chosen to save. And the pattern for that restoration is none other than our Lord Jesus Christ himself.

In Romans 8:29 Paul writes, “those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son.” Paul then goes on to assert that all whom God foreknew (that is, loved beforehand with a distinguishing and purposeful love) he predestined to conformity to Christ. Each such individual ultimately will be glorified, or fully conformed to the moral likeness of Christ in body and soul. J. I. Packer stated these truths most helpfully:

Read More

Continue Reading

That No Flesh Should Glory in God’s Presence

That No Flesh Should Glory in God’s Presenceby Charles Fry  /

TWO OUTWORKINGS OF THE TRUE GOSPEL, Part 1

But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise;
and God hath chosen the weak things of the world
to confound the things which are mighty;
And base things of the world, and things which are
despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not,
to bring to naught things that are;
That no flesh should glory in his presence.

1 Corinthians 1:27–29 (KJV)

Around A.D. 50 the apostle Paul completed his missionary visit to Athens. He then looked to the western horizon and began his journey to Corinth, a city of power and pride. He had confidently determined to arrive in Corinth with only one weapon in his arsenal: the word of the cross, the message of Jesus Christ and him crucified (1 Corinthians 2:2, NASB).

A short time after leaving the Corinthian church, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit Paul wrote to the factious and proud believers of Corinth, rebuking them and reminding them that the gospel leaves no room for arrogance and is diametrically opposed to the so-called “wisdom of the world.” The gospel message, its application by God’s sovereign decree, and the peculiar choice of those whom God would call by it, left no room for pride. Indeed, the gospel permitted “that no flesh should glory in his presence” (1 Corinthians 1:29, KJV).

Read More

Continue Reading

Help Us Choose a Tim Challies Book Cover

Help Us Choose a Tim Challies Book Coverby Kevin /

When Boyce College contacted Tim Challies about the possibility of producing a student edition of his book, Do More Better: A Practical Guide to Productivity, it didn’t take long for us all to realize it was a great idea.

The original version of the book has more than 270 customer reviews on Amazon, with an average 4.7 out of 5 stars, and we’re hopeful that this new edition will be able to do for high school and college students what the original has done for tens of thousands of others.

Which is the best cover for students? Could you take a moment to help us choose? Check out the gallery, then vote in the poll. We will identify the winning cover by updating this post, as well as on Twitter and Facebook, within the next week. (FYI: the yellow cover is essentially identical to the cover of the original edition, except the Student Edition text has been added.)

Click for larger images.

(The polling feature has been disabled.)

All our books come with automatic quantity discounts of up to 20% from our already low website prices. However, if any colleges, schools, or other organizations would like to inquire about significant orders, please use our contact page. Cover and content customizations are also available in some cases.
Continue Reading

The Myth of Perfectionism

The Myth of Perfectionismby Charles Fry /

LUTHER’S UNDERSTANDING OF THE GOSPEL, Part 7

(Today’s post picks up directly from the previous one.)

The Myth of Perfectionism

Another Princeton professor, Benjamin Breckenridge Warfield, wrote hundreds of pages confronting the errors of perfectionism and the idea that saints no longer are sinners. In his essay on “Miserable-Sinner Christianity” (article one), Warfield did a masterful job of showing how throughout Protestant history and across all denominations and confessions, the Protestant church has always held to Luther’s doctrine that the believer is at the same time sinful and justified.

In his day, such a belief was mockingly labeled, “miserable-sinner Christianity.” In his essay, Warfield observed that such Christianity was the only true Christianity! Yet such Christianity was far from being morose, despairing, and joyless. Rather, it was the only kind of Christianity that knew true and unbounding joy and freedom from despair. “Miserable-sinner Christianity” was the only kind of Christianity that faced the reality of sin in the Christian life and at the same time knew the unchanging love of God for his children. Such Christianity also produced genuine humility, as Warfield explained:

It belongs to the very essence of the type of Christianity propagated by the Reformation that the believer should feel himself continuously unworthy of the grace by which he lives… We must always be accepted for Christ’s sake, or we cannot ever be accepted at all. This is not true of us only “when we believe.” It is just as true after we have believed. It will continue to be true as long as we live. Our need of Christ does not cease with our believing; nor does the nature of our relation to him or to God through him ever alter, no matter what our attainments in Christian graces or our achievements in Christian behavior may be. It is always on his “blood and righteousness” alone that we rest.[i]

Read More

Continue Reading