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The Defense Never Rests: A Lawyer's Quest for the Gospel [Paperback]

By Craig A. Parton (Author)
Our Price $ 12.74  
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Item Number 149968  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   160
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.14" Width: 5.4" Height: 0.43"
Weight:   0.47 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 1, 2003
Publisher   Concordia Publishing House
ISBN  0758604823  
EAN  9780758604828  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
This powerful critique of American Christianity chronicles the spiritual pilgrimage of one man and provides a defense of the pure Gospel. Believers and skeptics alike will benefit from this book.

Publishers Description
Read a penetrating critique of American Christianity. Author Craig A. Parton's spiritual journey led him from unbelief into an important leadership position with a well-known ministry. There he became deeply involved in modern American Evangelicalism. He was dismayed to discover that much of modern American Evangelicalism is about personal self-improvement, striving to fulfill laws and rules, and a roller-coaster ride from one spiritual high to the next, always seeking but never fully satisfied. He tells how he discovered the radically liberating message of authentic Reformation spirituality and why he has never turned back. He beautifully describes the joy of a Christ-centered approach to Christianity and explains the importance of explaining and defending the faith once delivered to the saints.

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More About Craig A. Parton

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Parton is a trial lawyer in California.

Craig A. Parton currently resides in the state of California. Craig A. Parton was born in 1955.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Protestantism > Lutheran   [0  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Wonderful Defense of the Gospels and the LCMS Heritage  Jan 1, 2006
This synopsis may not be as thorough or eloquent as some of the other reviews, but I wanted to voice my appreciation for Mr. Parton's work in this book.

It seemed to me that this book can be divided into two major categories. One is a critique exposing the differences between Evangelicalism and Lutheran theology. The second is the defense of both the Gospel writings and the resurrection of Christ.

I enjoyed the meticulous dissection of the differences between the two theologies and worship styles. He helped me to appreciate the reverence, intellectual thought, confession of sins, and liturgical meaning of the LCMS church. I have attended many, many services at these Evangelical churches - and even though they may have more up-beat and energetic services, most have lost the reverence and the inclusion of the Law that is so very needed. These services and sermons tend to focus on the theme "Don't worry, be happy" (and clap along). Not all of them are like this, but too many seem to be.

I also very much enjoyed the Christian apology that Mr. Parton put forth. Even though he builds a number of cases for defending the Gospels and then the resurrection (and does a good job doing so), he notes that it certainly isn't 'water-tight' or 'bullet-proof', but then links this to our legal system where even a man sentenced to capital punishment doesn't necessarily have to have ABSOLUTE proof of his crime presented at the trial. But this is what biblical skeptics seem to require!

Overall I thought it a very good book defending the Lutheran (LCMS) theology and liturgy.
Read this book!  Jan 18, 2004
This is a refreshing book that explains the confessional Lutheran heritage. Parton draws the reader into the greater picture of Christendom and shows how the rest of Christianity urgently needs the courageous confession of the true Gospel of Jesus Christ that Lutheranism has always been built on. Vividly and with strong emotion, Parton describes to the reader how he and his family found their way to Lutheranism from Evangelicalism. He shows how his search for a Christ-centered church led him to Lutheranism (to his own surprise), where he found Jesus Christ crucified at the center of the church's "prayed, spoken, and sung confession." Beautifully he describes his family's first encounter with the historic liturgy, while leaving Evangelicalism, and how stunned they were by the profoundness and reverence of the liturgy they found in the church of the Reformation. Throughout the book Parton's discussion of Lutheran liturgy and confession give the reader a thorough appreciation of the Lutheran heritage. He shows how we are, and need to remain a church that gives solid testimony to the Biblical Gospel of Jesus Christ-for the sake of an unbelieving world, for the sake of the increasingly shallow American Christianity, and for our own sake.

Parton also presents a "powerful critique of American Christianity" and shows why we need to undertake the apologetical and Biblical task to "contend for the faith" (Jude 3). He shows how the thoroughly Scriptural focus of the Lutheran confessions-as written in the Book of Concord-and our Christ-centered approach to theology and life, make the Lutheran Church perfectly fit for engaging in this task. We draw the essential distinction between Law and Gospel that is almost universally lacking in American Christianity, and we make clear that conversion is worked by the Holy Spirit. In other words we understand that we do nothing to accomplish our own salvation. Parton addresses many of the concerns raised by those within the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS) who feel that apologetics (and specifically evidential apologetics) have no place in Lutheran theology. He shows how apologetics, properly used, does not claim to work conversion, but removes stumbling blocks that prevent many from even giving consideration to the Gospel. A brief treatment of such apologetics is presented in the book.

Another essential distinction drawn in Lutheranism is that reason functions in both kingdoms, but that in the Kingdom of God it functions ministerially (by serving), not majesterially (by judging/ruling). Here again is ample justification for why Lutheranism is apt for apologetics. We know that mankind's reason is never to be put in judgment over the Scriptures, and thus we avoid the rationalism that destroys the sacraments and other truths of Scripture. Parton draws attention to several points in the New Testament where the apostles and evangelists specifically contended for the faith by pointing to the evidence for the truth claims of Christianity. They were so convinced of the factuality of Christ's death and resurrection, that the apostle Paul was "so bold as to hinge the case for Christianity explicitly, and entirely, on the facticity of the Resurrection." Indeed we today ought likewise to confess and defend the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ as a real event that took place in history, not just some metaphorical story. For this Good News is the reason for the existence of the church and the forgiveness and eternal life that we receive.

If you are questioning, or have questions about the liturgy, our confessions, or about the use of apologetics in the church, I highly recommend this book for your consideration. It is also a book that I would readily give to a fellow Christian who is questioning their faith or searching for a church with Christ-centered Biblical substance. The Defense Never Rests should also encourage us to take pride in the unique and faithful confession of Christ that our church has given historically, and must continue to give. To that end, to God alone be the glory!

Relevant for Students in Need of Clear Answers  Oct 16, 2003
As a student in a secular college, I have found this book to be relevant to the topics presented by my history and philosophy professors. It is a good starting point for people who want an understanding of the historical claims of Christianity. The author provides an excellent appendix for further study.

Presently, many Christian authors and leaders are addressing the problems of "American" Christianity--a brand of Christianity that seems to have become more like the world and has lost confidence in the authority and historicity of the Bible. The tendency of these authors is to point fingers or grasp at the newest idea. Mr. Parton's book, however, captures the struggle many of us feel about the need for change and he emphasizes the power that existed during the Reformation.

This is a must for any student or religious scholar wanting clear answers about Christianity.

Firm Foundation  Aug 21, 2003
Mr. Parton relates his journey along the path of Christian Evangelicalism to the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (not to be confused with the ELCA). What he finds there and why it is important are presented with the thoughtfulness of an attorney and the humility of a man of faith. There is wonder, awe and clarity in his writing, all rare and refreshing. Mr. Parton does not demean the practioners of other denominations but points to the strengths of the LCMS and how it has reinforced his faith and his personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Any Christian searching for direction will benefit by reading this book.
Refreshing Look at the State of American Christianity  Jul 24, 2003
Parton is well informed Christian who has journeyed from a staffer on Campus Crusade to Lutheranism, and is now utterly amazed and upset that he finds much of Lutheranism trying to imitate Evangelicalism.

This book documents that journey as well as puts forward Christian apologetics which is so needed in our pluralistic and postmodern times. I found the separation into tough-minded and tender-minded apologetical approaches helpful and insightful. The Christian Church certainly needs to reclaim and make full use of the arts which God has so graciously bestowed upon it, and recently have been abandoned or culturalized popularly in the church. Parton correctly sizes up the substance vs. style debate.

Also included is an excellent Addendum on Historic Liturgy as well as an excellent annotated bibliography for further study and extensive endnotes.

To be widely read.


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