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Posts Tagged ‘World Harvest Mission’


Dave Harvey (author of the gospel saturated When Sinners Say “I Do”) has a new book out called Rescuing Ambition.  It seeks to rescue ambition from sloth, and vain ambition (selfish ambition) that we might have a healthy (sound) biblical understanding and practice of ambition.

WTS Bookstore is being ambitious, and offering it for only $5 until Friday May 13, 2010 at 3 pm EDT.  That is 67% off- a fantastic deal.

Here are some sample pages.

Here are some ringing endorsements:

“In Rescuing Ambition, Dave Harvey distinguishes ambition for the glory of God, which is good, from ambition for the glory of self, which is bad. But godly ambition doesn’t exist in a vacuum, so Harvey helps us see how it is intertwined with humility, contentment, faith, and above all, the gospel. Dave Harvey is both an experienced pastor and a gifted writer, so you will find this book not only profitable but also hard to put down.”
– Jerry Bridges, author , The Pursuit of Holiness

“Thomas Watson said, ‘Selfish ambition is the mother of all schisms.’ But Dave Harvey shows us a better way in Rescuing Ambition. With wit and wisdom, Dave uncovers the truth in scripture to teach how God forms a gospel-driven ambition in us for use in his mission and for his glory. I hope every leader in the church today will read Rescuing Ambition.”
– Ed Stetzer, President, LifeWay Research

“Dave Harvey thinks well, writes well, tells good stories, and cites people of substance and insight. I have long appreciated Dave’s integrity, wisdom and perspective. Were I not afraid of feeding his ambition for greatness, or my ambition to write a memorable endorsement, I would add that Rescuing Ambition is biblical, honest, witty, and sometimes amusing. I’m happy to recommend this fine book on an important and overlooked subject.”
– Randy Alcorn, author , If God is Good and Heaven

Rescuing Ambition is a book for all of us who were created by God, who strive to excel. It applies to every Christian. Dave Harvey brilliantly and accessibly answers the question, ‘Can Christians be humble and ambitious at the same time?’ He explains why and how we can, always rooting his presentation in Scripture. This is a book that has needed to be written. You will not be disappointed.”
– Jim Tebbe, Vice President of Missions; Director, Urbana Missions Conference, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship

“Whether you’re on Main Street or Wall Street this book has something to say to you. No author has done a better job of helping me understand my heart, my motives, and my Savior. Harvey uses humor, Scripture, and real-life examples to help us balance our dreams and callings, while always reminding us that Jesus is the Christ.”
– Josh Deckard, Former Assistant Press Secretary to President Bush

“I’ve always been a pretty ambitious person. I don’t like ceilings or limits. I love thinking and dreaming about doing great things, about being a part of something great, something world-changing—and I’ve always felt guilty about this. I’ve wrestled with my motives and why I want to do great things. My struggle has been how to discern the difference in my own heart between selfish ambition and a God-centered drive in life. And to err on the safe side, I have at times tended to reduce the size of my dreams and lower my expectations. Under the banner of trying to be humble, I settle for less. I suppose I’ll struggle with this tension for the rest of my fallen life in this broken world, but, thanks to Dave Harvey, I now have a new tool in my toolbox to help me sort through these things in a gospel-drenched way. Thank you Dave!”
– Tullian Tchividjian, Pastor, Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church; author, Unfashionable: Making a Difference in the World by Being Different

“As the leader of an organization expressly dedicated to seeing the gospel deepen in our own lives as well as expand outward to the nations, I’m grateful for Dave Harvey’s recovery of the idea of ambition. Dave’s book is a powerful, plainspoken, Scripture-saturated reminder that when the gospel is the center of our identity and security, we can be freed from the petty dreams and small-minded motivations that often hamstring ministry. In the gospel, we find the freedom to be truly ambitious.”
– Bob Osborne, Executive Director, World Harvest Mission

“From page one, Dave’s writing style gripped me with his humor, humility, and down-to-earth, Bible-saturated style. I don’t think I have ever seen a book on ambition, but I have been trying to provoke men to find some ambition, borrow some, or if they were really ambitious, even steal some! Dave writes to those of us who aren’t ambitious enough to read (much less comprehend) a thick theological treatise, but are interested enough to read the words of someone who understands that we are often content to watch others with ambition as they ride up mountains, compose great music, and attempt the unthinkable—like homeschool three kids. This is not a self-help book that doesn’t really help; it is a wake-up alarm to rouse the good gifts specifically placed within us by God for his own glory.”
– Scott Thomas, Director, Acts 29 Network

“I didn’t know that my ambition was defective and in need of rescuing until I read this book. Harvey writes with such compelling insight and clarity that you’re left thinking the lack of godly ambition ranks alongside pragmatism and theological flimsiness as ailments afflicting the church today. Yet, at root, this book isn’t about problem-hunting nearly as much as it is about the gospel, salvation, and embracing the ambitious agenda Jesus sets for our lives. Those who want to live with high and glorious purpose for the Savior must read this book. So do those who don’t, and those who never thought about what godly ambition really involves. Rescuing Ambition calls us to live large, bold lives by swiping as much glory for Jesus as possible.”
– Thabiti M. Anyabwile, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church of Grand Cayman; author , What Is a Healthy Church Member?

“Dave Harvey teaches us that God wants ambition back in our understanding of godliness and spiritual health. As Christians, we are to be zealous for good works (Titus 2:13)—that is, ambitious for them. We are to be people who dream and do big things for the glory of God and the good of others. Let’s not be content with small dreams cloaked in a guise of humility. This is a critical book for the church today because it helps us recover the spirit of William Carey, who ambitiously said ‘Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God.’”
– Matt Perman, Director of Strategy, Desiring God Ministries

“Dave Harvey has delivered a compelling case for developing God-ward ambition in the lives of men and women alike. This insightful book carries a timely message in our ‘whatever’ culture: we all have ambition, but where it is aimed and how it is used is worth serious consideration. With self-effacing humor, Dave reveals how being wired for glory can either corrupt us or lead us to a divine agenda. Highly recommended!”
– Carolyn McCulley, author , Radical Womanhood: Feminine Faith in a Feminist World and Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye? Trusting God with a Hope Deferred.

“Proud people will benefit from reading this book and learning to bend their ambition towards God’s will. Those who are falsely humble will benefit even more by growing the godly ambition to pursue him with their whole life.”
– Mike Anderson, Director, the Resurgence

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I recently had a conversation with some people who were uncertain about Sonship, a ministry of World Harvest Mission.  They thought the idea that we “never move beyond justification” (accepted by God on the basis of Jesus’ obedience) meant that Sonship did not move on to address our progressive sanctification (becoming more like Jesus in character & obedience).

I tried to explain that “not moving beyond justification” means that our acceptance before God is always based on Jesus’ substitutionary obedience and punishment.  We never become so good, so righteous that we no longer need the work of Messiah on our behalf.  We never out-grow our need to hear, and believe, the gospel.  As such, Sonship is a grace-oriented lifestyle.  Our salvation by grace alone through faith alone includes our sanctification.  As Paul chastized the Galatians, we do not start by grace and persevere by the flesh.  It is from grace to grace, as we trust God to apply the work of Jesus to us by the power of the Spirit.

I think that what throws some people off is that Sonship focuses on our new identity as adopted children of God as a foundation, with justification, for our progressive sanctification.  You find this most clearly in Walter Marshall’s Gospel Mystery of Sanctification.  Counterfeit sanctifaction is when we change through self-effort rather than by grace.  It is an attempt to earn or maintain our standing before God.  But properly understanding and believing in our justification and status as heirs frees us from such attempts, and we rely further for his grace to transform us.

Another aspect that throws some people off is the focus on sins of the heart instead of the external behaviors or sins.  Many people only address that which is seen- words, actions.  These are but the tip of the iceburg, or the stem of the weed.  Beneath them are attitudes of the heart and mind- idols- which produce these effects.  Our sinful attitudes and attachments are the ice below the surface, or the roots of the weed.  To truly make progress in our Christian experience, we must address these in addition to the visible sins.  If you don’t pull up the roots, the weed just grows back.  So, by grace, we seek to kill the root.

So we find that Sonship is concerned about sanctification, but it keeps our progress rooted in our justification, our new status, and addressing our heart in addition to our actions.  I find it to be a more biblical approach to life change, for, after all, grace teaches us to say ‘no’ to ungodliness (Titus 2).  I discover that I’m a bigger sinner than I ever imagined, but that Jesus is a greater Savior than I could ever imagine (1 Timothy 1:15).  Sonship is about gospel transformation!

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