The Philly Five

In Mark 6:4 Jesus said,

“A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.”

This can also be true in the world of writing and publishing.  It is exciting to see how God is using some folks from Philly in a big way these days and it is time to highlight their work.  First up is:

andy crouchANDY CROUCH who is a prolific writer and now executive editor of Christianity Today. He was playing godalso executive producer of This Is Our City, a multi-year project featuring documentary video, reporting, and essays about Christians seeking the flourishing of their cities.  Many people do not know that he lives in the Philadelphia area as he is often traveling and speaking around the country.  His two books, Culture-Making and Playing God are must reads and top my list of some of the best written and most necessary books of the last decade.  I was greatly humbled that he was willing to spend two hours with me at his home drinking tea and discussing his life and work.  I can’t recommend him and his books highly enough. Next is:

paul millerPAUL MILLER is the founder of and a great writer.  His book, A Praying Life became a runaway best-seller in recent years and is my favorite book on prayer.  As I have said in a previous blog, his most recent book, A Loving Life is just as good.  Paul is passionate about creating, teaching and writing unique Interactive Bible Studies and his a praying lifeministry has developed a global platform for the Person of Jesus Bible Study materials.  He is the son of Jack Miller and helped his Dad co-found World Harvest Mission (now called Serge).  On any given Sunday he can be found teaching Sunday school at Chelten Baptist Church (now just called Chelten – A Church of Hope).  In the years ahead, I hope to partner with him in making his resources available worldwide through the CLC network.  His books remind me why I love reading Christian books in the first place. Next is:

Eric Mason ThrivingERIC MASON pastor of Epiphany Fellowship, founder of the Thriving in the City network and Conference and now a fantastic author.  His is also a friend and someone that I greatly admire.  His first book, Manhood Restored, has taken off like a rocket and is being used by mens groups all over America.  Just this week I heard about a shelter for homeless men that is using it with great results.  CLC has been privileged to partner with him for book manhood restoredsignings and as the host book store for his conference in Philly.  Eric is a passionate church planter and is on the board of the Acts 29 Network.  He has already helped plant several churches and is in the process of sending out three new church planters next year.  His gospel centered approach to urban ministry is taking root in my city and is making a different all over the country. Next is:

paul trippPAUL TRIPP who is the founder of Paul Tripp Ministries and is a speaker and author who travels all over the country.  He is best known for his teaching on parenting and marriage, but he is also developing a reputation for speaking into the lives of pastors in a deep way.  His book, A Dangerous Calling is a must read for all those involved in the pastorate of considering getting into it.  Paul has been affiliated with several important Philly institutions including CCEF, Westminster Theological Seminary and 10th Presbyterian Church at various times in the past.   His twitter feed and social media presencedangerous calling have helped him develop a major national following.  I had the privilege of using his materials to teach a parenting class as was deeply impacted by it.  What a blessing he is to the body of Christ. Next is:

david appleDAVID APPLE who is the Minister of Mercy at historic 10th Presbyterian Church in the heart of Philadelphia.  He is the author of Not Just a Soup Kitchen which was published by CLC. His book is the culmination of twenty five years of ministry and a lifetime of suffering.  Despite having survived a near-death skull fracture, childhood sexual abuse, thoughts of suicide and spiritual bankruptcy, he has been used in a powerful way to minister to others.  It was a labor of love to help him publish his first book and it has been a great joy to hear stories of how God is using the book to inspire people all over the country.  He will be the keynote speaker at our upcoming banquet and has a story that is a must read for anyone involved in thenot just a soup kitchen Diaconate or any form of mercy ministry.

I am blessed to live in a city that is the home to so many great Christian authors.  These were just a few of those making a real impact through their writing today.



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