Issue Number Fifteen

Don's Schedule

Please pray for these ministry opportunities in February and March.

  • Grace Bible Fellowship Church
    Quakertown, PA

  • Omaha Bible Church Omaha, NE

  • Topeka Mennonite Brethren Church
    Topeka, KS

  • Woods Chapel Baptist Church
    Blue Springs, MO

  • Toledo Reformed
    Theological Conference
    Held at Emmanuel Baptist Church
    Toledo, OH

  • Emmanuel Baptist Church
    Toledo, OH

  • Grace Church of DuPage
    Warrenville, IL

  • The Master's
    Community Church
    Melbourne, Florida

  • River Bend
    Community Church
    Ormond Beach, FL

Bulletin Inserts
To Download

Both the articles in this newsletter are available for download as bulletin inserts in .doc format for MS Word or in .pdf format for Adobe Reader, a free browser plug-in. Click the "Bulletin Inserts" button on the homepage. We will notify you as more chapters become available in this format.

Sample Chapters from
Books by Don Whitney

Why I Am A Baptist
from Why I Am A Baptist

Do You Thirst for God?
from Ten Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health

Silence and Solitude
from Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life

Why Join a Church?
from Spiritual Disciplines Within the Church

A Spiritual MindSet
from How Can I Be Sure I'm A Christian?

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What's New on the Web Site?

Lectures on private and public worship given by Don at the annual Institute for Christian Worship lectureship at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville in October, 2003.

"Private Worship Essential for Every Worship Leader: Part I"

"Private Worship Essential for Every Worship Leader: Part II"

"Worshipping in Truth Without Losing the Spirit: Part I"

"Worshipping in Truth Without Losing the Spirit: Part II"

Featuring Don's New Book

Simplify Your Spiritual Life

Below are two of the ninety chapters
from Don's book

Simplify Your Spiritual Life.

with Discussion Guide included.

Know the Good News of Christian Spirituality

Not only have most people on the planet never heard the good news of Christian spirituality, I am doubtful whether even many churchgoers have heard it clearly presented. And some who have heard it thousands of times are tentative when asked about it.

Christian spirituality begins with one of the most important words in the Bible. That word is gospel, which is the English translation of the New Testament Greek word that literally means "good news." But as essential as the gospel is to Christianity, I have often encountered an embarrassing silence whenever I have asked church groups, "What is the gospel?"

Let me ask you. Suppose you were going to write the gospel in a paragraph or so and send it to a friend in an email or letter. Could you do it? Confidently? Why would it be "good news"?

Click HERE to finish reading this article.

Rely on the Authority and Guidance of Scripture

"I like to think of Heaven this way."

"I've always imagined Heaven to be a place where . . . ."

"To me, Heaven is like . . . ."

Have you noticed how people want to take biblical terms, empty them of biblical content, and fill them with their own meaning? Take Heaven, for instance. Everyone wants to go to biblical place called Heaven, but many reject the qualifications for Heaven declared in the Bible and show no interest in the Bible's description of Heaven's activities.

People also tend to repackage the truth about the nature of God and spirituality. They imagine God as they want Him to be ("Well, my God isn't like that!"), despite what God has revealed about Himself in the Bible. And people want to relate to God through their own self-determined kind of spirituality. But God has established His Word—the Bible—as the final authority and infallible guide for true and eternal spirituality.

One reason we should accept the authority and guidance of the Bible is because it is God's self-revelation to us. God is "the King eternal, immortal, invisible" (1 Timothy 1:17). And unless our invisible Creator revealed Himself to us, we would know nothing about Him. How could we? Anything we might say about Him would be pure speculation. Someone could claim that God has a body of green flesh, three heads, and stands one hundred feet tall. How would he prove that claim, or anyone else prove otherwise? The only completely trustworthy source of information about the nature of God, knowing God, and how to relate to God in our spirituality is the self-revelation of God we call the Bible.

This is why God tells us throughout the Bible to search it for guidance in all things, especially our spirituality. But shouldn't we look to the real-life spiritual experiences of people as equal in authority to the Bible?

Click HERE to finish reading this article.

Don't Take for Granted That You Understand the Gospel

My experience in the ministry has also taught me that a frightening percentage of people take for granted that they understand the gospel, but when pressed to explain it they reveal a disturbing lack of clarity. Last week a woman I believe to be a new but growing Christian came to see me. "I'm embarrassed to ask this," she said bluntly, "but what is the gospel?"

As it turned out, she knew what the gospel was, but simply wanted sharper definitions and to think more precisely. Such frank forthrightness is refreshing. If only more people would desire to think so clearly about the gospel.

Are you sure you know the gospel? The New Testament plainly says the gospel is the power of God for salvation (Romans 1:16). . . . Suppose you were writing to a friend and explaining the gospel. What would you say?

[Taken from pages 136-137 of Don's book, How Can I Be Sure I'm a Christian? Find out more about this book here.

Or order by phone: 800-405-3788

Family News and Notes

Don preaching at the Edwards' 300th birthday celebration in Minneapolis in October.

The big news around the warm hearth of the Whitney home right now (at least to me) is my fiftieth birthday. I commence my second half-century on Valentine's Day. I don't like the effects of aging on my body. And the thought of being accountable at the Judgment for fifty years of life is terribly sobering. But I've never known anyone I considered wise who sincerely wished he or she could go back. After all, by the grace of God, I trust that I'm also decades closer to Heaven.

It's interesting to ask yourself, "What's different about being this age than I once (ten, twenty, thirty, forty years ago) thought it would be?"

Thank you to those who prayed for the FamilyLife Today interviews in early January. They were well-received. You may still hear them online for free, or purchase tapes/CDs of the interviews, at For either purpose, go to the "Broadcasts" button, click on the "past broadcasts" link, then type "Whitney" in the box that says, "Guest."

For those of you interested in books on the subject of worship, P&R has released an excellent volume, Give Praise to God: A Vision for Reforming Worship. Some twenty writers contributed to this large (400+ page) volume edited by Philip Ryken and Ligon Duncan. While it deals mostly with public worship, the chapter I was asked to write is on "Private Worship." You can find out more about the book here.

Caffy's was freed from her second walking cast in early February, and finally feels that the leg she broke in July is on the mend. What an ordeal this has been! Her art projects of late have included a couple of covers for reprints of children's books by Grace & Truth Books, and a mural in a model home.

Laurelen 's big news lately has been playing in the snow. Last week we unexpectedly received about ten inches, the biggest snowfall in Kansas City in eleven years. I'm sure she put more miles on her sled during that three-day period than we did on the family car. One day she took her bunny out to experience the snow. Have you ever seen a domesticated bunny trying to hop in snow twice its height?

Although it took 2.5 hours to plow our driveway and the neighbor's, it was perfect weather for sitting by the woodstove afterward, reading My Friend Flicka to Laurelen, then closing the night with family worship.

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