Free Stuff





3. Christian Audio Books

If you like audio books, here’s a great deal. Each month, get a free download of a premium Christian book. This month’s offer: Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald S. Whitney. Search the site for other free resources as well. I subscribe to their “First Chapters” podcast for unabridged first chapters of audio books.







2. ESV Study Bible

For the month of March, have free access to the widely-acclaimed ESV Study Bible online. Then decide if you want to purchase, or just let it expire. I like the Study Bible I already have, but it’s NIV. And I’m a huge fan of the ESV ever since reading The Word of God in English by Leland Ryken a few years ago. So I'll take this opportunity for a trial run to see if it’s worth buying yet another new Bible.






1. Desiring God

This is my most favorite ministry site on the web.

Free. I’ve never understood it. But Desiring God gives stuff away all the time online. I first read the book Desiring God online, which led me to buy a hardcopy. I knew it was good enough for a second read.

So you might think: okay, offer an older book free for online reading. Big deal. But they offer their brand new stuff for free, too. One of John Piper’s newest, Finally Alive, is also free for the reading.

They encourage you to spread their free resources around, as long as you keep them intact and as long as you don’t charge for them.

Why?

I think it’s because they really believe in their mission: to produce and distribute resources that spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ.

Here’s how it works for Desiring God:

In general, let’s sell what is packaged, and give what is wired. That is, sell books, CD’s, booklets, etc., but make all that can be read, heard, or downloaded over the internet free.

Rationale: I know that all choices about what to sell and give are going to be somewhat arbitrary. But this distinction between what is packaged and what is wired is not entirely arbitrary. We distinguish between paying for the gospel, on the one hand, and paying for material objects that contain the gospel, on the other hand. We would rightly stumble over the former but accept the latter.


As technology progresses and the gospel containers change, this particular distinction will eventually become obsolete. But the principle of not requiring people to pay for the gospel will continue to govern the way we finance our spreading strategies. And as we look to the future we are not looking for new gospel containers to sell but rather new, innovative ways to make the gospel more freely available.

You’ll find literally hundreds of articles and sermons and books and other resources, all for no charge. And almost in real-time. When they host seminars, they twitter and blog at the events, and usually post audio (yes, free) within 24 hours. Video follows shortly. I’ve never been to another seminar (church or otherwise) where their speakers’ lectures are made available for free immediately after they're given (well, except for every Sunday morning at our church!).

I realize not every ministry can afford to give away what they can make money on. But as technology changes, and in many cases reduces, our own costs, I pray that we’ll rethink the way we charge for access.

In the meantime, I thank God for ministries like these. Our Savior is worth more to us than all the money in the world, so let’s provide access to Him as freely as possible.

1 comment:

Lynn said...

Lisa!

Thanks for the information on the resources. I'll hang on to them!

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